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Aug 28, 2014 by |

Studies Show Aging Causes Mental Impairment, Incompetency, and Lack of Capacity to Make Good Decisions


Many elders fall victim to fraud through trickery and deceit. However, studies show that aging hampers decision-making abilities due to mental impairment, resulting in a lack of capacity to detect fraud. How do we make decisions? We rely on the part of our brain known as the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. This part not only aids in the process of decision-making, but also aids us in empathizing. Damage to this area causes mental impairment and incompetency in making sound decisions as well as a lack of capacity to detect certain emotions, such as sarcasm. Studies have shown that aging results in the same mental impairment, incompetency, and lack of capacity as damage, making elders more susceptible to fraud. About 35-40% of elders tested demonstrated mental impairment, incompetency, and lack of capacity to make good decisions in hypothetical real-world situations. This means that the older we get, the less likely we are able to detect a lie, the more likely we will make bad decisions because we can’t make the right decisions, and the more likely we will fall prey to fraud. Before making any major decisions, consult with a family member, friend, or a trusted advisor. Protect yourself or your family from becoming victims of fraud by keeping in mind that aging causes mental impairment, incompetency in making good decisions, and the lack of capacity to detect certain emotions.

Do you think you or a family member has fallen victim to fraud? Contact The Evans Law Firm, Inc. for a free and confidential consultation at 415-441-8669 or by email at Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles banking fraud, insurance fraud, and consumer fraud as well as physical elder abuse, financial elder abuse, and personal injury.

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