1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    Hello all

    Went to see mum at weekend (she's early AD/VaD). I'm trying to keep any eye on things for her from a distance and it's wearing me out. I have an (unregistered) EPA and have used it in anger against her BS book/account. Am leaving her bank account until she's a bit further down the road as I don't want to take away this little bit of independence. Things came to a head over the weekend as she's been awarded AA and, possibly, pension credit in due course. I asked for this to be paid into her bank account as all her bills are paid from there. But they paid it into her pension instead. Trouble is, she's not been going to pick up her pension but has been drawing large amounts from bank account so she was quite overdrawn. I suggested to her that we get all her pension paid into bank account instead of post office; that way I can keep a closer eye on things. Lordy, lordy! It was the wrong thing to say.

    She denies going to the bank. Denies drawing money. Says she can handle her finances. That I'm taking away her independence. Then to make things even more surreal, when I went to the post office and explained to the lovely people in there that I was planning close the account, I got it in the neck from them (in a nice way); that they keep an eye on her etc etc. I can see their point - and mum's in that the PO is nearer for her to access a bit of cash. The problem is she's not accessing, but keeps going to the bank all the time! As all her bills are paid out from this account, we could reach a stage where the bank refuse to pay the DDs. I feel so frazzled with all this.

    I've shown mum her bank statements, but she disagrees with them! Is she going back into her past a bit more now in terms of her previous routines when she says she regularly tops up her bank account with her pension? She hasn't paid anything in since February (I have when I've found money which she's not got round to dealing with). She seemed more confused this weekend at some points and then completely lucid. I'm sick of explaining things until I'm blue in the face. I only want what's best for her and yet I've been left to feel like the villain of the piece.

    Drove back about 85mph whilst I churned it all over in my head and feel low, cheesed off, emotionally drained and wonder whether I was flashed by a speed camera!

    Sorry for self-pitying rant! Suppose I'm just seeking reassurance; at one point I felt I was drifting into the abyss. Probably the umpteenth time I explained to her about her cash withdrawals in between mopping up the other little pockets of chaos that greeted me, :)
  2. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    Oh boy ........your Mother is identical to mine

    only difference being I have now taken over her Bank accounts , barclaycard etc and got EVERYTHING paid in directly or bills paid by DD except the Electric bill which I know is there but cant find it

    I cant find house insurance either and she wont let me look for anything I have to fall over it laid on bed /dining table /pile in the corner etc and extract it

    I too drove home at 85mph and promptly downed 2 very stiff drinks

    I have now heard from neighbours that she keeps asking them to get her in her house

    She should be in a home
  3. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Sussex
    Hello Lucille

    What a dilemna for you.

    I know, having worked at a post office that it is possible to pay cash and cheques into most bank accounts at the post office.

    May I suggest you contact Mums bank and see if her type of account allows this, if so, maybe the post office workers, who seem to know her quite well could encourage her to pay her some of her pension into her account each time.

    She would, of course have a receipt detailing exactly where the money from her pension is.

    Either way the bank will know that it is Mum's illness that is causing the problem, they are then less likely to charge excessively for unpaid direct debits.........or am I being a little optimistic here.

    Mum's bank and local post office staff were fantastic when we went through a slightly similar time, luckily a stage that very rapidly past and the power of attorney began.

    Hope you see a way out soon.

  4. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #4 Margarita, Aug 8, 2006
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2006
    Talk about going down memory lane that what I did when I read your post.

    All what you wrote was happening to my mother & my mother was not diagnosed with AD then

    Who filled out your mum AA form?

    Yes, pension credit AA is all pay together with her normal pension. What you may find helpful to say to your mum is to say that your not trying to take her independences away .your trying to organise her money to be pay in to the bank as there a lot of people that look out for older people getting there money from the post office to mug them . ok this may scare her , but it’s the truth your doing it for her own safety .

    What you have to do with your mum standing next to you while you phone AA and where your mum gets her pension your mum gives you permission to talk on her behalf ( lets hope see does that ) and you tell them to send your mum a form that you fill out your mum bank details and all your mum money will be pay in to her bank.
  5. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    I wish there was an independent adviser who could be consulted on financial matters. Mum got worried and confused about her money and asked my husband to look after her accounts, which he did. Then she seemed to think he was witholding money from her, because he didn't let her keep over £4000 in her current account. He tried to explain that there was money in e-savings, at a higher interest rate, which could be easily transferred over the internet banking system but she didn't understand. Now we have POA, things are much more straight forward and we know where all the money is and how available it is to pay the NH fees.
  6. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    Yes they would say that as they don’t want to lose her custom

    Kathleen said I know, having worked at a post office that it is possible to pay cash and cheques into most bank accounts at the post office[/QUOTE]

    hope you don't mind me adding now your mum has AD/VD
    Learning this new way is going to be hard for your mum to use very confusing .

    If I was you forget geting angery
    and get it registered Now
    Because its only going to get wore with your mum & for you if you don’t
    why are you angery anyway ?
  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006

    Oh Dear! It seems quarrels over money are par for the course. I had it with my mother and I`m now having it with my husband.

    Giving up the responsibility of managing our own finances, whether we are able to manage them well or not, seems to be the one bit of independence AD/VD sufferers cling to for as long as possible.

    When my mother was attending a Day Centre, she went to collect her pension at 7.30 am. The Postmaster was her next door neighbour and my mother lay on the pavement kicking and screaming until he opened the Post Office and gave her her Pension.

    My husband has accused me of abuse, as I now handle all the finance and don`t allow him any say in how we spend our money. I called his bluff and gave him all the bills and told him to pay them. Of course, he didn`t know where to start and we both ended up in tears.

    This is such a cruel illness. The only way I seem able to maintain control is by trickery. It worked with my mother and it`s now working with my husband. I`m not proud of it and feel deceitful, disloyal and very uncomfortable, but it`s the only way I know.

    Both my mother and husband ran their own businesses and it is, and was, painful to see them slowly lose their ability. Sorry if I`ve told you all this before.

    Grannie G
  8. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    whats strange is it seems to be finances that are the first to suffer when they get dementia

    They cant handle them and ignore bills etc yet they will fight tooth and nail not to let someone more able deal with them
  9. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    I know how you feel as at the Beginning I felt so guilty I felt like I was the one in the wrong ,now as the years pass I read that I am not the only one that this has happen to I don’t feel so bad .

    Helena think about it?

    I of sound mind (I think) cannot manage my own finance. Imagine if I had brain damage of course that the first think to go. If I am old from a generation like your mother age that does not have a positive view of dementia. As what is happen to my brain, I also would fight to keep my money thinking that you are after it.

    But we are more educated in dementia & know what is happening in our brain or there brain & all we want to do is help them or help ourselves , how can we help a dementia person that has no insight in what is happening to them is the six million dollar question ?

    Look at it from outside the box
  10. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005

    Hello again

    Thanks so much for your replies. It's good ... if that's the right word to use ... to know that others have gone/are going through this.

    Margarita: I filled out mum's AA form as her appointee, ditto the pension credit. Re me using the phrase 'used in anger' when I mentioned the EPA, it doesn't mean I was angry, it's a way of saying something was put to use (often for the first time). I think I'm with you Margarita in that the PO want to keep the business and that's why they don't want me closing the account, but the way post offices are closing I guess it's not surprising! Your point about using cheques to pay in the bank is also a valid one about confusing her, and yet in a way I'm doing just that by removing the means for her to withdraw her pension. So kick in the guilt monster.

    Kathleen: I'm wary about contacting mum's bank (although I have completed a POA form to attach to her account but it's just sitting there winking at me!) because if they thought she wasn't capable !! they might just take it away, which I know would destroy her - at this stage of her disease. She can still dress herself/wash/go out and hasn't got lost (yet) and long may it continue. I'm worried if I take away completely the means for her to buy a few things (or lots of things in her case), then it will completely shatter her and speed up her deterioration. On the one hand, I know I'm messing up her routine, doing what I'm doing and yet on the other, it's worrying when she doesn't know if she's collected her pension/when/how much etc. And, as Margarita said, there are people who will hang around post offices waiting for the elderly to collect their pension. Talk about rock and a hard place!

    I will keep you informed of developments ... thanks again for helping to put things in perspective and keeping me sane.
  11. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    #11 Grannie G, Aug 8, 2006
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2006
    Don`t worry Lucille, the bank won`t close your mum`s account if you have a POA. It will stay as it is but you will have access. This is what happened with my mothers account and it stayed open until she died.

    Just had a really big arguement with my husband as he wants to know why he has nothing left from his pension every month. He`s accusing me of spending too much and now wants seperate accounts so I can`t touch his money. He wants to buy his own food to save money, as he can`t afford to buy as much as I do.

    He`s asked me for an account of how much money comes in and what it`s spent on. I`ve written it out for him, but he doesn`t understand what he reads.

    It all seems to get more and more difficult and from what I read in TP, we`ve a long way to go.

    Who will break first?

    Thanks to you all for helping me see what I have to face in the future.

    With love Grannie G
  12. mel

    mel Registered User

    Apr 30, 2006
    My mum still has her bank a/c in her name and a cheque book which my brother keeps(he has POA)....Mum used to sign cheques occasionally although now she can barely write and my brother signs the rest....

    Grannie G...can your husband still sign cheques? Would he be happy if you prepared them and him sign them?
    Mum doesn't mention money so much now and has no idea of value....(she wanted to pay the men who did some work on our trees a few weeks ago and found 80p in her bag and asked lf this would be enough........) so this phase seems to be ending...but at one point it was an absolute nightmare....but luckily I always seemed to be able to fob her off by saying we'd go and see the bank "tomorrow"....or I'll get some accounts done "tomorrow" or I'll take you to get some money out "tomorrow"...i pointed out there's no point keeping money in the house or her bag due to the fact there are too many unsavoury characters around who would steal it.....after all...she was always accusing me of taking all her money!!
    Its a very upsetting time,despite it being the illness talking,it still hurts ....
    It may not get easier but it does change and the carer has to adapt again and rise to a new challenge....
    Love Wendy
  13. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #13 Margarita, Aug 8, 2006
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2006
    To add some humour as no its not us who is going to
    your husband should live with my mother there make a great pair .

    I say this as my mum still on
    Exbiza & says things like that to me When mum was in the early stages, it would course big arguments with us both when she said things like that angina think I have said this before as time moved forward I just learn to live with it , its just mum trying to take control that she lost .

    now days I do get embarrassed if I buy something out of my money and mum tune around & says you got that with my money in front of my friends , then again why do I have to explain my self to anyone anyway .

    LucilleYes Grannie right they do not take it away from your mum at all. My mum had been with Barclays bank for 25 years when I gave them my POA. Four years on mum still gets her credit cards in her name.

    When you get Pension credit for your mum as I had POA someone from the benefit agent came around to my house they wanted mum money to be put in to my account I said no put it in mum account as I have access to it. When mum gets letter from AA or pension credit it come under my name, but it all reference to my mother.

    Like as you live far away from your mum all letter from government for her benefits go to your home, but her money go into her account . Like that, your mum still feels like she has control. it just that all paper work go to you .
    Then when you think it right to take more control over your mum finance you have it all in order with the bank

    . However, you have to phone the AA, pension people to tall them you have POA.

    when my mum was like your mum early stages and still could wash herself . I use to go along with mum if it had anything to do with direct debits then as time moved forward I could see mum was getting confused with it all , I gave them the POA all they do is put it on the system so just in case in the future I need to access my mum account.

    It is still your mum account she still has full control of it even if you have POA :)
  14. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    At 81 my Mum is still worrying about getting a job and she complains that she's been "working here a long time and they haven't given me my wages yet!" When I tell her that she's retired now and doesn't have to work, she says that is good because some days she has a job to even walk. At the moment she thinks the NH is an Academy School!
  15. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hi Wendy, Yes my husband can still sign cheques but he is offended if I write them out for him and says I treat him like a baby. When he tried to write one out himself, he made nearly a full cheque book void because he kept getting mixed up. Of course this did more harm than good.

    After the arguement about money this evening, he`s just said` Take no notice of me. I`ve lost my mind and don`t know what I`m saying`. Well that made me feel worse than ever.

    Then I read your replies and had a laugh to myself, especially at Margaritas comment about getting my husband and her mother together.

    Thank goodness for TP.

    Love from Grannie G
  16. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Hiya Lucille, from what I've learnt myself today... it's not about 'messing up' a routine' - more about establishing (slowly) a new one which suits both 'sufferer' and 'carer' ... vulnerability in terms of money is a huge issue alone.... whether there is little or much to be moved into savings, or just general (physical) safety at withdrawal point where people are still capable - whether it's at the friendly 'Post Office Counter' or elsewhere.....

    My mum has long since been incapable of obtaining her own 'cash' - probably a good thing as she thought every postman who delivered a letter deserved £10 for his troubles :(

    I do feel rather like a parent dishing out 'pocket money' - I know mum has enough cash in her purse for 'emergencies' - not that she ever actually needs to spend it - I do her shopping or take her shopping..... her bills are all DD....

    Interesting point, that mum's ability to read, write and even spell have been assessed or observed ..... the ability to manage 'money', budgets, even 'basic sums' have never been questioned.....

    Lucille, I really do believe that banks (etc) are 'sympathetic' and this is only a 'practical hurdle' to be overcome - although I can appreciate orgainsing it 'from a distance' isn't always the easiest thing! - if you have POA there has to be a means to sort out your mum's financial (semi?) independence whist balancing it with her security.....

    Good luck with it.. here if you need me,

    Love, Karen (TF), x
  17. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    If you have POA at Barclays and I am sure other banks that also have an online facility its very easy to watch and control your mums bank account

    One of the specialist / persoonal banker staff in the branch should be able to get it set up for you

    I feel exceptionally lucky that the Personal Banker in my nearest Barclays branch has been truly fantastic so much so I have sent a glowing recomendation about him to Head Office
  18. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    This really is an individual situation.

    Lionel had always controlled his own 'day to day' monies until the day he put over £ 200 in his wallet to go to by a pint of milk......hard lesson learnt all round.

    Nowdays I put his daily needs into his wallet, attached by a chain, and , yes. one thinks its the beginning of the end.

    Yes it is, but only the end of that particullar era,. Tomorrow is another day.!!!!!!
  19. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    Dear everyone

    Thanks again for your replies. Kayla, your anecdote about your mum wanting to get a job made me laugh.

    Margarita: I have the AA people (not Alcoholics Anonymous, though I could do with a BIG drink at the mo) :) send everything to me and the pensions. So that's all ticking over.

    TF: Thanks for your advice. Perhaps I just need to take the plunge with her bank account ... as that is another issue in a way, because she has a chip and sig card and if someone got hold of it they could go to town! As mum did ... yesterday ... and lost track of the time. I got a call from the carer saying they couldn't get access and when I eventually got hold of mum (an hour later ... cue my nervous weight loss ... who needs diets?!!) mum told me what she'd bought. She could only remember because it was still in bags ... cakes, one of which was a large cream sponge ... wish I was there!

    It's another dimension, isn't it?!!:)
  20. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    i solved the worry about someone having a field day if they got Mothers CCard ( she carries its pin number around ) by reducing the credit limit down to £500

    it was £4000,,,,,,,,,,,,,eeeeeeeeeeeeek that was scary

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