Quantifying Potentially Avoidable Financial Losses Due to Dementia addressed by Nicholas

an In The Media Appearance

"Dementia may cause major financial problems long before diagnosis, making early detection critical" - Washington Post. 11/30/2020

"Dementia may cause major financial problems long before diagnosis" - Boston Globe. 11/30/2020

"Years Before Diagnosis, People With Alzheimer's Lose Financial Acumen" - US News & World Report. 12/03/2020

"Older Adults with Dementia Exhibit Financial "Symptoms" Up To Six Years Before Diagnosis" - Johns Hopkins News. 12/04/2020

"Dementia patients had problems with finances up to 6 years before diagnosis, study says" - Miami Hearld.

In a research funded by Hopkins’ Economics of Alzheimer’s Disease & Services Center (HEADS), PI Lauren Hersch Nicholas and co-authors at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in JAMA Internal Medicine found that Medicare beneficiaries who go on to be diagnosed with dementia are more likely to miss payments on bills as early as six years before a clinical diagnosis. The findings suggest that financial symptoms such as missing payments on routine bills could be used as early predictors of dementia and highlight the benefits of earlier detection.

Dementia represents a threat to retirement security for patients and families because characteristic brain changes make it difficult to remember routine financial characteristics and alter risk perception, increasing susceptibility to fraud and exploitation. Yet little is known about the prevalence and magnitude of financial losses due to dementia and the potential unmet need for assistance with financial management among persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD). With no public and/or private sector policies to protect the financial interests of persons with ADRD, there is an urgent need to understand the magnitude of the issue and develop methods to monitor incidence over time so that effective policies can be developed. This pilot project will collect new survey data to assess the prevalence and magnitude of financial losses associated with cognitive impairment and to assess the demographic characteristics of patients and families affected by these losses.

Nicholas LH, Langa KM, Bynum JPW, Hsu JW. Financial Presentation of Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementias. JAMA Intern Med. 2021;181(2):220–227. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.6432



Lauren Nicholas

Related Resources

Hopkins’ Economics of Alzheimer’s Disease & Services Center (HEADS)