Retirement Weekly: 5 things an adviser should do when they notice cognitive decline in a client

Mary is a 53-year-old business executive who calls her aging father, 85, every Sunday. Over time, Mary notices that their phone calls are becoming increasingly difficult. She starts to speak louder and more slowly, responds to the same questions several times, and even has to remind her dad that it is Sunday, the same day she calls every week.

During a visit with her father, Mary notices a dent in his car, a huge stack of unopened bills, a burned pot on the stove, and very little food in the refrigerator. At that moment it becomes clear to Mary that her dad is beginning to struggle with living independently. Despite his insistence that he is fine, the evidence, which is increasingly concerning, suggests otherwise.

In her quarterly meeting with the family’s financial adviser, Steven, Mary mentions some of her concerns. Steven reluctantly admits that he started noticing a change in a conversation with her father last year. According to Steven, Mary’s dad began asking the same questions several times during their meetings, and would call him later in the week to follow-up about information they had already discussed.

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