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. rose_of_york

    rose_of_york Registered User

    Mar 22, 2008
    94
    York
    My mother was diagnosed with dementia last July. I had persuaded her to ask her GP about her worsening memory problems, and she was referred to the relevant specialist who prescribed Aricept. She also takes various other tablets for blood pressure and other ailments - that is when she remembers. I bought her a dosette box to put her tablets in for the week , and both doctors asked if I would supervise filling up the box. Unfortunately my mother will not let me - she thinks she is perfectly capable of doing it herself and gets very angry if I suggest checking. I do sometimes sneak a look in the box, and invariably she has forgotten her tablets two or three times in the week.

    She is completely in denial about her condition and will accept no help with anything. Age Concern used to visit but have just told me they will go no more as my mother doesn't want any help from them. The Occupational Therapist visits and suggested a referral to Social Services for a visitor to check she has taken her medication. She got angry with him, told him that there was nothing wrong with her and would not consider the referral.

    She lives alone and spends the day fiddling with things - a couple of weeks ago she had thrown away all the telephones in the house - after buying a complicated set of three digital phones and getting me to programme them for her. Today she told me she would have to buy a new television as it wasn't working - upon inspection I noticed she had pulled the plug out. Once she left a kettle on the gas and nearly set the house on fire - but dismisses this as a momentary lapse that she will not do again.

    I am her only child, and only relative under 80 that she has regular contact with. She is socially isolated, yet claims that she has lots of friends who visit her all the time. She needs my help yet doesn't admit it. It's me who sorts things out when she does silly things like agreeing to pay £4000 to cowboys who knock on the door wanting to re-do the drive. Frequently she accuses me of stealing from her - I have power of attorney so can keep an eye on her bank accounts but have never withdrawn any money. She keeps telling me that the bank tells her I have been taking cash out. She also accused me of stealing her jewellery - then found it in a drawer.

    I spend all the time worrying about what she is doing to endanger herself, yet I dread visiting her as she is so mean to me. I am the only person who is taking any responsibility for her, I want somebody to share this - I work full time but I worry that I will become ill if something doesn't change. In three weeks time I am going on holiday for a fortnight. Last time I went to Asia I hired a local mobile phone so I could speak to her every day - I spent a fortune to contact her to be told that she is fine every day. I'm not doing it again, I shall be out of contact - and of course I shall feel guilty and worried sick that some crisis will occur and me unable to do anything.

    She is mobile and physically fit, so I anticipate that I may be having to cope with this worsening situation until I am into my 70s, not sure how long I can stand it on my own.

    Thanks for reading this.
    Barbara
     
  2. lesmisralbles

    lesmisralbles Account Closed

    Nov 23, 2007
    5,543
    Hallo Barbara

    There are other's on this site that will help, I cannot give advice, except to say, my hubby's mother was the same. Please do not worry.
    Barb ( by the way, that is my name):)
     
  3. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Hello Rose/Barbara. Welcome to TP.

    As your mother has had a diagnosis and is being prescribed Aricept I am assuming you have someone other than her GP involved.

    You are not/do not have to be responsible for your mum, but I guess you feel you should do all you can.

    It does sound as if your mum needs more help, even if it only to have her meds. properly supervised.

    My advice would be to get back to her SW, if she has one, consultant or local GP. Acquiant them with all the facts.
    Even phoneing from abroad is not going to make certain that she takes her meds. at the appropriate time.

    Please let someone know. There may be help that you are not tapping into.
     
  4. rose_of_york

    rose_of_york Registered User

    Mar 22, 2008
    94
    York
    Thank you Connie

    Thing is she doesn't have a Social Worker - and they won't take a referral as she won't give consent - they say if she still has "capacity" then she has to agree to it. Her GP knows about the problems with the tablets, and only suggests that the pharmacy puts them in bubble packs - but she doesn't want this because she says she can manage.

    Her behaviour towards me is driving me away. She is also proud of the fact that she is awkward and admits that she can be her own worst enemy.

    Barbara
     
  5. honeyc

    honeyc Registered User

    Jan 29, 2008
    17
    Your situation sounds a lot like mine. It is so difficult to help someone that does not admit that they have a problem but turns to you every time something goes wrong.

    My Mum is having a lot of problems with anything vaguely technical. It is her opinion that the television, clock radio, telephone answering machine, etc.. have all stopped working. However, when I go to visit, everything works just fine!!

    How do I explain that the only common factor in all of these cases is her!!

    She is not coping with looking after the house and every time I go to visit I have to spend the best part of the day just trying to make the place look and smell OK!!!! This is very difficult when I take my children with me as kids are not known for their subtlety. My youngest daughter keeps asking me why Nanna's house isn't clean like ours and they all ask me to wash the cutlery and crockery before they will use it, or have lately taken to bringing their own!!!

    How do I explain that one to my Mum???
     
  6. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,989
    Toronto, Canada
    Honeyc,

    Honey, don't explain it away. Can you be matter-of-fact about it? "Your dishes aren't clean Mum so that's why the kids bring their own".

    Barbara,
    If your mother has been diagnosed with dementia last July, surely the social worker must understand that things will only get worse. Surely her nearly setting the house on fire is a huge sign of her problems. Or do they need her to actually do it?

    Not knowing the procedures in the UK, I suggest you call your local Alzheimer Society & see what they recommend. Good luck.
     
  7. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Dear Barbara .... I had to re-read your post a couple of times - sounded so much like my own mother a couple of years ago ......

    On the subject of dossette boxes / blister packs .... I know the idea comes up from time to time on TP - but I know they are of absolutely no use to my mother and anyone like her who can't remember what day it is - and if an hour after she has taken 'Tuesday's' it is Monday again ....... (in her world) .... (we currently have a simple 'counting out' routine)......

    Very, very difficult when they won't accept they need help (nor acknowledge you can't be the one to provide it all the time) .... I was very lucky that Age Concern and mum's consultant helped me to 'persuade' her to accept some help .... (buddy and day care) .... of course, she had so many friends she didn't need anything (yeah right!!!!!!) ......

    I would be surprised if you had a social worker ...... but maybe now is the time ...... approach them directly yourself and explain the circumstances and that you are going away ..... (they are there for YOU too!) .... I only had social services finally involved (after several aborted attempts) when I admitted I wasn't able to cope myself - amazing what they could do then for mum - including their powers of persuasion when mine had gone!!!!!! Sometimes we have to let other people take the strain (and use their charm!) ....... for our own sakes too ....

    Love, Karen, x
     
  8. rose_of_york

    rose_of_york Registered User

    Mar 22, 2008
    94
    York
    Thanks Karen
    I've tried referring my mother to Social Services, but because she won't agree to it they can't force her. In her mind she doesn't need any help and can manage everything herself. She presents very well to anybody who sees her as long as they don't talk to her for more than about 10 mins. When I approached them they offered me a Carer's Asssessment, which talked about counselling and aromatherapy for me, but not what I really wanted which is for somebody to take some of the worry about my mother away from me.

    Barbara
     
  9. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,718
    Kent
    I`m in a similar position with my husband, Barbara. He won`t have anything to do with anyone who wants to help. He also thinks he is perfectly capable of lookinng after himself.

    The difference is, I am with him 24/7 so I don`t quite have your worry.

    SS have closed the file on us as my husband won`t take advantage of whatb they have to offer. I wasn`t offered counselling or aromatherapy when I had my carer`s assessment.:(

    You will just have to let your mother have her way. I`d hold back from so much support if I were you. It might enable her to welcome some SS help.

    When my mother went through this, I was working and she became very lonely. She did agree to day care eventually.
     
  10. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Neither was I, Sylvia. But Princess Royal Trust offer free counselling, and aromatherapy for a subsidised rate.

    Worth asking, if anyone's interested.

    Barbara, I sympathise with your problems, but can't really help. Just wanted you to know I care.

    Love,
     
  11. Christinec

    Christinec Registered User

    Aug 8, 2007
    214
    Hi Barbara,
    Welcome to TP. I am sure that you will find it useful.
    My Mum has been ill for over 8 years and if your Mum was diagnosed as recently as 2007 you may be finding it very hard to come to terms with. It took me many years althought the line of work I was in them should have made it easier for me.

    I wanted to say that you should take all the help offered to you. I received counselling last year through our local Alxheimers branch and it really helped - wish I had had it years ago. At this stage your Mum refuses all help - very common with AD but very distressing to all around the person with AD - counselling might help you to come to terms with this. Please understand I hope others might learn from my experience.

    Also I have had to say to social work and GP's CPN etc that my Mums situation needed intervention and that I had done what I could and was unable/did not want to do more. I think sometimes you really have to say "I am no longer going to be around to stop the crisis but I am telling you as you have a duty to provide care". Is it worth writing /phoning SW GP and anyone else involved before you go away to say I am not going to be here for these dates/ my mother will be at risk and although she will deny this she requires help for her own safety. I must say I usually ended up phoning as writing takes more effort(I had so much else going on I did not have the time or energy) and also writing seems more cold blooded somehow. Recorded delivery letters might be the ideal. Authorities in my experience will let family get on with it if they can/will.

    I really admire the sons and daughters who move parents in or move in with them. I could never have done this as relationship with my parents has always been troubled. All families are different.I accept this now - you can only do what you can.

    If you force involvement of social work and the authorities you have to accept to some extent that they have the responsibility and that nothing will be perfect but continue to fight to get the best for you Mum.

    By the way having siblings might not be as helpful as you think. In our family my brother(600miles away)visits on average once every 18 months once refused to go to a case meeting CPN was offering to arrange for because it would spoil his holiday:rolleyes:. About 6 years ago he also said Mum will never go in to a home because it is not what she wants - you can stop work:eek: and look after her and no he did not offer to move here to support me or my children and pay the mortgage. (Rant over)

    Best wishes and look after yourself.
     
  12. Nancy B

    Nancy B Registered User

    Mar 23, 2008
    7
    Hampshire
    Have you considered referring your mother to adult services as a 'vulnerable adult' - I think you should.

    If I were you I would write to them outlining the issues you describe and the fact that you fear for her safety e.g. the issue with the fire/her inability to manage her medication and her vulnerability to rogue traders. I would also add the fact that you are unable to adequatly meet her needs at this stage and intervention from elsewhere is needed.

    The fact that you have power of attorney over your mother financila affairs would indicated that she is not entirely 'capable' and this is something you should mention to them too.

    Unless you really say it as it is ........... you are likely to go to the bottom of the list.

    Best of luck!
     
  13. rose_of_york

    rose_of_york Registered User

    Mar 22, 2008
    94
    York
    Thanks Nancy

    Social Services really don't have any evidence that she is vulnerable except what I tell them - although the OT is going to try and persuade her to agree to the assessment, but I don't hold out much hope. I know she needs help, but to the outsider she seems so capable. I've just sneaked a look in her medicine box when she was in the toilet - she's missed her doses three times in the past week, but of course she needs no help according to her!

    I only have power of attorney by chance. When her husband had a stroke a year ago the solicitor made her the p of a for him. She was persuaded to make one too in case she ever was incapable of coping with things - I didn't realise how bad she was at the time - but about 9 months later I was having to use it when she wasn't paying bills. The consequence is that I get accused of stealing from her about once a week, and feel like walking away and letting her just cope or not the best way she can.

    Barbara
     
  14. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,718
    Kent
    Barbara, would it help to show your mother the receipts, or the Direct Debits, to prove where her money is going, or is she past understanding them.
     
  15. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #15 Margarita, Mar 24, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2008
    your so right , well said .


    It does not matter that you don't have any evidence that she vulnerable . Your her carer & your voice count .

    Put that in writing " I am no longer going to be around to stop the crisis but I am telling you as you have a duty to provide care, while I am away on holiday ( Give dates ) , as my mother does not cooperate with me in taking her medication so her dementia will get worse then it is already & they no one to supervise her while I am away .

    Make a cope of it before sending it to them .



    Give them the reality of it & the responsible. also your mother not going to face reality that thinks are getting worse with her memory that is the hardest part as it also happen to my mother not excepting the help , but they come a point in you & I that we have to over ride them be firm with them , given it it upset them .

    Is it denial I ask myself or is it they do not have the clarity within themselves to face the reality of what is happening to them.

    some days my mother has the clarity, some days she does have not have any clarity that they anything wrong with her , because she just forgets . Am sure that must happen to your mother, so how is she going to admit it that she wrong & your right .
     
  16. rose_of_york

    rose_of_york Registered User

    Mar 22, 2008
    94
    York
    Thanks Sylvia

    I have shown her receipts and statements - and she accepts it at the time, but then starts accusing me again for no reason. She once went into the bank and said her statement was showing withdrawals that she had not made. She had made them, because I remember her doing it when she was out with me, but of course she had forgotten. I can only guess that the bank said to her "Barbara might have taken it" because they know I am power of attorney - it would have been a way of explaining the withdrawals. I didn't, and I know that she did, but she has forgotten that - but she never forgets what she imagines the bank told her i.e. "Barbara did take it". This was about last November I think and it has been thrown at me ever since.

    So I never dare mention money to her - in her head she is a capable woman considering whether or not to take her money out of the Northern Rock and buy premium bonds. In reality she can rarely remember her PIN number.

    I don't want to help somebody who is so horrible to me. She is also mean to me - if I do her shopping and it comes to 9.99 - she will give me £10 and stand and wait for the penny - yet I pay the petrol etc all the time.

    What I don't understand is how she never forgets this imagined theft - yet forgets to pay bills. She will sit and pore over bank statements - reading them upside down without knowing it. It seems to be an obsession about money and not trusting anyone.

    Has anybody else come across this please?
     
  17. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #17 Margarita, Mar 24, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2008

    Never think like that . Its coming from your mother its call paranoia , its a symptom of dementia . Sure someone will pop in to explain it better then I can. it also happen to to me with my mother


    PS


    because money going missing is always a negative thought, she still believe it you , because she can't remember talking it out herself so she got paranoia about it so blames you .

    even with people with out dembtica they remember negative memories more then positive memory in their life.

    so when your talk about money , it simulate her paranoia about the negative memory that at the moment is about money she thing is going missing from her bank .
     
  18. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,989
    Toronto, Canada
    Barbara,
    This brooding about money is incredibly common. After 25 years of marriage, my mother switched bank accounts because she didn't trust my stepfather anymore. She would also order things by phone or mail & then deny she ever ordered them.

    She became obsessed with how much money she had & would show her bankbook to all & sundry. And I mean ANYONE! At one point she had a great sum of money (20,000 or more) in her current account so it was rather frightening. Fortunately, she distrusted everyone so we didn't have to worry too much about her giving any away.

    This stage does eventually pass but it's an extremely difficult one. I can only wish you great patience. It's a priceless commodity when dealing with dementia.
     
  19. SueG

    SueG Registered User

    Jan 21, 2008
    9
    Port Talbot
    Hi everyone!
    It's so reassuring to know that I'm not alone with my problems.My Mum also refuses to believe that there is anything wrong with her except memory loss. She too has an obsession with money and spends most of her day counting what she has in her purse and her "tin".This does not however mean that she can manage it and regularly loses her pension along with any money she has (last week it was £120!).Considering that she rarely goes out it should be in the house but I certainly can't find it!
    Today my hubby and I are going to TRY to do some cleaning as the place is absolutely filthy. I don't hold up much hope though as she will probably get very aggressive with me and we'll have to stop.
    Ah well! At least we will try. It really is reassuring though to know I'm not alone. Thanks everyone.
    SueG
     
  20. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,718
    Kent
    From my experience with both my mother and my husband, control over money is the last thing to be given up.

    When my mother attended day care, she lay on the pavement outside her Post Office at 8am, kicking and screaming until the postmaster had no option but to open up and give her her pension.
    She wouldn`t trust me to get it for her.

    My husband frets about money every day. He counts it, he hides it, he asks about it, he doesn`t know where it comes from or where it goes. He doesn`t understand the incomings and outgoings, nor can he understand how the pension system works. He thnks we are getting money under false pretences, having an income withoit working for it.
     

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