banking problems

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by zed, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. zed

    zed Registered User

    Jul 25, 2005
    #1 zed, Jul 25, 2005
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2005

    Does anyone have any suggestions about a banking problem we are having? My Mum has dementia and no longer understands the value of money. My 18 year old brother asks my Mum for money, but she doesn't understand that she can't afford it.

    We have set up 2 accounts for Mum, her first account is for paying bills. Her benefits are paid into that account, and all her bills are paid by direct debit. We have taken away her card for this account, so she can't spend any money. We set up a second account for her, we transfer some spending money to that every week. She has a card for that, and she manages to do her own shopping at tescos, buy some clothes etc.

    The problem is, the keeps going overdrawn on the second account, as she doesn't realise how much money she is spending. She uses her switch card, to buy stuff or get cash back in supermarket, and goes overdrawn. Then the bank charges her for going overdrawn. What we want is for her switch card to stop working when she has no money in her account. But her switchcard keeps working even when she has no money.

    We don't want to take her card away from her, as she likes being able to go shopping herself. Any ideas?
  2. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    Sorry if this is a bit too obvious, but

    :rolleyes: Could you persuade you Mum to use cash, and do away with the card? And slap the thoughtless 18yo brother around a bit until he gets the message :mad: ? Sorry to be blunt, but that's the way I am, no offence meant to you.
  3. zed

    zed Registered User

    Jul 25, 2005
    #3 zed, Jul 25, 2005
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2005
    Lots of people have tried talking to my brother about Mum! I have tried explaining that Mum is sick, and she doesn't have much money (she had to give up her job when she was diagnosed), but he doesn't listen. In his defence, it is hard to accept that your mother has dementia. It is a difficult siutation for an 18 year old to cope with.

    The problem with giving her cash is that someone would have to administer that. My sister and I live too far away to be able to give her cash regularly. My aunt lives nearby, but she already does so much for Mum that I feel bad asking her to manage Mum's money too.
  4. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    He is 18 and I assume he has some computer experience [my description of his brainpower and sensitivity has been self-censored]?

    Point him at this thread.

    [Lynne - I like your style!]
  5. Rosalind

    Rosalind Registered User

    Jul 2, 2005
    Have you tried talking to the bank? Perhaps they could withdraw any overdraft facility on the 'pocket money' account, so if there was no money in the account the card could not be used.

    As for the brother, I too would be sorely tempted to slap him round the chops, but might there be a case for attempting to give him more responsibility re the finances? If he actually came along to see the bank with perhaps the aunt rather than furious older sisters, and was treated as a grown up he might, and it is only a might, act like a grownup and help keep Mum in order.

    What sort of support does he get? I used to mildly regret not having children, but am now thankful that I didn't as they would probably be in their late teens now, and I do think having a father with dementia would be very hard indeed.
  6. zed

    zed Registered User

    Jul 25, 2005
    #6 zed, Jul 25, 2005
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2005
    Went to the bank today and suggested just that, asking if they could withdraw the overdraft. But if they do that, Mum can still go overdrawn, they will just charge her for it! With a switchcard, you are allowed to spend money even if you haven't got it, so you can go overdrawn and spend money you don't have. They only way around it they said would be to have an "electron" card, but that can only be used in cash machines and not shops, and she can't use a cash machine anymore! We really want Mum to be able to buy her groceries, as she values her independence.

    As for my brother, I have tried giving him lots of information about dementia, I have tried asking him to talk to professionals such as social workers.

    He gets no support. I know it must be hard for him. I will try and talk to him about the different ways he can get support. He has read the information I sent him on frontal-lobe dementia, which is good.

    Isn't it amazing that a lot of the problems caused by dementia are not people's symptoms, but the reactions of people around you?!
  7. KarenC

    KarenC Registered User

    Jun 2, 2005
    Los Angeles, USA
    Is there a way you can split up the "managing Mum's money" so your aunt's responsibility is limited?

    I'm guessing you may already have the statements, etc., come to your address. Maybe all your aunt would have to do is hold onto the ATM card, withdraw X pounds per week (you decide an amount), and give it to your mum. If she is visiting regularly anyway, that might not be much extra work for her.

    I took over my parents' finances as they became less able to deal with them. For a while my mom could write checks although not balance the account, use a credit card, etc. Then she started losing the card, the checks were getting improperly made out, etc. I guess the (sad) point is, be prepared for it to get worse and more adjustments to be needed as your mother becomes more limited.

    Karen (sometimes glad to be an only child)
  8. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    Amen to that!

    Have you considered a low-limit credit card, say 50 pounds, possibly one that could be administered over the internet so you or your sister could look after it?

    Take care,

  9. zed

    zed Registered User

    Jul 25, 2005

    thanks for all your suggestions. I never imagined that I would have to be worrying about my Mum's finances when I am in my late twenties, and my mum in her late fiftes.

    I think we might have to just take away her switchcard and give her a credit card with a small limit and my aunt will give her cash. I just feel bad for my Aunt, she should be enjoying her retirement and not running around after my Mum. My Aunt looked after my Grandmother who also had dementia (a different type from my Mum) and she looked after her for years.

    I'll feel sorry for my brother as this situation is hard to get your head around. I have been as supportive as I can to him, but I don't know if it has made any difference.
  10. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    I'm sure your support for your brother has made a difference and will be appreciated, once he's over the selfish teenage bit! This situation is not easy for anyone is it? At least it sounds like you have some ideas to sort the finance side for now.

    Best wishes,
  11. brambled

    brambled Registered User

    Horrible situation for you, and must be horrendous for an 18 year old; Do you know for sure your brother is always the culprit? I know how confusing it was sorting out these things with my mum, especialy as she believed her carers were robbing her blind.

    Is there anyone that can talk to and support your brother in this situation? I suspect he needs it, and you have enough on you plate already.
  12. zed

    zed Registered User

    Jul 25, 2005
    I have given my brother the number of the local Alzheimer's charity, and he knows he can call them. He also has the details of the Pick's Disease Support Group (mum has that type of dementia). He has a girlfriend so I hope she is a support for him. I thought I would suggest to him to contact his university counselling service too. Free counselling is so hard to come by, he might as well take advantage of it while he can!

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