For those with dementia, handling money presents a huge barrier; 89% of those afflicted report everyday struggles. About half of those with dementia experience significant stress and worry as a result of their financial struggles.
In the UK, there are approximately 900,000 people living with dementia, and by 2040, there are expected to be 1.6 million. But, studies also suggest that more should be done to support dementia patients in safe money management.
Along with physical symptoms, many dementia sufferers also experience confusion, which makes them more susceptible to fraud, losing cash or credit cards, giving money away carelessly, or overspending.
Without a good solution, limiting or removing access to finances is frequently the only option for people with dementia, which significantly restricts their freedom and capacity to take pleasure in daily activities.
The first debit card and app in the UK is called Sibstar, and it was created to make it easier for persons with dementia and their families to safely manage daily expenses. Jayne Sibley, whose parents both have dementia, is the creator of it.
65 dementia sufferers and their families in the UK have been testing the product for the past nine months. Partners Mastercard and the Alzheimer’s Society support its official debut.
How Sibstar works
The Sibstar mobile app, available for both iPhone and Android smartphones, is seamlessly integrated with the pre-loaded balance on the Mastercard debit card.
By using features like spend restrictions, ATM and online transactions, quick freezing, and real-time notifications, users of the app can tailor their spending preferences.
Because to the app’s adaptable configuration, which also makes it possible for users to quickly toggle any function, users may scale and customize the solution to fit their changing demands. Also, Sibstar enables immediate and remote changes to the controls over money management.
The goal of Sibstar is to assist persons with dementia in managing and accessing their own money more securely, thereby lowering their financial vulnerability and enabling them to maintain their independence and lead the lives they choose.
“At Mastercard, we believe everyone should have access to financial services in a way that works for them, whatever their requirements may be,” said Kelly Devine, divisional president of Mastercard UK & Ireland. Sibstar is an example of how technological advancements are making it possible to create specialized tools and solutions for certain purposes.
We are excited to collaborate with Jayne and the Sibstar team on this crucial solution to help people with dementia achieve financial independence.
The Alzheimer’s Society’s Colin Capper added: “Too many individuals with dementia find hurdles in utilizing financial services, leaving them with a loss of independence and vulnerable to frauds. The Alzheimer’s Society is aiming to increase awareness of the difficulties in the financial industry and make it more dementia-friendly.
We are happy to have helped Sibstar through our Accelerator Program, which provides funding for ideas and products that we think might improve the lives of dementia sufferers.
Everyone who has dementia has completely different demands, according to Jayne, which is one of the characteristics of dementia. “As a result, we developed an onboarding procedure that takes all of those various needs into account.
“Mum began to mismanage her money as her illness worsened. It implied that she was unable to fully appreciate the worth of money. She would withdraw cash from a cash machine, give it all away, or even offer everyone to a manicure at the nail salon because she was overpaying on food and other items she didn’t need. She had worked arduously for all of that money, and now it was just going away.
“We attempted numerous various solutions, but none were successful. This is how Sibstar was conceived—a means for persons with dementia to maintain their financial independence while knowing that their money is secure.
“Sibstar has received excellent reviews, and our consumers are content, which is what we aimed for. People are highly supportive of what we’re attempting to accomplish because they tell us that we provide them peace of mind and enable them or their family members to have greater independence.