A common concern of an attorney when working with older adults is those adults' capacity to make decisions for themselves. This concern arises due to common misperceptions about what normal aging entails and the prevalence of cognition-affecting diseases that occur in older adulthood. This entry will address definitions, causes, and prevalence of cognitive impairment and dementia, warning signs of which an attorney should be aware, ideas of capacity and competency in dementia, methods for interviewing older adults (healthy and with dementia), and ideas regarding who should be consulted when cognitive impairment is suspected.

Types of Cognitive Impairment

Cognitive impairment is an umbrella term for all of the disease processes that affect the ability to think properly. Legally, cognitive impairment could have an effect on one's ability ...

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