Often, one of the first signs of memory loss among older adults is a change in how they manage their finances. Bills may start going unpaid, or your loved one may suddenly face unusual money challenges, along with other changes to their daily habits and routines. These financial challenges can be alarming to a family caregiver, and in some cases, make it more challenging to ensure that an elderly loved one has the resources and services they need. Here's a guide to help you navigate your loved one's changing financial situation.

Preparing Finances Before Memory Loss

No one wants to think about the prospect of a loved one being diagnosed with a condition that involves memory loss, like Alzheimer's or dementia. However, cognitive decline is a common concern, so organizing finances and creating a plan before a diagnosis is an important way to prevent future problems. Have a conversation about finances and financial planning with your loved one before they show signs of decline to help you manage their money if the time comes when they can no longer do it themselves. 

memory loss

In addition to getting a clear picture of your loved one's overall finances, you need to have access to accounts, insurance policies, and other legal documents, such as their will. This usually means that your loved one must grant you power of attorney over their affairs in the event they become incapacitated or otherwise unable to manage their own money. Taking care of this step while they are still mentally and physically able can protect their assets and estate and ensure their end-of-life wishes are respected.

Checking on Finances Regularly

Even when you have a financial plan in place for your loved one, regular money checkups and monitoring are crucial when caring for a loved one with memory loss. Working with a financial planner can help ensure that you not only have the funds necessary for memory loss care and assistance but that your loved one's assets are also protected and maximized. 

Once a plan is in place, it should be reviewed annually to ensure there are no major changes to your loved one's financial status. Accounts and balances should be reviewed at least monthly, as well. Seniors with memory loss are often targets of financial crime, so caregivers need to stay alert to signs of theft, such as large withdrawals or unplanned investments. 


For help navigating the challenges of helping a loved one with memory loss, reach out to Memory Care Home Solutions of Saint Louis, MO. Since 2002, this organization has offered free caregiving training and support for loved ones of those with memory loss. A recognized leader in innovative care for dementia and related diseases, they can help you develop the skills you need to keep your loved one safe and healthy. Learn more about their free services online and call (314) 645-6247 to speak with a team member.