A Person-Centered Approach to Financial Capacity Assessment: Preliminary Development of a New Rating Scale

Clin Gerontol. 2015 Jan 1;38(1):49-67. doi: 10.1080/07317115.2014.970318.


Financial exploitation and financial capacity issues often overlap when a gerontologist assesses whether an older adult's financial decision is an autonomous, capable choice. Our goal is to describe a new conceptual model for assessing financial decisions using principles of person-centered approaches and to introduce a new instrument, the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Rating Scale (LFDRS). We created a conceptual model, convened meetings of experts from various disciplines to critique the model and provide input on content and structure, and select final items. We then videotaped administration of the LFDRS to five older adults and had 10 experts provide independent ratings. The LFDRS demonstrated good to excellent inter-rater agreement. The LFDRS is a new tool that allows gerontologists to systematically gather information about a specific financial decision and the decisional abilities in question.

Keywords: assessment; financial capacity; financial exploitation.