Eureka! What I recognized anecdotally for years is now published research that concluded financial symptoms of cognitive issues are surfacing up to six years before a formal clinical diagnosis.
You are noticing changes in your own thinking, or you are seeing changes in a loved one that is concerning, but the primary care doctor just reassures you that you are “fine.” I witnessed this all play out with my parents for years. By the time we finally had a formal diagnosis, both of my parents were diagnosed with MODERATE forms of dementia. Dad they believed to be Alzheimer’s and my mother had primarily Vascular Dementia.
Many financial mistakes were made for many years preceding this, including the decision to stop paying for long-term care insurance. Most of my Dad’s retirement accounts were unattended and forgotten.
For more insight into this visit this Washington Post Story.
After living the journey with my parents, and now supporting individuals and families as a daily money manager, I have seen and cleaned up many of these issues. It is rewarding, but sometimes takes my breath away, when I calculate how much money was wasted or lost over the years that could have been used to help pay for their care.
The research primary looked at payment delinquency. If someone is missing bill payments, when they were prompt payers before, this change could be a sign of a cognitive issue.
If you are experiencing this, or are having trouble making your checkbook balance when that has been a lifelong habit, it’s time to share this with a loved one as well as your primary care doctor.
The earlier you identify an issue, the more options and control you can have over it’s future course. Believed.