What to Do When Your Loved One Shows Signs of Impaired Judgment

If poor decision-making is an issue, you can take steps to protect your family.


- Posted on Sep 25, 2019

A father and daughter in a happy embrace.

This article is based on information provided by Home Instead Senior Care.

When you think of symptoms associated with dementia, memory loss is often the one that comes to mind first. But there are other symptoms. Dementia often affects insight and judgment. These symptoms may manifest themselves in many ways. . Maybe you have noticed that your loved one has been choosing cold weather wear in the summertime, or vice versa. He or she may have fallen prey to a phone scam for credit card information or may be responding to multiple sweepstakes offers in the mail, or making more donations than they can afford, to charities you’ve never heard them mention.

Problems with decision-making may also be connected to other Alzheimer’s symptoms, including memory lapses, personality changes and difficulty with abstract thinking. 

Once you have determined that this is an issue, you can take measures to help keep your loved one, as well as the rest of your family, safe.

If your loved one has been making questionable choices, try to assess the situation by answering these questions:

· Has he or she begun to make problematic financial decisions?

· Has self-care fallen by the wayside (does he wear inappropriate clothing for the weather or neglect to bathe)?

· Does she find it difficult to plan ahead (such as making up a grocery list or deciding where to go for a holiday)?

If it is clear to you that your loved one has impaired judgment, you might consider these protective measures:

· Go throughthe home to evaluate safety issues.

· Work with his or her legal and financial advisors to organize documents and monitor any changes.

· If you have not already done so, consider getting an evaluation from a medical professional to determine the diagnosis and  the extent of the symptoms. 

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