I feel like a terrible person

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by CMS91, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. CMS91

    CMS91 New member

    Jul 22, 2019

    Sorry for the long thread but praying someone can give me some advice.

    My nan who I am incredibly close to and has brought me up for last 28 years has mixed dementia. She was diagnosed this time last year and has slowly got worse. She is still living on her own (I moved out with my partner Jan last year) and she can still dress and bathe herself etc and is still reletively independant. She goes out everyday for a walk with her cat (yep you read that right haha. He follows her!) and has made a habit of going into the local shop (co-op) to spend money. I'm guessing this is out of boredem.

    However recently my partner and I discovered she was about £500 in her overdraft where she was buying cigarettes everyday because she is forgetting when she has smoked one so has another and another etc..

    To try and combat this I initially started looking after her bank card and was giving her money everyday from it but she was just spending it all on cigarettes rather than food. £10 a day on cigarettes isn't something she can afford so I now give her smaller amounts of money a day and give her a certain amount of cigarettes a day as well. I see her every evening to do her medication for her so I leave her with some for the evening and some for the following day with a note saying "save these for tomorrow".

    Depsite our best efforts it is just not working and she is calling me every day at work upset because she has no money or cigarettes. She understands why I am doing what I am doing when I speak to her but then she gets frustrated and upset the next day and can't understand why she is smoking so much. I explain to her gently that it's not her fault its the dementia causing her to forget she has smoked one so she has another which then continues throughout the day.

    If anything right now I feel so guilty because I feel like I am taking away her independence but in addition to that I am absolutely terrified she is going to start resenting me and hating me because she might start to think I am punishing her. Obviously this isn't the case I am just trying to help so she doesn't keep spending so much money. I honestly don't know what else to do. Does anyone have any advice?
  2. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    Welcome to the forums, CMS91.
    That is a hard choice for you to make, but it would be for the best. Be careful, if you don't have power of attorney or your name on your nan's bank card as I got into a bti of bother with Social Services and the Police for taking control of finances from my partner without those safeguards in place. Would your nan go to a day centre or lunch club if she is bored. C goes once a week and it has been good for both of us. Also, a befriending service may be available, so she has company. Social Services set that up for us after a care needs assessment.
    I hope that helps.
  3. CMS91

    CMS91 New member

    Jul 22, 2019
    Hello thank you so much for responding.

    My uncle and I are getting the power of attorny sorted as we speak but just waiting to speak with the doctor as the certification provider so she can sign it etc.

    Unfortunately my nan isn't a club type of person. I have suggested to her many times but she's not keen at all. It's so hard because I work full time and see her in the evenings and on the weekend and even work from home 1 day a week to try and break the week up for her. However it doesn't combat her buying and smoking 20 cigarettes a day :( I don't think it's the nictotine that's the issue either because I did think about getting her patches. But it's the habit of doing it which is she is in such a routine of.

    I just don't know what else to do to help her because if I leave her with her card and cigarettes she will just spend and spend and spend and end up in debt again. I feel like it is a vicious cycle :(

    I am in the process of getting a care assessment for my nan and a carers assessment for myself but they keep cancelling or changing the appointment so I have to try and fit it around work.

    I will definitely look into the befriending service though. Thank you so much for your advice!

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