The New York Times recently reported on a group of regulators, educators and senior advocates advocating that doctors and other medical professionals be trained to spot elderly patients at risk of being ripped off. The article appeared in the November 17, 2010 Health section of the Times.
The focus of the program is to develop continuing education classes to help medical professionals spot the signs of financial confusion, before an individual becomes a victim. Research shows that confusion about money matters can be an early warning sign of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Often, the elderly are exploited and problems are discovered only after the individual has become a victim or incurred ruinous debts.
The program has the support of several important national groups including the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Geriatics Society. In addition, twenty two (22) states, plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, have given financial support to get the program up and running.
Michael P. Dansack