Financial capacity in dementia: a systematic review

Sudo, F.K. & Laks, J. Aging & Mental Health. Published online: 20 September 2016

icon-1243683_960_720Objectives: Financial capacity (FC) refers to a set of cognitively mediated abilities related to one’s competency to manage propriety and income. Identifying intact from impaired FC in older persons with dementia is a growing concern in geriatric practice, but the best methods to assess this function still need to be determined. This study aims to review data on FC in dementia and on instruments used to assess this domain of capacity.

Methods: Database search was performed in Medline, ISI Web of Knowledge, LILACS and PsycINFO. Studies that objectively assessed FC in dementia of any etiology were included.

Results: Of a total of 125 articles, 10 were included. Mild Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) was associated with impaired complex FC abilities, namely checkbook management, bank statement management and financial judgment, but simple FC skills were preserved. Moderate AD was associated with impairment in all domains of FC. The Financial Capacity Instrument (FCI) was applied in most of the selected studies and correlated with neuropsychological and neuroimaging variables.

Conclusions: Early dementia is associated with partially preserved FC. More validation studies using objective and evidence-based FC assessment tools, such as the FCI, are still needed.

Read the abstract here

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