Dec 6, 2010

Poor money decisions may be clue to Alzheimer's diagnosis

A British university recently announced it is getting closer to an early screening test for Alzheimer's. The noninvasive test involves examining lesions on the memory hub of the brain.  Diagnosing Alzheimer's today is a patchwork affair at best.

In our elder law practice, we have observed that the disease sometimes manifests itself early in poor, even bizarre financial decisions. Several years ago we had one longtime client who began responding to every mail solicitation and tv shopping offer. She lived alone and had no relatives, so it took some time for anyone to realize this was occurring.

Unfortunately, diagnosis is not the same thing as cure, or prevention. At present there is no cure, nor a surefire way to prevent it. However, you can take steps to keep a person who has, or is developing Alzheimer's, safe from his own fiscal decisions. Everyone should have a Durable Power of Attorney so that if the time ever comes, someone else can step into your shoes and manage your financial affairs. Without a Durable Power of Attorney, a costly guardianship may have to be commenced.

Click below to view one family's story. (There is an advertisement before the story begins)

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