Detecting and Protecting Cognitive Decline

Covid-19 is a mixed blessing in terms of reduced cognitive function. On the one hand, we know the virus preys on the elderly, reducing their number, especially among those with chronic or critical illnesses.

On the other hand, we know the virus can use nasal congestion as a path for entering the brain. How much damage it does and how long it takes for that damage to become manifest isn’t known. We haven’t known about the brain pathway for very long.

However, I’m pretty sure that the virus isn’t visiting the brain on a tourist visa.

Does that mean we’ll see a massive increase in dementia issues in the future? We’ll see.

The interesting question that Kristen Beckman poses in “Benefits Pro” today is responsibility that employers, insurance agents and brokers, and others in a position to observe have to detect and help individuals experiencing cognitive decline.

The victim is often the last to know there’s a problem, and becomes a ripe candidate for financial fraud and abuse.

If it takes a village to raise a child, it may also take that village to protect the person during cognitive decline. We all have roles to play. We may also have a legal responsibility to do so if we don’t step up voluntarily.

And the point of juxtaposing Beckman’s comment with the coronavirus? Traditionally, Alzheimers and vascular dementia are associated with those of advanced age — 70s or beyond. However, with Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases, we know that victims can be much younger. It is quite possible that the coronavirus could produce victims of much younger ages.


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