Patients with dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease and particularly those in early stages, are susceptible to become victims of predators: Their agnosia (see Case 1) prevents them from detecting and accurately interpreting subtle signals that otherwise would have alerted them that they are about to fall for a scam. Furthermore, their judgment is impaired very early in the disease process, often before other symptoms manifest themselves and usually before a diagnosis is made. Patients with early stages of dementia are therefore prime targets for unscrupulous predators, and it behooves caregivers and health care professionals to ensure the integrity of these patients. In this case study, we discuss how a man with mild Alzheimer’s disease was about to fall for a scam were it not for his vigilant wife. We discuss what went wrong in the patient/caregiver interaction and how the catastrophic ending could have been avoided or averted.
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Hamdy, Ronald C.; Lewis, J. V.; Copeland, Rebecca; Depelteau, Audrey; Kinser, Amber E.; Kendall-Wilson, T.; and Whalen, Kathleen. 2017. Patients With Dementia Are Easy Victims to Predators. Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine. Vol.3 https://doi.org/10.1177/2333721417734684 ISSN: 2333-7214