Here is another report, this one from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), that physicians are primary contacts in financial decision-making of cognitively impaired patients; presumably those who have not made adequate prior arrangements with a trusted financial adviser. Research of families with special needs children reported the same conclusion. Physicians are too often the first consulted and they are not prepared to offer the best response.
“patients with cognitive impairment and their families seek guidance from their primary care clinician for help with financial impairment, yet most clinicians do not understand their role or know how to help. We review the prevalence and impact of diminished financial capacity in older adults with cognitive impairment. We also articulate the role of the primary care clinician, which includes (1) educating older adult patients and their families about the need for advance financial planning; (2) recognizing signs of possible impaired financial capacity; (3) assessing financial impairments in cognitively impaired adults; (4) recommending interventions to help patients maintain financial independence; and (5) knowing when and to whom to make medical and legal referrals.”