Teri Koff, LCSW, CMC
Aging Life Care Consultant
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Assessing Alzheimer's
Preparing More Care of Elderly
Sensors Help Keep the Elderly Safe, and at Home
Economic Gloom Has Dimmed the Golden Years
It's Harder to Age at Home
Can Profits and Nursing Homes Mix
To Protect Medical Privacy
Courageous Decision at Life’s End
Home-Care Services for the Elderly
Growing Old At Home, in Comfort
Medicaid and the Elderly
When Health Care Breaks the Bank
Alzheimer's Sufferers And Their Caretakers
Men Who Shoulder Care for the Elderly
Managed Care For the Elderly
A Mixed Picture Of a Nursing Home
Elder Care Concerns
Challenge for Assisted Living
Geriatric Care Managers
Widen Doors Into Public Housing; Assisted Living
In Rescuing a Relative, a Helping or a Heavy Hand?


Assessing Alzheimer's

Published: November 8, 2010

To the Editor:
“Money Woes Can Be Early Clue to Alzheimer’s” highlighted the ethical challenges individuals face when cognitive functioning diminishes in our aging population. The impaired individuals are unable to recognize the limitations in handling their financial, legal and personal care needs.

Although they may be able to mask the early warning signs to family, friends or colleagues in the workplace, the outcome can still result in financial loss and diminished self-esteem.

I am an elder-care specialist who is routinely called upon to confront identified capacity issues in older adults. It is clear that the task reveals a myriad of ethical issues. Intervention is essential.

Baby boomers must face the reality that seniors are living longer and that cognitive impairments may develop over time. Education about warning signs of diminished capacity, the knowledge to seek intervention and the courage to address the issue are vital in protecting our elderly.

Planning ahead and seeking professional advice to understand the complicated facets of dementia and elder care are our best defense to protect older adults from financial abuse and neglect.

Keeping our head in the sand can have devastating results and tarnish the lifestyles for those in their golden years.

Teri Koff
New York, Oct. 31, 2010

 The writer, a clinical social worker, is an elder-care specialist.


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