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. MrsChristmas

    MrsChristmas Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    118
    Hello everyone

    My mother is aged 90 and has been widowed for 3 years.

    I am her daughter and I have lived next door to her since my father died in 2012.

    I have a brother who lives 100 miles away but visits mum every couple of months.

    Mum has been showing signs of dementia for about a year - forgetful, repetitive, usual symptoms.

    Thanks to this forum, I have emailed mum's gp and they have done all physical tests and she is fine for her age. Mum is due to go back to her GP this week but has said she does not want to go and just wants to be left alone.

    We have finally got mum to sign an LPA - very reluctantly. She does not want anyone to be involved with her money.

    I have supported mum for the past 3 years, along with my partner (who works a 12 hour day and looks after his grandson and runs his own home). This has involved helping her move home (next door to me), emotional support and the million one things that you have do for an elderly parent.

    Mum has never been very good at organising repairs and maintenance and finances (my dad did all of that) and so my brother sorts her investments out and I help with day to day stuff.

    Now that mum is getting very suspicious and forgetful things don't get done as they should do. My partner used to look after mum's garden but he can't do that forever.

    I have asked my brother (as he does mum's finances) to ask mum if she would agree to opening an account for my brother (or me) to use to organise plumber, electrician, window cleaner, gardener, handyman, car repairs on a regular/ ad hoc basis so that mum does not have to do that any more because of her forgetfulness. Mum has refused this saying that she wants to stay in charge of her finances.

    The problem is (for me anyway) is that mum wants to stay in charge of everything to do with her bungalow and her money. So, if anything goes wrong, I am summoned to sort it out, whilst mum sits dictating what I should or should not say! Then, if she agrees, I organise the job and mum pays.

    Sometimes, things get left for months..such as the lawn, hedges and so on. I remind mum to get it done but she forgets so I organise a gardener and she takes a dislike to him!

    I do try to work with mum and support her independence but because her faculities are not as sharp as they were, we spend sometimes hours discussing what to do, before a decision is made, which usually involves me finding a repairer that mum is happy with. Whereas, what I would prefer to do is deal with the problem (ie blocked drain, broken toilet, mice in cupboard, car insurance, utility problem, skip hire ect ect) from my home and just do it as quickly as possible.

    I have spoken to my brother about mum's possible dementia but he thinks that there is no great problem, that mum can cope on her own and that I am 'nannying' her! This is easy to say when you live miles away and it is not on your doorstep!

    My brother says that we should give a list of people that mum can contact and just let her get on with it and if things go wrong then he will speak to her.

    Last week, mum's lights fused at 6 in the evening and her bungalow was in pitch dark. I dropped everything and went over to try and sort it out, with mum trailing after me telling me not to do this, not do that, mind this, mind that....my patience was fraying but I fixed it in the end. I used this as example to my brother and all he would say is that mum should just call out an electrician. She's 90 for pete's sake, alone, in the dark with a just torch..which I got for her!

    Has anyone any idea how I can help my mum without me losing my temper with the situation? I want to help her but I feel that I am just a go-fer. I resent my brother's freedom to come and go as he pleases.

    My 3 children have left home, whom I have brought single handedly. I am 60 and retired and have met a lovely man after 20 years of being alone and divorced. I just feel that it is my time now but I just feel trapped and resentful.

    I love and care about my mum but she has become increasingly selfish and will quite happily let me run around after her. I put this down to her undiagnosed dementia.

    I feel guilty as hell and do worry about mum but I just want to be free.

    Has anybody been through this?
     
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,559
    Female
    Scotland
    Mrs C I had the loveliest mother in the world who did not have dementia but became increasingly selfish as she grew older and more needy and frail. I think the selfishness is a defence mechanism to make sure they get all they want and keep you close.

    You have to do a bit of the same - see that she is safe but put your foot down to protect your own time. My SIL is handicapped and has had my husband's undivided attention for most of the last fifteen years. As his Alzheimers got worse she still tried to manipulate him into doing what she wanted but it didn't work any more as he has lost ability and empathy. I just dont have time for her. Hey presto she has found the ability to do so much for herself it is astonishing. At 80 she's left it a bit late but better late than never.

    Protect yourself as you too will grow older and you cannot let others suck every bit of energy you have.
     
  3. mrjelly

    mrjelly Registered User

    Jul 23, 2012
    317
    West Sussex
    When I had LPA for my Dad, I just filled in a form at his bank to let me sign cheques from his cheque book. We didn't need to set up a new account or change the name on the account. There was a box for loss of capacity on the form, but the bank were quite relaxed about whether it was ticked or not, so we decided not.

    Perhaps your Mum would be happy with a similar arrangement or not even notice if it was in place.

    (Assuming your LPA does not specify loss of doner capacity before use, your situation is what the LPA is for and by signing it your Mum has given you the permissions you need to act on her behalf.)
     
  4. MrsChristmas

    MrsChristmas Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    118
    hello again and thank you for your reply

    Thank you very much for taking the time to reply.

    I think that is very good advice!

    You are right, as long as mum is safe, that is as much as I can do now.

    I am going to visit mum once a week to check that she is okay.

    If she needs help then it must be on my terms.

    Thank you again.

    Mrs c
     
  5. MrsChristmas

    MrsChristmas Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    118
    Thank you for taking the time to reply to me...

    Hello again

    I didn't have much to do with the setting up of the LPA, my brother organised it. As far as I'm aware, the LPA kicks in when mum is certified as not having capacity. I am also an attorney and and when we went to the solicitors last week, it was confirmed that nothing will change (in that mum has complete control over her finances) until she is certified as incapable.

    My brother has spoken to mum about setting up a separate account but she does not want this and wants complete control of her finances. His solution is for mum to 'paddle her own canoe' and sort out her own problems.

    I am going to have to change, not anyone else. 'Be the change you want to see' as they say...without any support from my family.

    Thank you for your help and advice, very much appreciated.

    Kind regards

    Mrs C
     
  6. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,839
    Suffolk
    When I had EPA, which covers only finance, OH had capacity.....to say he didn't want/ couldn't deal with one particular matter and he was happy for me to do it. So EPA was activated and I did ( or at least, I tried). To be fair, I had been looking after household finances for many years at that point, so not much change to our normal way of going on!
     

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