A person who loses property might do so because they are affected by dementia, the Taiwan Alzheimer Disease Association said yesterday as it urged the government to help protect their homes.
A survey analyzed 74 cases in which people with dementia reported the loss of their property and found that 34 cases occurred prior to diagnosis, implying that property loss could be an early warning of dementia, said Li Mei-yin (李梅英), the association’s financial security task force convener.
The survey showed that 65 people had not declared commencement of assistance or guardianship when they were deprived of property, Li said.
Twenty-five people lost property to family members, 17 to scams, 10 to friends or colleagues, 10 to strangers, six to financial institutions, four to carers, one to legal personnel and one to social welfare personnel, she said.
Financing, buying and selling, and loans were the processes most commonly associated with the losses, she said, adding that 50 people lost their home and 16 lost other real-estate holdings, but only 24 took legal action.
Liu Hui-fang (劉慧芳), the wife of a man with dementia, said that her husband began acting strangely and showed significant change in personality more than 10 years ago.
He was abducted and transferred a large amount of property to the perpetrators, Liu said.
Her husband was diagnosed with dementia seven years ago and she took legal action, but they still have not even recouped 10 percent of their losses, she said.
People should immediately secure their finances and assets if a family member shows signs of dementia, she said.
Association executive director Hsu Wen-chih (徐文智) said that it receives many telephone calls seeking help regarding transaction, investment and financial disputes, reports of scams or disputes among family members over property.
However, the losses happened prior to the caller being diagnosed with dementia or declaring commencement of assistance or guardianship, which often means they lose in court, Hsu said.
Association legal consultant Cheng Chia-hsin (鄭嘉欣) said that last year more than 280,000 people were confirmed to have dementia and the number is expected to increase by about 10,000 per year.
The association urged government healthcare, social welfare, finance, household administration and land administration agencies as well as the police to enhance awareness of the financial security of people with dementia, Cheng said.
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