Sometimes serious illnesses truly seem to come out of nowhere. But more often than not, there are warning signs.
Those red flags can be so subtle they’re easy to miss. Or they can be glaringly obvious… well, at least in retrospect. Because the truth is, either way, we need to know what to look for to catch those warnings early enough to make a difference.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten better at spotting some of those signals as I’ve aged. These days I’m far more tuned into every flutter, twitch, ache, or pain than I used to be.
I’ll admit I may have ignored those symptoms when I was younger. After all, I thought I’d live forever. But these days, I’m far more likely to give my doctor a call just to be safe.
But sometimes, a warning signal isn’t so clear cut. And you don’t feel any obvious symptoms.
In fact, in one case, in particular, you won’t even feel the first warning sign of a devastating health issue in your body. Instead, you’ll feel it in your wallet or bank account.
Because new research reveals how the first red flag that you may be experiencing cognitive problems could be a financial one.
But once you know what to look for, it’s a signal you can spot in yourself and your loved ones. And that could give you the time you need to act early to put the brakes on cognitive decline.
When it’s NOT better to give
Giving away money is a good thing in some situations. You know, like when a pal needs a few bucks, or a favorite charity is raising funds.
But a new study finds a time when it’s anything but good. And that’s when seniors start doling out dough to people they don’t know.
It turns out that what could be mistaken as a misguided sign of generosity may, in fact, be a red flag for the earliest stages of cognitive decline.
In earlier research, we’ve seen hints of this same tendency to inappropriately empty the wallet. But scientists put it to the test in a unique way in the new study.
Healthy seniors with no signs of cognitive problems were given $10 to keep or give away, all or in part. The volunteers were then set up at a computer for an exercise. During the exercise, an online “stranger” asked for some or all of the money.
The volunteers were also given cognitive tests designed to spot the earliest warning signs of dementia. And it turns out the folks who gave away the most money also had the lowest and most concerning scores on those tests.
In other words, these seniors didn’t actually have dementia yet. But they clearly had some warning signs.
So does that mean you should play Scrooge with your own money and cling to every last cent? And does it mean that giving anything away is a worrying sign of dementia danger?
Absolutely not. It’s a little trickier than that.
Spot these cognitive decline warning signs
I don’t think anyone would argue against being generous. Caring about others is a good thing.
If you’re donating money to something like Save the Children or Habitat for Humanity… or simply helping down-on-their-luck friends or loved ones… you’re doing the Lord’s work out there. And as long as you can afford to do it, you shouldn’t feel bad or worry that it’s an issue.
The real problems begin when you start forking over your hard-earned cash to people you hardly know or don’t know at all. In other words, when you might be the victim of a scam.
In fact, prior studies have also found that seniors in the early stages of cognitive decline and dementia are more prone to falling for financial scams. That earlier research confirms that struggles with managing money in general… and problems with paying bills specifically… is also a cognitive warning sign.
Worried that this might apply to you or a loved one? Click here to find out what a missed bill might be telling you. If you spot these signs in yourself or a loved one… or if a concerned loved one sees them in YOU… then it’s time for action.
- First, make an appointment to see your doctor. And ask for some testing to confirm if your fears about cognitive decline are warranted.
- And second, step up your brain game with nutrients known to help protect function and preserve cognition, such as curcumin, B vitamins, fish oil, and ginkgo.
Or consider this 7-nutrient cocktail to supercharge your brain power and fight cognitive decline.
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