Protecting Your Parents from Alzheimer’s Cure Scams

An Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be frightening, not only for a parent but also for the family members. While doctors and specialists will do all that they can to manage symptoms and keep the patient healthy, some patients become desperate to try anything to cure or treat the disease.

Unfortunately, this makes them especially vulnerable to Alzheimer’s scams and their consequences, which could result in lost money and even compromised health. Here are some tips for protecting your elderly parents, from our assisted living team in Gloucester County:

 

  • Why Are Alzheimer’s Patients so Vulnerable? 

 

It’s important to understand that your mom or dad, a person who may usually be very rational, aware of scams and reasonable, can become more vulnerable after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. There are several reasons for this.

  1. Firstly, there is currently no cure for this condition, which can make a patient feel desperate to try anything that may promise a cure. 
  2. Secondly, Alzheimer’s changes the brain itself, which can reduce the ability to understand social cues, making a person less likely to realize they are being scammed. 

These scams are incredibly dangerous, not only compromising a person’s financial situation, but potentially interacting harmfully with medications.

 

  • Here’s What You Can Do 

 

It’s important to remember that just because a product is sold in a pharmacy or drugstore, it doesn’t mean that it is actually able to deliver the results it promises on the label. The Federal Drug Administration and the Alzheimer’s Association recommend looking for the following warning signs that may indicate a scam:

  1. The product claims to reverse dementia symptoms;
  2. The product claims to be a cure, or to have cured a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s;
  3. The product claims to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by a specific amount;
  4. It claims to be a scientific breakthrough; and/or
  5. It makes very broad claims that it helps with multiple serious health conditions and illnesses.

You can also check the FDA’s Flickr account where they publish a photostream of products that make unproven claims about Alzheimer’s. This makes it easy to check specific labeling and packaging.

The Alzheimer’s Association also has a list on its website of supplements and alternative therapies that are commonly marketed or recommended to patients that clarifies exactly what they can and can’t do, so you can make an informed purchasing decision.

 Expert, Compassionate Care for Alzheimer’s Patients – Assisted Living in Gloucester County, NJ 

Pitman is an assisted living community in Gloucester County, NJ, offering high-quality, scalable assisted living services in a comfortable, well-supported and beautiful environment. As part of the United Methodist Communities network, we also offer rehabilitation, access to therapists, hospice care, respite care, memory care, and support services. We welcome seniors from all faith backgrounds.

To find out more about our assisted living community, please visit our website at https://pitman.umcommunities.org/, and contact us today or book a personal tour.