Money handling can be early indicator of Alzheimer’s

Jasmine Phu

November 3, 2010

New research has revealed that the inability to properly understand money may be one of the first signs of dementia, according to The New York Times. This can include complex contract agreements, credit and loans.

These results have raised questions regarding the competency and liability of an older adult who may start suffering from early Alzheimer's and, consequently, forgets to pay the bills.

"Courts are always struggling to come up with principles and definitions of capacity," Charles P Sabatino said.

One survey conducted by Fidelity Investments found that 96 percent of investors were uncomfortable in dealing with clients who may be developing Alzheimer's.

Renee Packel knows this from firsthand experience, as her husband, Arthur, developed the condition and stopped writing checks for their home and to creditors. Consequently, Packel had to close her husband's business and sell the couple's home in order to pay for all the necessary expenses.

Now, she works as a receptionist and her husband goes to adult daycare each day.

Those who are caring for a spouse with Alzheimer's may also want to invest in a senior alert system, which can allow older adults to instantly send a medical alert to a caretaker in the case of an emergency.