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Expert Q&A: Helping someone with dementia to manage money - Wed 27 Feb, 3-4pm

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SophieD

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Mar 21, 2018
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Managing your money from day to day can be difficult for someone with dementia. They may forget to pay bills or take money out of the bank and then forget where they’ve put it.

Helping someone with dementia to manage money is a great way of being supportive whilst helping them maintain their independence.

Our next expert Q&A will be on helping someone with dementia to manage money. It will be hosted by Sam from our Knowledge Services team, who focuses on legal and welfare. She’ll be answering your questions on Wednesday 27 February between 3-4pm.

Don’t think you’ll be able to make it? Feel free to post your question on this thread, or if you prefer you can send your question to talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we’ll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

We hope to see you here next Wednesday :)
 

Steff1

New member
Nov 23, 2018
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Hi, I don't think i'll be able to manage Wednesday but would be grateful of any tips around how to support my mum around issues with money. She has early dementia, is very able in many ways however is a bit at risk and vulnerable money-wise, quite prone to telling strangers her pin number, internet scams (only occasional as she often forgets how to access the internet), losing her wallet, or her bank card, forgetting how to use ATM's etc...grateful for any advice, thanks
 

katetk

New member
Sep 29, 2017
3
0
Hello,
My husband is making many mistakes now with money but tying to advise him to use a contactless card is proving futile so he is still withdrawing money from the cash machine then forgetting he has done this and withdraws more then puts it away somewhere safe never to be seen again.He struggles to recognise notes and coins now as well so hands over all the wrong money. Apart from being with him all the time is there anything else I can do?
 

Pamelap

New member
Feb 12, 2018
3
0
I have no one local to take care of money for me to meet my immediate needs. My son lives too far away for this, even if I give him Power of Attorney. I suffer from ME/CFS and it is already hard to get cash as I am mostly housebound. I live in an Independent Living Retirement Flat. I have no idea how I will manage with money as my health gets worse with no one to help other than professional carers.
 

Aliganmarie

New member
Feb 24, 2019
1
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Hi my Mum has Alzheimer’s with late onset Dementia. (79 in September)
I have had so much conflicting advice I don’t know where to go from here, mum was diagnosed late We kinda knew something was amiss but as she point blank refused doctors appointment hospital referrals then even slammed door in there face of the assessment team it has been a long hard battle it’s taken 2 years to get to where we are today.
Only just started to get help with social services and crisis team as I told them that I was washing my hands of her after she attacked me for second time. (Forgets she has done this and then so loving and nice to me again it’s killing me)
Social service meeting me this week to discuss some kind of care package. But as she is still very active and goes out everyday walks over to my house (10 mins) and does her own shopping and cleaning they have already basically said not much they can do to help. To look at her she is fine it’s just when you talk to her you can tell she is ill.
She is forever losing her keys doesn’t know her bank pin, thinks she has been broken into and is always asking us about the THING we have moved the THING we have stolen the THING that is the THING that the THING goes into.
She is steadily getting worse, confused, agresive, and down right nasty at times I think it’s to late for power of attorney and court orders she has no savings.
I’m at a loss I just need some kind of help pointers in the right direction a padded room (for me lol) but no seriously any help would be greatly appreciated sorry for long winded message.
Thanks
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
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Yorkshire
Hello @Aliganmarie
just to offer a warm welcome to TP
I am sure on Wednesday Sam from the AS Knowledge Team will have some helpful thoughts for you
Now you've started, keep posting - have a look at the 'I care for someone ...' forum
 

HarrietD

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 29, 2014
6,882
0
London
Hi everyone,

Thanks for your questions so far - Sam will be answering as many as she can during the Q&A.

We've received a few questions via email that are about paying for care or POA (power of attorney), rather than helping someone to manage their money. Just a gentle reminder that for this Q&A, Sam will be talking about practical tips for managing money (things like bank cards, things to stop scams and frauds etc), rather than paying for care or POA. I hope that's helpful.

Thanks again, and we hope to see you here on Wednesday :)

Harriet
 

SophieD

Administrator
Staff member
Mar 21, 2018
3,487
0
London
Hi everyone and welcome to today's Q&A on helping someone with dementia to manage money!

Our expert Sam is here to answer your questions on this topic :)

Please note that we'll be starting with the questions that have been sent in previously on this thread and via email.

Over to you, @SamC!
 

SamC

Registered User
Aug 5, 2013
22
0
Hi all

Thank you for welcoming me today, I hope I can be helpful to you! As Sophie has said I'll be starting with the questions that have already been posted, but please do post your questions

Thanks again
Sam
 

SamC

Registered User
Aug 5, 2013
22
0
Hi, I don't think i'll be able to manage Wednesday but would be grateful of any tips around how to support my mum around issues with money. She has early dementia, is very able in many ways however is a bit at risk and vulnerable money-wise, quite prone to telling strangers her pin number, internet scams (only occasional as she often forgets how to access the internet), losing her wallet, or her bank card, forgetting how to use ATM's etc...grateful for any advice, thanks

Hi

Thanks for your question.

Firstly just to say as I’m sure you can appreciate, there is not always a single answer here as everybody is different and so what works for one person may not work for another. Therefore, it can often be a matter of trial and error to see what works best for you and your mum, but there are a few suggestions I can make that may help.

You mention a number of issues around risk and safety, and a particular concern around internet scams. If your mum is using the internet on a computer and using a browser you can look at pop up blockers and these may help cut down some of the adverts that she may see as these adverts can sometimes be scammers. If using a smart phone or tablet there are various apps available that block adverts. If she has emails then with her consent you may wish to look at her spam filters to ensure that they are working.

You also mention your concerns about her telling strangers her pin number, and this can put her at risk. This is difficult, as she may not see this as a problem, or if you speak to her she may acknowledge that this isn’t a wise thing to do but then continue to do this. Speaking to her though may get your mum to think about this and the two of you may be able to come up with a solution together. For example, would she find having a ‘chip and signature’ card easier, this is where she would sign rather than use a PIN number, she would need to ask her bank for one, but some people with dementia do find this easier, and it would eliminate the concern around her telling people her PIN.

In terms of the ATM, it may be that she may need prompting to go into the bank rather than using the machine, again a ‘chip and signature’ card would mean that she would need to go into the bank. Many ATM machines now also have an option to plug in headphones so that someone can listen to instructions – some people found this useful others don’t as it doesn’t seem natural or instinct and they have to remember to bring the headphones and where they plug in.

In terms of her losing her wallet including her bank card, this may be difficult to stop, but you can consider some practical ideas to try to limit this. For example, I once worked with someone who kept losing her purse, but would always have her handbag with her and know where that was, we found that by attaching one end of a key chain to her purse and the other to her handbag meant that she no longer lost it as it was always with her handbag.

You may not find a solution to her losing her wallet, but you can consider how to limit the impact this may have. Where possible try to ensure your mum (again with consent) doesn’t have too much money in her purse, and only has essential cards. If she is losing her bank card then you may wish to ensure that she does not have a contactless payment card, your mum – or you with her consent could also speak to the bank about setting a limit on withdrawals.

These are just a few ideas and suggestions that may help, and I’m sure that many Talking Point members will also have some suggestions for you.
 

SamC

Registered User
Aug 5, 2013
22
0
Hello,
My husband is making many mistakes now with money but tying to advise him to use a contactless card is proving futile so he is still withdrawing money from the cash machine then forgetting he has done this and withdraws more then puts it away somewhere safe never to be seen again.He struggles to recognise notes and coins now as well so hands over all the wrong money. Apart from being with him all the time is there anything else I can do?

Hi

Thanks for your question. This can be difficult, and often a solution comes from working together to see what helps. You and your husband could ask the bank to put a limit on the account so that only a certain amount can be withdrawn, or you could even limit the amount of money in the account that he is accessing. Some people have found that this can help reduce the potential risks.

In terms of when he is out and about and needing to pay for things, some people spilt up their money and either have the right amount needed for an item or a small amount of money on them. For example, if you knew that your husband was walking to the shop to buy a newspaper you can ensure that he has enough to cover this and not much extra if you are concerned. Some people do find using contactless payments easier as they don’t have to worry about handling cash, and although this works for some people it can cause concern if someone was prone to losing their bank card so something to think through.

It may help to encourage him to keep receipts, so receipts from the ATM as well as in shops, as this would be able to give you both an overview of what is being spent and what cash is outstanding. If you were then concerned and a pattern emerges around when/where money was going missing this can help in getting to the cause and finding a way round it.

There are more suggestions in our booklet ‘Managing your money’ - https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-s...actsheets/living-with-dementia-managing-money both you and your husband may find this useful.
 

SamC

Registered User
Aug 5, 2013
22
0
I have no one local to take care of money for me to meet my immediate needs. My son lives too far away for this, even if I give him Power of Attorney. I suffer from ME/CFS and it is already hard to get cash as I am mostly housebound. I live in an Independent Living Retirement Flat. I have no idea how I will manage with money as my health gets worse with no one to help other than professional carers.

Hi

Thanks for your question. I would suggest as a starting point to look at our booklet managing your money https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-s...actsheets/living-with-dementia-managing-money - as this does have many suggestions that other people have found helpful.

You may have already done this but you can speak to your bank about how they can help. Some banks do have different ways that they can help people with managing their accounts and helping people that experience difficulties, an example is that some banks now offer video calls for people that can’t get into their bank or find this difficult but also don’t want to speak on the phone as they would much rather see the person they are dealing with.

If you haven’t already set up direct debits, these can help in terms of organising your bills. Online banking may be helpful to you too as you can keep track of your finances and also arrange to pay for things through bank transfers if you don’t have cash to hand. Technology now also allows people to pay on a smart phone and so there are a few options available – again your bank should assist you with finding what will work for you. If technology isn’t suitable for you, then people should and do still accept cheques and if you have problems signing/writing cheques you can get a signature stamp, but do check with your bank that they will accept this, and they may also be able to assist with getting one for you.

I understand from your message that your son lives far away and so may not be able to help with managing your money in the future, even if you made him your attorney. Some people in similar situations choose to appoint a professional attorney – usually a solicitor or an accountant and this would be someone local. This works for some people as they are local and in advance they provide guidelines for how they want their money to be managed/provide instructions when they want help. However, it’s important to note that professional attorney’s do charge a fee for this service and that can vary. If you would prefer your son to take on this role then do speak to him about this as he still may be able to do this even from afar, things such as online banking and technology have enabled others to be attorneys when they live far away. But it needs to be what works for you.

You may wish to ask your local adult social services, as they may know of a local company that provides a service that can help you with accessing your money. They also have a duty to ensure that any needs you have are met, so if managing your finances does become troublesome in the future and you need more support then they should help, or ensure that you get the support that you need and so should signpost you to the correct support.

I hope this helps
 

SamC

Registered User
Aug 5, 2013
22
0
Hi my Mum has Alzheimer’s with late onset Dementia. (79 in September)
I have had so much conflicting advice I don’t know where to go from here, mum was diagnosed late We kinda knew something was amiss but as she point blank refused doctors appointment hospital referrals then even slammed door in there face of the assessment team it has been a long hard battle it’s taken 2 years to get to where we are today.
Only just started to get help with social services and crisis team as I told them that I was washing my hands of her after she attacked me for second time. (Forgets she has done this and then so loving and nice to me again it’s killing me)
Social service meeting me this week to discuss some kind of care package. But as she is still very active and goes out everyday walks over to my house (10 mins) and does her own shopping and cleaning they have already basically said not much they can do to help. To look at her she is fine it’s just when you talk to her you can tell she is ill.
She is forever losing her keys doesn’t know her bank pin, thinks she has been broken into and is always asking us about the THING we have moved the THING we have stolen the THING that is the THING that the THING goes into.
She is steadily getting worse, confused, agresive, and down right nasty at times I think it’s to late for power of attorney and court orders she has no savings.
I’m at a loss I just need some kind of help pointers in the right direction a padded room (for me lol) but no seriously any help would be greatly appreciated sorry for long winded message.
Thanks

Thanks for your question. I am sorry to hear about what has been happening and how you are feeling. I really hope the meeting with social services helps and gives you some support. There are a few different issues within your query – I am going to answer those that are about managing money, and I am aware that this is only a small part of what you are asking. I’m sure members of the Talking Point community will be able to offer you information and support in the other things you were asking, and do note that we have a huge range of publications on our website, and if you ever wanted to talk things through the National Dementia Helpline is available to you too.

You mentioned her forgetting her PIN. There are a few things that may help, for example a chip and signature card – this is where she will be able to sign instead of using a PIN number so wouldn’t have to worry about remembering a PIN. This is something that the bank can arrange for her. Contactless payments could help, although if she is prone to losing her card then this may not work - so do think this through.

Not sure if this would work, but some people plan their week and their money and spilt it up into what they need at certain points. If she would let you then you can help her with this. For example, money for a week can be withdrawn and then spilt up into amounts that she may need, so roughly what she takes shopping with her, then other amounts that she may need during the week to pay for things and this may help her manage her money and not worry about her PIN. As said this works for some people, but not everyone.

Within your email you mentioned power of attorney. If this is something that she wants to do and she still is able to make the decision to make one (legally this is called mental capacity), this means that she understand what a lasting power of attorney (LPA) is, and can choose her attorney(s) herself, then this is a possibility. Your mum, with support can complete a LPA without the need of a solicitor, and if she has limited savings and not a huge income or is on certain means tested benefits then she may also not have to pay the registration fee or receive a discount. There is more information about how to make a LPA in our factsheet Lasting Powers of Attorney - https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/legal-financial/lasting-power-attorney

I note that you did say getting an LPA was probably not an option for your mum now, and getting a court order – deputyship is not viable either. In this case, if you are concerned about your mum being able to manage her money, you could consider getting appointeeship. This is through the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and it allows to someone to manage another person’s benefits when they can no longer do this. Therefore, if your mum was to become unable to manage her benefit money (if she gets benefits) then you can apply to be her appointee and this allows you to access and manage this for her. It only covers someone’s benefits and so not bank accounts or anything but may help.

I know from the rest of your message that there is a lot of other things going on, and I really would suggest as I mentioned earlier posting a thread as the people on TP will all have suggestions for you and some would have gone through what you are going through. And do also look at the website and factsheets as there is information and tips that you may find useful.
 

SophieD

Administrator
Staff member
Mar 21, 2018
3,487
0
London
Thank you @SamC! Next we have a question that was sent in via email...


"I have LPA and my father recently confirmed that he’s glad I have it ‘for when its needed’. At the moment he says he doesn’t need my help, but I have evidence that he is vulnerable to telephone scams and needs help managing some of his investments. Is it OK for me to register the LPA with the relevant providers and monitor / assist in the background?

What happens when the LPA donor sometimes has capacity but other times lacks capacity to make their own decisions? In my limited experience, organisations quite reasonably want clarity on who they are dealing with. My father, also quite reasonably. Doesn’t want to relinquish control."
 

SamC

Registered User
Aug 5, 2013
22
0
Thank you @SamC! Next we have a question that was sent in via email...


"I have LPA and my father recently confirmed that he’s glad I have it ‘for when its needed’. At the moment he says he doesn’t need my help, but I have evidence that he is vulnerable to telephone scams and needs help managing some of his investments. Is it OK for me to register the LPA with the relevant providers and monitor / assist in the background?

What happens when the LPA donor sometimes has capacity but other times lacks capacity to make their own decisions? In my limited experience, organisations quite reasonably want clarity on who they are dealing with. My father, also quite reasonably. Doesn’t want to relinquish control."

Hi

Thanks for your email.

Now I know in the real world this can be hard with companies and organisations – but the law is clear that before an attorney acting under an LPA can act they need to either have the persons consent (if set up that way), or the person must lack the ability to make the specific decision for themselves (this is called mental capacity). As this is about each specific decision this often means that there are times when both and attorney and the person themselves are managing different aspects of the finances.

As you have said with your father, he may still be wishing to and able to continue with his day-to-day finances, but may not with investments. In this case as long as he is able and wanting to he should be supported to continue to manage his day to day decisions. Those finances that he can no longer deal with you as the attorney can take over these once the LPA is registered. The LPA must be registered for you to be able to act.

From what I have said, and your experiences, you will see that there are times when someone – the LPA donor has capacity to make decisions and manage their finances and times when they cannot. The law is clear that if someone has capacity and wishes to then they should make their own decisions, therefore an attorney can only act with consent, or when someone lacks capacity. As a result companies have to be prepared to work with both the donor and attorney, and where they aren’t willing to do this then you can complain, or ask to speak to a manager about how to organise this. Many banks for example will send bank statements to attorneys and donors. You may have to be clear with company’s the situation you are in and what exactly it is you want.
 

Matlot2020

New member
Nov 8, 2018
4
0
Hi all

Thank you for welcoming me today, I hope I can be helpful to you! As Sophie has said I'll be starting with the questions that have already been posted, but please do post your questions

Thanks again
Sam

Hi Sam, thanks for your earlier answers.

My mum has mixed dementia. And my father, who managed all the money, has recently entered a hospice so is unable to manage on a day to day basis. Both my sister and I have LPA and have registered with my parents' bank accounts. My question is: My mum, rightly feels that she has been excluded more and more from money matters. This was fine with my Dad still around, but I was wondering if you have any tips on how my sister and I can bring her into financial conversations and help her to remember the decisions that she has made. For example, would you suggest that we make a simple note of decisions and put into a 'practical' folder?

Many thanks for any ideas.
 

SamC

Registered User
Aug 5, 2013
22
0
Hi Sam, thanks for your earlier answers.

My mum has mixed dementia. And my father, who managed all the money, has recently entered a hospice so is unable to manage on a day to day basis. Both my sister and I have LPA and have registered with my parents' bank accounts. My question is: My mum, rightly feels that she has been excluded more and more from money matters. This was fine with my Dad still around, but I was wondering if you have any tips on how my sister and I can bring her into financial conversations and help her to remember the decisions that she has made. For example, would you suggest that we make a simple note of decisions and put into a 'practical' folder?

Many thanks for any ideas.
Hi

Thanks for your post. I know some people that do pretty much what you have suggested, and that is to keep a log of the decisions that have been made to share with the person they are supporting. It can help to think of ways that can help engage your mum and how best she would like this information, for example would visuals help - you can either draw relevant pictures, or if easier stick in pictures or stickers. These could also help trigger the conversation.

Engaging your mum in decisions that are being made is crucial and something that you should be doing so great that you are looking at this. As said consider how she would like the information and who from - by this I mean would she find it easier talking to both you and your sister, or just one of you or a friend or other relative, just a few ideas. Consider things such as the time of day as she may have a better time of day for these discussions, and also look at reducing background noise and distractions.

Attorneys are meant to as one of their duties keep accounts - so as well as this keeping a simple version may also help and she may then feel involved. It may help to sit with her to talk through general bills and her expenses and see what support she feels she needs and how you can support her - looking at things like direct debits if they don't already have them. She may feel better and more in control if she does have some money and so consider what her expenses are and what she may need money for on a day-to-day basis and see if you can support her to have this money. It could be that you spilt up money into bags labelled for different things, or into days. This has worked for some people.

I agree with you that making a file or simple notes of decisions that have been made can be helpful and worth a try. As I have said in a few places in the Q&A we do find that what works for one person doesn't always work for someone else - so it may be a matter of trial and error to see what works best for her, and please don't be put off trying to support her if your first attempt doesn't work as it's great that you are trying to involve her and keep her involved in these decisions
 

Matlot2020

New member
Nov 8, 2018
4
0
Hi

Thanks for your post. I know some people that do pretty much what you have suggested, and that is to keep a log of the decisions that have been made to share with the person they are supporting. It can help to think of ways that can help engage your mum and how best she would like this information, for example would visuals help - you can either draw relevant pictures, or if easier stick in pictures or stickers. These could also help trigger the conversation.

Engaging your mum in decisions that are being made is crucial and something that you should be doing so great that you are looking at this. As said consider how she would like the information and who from - by this I mean would she find it easier talking to both you and your sister, or just one of you or a friend or other relative, just a few ideas. Consider things such as the time of day as she may have a better time of day for these discussions, and also look at reducing background noise and distractions.

Attorneys are meant to as one of their duties keep accounts - so as well as this keeping a simple version may also help and she may then feel involved. It may help to sit with her to talk through general bills and her expenses and see what support she feels she needs and how you can support her - looking at things like direct debits if they don't already have them. She may feel better and more in control if she does have some money and so consider what her expenses are and what she may need money for on a day-to-day basis and see if you can support her to have this money. It could be that you spilt up money into bags labelled for different things, or into days. This has worked for some people.

I agree with you that making a file or simple notes of decisions that have been made can be helpful and worth a try. As I have said in a few places in the Q&A we do find that what works for one person doesn't always work for someone else - so it may be a matter of trial and error to see what works best for her, and please don't be put off trying to support her if your first attempt doesn't work as it's great that you are trying to involve her and keep her involved in these decisions

Thanks Sam, that's really helpful.
 

SophieD

Administrator
Staff member
Mar 21, 2018
3,487
0
London
And that brings us to the end of today's Q&A on managing money!

A huge thank you to @SamC for giving their time and helping us out today by sharing their expertise.

I hope you all found it helpful :)
 

SamC

Registered User
Aug 5, 2013
22
0
Thanks Sophie for all your help today - and thank you to those of you that posted and sent in questions, I hope this helped
 
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