Understanding the Effects of Memory Loss on Finances

Failure to pay bills is a common early sign of memory loss; the longer it goes unidentified, the more troublesome credit card companies can be, as they may view erratic payments as a sign of risk. Managing bank accounts online may also prove difficult for those with signs of memory loss, especially since incorrect login attempts will be red flagged. 

Janice had a favorite credit card which, because of memory challenges, she did not always pay in a timely way. When she finally brought her account current, the card company summarily canceled her card.

Mary, who uses online banking to manage her affairs, had difficulty remembering and entering her online username and password because she was in the early stages of memory loss. For security, banks have strict limits on the number of log-in errors they will allow, which has been a big problem for Mary. She has learned that if she enters incorrect information three times, her bank, like most, will require her to call and verify who she is in order to restart her online service. Moreover, most banks will permanently cancel the online service if a customer repeatedly calls to reset their information.

In situations like these, family may be able to step in to assist or may decide to hire a Daily Money Manager

It became obvious to the families of Janice and Mary that they would benefit from assistance in managing their loved one’s affairs and the services of Eddy & Schein were engaged. Janice’s remaining cards are now managed for her to ensure that her payments are consistent and, for Mary’s protection, we convinced her to allow us to do her online banking for her, leaving her free to email and shop.

Memory loss is a common issue for aging clients, as well as for people with conditions that affect mental clarity. Recognizing the signs of memory loss can help families identify the need for support early on. Concerns about bill payments, account management, and coordination of personal affairs are aspects of memory loss that often lead families to engage Daily Money Managers. As we work with our clients in their homes, we experience first hand the more extensive effects of memory loss on our clients and the impact on their families. We’ve learned that certain sensory interactions have a positive effect on mood, demeanor, the accessibility of memory and, in some cases, mobility.  In particular art and music, both proven to be therapeutic in general, have had amazing results in Alzheimer's and dementia patients. 

Understanding how memory is processed can assist us in caring for our loved ones. Here are a few links to some programs that have been beneficial for people with memory impairment and their families:

  • Music & Memory (www.musicandmemory.org) - “A non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm through digital music technology, vastly improving quality of life.”
  • Water & Stone (www.creativelyhealing.com) - “A company focused on offering therapy to individuals, bringing creative arts therapy into the community and supporting professional development.”
  • Teepa Snow (www.teepasnow.com) - One of America’s leading educators on dementia.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at Eddy & Schein in New York at 212-987-1427 or in Los Angeles at 626-395-7572.

Rebecca Schein Gideon Y. Schein,
Rebecca R. Eddy
Gideon Y. Schein

Eddy & Schein
212. 987.1427


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