This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

Have You Lost Your Money Mental Capacity? Take This Test

NEW YORK (MainStreet) It's one thing to lose your keys or walk into a room and forget what you were going to do there quite another to neglect paying bills or depositing a check. Dementia is a creeping debilitation affecting a growing number of those 60 years old and older. The risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, doubles every five years by age 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over 5 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer's -- and by 2050, that number is expected to more than double.

Joanne W. Hsu of the Federal Reserve Board and Robert J. Willis from the University of Michigan recently studied the impact of cognitive decline on financial well-being. They determined that over 80% of individuals with dementia are still responsible for handling household money matters.

10 Tips for Talking to Your Aging Parents About Money

"A possible reason for this discrepancy -- that a person remains the financial respondent in spite of having problems handling money or a diagnosis -- is that the spouse may be even worse off," the study says. "We find that households tend to wait until cognition has fallen quite low to make the switch. In particular, this switch often occurs well after the original financial respondent has reported having difficulties handling money. Over one-third of coupled respondents with cognition in the dementia range are financial respondents, and their cognitive impairment may prevent them being able to provide accurate data on financial holdings."

Recognizing the signs of reduced mental acuity often falls to adult children, who may be more apt to notice poor decision making. However, frequent contact may lessen the ability to notice such changes, Hsu and Willis say. "If children only see their parents during major holidays, the time distance between visits makes cognitive decline more noticeable," they say.

Dr. Douglas Scharre of the Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University has developed a "Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam" (SAGE) designed to detect early signs of cognitive, memory or thinking impairments. The four-page series of questions takes less than 15 minutes to complete and can help identify cognitive and brain dysfunction.

Unfortunately, many people with symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer's disease often wait three or four years to seek treatment. "We are finding better treatments, and we know that patients do much better if they start the treatments sooner than later," Dr. Scharre says.

The SAGE test will not tell you if you have Alzheimer's disease or any other cognitive deficiency, but the results can indicate if further evaluation is necessary. There are no right or wrong answers to the test, so don't look for a grade upon completion. The SAGE test instructions direct you to take the completed quiz to your primary care physician, who will review and grade the results. If there are no signs of impairment, the test can be kept on file as a baseline for future results. You can find the test here.

--Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $126.26 -1.80%
FB $81.22 0.40%
GOOG $575.92 0.44%
YHOO $44.30 0.69%
TSLA $201.01 -0.70%

Markets

DOW 18,129.14 +32.24 0.18%
S&P 500 2,101.64 +3.11 0.15%
NASDAQ 4,983.4680 +16.3270 0.33%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs