Advice on bank cards/finances

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by SBells, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. SBells

    SBells New member

    Mar 10, 2018
    Hi, hope it's OK to post this - not sure if it's too specific?!

    My mum was recently diagnosed. Sometimes she remembers the diagnosis, sometimes she doesn't. One big topic which makes her both upset and angry is about her bank card. She often loses it or hides it because she thinks someone will steal it, so my dad starting looking after it for her.

    However, she becomes really angry at the thought of him keeping it and she believes he finds it in her secret hiding places and wants her to be without money. It's difficult because she was so independent and she gets angry at the thought of someone stopping her from keeping her own finances. If I was her I would be in completely the same mindset. However, with the situation as it is - she can't leave the house alone and she loses/hides things, to have a bank card which has money on the account isn't appropriate.

    My sisters and I are unsure what to do. My dad likes to pretend everything is OK and mentions he doesn't want to burden us. We've suggested he takes all the money out of the account but he refuses to listen to us, thinking his way of managing it is fine. This is the main cause of distress for my mum and we have the same conversations a few times a week. I've tried to research into getting fake bank cards so she has a physical card she believes is hers but not had much luck.I will try going to the bank and asking what's possible too.

    Does anyone have any other advice? Really interested to know if there is anyway we can remove/reduce the stress she feels as it's a horrible situation for all involved when she gets upset and/or angry.

  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Be careful with going to the bank. If you're asking them to restrict someone's access to their own money due to capacity issues, you better have a financial POA ready to use as the bank could freeze the account to protect her money.
  3. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    Is this a joint account? If it is he could say his card is damaged or lost and they would cancel it and provide him with a new one. If your mother would not notice his name in the cancelled card then he could give that to her. This will of course only work if she just likes a card in her possession and does not use it. If the card was lost there is not a problem because it is a cancelled card.
  4. DeMartin

    DeMartin Registered User

    Jul 4, 2017
    One thing to do is to eradicate the three number code next to the signature line on the back of the card. This disables the card from being used online to order stuff and prevents anyone signing up your mum for eg charity donations.
    Make a note of the numbers first.
  5. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    First get Power Of Attorney, both Finance and Health, for both Mother and Father.
    Mother may not agree on her own, but with Father she might.
    Once you have that, then banking can be much easier. without it the bank will not speak to you, and may, as has been said, freeze her accounts.

  6. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    As others have said you will find LPA is the only way to deal with banks and other financial institutions. The sooner it is sorted out the better as sadly with the inevitable progression of the illness you will be having to use it more and more.
  7. Bnicholls

    Bnicholls Registered User

    Jan 3, 2016
    We had similar situation with my dad. As others had said if you haven’t already get power of attorney. What we did in the end was phoned the bank to say the card was lost so it was cancelled but my dad kept it so he had the security if having the card. We never let dad have the replacement when it arrived we kept it and could use it as we had poa for anything that he needed. Sometimes when we were st the supermarket till he would hand over the cancelled card but I would give the right one to the cashier without him noticing. I sometimes felt it was mean to tell this white lie but he would get so het up about the card and threw it away so many times that on balance it was better. He was less stressed as a result and none the wiser. I really do feel for you, it’s so hard and hope you find a solution that works for you
  8. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    I discouraged my wife from using her M&S credit card a while back (she only ever used it to buy food in M&S when I was with her), partly because she could no longer remember the PIN - although I could - partly because she did not recognise it any more, but mainly because the monthly statements headed up "M&S Bank" seemed to upset her. The amounts were always petty and I paid them online on her behalf but it was all getting too difficult. Recently her replacement card came through the post, with the "added bonus" of it being contactless. I have no intention of giving it to her and - as she never goes shopping on her own - it matters not that she is quite content to keep her (now expired) card in her purse. I have POA and feel that I am acting responsibly and in her best interests.

    With any kind of credit or debit card, the normal cycle of expiry and renewal can be helpful and provide a prompt to review the situation, but not if the expiry date is still years away.
  9. Fullticket

    Fullticket Registered User

    Apr 19, 2016
    Chard, Somerset
    I found mum's bank very helpful when she was in the early stages. They set up her account with me having third party access so I had my own card with my name on it and could use her account as if it was my own (obviously I am honest and kept meticulous records!). This meant I could keep an eye on what was going in and out, transfer money, set up payments and of course do this on line, which she would not have been able to comprehend. They also allowed my signature on her cheques. TBH if we had not had this it would have meant drawing cash and paying for her clubs and day care in paper money, which is not feasible these days. Of course my brother and I had POA already so that would be the first thing to do - whether it is your father or you.
    As time went on she was happy with an expired card and she could hide it to her heart's content. She didn't go out on her own and I just had to step in and swipe mine at the till, telling her it was her account but I had a separate card (which I did). Any comments and I would show her that the account numbers on the cards were identical and would show her the bank statement.
  10. gotanybiscuits?

    gotanybiscuits? Registered User

    Jan 8, 2017
    the beautiful south
    Like Fullticket I found a sympathetic ear at Dads bank, & was readily granted Third Party access. This was an interim measure until formal POA was in place.
    As the year has progressed, Dads obsession with having pocketfuls of cash has reduced (anyway?).
  11. Wifenotcarer

    Wifenotcarer Registered User

    Mar 11, 2018
    Central Scotland
  12. Wifenotcarer

    Wifenotcarer Registered User

    Mar 11, 2018
    Central Scotland
    'Our' credit card was in my husband's name, although I was a second signatory and had a card of my own. The providers would not transfer the account into my name, because I had no credit rating, even our joint mortgage (never missed a payment and now paid in full) was only credited to my husband. After some difficulty I was able to obtain a credit card in my own name from the Bank which has held out Current Account for 50+ years and then cancelled the card in my husbands name. He does not understand any of this but is quite happy to have his defunct card in his wallet.
  13. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    How about a pre-paid credit card with a small amount of cash on it? You can get cards at the gift card section in supermarkets, or you can get a 'proper' card with a name on it, but that will have an account fee. Or maybe open a savings account that comes with a card?
  14. Lancashirelady

    Lancashirelady Registered User

    Oct 7, 2014
    It does help if you have a local bank that actually knows its customers. Mum had been going to the same branch for 40 years and the staff knew her well. I had been going in with her to do her banking for a year or two before the need arose for me to have 3rd party access, which was not a problem and they encouraged me to get LPA. You can also get the DwP to pay pensions etc into a separate account which you manage. It entails them interviewing the PWD to assess their capacity to manage money but certainly in my dad's case it was obvious that he couldn't cope and his state pension and attendance allowance were transferred to the new account to which he didn't have any access.
  15. Mudgee Joy

    Mudgee Joy Registered User

    Dec 26, 2017
    New South Wales Australia
    The prepaid card could be given to her as a gift perhaps - and she may be well pleased with that !
    My husband doesn’t hide his card but likes cash - offers everyone $50 at any excuse- I just try to tuck it back in his pockets - it’s easier I’m sure when there are only 2 parties involved.
  16. Normaleila

    Normaleila Registered User

    Jun 4, 2016
    I got a prepaid card for my aunt. My account and she was an additional cardholder. I kept £200 on it but it could have been less. I set a PIN but my aunt used it contactless. It worked for a while but then she needed her PIN and couldn't remember it. (Cards only work contactless for so long and then require you to input your PIN at least once.) The card is called POCKIT and can be ordered online.
  17. Little Circles

    Little Circles Registered User

    Mar 30, 2017
    I have power of attorney for my Mum and set a basic current account for my mum with a small amount of money in it, she now can't remember having the other previous main account with her monies going in and out through direct debits etc and thinks this card is now the same one as it looks the same as the other current account card, and I set the same PIN number as the main account so if she loses it or something untoward happens she would only lose a small amount of money rather than a larger amount
    She doesn't go out in her own but she feels in control as she has the card even though she finds it difficult to recall the PIN number but feels 'normal' having a card in her purse, I usually prompt her to remember her PIN and sometimes can't recognise the numbers so asks me to imput the PIN in, but she feel slightly in control and causes less aggression over money issues
    I can transfer money if require to top up the account from the main account
    Dad sorts his own finances out and as he has enough to cope with with Mum he is pleased he has this responsibility of finances taken away from him
    It work for us
  18. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    south-east London
    When my husband was going through this stage and unable to go out alone I found his money anxiety was managed by having £40 cash in his wallet and an out of date/cancelled bank card on him.

    As I was always with him when we were out of the house he never actually tried to use the card as it was a joint account and he agreed that I was a lot quicker at doing the financial transactions. He was content knowing that joint money was being used to buy things (so he felt involved) - and was reassured by the presence of a bank card and visible cash on him.

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