Nassau County Senior’s Weakness For Scams May Be A Warning Sign Of Dementia
Early Elder Dementia Signs and Risk of Scams
If you or your loved one exhibits any of the following, please contact a BrightStar Care service specialist to learn more about how early Dementia can be cared for. Do you or an older friend or relative have a hard time hanging up on telemarketers? Or get excited about a "You've won a prize" voicemail? New research suggests seniors who aren't on guard against scams also might be at risk for eventually developing Alzheimer's disease.
Elder fraud is a huge problem, and research studies doesn't mean that people who fall prey to a con artist have some sort of dementia brewing. But scientists know that long before the memory problems of Alzheimer's become obvious, people experience more subtle changes in their thinking and judgment may be an early sign. Neuropsychologist Patricia Boyle of Rush University's Alzheimer's disease center wondered if one of the warning signs might be the type of judgment missteps that can leave someone susceptible to scams.
"When a con artist approaches an older person, they're looking for a social vulnerability — someone who is open to having a conversation with a complete stranger," said Boyle. Then the older person must interpret that stranger's intentions and emotions, with little else to go on, in deciding whether to believe what they're peddling, she explained. "As older people start making mistakes in financial, health care and other types of complex decisions, we do need to raise awareness and start asking, 'Do they need some help?'" Boyle said. "It doesn't necessarily mean someone is going to go on to develop dementia. But we should become more aware."
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