New care giver needs advice about money

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by jlentini, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. jlentini

    jlentini New Member

    Hello my name is Jay, My mom has been diagnosed with AD, just found out about three months ago and I had her move up by me. She lives in a senior housing. he finances were a mess, now that I have straitened them out ( we deal cash only ) I have been giving her an allowance weekly. Now she wants the full amount reassuring me that she can handle it...with no checking account she is in no danger of Overdrafting, but I a worried that the money will quickly be gone, how do I approach this? Thanks in advance!

  2. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    I'm not an attorney and I think you should see an attorney to get legal advice on this one. Let me try to explain what I mean.

    I'm not sure what you mean by AD (Adult Dementia???). Have you talked to her about why she wants the whole amount? Is she at a point where her mind has her believing that you are stealing from her (which when they go into dementia can happen). Or does she need it for a legitimate reason such as to pay into a nursing home.

    If she is incompetent and you have a valid power of attorney to handle her money, then you probably have no problem in continuing to give her small amounts and not turn over the entire amount to her. If you don't have a power of attorney then she could potentially claim to social workers and other authorities that you have her money and are refusing to give her money to her and thus stealing it and although you are good intentioned, you might face some difficulties.

    If she is incompetent, the attorney might recommend that with doctors' help, the attorney could go into court for you to be guardian of her and her money, but this is a discussion for the attorney.

    It may be where you might end up eventually having to give her all her money and she blows it all on scammers. People who are declining mentally are the best victims for being scammed and scammers know it. Good luck.

    You can also check on the Caregivers Board here and I just put up an AARP Caregivers resource and you might find some info there.

    [This Message was Edited on 10/05/2009]
  3. JLH

    JLH New Member

    I went through the same thing with my father. He had been a CPA (certified public accountant) all of this life and a supervisor of a payroll department of a huge corporation for decades before he retired.

    He developed renal failure, went on dialysis for 18 months, and in the later months before his death, his mind was not stable. My mother had me take over all of their finances, etc.

    He would fight me over money all of the time. What was I doing paying his bills, writing checks for him, etc. He wanted money--he "said" he needed lots of it, yet he could not tell me what for, and could not even remember that he could barely walk, let alone drive.

    I did what I felt was right, which was continue to do what I was doing, and would explain over and over again what I was doing and why. He would get very angry with me, but I just let it go in one ear and out the other.

    If you mother held all of her cash at all times, hard telling what would happen to it. It also might not be safe from visitors she may have in the house, or especially if she has anyone come in to help her with meals or housekeeping.

    I had two aunts who were robbed little by little by their healthcare personnel. It was done over such a long period, that family did not notice it. One aunt's caregiver went so far as to take her in a wheelchair to her bank and ask for the paperwork to add someone on her account. The caregiver explained that she was getting confused and she was going to handle her personal business for now on. The bank clerk asked by aunt who she was, and she knew that day, and if it were OK, and she said yes. So it was done. The caregiver had prompted my aunt on the questions and what she was to say all that morning and all the way to the bank. And, yes, she eventually wiped out my aunt of her life savings and spent all of her social security and retirement checks which were direct deposited each month. I'm not sure if this is exactly how it went, but it was something like that. Sad, sad, sad.

    My mother certainly did not let this happen to the rest of her and my father's elderly aunts and uncles.

    Now it's down to my mother and she is in this shape. My sister and brothers are making sure nothing like this happens to her.

    My vote is for you to continue to control the money and give her a weekly allowance. BTW, do you also pay her bills for her? Have her checks direct-deposited into the bank? If you take care of all of that, then she would just need "pocket change" -- money to go out to eat on if someone asks her, and other minor things -- just enough to make her think she has some money. Give her allowance in all small bills (ones and fives) and then she will think she has a bundle!

    After thought: If you have taken over all of the finances, it would be safer for you to open a checking account in her AND your name, with the bank knowing that you ONLY will be the signer on the checks. Then by you paying for all of her expenses via check, you have a record for anyone who may question what you are doing with your mother's money. You also would not have to worry about break-ins in your home and someone stealing the money. With the drug situation in this country these days, no home is safe from being burglarized. I always feel uneasy if I have too much money on me, or in my house. I either write checks for everything, or pay with my Visa and only have to write one check to pay it all off when the bill comes in. Not much cash involved that way.

    Good luck in whatever you choose to do.[This Message was Edited on 10/28/2009]