Financial capacity assessments of older adults: developing future research

'Financial capacity' refers to people's ability to manage their personal finances. It is an important topic for older adults, who may be required to plan for retirement and social care, but who are also at risk of cognitive decline.

There is very little research into how financial capacity is discussed and assessed, and work is urgently needed to fill this gap. However, research into this topic is likely to be challenging for a number of reasons, including:

  • the personal nature of the topic;
  • sociocultural influences on people’s willingness to discuss issues relating to personal finances;
  • the potential for uncovering bad practice, financial abuse, or undiagnosed cognitive decline during research. 

This project aims to conduct consultation events with older adults and their families to explore perspectives on these sorts of challenges. These consultation events will inform the development of a full proposal for research exploring people’s experiences of financial capacity assessments. 

Project objectives

  • To explore the potential methodological and ethical challenges of conducting research on financial capacity.
  • To develop a full proposal for research into financial capacity assessments.

Principle Investigator

  • Dr Alex Hall, School of Health Sciences, The University of Manchester.


External partner

  • Dr Mark Wilberforce, Social Policy Research Unit, University of York.


  • MICRA.
  • Greater Manchester Ageing Hub.

Funding period

  • January 2019 – July 2019.