Dementia and the Vulnerable Senior

By Senior Advocate and Elder Law Attorney Rick Law of Law Elder Law – Elder Law and Estate Planning center in Aurora, IL.

One of the first signs of dementia is also one of the most dangerous—a growing inability to understand and control financial matters. In the oldest American generation – currently consisting of those who saw World War II and the Korean War – most couples’ finances have been controlled by the husband; it is not unusual for the wife to have no idea of the family’s financial situation. That can be particularly problematic since men, on average, decline and die earlier than their wives.

It is very important that the healthy spouse and their children be alert for signs of memory loss, which can lead to both financial vulnerability and folly. The sooner these signs are identified and reported to the family doctor and lawyer to be dealt with, the better off everyone will be.

There is no legal standard for “vulnerability,” but vulnerable individuals are more likely to make poor financial decisions and are prime targets for scam artists and criminals. Many so-called charities send direct mailings to senior citizens that are actually solicitations for donations but to the untrained eye appear to be bills. Some of the less scrupulous charities are hoping that these solicitations will result in donations from recipients who are confused and think that they must owe this amount since they are receiving a “bill” from a charity.

Other organizations prey on the fears of senior citizens and send out mailings promising a dire future or political upheaval without contributions from good people like the recipient.

If your loved one has memory problems and you’re afraid of the consequences that may bring, give our office a call today at 800-310-3100 or 630-585-5200.  Your first consultation is absolutely free.  We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family.  Call now.


Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees

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