New Dementia Treatment

A new virtual reality treatment is helping some elderly people with dementia recall their memories.

It has often been said that the cruelest thing about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is the forgetting. People who suffer from dementia forget the important people, places and things in their life.

They do not just forget that the person talking to them is their grown-up child. They also forget the time they took that child to their first baseball game, for example.

Helping patients get back those memories, has proven to be a challenge.

Patients can be told about the memories, but that does not necessarily mean they will remember them.

Technology now might be able to help, as the Daily Mail reports in “Touching moment a virtual reality headset helps elderly people with dementia recall previous memories.”

A virtual reality therapy program has been created that lets patients virtually be at a scene.

A therapist asks a set of leading questions to help jog the patient’s memory. The article mentions that an elderly woman was shown a virtual reality beach scene and was then able to recall the time she visited a beach in Scotland as a child. It was a memory which had previously been lost to her.

There are twelve scenes in total, including a view of the Earth from the International Space Station.

For now, this virtual reality program is costly and not available to everyone. However, if it continues to show promise in helping dementia sufferers, then it is likely to soon be more widely available.

Reference: Daily Mail (May 16, 2017) “Touching moment a virtual reality headset helps elderly people with dementia recall previous memories.”

Elder Abuse Costs Rising

A new study suggests that the total costs from elder abuse in the U.S. continue to rise at an alarming rate.

Elder abuse is a serious problem in the U.S. This has been known for a long time. As more people live longer while suffering from some form of cognitive impairment due to age or disease, fraudsters have more and more incentive to target the elderly.

What is not often known by the general public is how frequent financial abuse of the elderly is and how costly it can be.

Recently, the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog discussed the results of a recent survey that helps to answer those questions in “Elder Financial Abuse Is Costing Americans.”

The numbers are alarming: 37% of elderly caregivers report that the person under their care has been the victim of financial abuse. The average cost of the abuse to the elderly victim is $36,000. That is up 20% from two years ago when the average cost per victim was reported at $30,000.

Given the large number of elderly people in the U.S., these numbers show that a significant amount of wealth is being taken from the elderly in abuse incidents.

If you suspect that an elderly person you know is the victim of elder abuse, it is vital that you contact an elder law attorney and alert authorities. While it is often difficult to recover the lost funds, it can be done if the proper people are informed in time.

Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (Nov. 16, 2016) “Elder Financial Abuse Is Costing Americans.”