Difficulty With Finances

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by clymout, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. clymout

    clymout Registered User

    Jan 10, 2007
    Hello everyone,

    I'm starting to have terrible trouble with mum and her finances. She has only ever managed cash transactions all her life and opening a new bank account last year completely muddled her. Now her alzhiemers has progressed, she's getting really quite agitated and agressive when she thinks she has no cash in her purse - even if it is full of notes. Last week she accused my son of robbing her in the middle of the street (as I had told him to look after her purse until they got to the shops) then came home in a temper, pounding the kitchen counters with her fists and tried to rip up his school books. So yesterday, I relented and let her go to the local shops with my mother in law with over £100 and she managed to lose £65. We are about to register the Enduring Power of Atorney form but what I really need are tips on how to limit the cash she is carrying around without a row! She constantly checks and rechecks her purse, pulls her money out and tries to count it - a dozen or so times a day. She's demanded her whole pension tomorrow, which as a war widow, is a considerable amount but I'm afraid to risk giving it all to her. And if I don't give her a lot of money tomorrow she's going to have a hissy fit. Help please!!!

  2. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    south lanarkshire
    Hi Jo
    Can she still count money?
    Could you get a lesser amount of money in say £10.00 pound notes, instead of £20.00 pound notes, so that it looks like more money
    I have had to do this with my Mum.
  3. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    The first thing to go with any form of dementia is the ability to deal with money or finance of any kind

    You simply have no option but to ensure all bills are paid by direct debit and that they do not even have any notes with them at all

    The aggresion and arguments are part of the diseaseand however much you tell them they are ill or have memory problems you will be told "theres nothing wrong with me its the rest of the world thats mad "

    I feel for you because my Mother had not paid bills for months , the house was not insured and it took me 6 months to sort out the mess

    Your best bet would be to say she does not have any money

    Ask what she wants and get it for her

    If you have an EPA and its logged with the bank you should be able to take control anyway .........do everything you can now fast before you send off the EPA to be registered otherwise you are snookered for a month
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hi Jo.
    The issue of money is one of the most difficult ones to organize. The person with Alzheimers or dementia is clinging for dear life to what little self respect and independence they have left, and managing money is a most important attribute.

    While I agree with Helena that all bills are best paid by direct debit, I would not agree that we should lay down the law and take finance out of their hands completely. They are losing everything. They need something to cling to for the sake of retaining what little dignity they have left.

    Can I suggest you do arrange direct debits as soon as possible. You can then tell your mother what you have done, and say there is less for her pocket, because all her bills will be paid. She may then be satified with smaller amounts of cash for her purse.

    If this is done with a `softly, softly` less challenging approach, it may cause less upset.

    This way worked with my mother and my husband. Both were used to carrying quite large amounts of cash with them. It wasn`t as easy to keep a check on my mother, because she didn`t live with us, went out by herself and I`m sure was swindled, but we got there in the end. It was easier with my husband because he always has been very careful with money and wasted less.

    I hope this suggestion will be of some help to you. Sylvia
  5. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Hi Jo, this is where you will be "dammed if you don't, and dammed if you do"

    How I wish there were a text book answer. Please put in place all of the things mentioned so far.

    Try, if you can for £5 notes, not so easy to come by, but my local Post Office was always very helpful to me.

    And then, you just take the flack as it comes. Mum is going to be unhappy whatever you do, so try to minimise the damage.

    It will pass........and then the next saga will begin. Take care now,
  6. clymout

    clymout Registered User

    Jan 10, 2007
    Thanks so much all. The idea of using smaller denominations is brilliant. Mum can no longer count money so a wad of fivers will make her feel happier with a full purse.

    We have already been down the road of unpaid bills and final demands and I've sorted all that, getting everything paid by direct debit. Although now that she's moved in with us permanently and we're selling her flat it doesn't really matter anymore.

    I've been putting off registering the EPA, it doesn't sit well with me although I know I have to take control for her sake. And I'm definitely going to try the softly softly approach and let her keep hold of her cash - even though it's going to mean a game of hide and seek when she decides to hide all over the place!

    All I ever seem to do here is ask for advice and never feel knowledgable enough offer any! The help and support I've received has been a real comfort. Thank you.

  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hi Jo, Re offering advice. Unfortunately, your turn will come. We are all at different stages of coping, so can share experiences. It is a tragic certiancy that you will learn from your own experiences. Take care. Love Sylvia x
  8. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    I believe you will gain control over the finances once you have sent off the EPA for registration; the Attorney gains some powers whilst the registration is processed. It is only major transactions that have to wait for the registration to be completed.

    I wonder if your mum is still able to recognise "real" money. If she is not, then would she be satisfied with a purse full of pretend money? If she still can, then as has been said, low-denomination notes will make her purse look like it's full.
  9. clymout

    clymout Registered User

    Jan 10, 2007
    I was thinking of monopoly money myself! I just wouldn't like to risk her realising I've tricked her so have decided not to take the chance. Anything for a quiet life!
  10. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    Hi Sylvia

    I couldn't agree more with this comment. I'm wavering over the EPA for my mum. (Currently unregistered). It's a tough call indeed. As Connie says, we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. My mum lives on her own and I don't live anywhere near her. It would be impossible for me to give her money to spend during the course of the week. I've slowly had to limit her spending and make sure all DDs are set up. Inevitably the crunch time will come. But I know if I register the EPA now, it will destroy her. The only thing she is able to do now is go out and about and spend money ... not always on the right things, I might add, but it's part of her routine. Take that away and she'll have nothing. She can still count money although singularly fails, most of the time, to understand what she's spent it on/where/what her bank balance is. I do keep a watcheye on this. It's so sad when they have been independent all their lives ...:(
  11. Lonestray

    Lonestray Registered User

    Aug 3, 2006
    Money matters

    Taking control of my wife's affairs was one of the most painful things I have ever encountered. I knew I was taking away something I felt very strongly about. She had worked in a clothing factory since she was 14. During our married life she wanted to work, that was in the '50s when women stayed at home to look after kids. But she wanted to work and if that was what she wanted then good and well. Long after we became comfortable off she need never work again, she liked the company in factory life and so I was happy for her to do her own thing. In all our married life I never knew nor wished to know how much she earned. I encouraged her to have her own Bank account while we had a joint account at a separate bank.

    It was when sorting out her drawers and hand bags did I find large amounts of money stached away. When asked what was it for she didn't know! I sat on the bed with tears streamed down my face. How I wished I understood what her intensions were which went unfulfilled.
    I would suggest you help by offering to put her purse and money in a safe place togeather and hide the key so no one can get at it. She will not remember where the key is, so find it togeather. This way you'll be showing her you're looking after one another. To lose ones independence must be fearful. Good luck and go with the flow. Padraig
  12. clymout

    clymout Registered User

    Jan 10, 2007
    Hi Padraig,

    Spelt the Irish way - I've know a few Padraig's in my time!

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. Mum seems to take comfort in having her purse and her bag with her all the time and likes to keep checking there's money in it so I don't think locking it away will help at the moment. It's fine now she is living with me - we arn't going to take advantage of her but I suspect, as others have mentioned, that she has been swindled before now.

  13. Splat88

    Splat88 Registered User

    Jul 13, 2005
    I think you'll find it easier with her living with you, I know we did. It's easier now that there are no bills, and her pension is paid direct to her bank account. It wasn't until she moved in with us, and we found her passbooks with countless high value withdrawals that we realised how much had gone missing.
    Just before she moved, she was in her garden when two young girls kept her talking while another went into the house and robbed her. We have no idea how much they got, withdrawals for that week had been over £1000.

    Now, she thinks she has no money anyway, but in the past, we found long lists of what she had in various accounts, and her pin numbers written on every piece of paper.
  14. seant

    seant Registered User

    Feb 3, 2007
    Money Management

    Hi there,
    I don't know if this will be of any use to you but if your mum is able (and willing) to use a cashcard then a pre-paid Mastercard may be an idea? These cards are not credit facilities but rather pay as you go debit cards that do not let a person spend what they do not have.

    They can be topped up by a carer online and can also be a good budgeting tool etc. Obviously the need to have a PIN number is an issue but it is another option that might work for some people? I have attached a link to one below.


    Hope this helps.


  15. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    how strongly I agree with you on this one.
    I have posted before on this subject and the hurt of making them dependent on us.
    I solved it by putting some money in Peg's handbag,she knew that it was there and that she had some money of her own.
    Peg never spends any money but it makes me feel happier about the situation.

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