Chayet & Danzo, LLC Chayet & Danzo, LLC www.Coloradoelderlaw.com
Call for a Free Initial Consultation
Direct 303-872-5980
Toll-Free 888-472-1088
Email Us
Compassion, talent and dedication: guiding colorado families and Their Trusted Advisors During Times of Need

Study shows vulnerability of elders to scamming

In more news about the financial abuse of seniors, CNN just published an article about an important study linking early dementia and susceptibility to telephone scams. So even if your older loved one seems cognitively healthy and normally exercises good judgment, falling prey to a phone scam may be an important wake-up call.

While younger people may generally be more tech-savvy and aware of the kinds of scams that are trending, elders tend to not be in the loop. So, when someone calls claiming to be a grandson in jail on a Caribbean island needing bail money, or a computer pop-up says to call with your credit card number so the vicious attack on your computer files can be stopped, an older person may believe the story.

Comprehensive research

According to the new research, though, vulnerability to scamming can be more than just not being technologically up to date. Mild cognitive impairment may impact the ability to make good judgments before memory issues are obvious.

The head author is Dr. Patricia Boyle, a neurological psychologist at Rush University in Chicago. Her study observed 935 seniors over about six years each. They initially completed a form probing for awareness of phone scams and underwent annual neuropsychological testing. Those who passed away during the research had brain autopsies.

By the numbers

Findings included:

  • During the study, 16.1% got an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis.
  • During the study, 34.2% displayed mild cognitive impairment.
  • Those whose questionnaires indicated low awareness of phone scamming were at higher risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s or dementia.
  • The same group with little fraud awareness was “associated with” plaque and other biological symptoms of Alzheimer’s in autopsies.

Boyle said that making a judgment about whether to trust someone requires “social cognition” or “social judgment,” a complex thought process requiring a “diverse array of functions.” She added that growing research shows that challenges with social cognition involving financial decisions and other related areas happen before more obvious signs like poor memory.

Take protective steps

A Chicago geriatric doctor interviewed for the article noted that the new research underscores the need for earlier and regular testing for mild cognitive decline. This would allow families to put protections in place before cognitive impairment causes harm to the individual.

In addition, talk to elders about the prevalence of phone scams targeting older individuals.

 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Watch Our Firm Video

We are the premier Elder Law firm in the Colorado region. We set ourselves apart from other law firms in the area with our talent, dedication, compassion and ability of our attorneys to handle any case in Elder Law. We serve Colorado families with experience and dignity in your time of need.

View More Videos

Denver Office
650 S.Cherry St., Suite 710
Denver, CO 80246

Toll Free: 1-888-472-1088
Phone: 303-872-5980
Fax: 303-355-8501
Denver Law Office Map

Edwards Office
105 Edwards Village Blvd.
#D-201
Edwards, CO 81632

Toll Free: 888-472-1088
Toll Free: 1-888-472-1088
Fax: 303-355-8501
Edwards Law Office Map

Aspen Office
600 East Hopkins Avenue
Suite 301
Aspen, CO 81611

Toll Free: 888-472-1088
Toll Free: 1-888-472-1088
Fax: 303-355-8501
Aspen Law Office Map

  • Rated by Super Lawyers Macro Chayet SuperLawyers.com
  • Rated by Super Lawyers Frank J. Danzo, III  SuperLawyers.com
  • Member National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. TM
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb Top Attorney Elder Law
  • 2015 Five Star Professional Wealth Manager Multi-Year Winner
  • Our new 2015 Medicaid Book: how to protect your Family's Assets from devastating nursing home costs
  • Proud Sponsor 2015-Denver Colorado Senior Law Day
  • Peer Review Rated For Ethical standards & Legal Ability TM Martindale Hubbell
  • Haystack