Thursday, August 24, 2006

Caregiving: financial competency test

     Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease are scary words to the public and when read in a headline too often people skip such articles and miss the phrase “Related Disorders”. MS cognitive dysfunction symptoms are part of that catch all phrase “Related Disorders” as are many illnesses.


Financial Competency Test for Dementia Patients Unveiled

     BIRMINGHAM, Ala. A team of UAB doctors has developed a 25-minute test that physicians can use to determine the competence of patients to handle financial affairs….

     … patients lose arithmetic and other basic money management skills, and the ability to make both complex and simple financial decisions.

     "They also become highly vulnerable to financial exploitation by others."

     "The findings suggest that financial capacity first becomes impaired in the MCI (Mildly Cognitively Impaired) period, ...


       We learned this lesson the hard way over 10 years ago when Patti quickly ran up a couple thousand dollars of QVC charges on our VISA and couldn’t even really remember what she had ordered, and did she even get delivery. 

     It was a shock and a wake up call about cognitive impairment. And believe me few things are harder than when you MUST begin to legally define someone’s competency. Since my earliest age I was raised that ours is a nation of individual liberties and freedom. The morality and responsibility of competency gnaws at your soul. 

      Yet on the other hand financial exploitation of the cognitively impaired IS real. QVC is not alone among the predators.

     A financial competency test could be so beneficial to families. An early warning is much safer for all than an expensive wake up call.


  1. amen to that; it should almost be a requirement at every office visit to have one of these done to keep track of progression of decline so patients and care givers are aware of cognitive abilities.

    hope you are well Patrick :)


  2. Businesses such as QVC can be tempting to those without cognitive issues, but for someone in a position such as Patti's I can only imagine what a reality check that was.  Thanks for all the reminders and tips you send!

  3. This is very true, you notice small things and sometimes you can overlook them as just being off days.......but those off days become wider, so it's a good thing to have early warning bells, there are lots of 'predators'. Rache

  4. dang--I have no excuses for my QVC charges!

  5. It should be a routine exam at the Dr.s.  My mother got the same way years before anyone else noticed she was a bit off.  It was difficult for a long time for everyone.  Take care of yourself always.


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