Early Signs of Alzheimer’s – What Does It Mean When Mom’s Forgetting to Pay Her Bills

We recently got a question from a woman concerned about her mother showing early signs of alzheimer’s.

Her question was…

“My mother is forgetting to pay her bills and isn’t managing her finances anymore. Is this a sign we need to place her in a memory care facility?”

Early Signs of Alzheimer’s

We frequently get similar questions and concerns from loved ones of people with Alzheimer’s. Here’s what we tell them:

In and of itself, forgetting to pay bills and not managing finances isn’t a sign that long term care is required. However, it may not be wise to let your loved live on his/her own.

The issue here is this…

… People with Alzheimer’s find it increasingly difficult to deal with numbers. And so they will lose the ability to manage their own financial affairs.

One way this presents itself is they’ll often write the wrong date and/or amount on checks or payment slips. Mistakes like these makes them particularly vulnerable to unscrupulous business practices, identify theft and other crimes.

As the disease progresses, people with Alzheimer’s will have trouble with other numbers. They can no longer recall vital information such as their age, address or the current year.

At this stage of the disease, it’s common for them to start neglecting household chores. They may stop caring for plants (or even pets). And they may leave faucets running or leave oven burners on.

When a loved one is no longer able to manage their own affairs, it’s time to intervene and get your loved one help.

Though, even at this stage, long term care may not be required. It may be a matter of bringing in a caregiver or to move your loved one in with a family member to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

So the inability to pay bills or manage finances, in and of themselves, isn’t necessarily a sign it’s time to find a memory care facility.

However, there are other indications to look out for. To get a list of 15 questions to help you decide if it’s time to place your loved one in a memory care facility, read this article.