Alzheimer’s Awareness Affects Families and Finances

A new study from the University of Utah suggests that people who have a family history of Alzheimer’s are more likely to seek expert financial advice and delay retirement than those who do not have a family history of Alzheimer’s or a related dementia.Alzheimer's Awareness Affects Families and Finances

Learn more about this study and why researchers believe the Alzheimer’s awareness correlation exists.

New Study Links Family Alzheimer’s Awareness to Increased Financial Planning

As the Alzheimer’s epidemic continues with no real treatment or cure in sight, the economic impact is making itself known to younger people facing an increased risk of the disease.

A new study from the University of Utah found that caring for a loved one for Alzheimer’s costs a family an average of $56,290 annually.

The study also found that people with a family history of Alzheimer’s are more likely to seek financial advice and postpone retirement than those without a family history of Alzheimer’s. The study, sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and submitted to the American Journal of Alzheimer’s disease & Other Dementias, concluded that:

  • Study participants with a family history of Alzheimer’s were 85% more likely to seek advice from financial professionals
  • Participants were also 40% less likely to retire before the age of 65 as compared to participants who did not have a family history of the disease

The Cost of Alzheimer’s Care Pushes Families to Plan More

Cathleen Zick is a professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah and one of the authors on the study. She, along with her colleagues Robert Mayer and Ken Smith, have been taking a closer look at the correlation between financial concerns and increased Alzheimer’s awareness.

Zico believes that everyone, and especially those facing increased risk of serious disease, needs a realistic projection of financial needs in retirement and a plan to meet those needs. She states, “People with low confidence about their financial situation in retirement should be proactive and that would be a sea change in our culture.”

The same authors published a recent report in the Journal of Aging and Health stating that they believe, “It is likely that the link between family health histories and retirement confidence will intensify.”

Have you seen a link between increased Alzheimer’s awareness and financial planning? Share your stories with us in the comments below.

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