Financial Planning with Ambiguous Loss from Alzheimer’s Disease: Implications, Applications, and Interventions

Journal of Financial Planning: August 2019


Executive Summary

  • By using financial therapy techniques, mental health theories can be applied to the financial planning process to equip financial planners with tools to assist families with a member suffering from Alzheimer’s disease while remaining within their scope of competence.
  • Through the lens of ambiguous loss theory, this paper provides guidelines for financial planners working with families living through the experience of having a family member present but psychologically and cognitively absent.
  • Implications of these guidelines are that financial planners will be able to develop better communication skills, deepen their relationships with clients, develop more empathy for families experiencing ambiguous loss, and understand the importance of a financial planners’ own self-care to ensure that they do not experience burnout.
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