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Money obsession

HelenMcI

New member
Sep 15, 2021
3
0
My mum is really struggling with money. She doesn't understand numbers (i.e. can't pick out the banknotes/coins required to pay for things in shops; she can't point to a date on a calendar), she doesn't remember PINs and can't grasp the concept of contactless payments. Mum is obsessed with going into Nationwide Building Society every day (the record if five times in a single day) and is withdrawing £400 a week over the counter. We have no idea where this money is going (she has meals on wheels 7 days a week and my sister/I pay for everything else).

Should we take away her bankcards and bank access and give her a cash allowance each week? Or will this just increase the obsession.

Today mum missed her dial-a-ride collection for her trip to the dementia day care center as she was at the building society before 8am. I tried my best. I called her at 8.40-9.30am to remind her she would be collected, but could not get hold of her. I live a 2-hour round trip away.

When she returned from Nationwide at 10.30am, I booked a taxi to take her to the day care center. But the taxi dropped her at a random care home in the area - despite my warnings to them that she has the mental age of a 5-year old and then need to walk her to the door of the address I gave. Mum stood on the doorstep of the care home for 2 hours.

In the meantime, I had to call the police and my sister and brother-in-law (who live nearby) looked for her. Mum then tried to give the police money when they found her and dropped her home. I wonder if mum is giving money to other random people she meets, who will not refuse (unlike the police). She was previously a victim of fraud - Nationwide had to call the police in March as she was trying to transfer £10k to a Monzo account and she couldn't explain who the person was and why she wanted to pay them the money.

It's really depressing as we go to so much effort to organise things for mum to do and for home help visits, but we can't keep her at home.

Mum has to walk 40 mins (one way) along a canal to get to the building society. The path will get icy soon - it will not be gritted. I'm really worried about her safety in the dark (muggings) and her slipping into the water. How can we stop her from going to the building society? We have financial power of attorney.

Do other people give their dementia relatives an allowance? We are visiting residential care homes for mum (with denial of liberty capabilities), but I'm not sure she will cope with this as she likes to walk for 2-3 hours a day (feeding the ducks is another obsession).
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
1,284
0
If you are her attorney you must must must take complete control of this awful situation. You should definitely cancel all her cards and remove cheque books. Give Nationwide clear instructions not to give her cash at the branch. They have a helpful power of attorney department at headquarters in Swindon.

This could be deemed deliberate deprivation of assets if care is needed in future so it has to stop. It is obvious that she doesn't have capacity for financial decisions. To quote Churchill "Action this day".
 

HelenMcI

New member
Sep 15, 2021
3
0
If you are her attorney you must must must take complete control of this awful situation. You should definitely cancel all her cards and remove cheque books. Give Nationwide clear instructions not to give her cash at the branch. They have a helpful power of attorney department at headquarters in Swindon.

This could be deemed deliberate deprivation of assets if care is needed in future so it has to stop. It is obvious that she doesn't have capacity for financial decisions. To quote Churchill "Action this day".
Thank you Martin. We only want our mum to be safe and happy. It's really difficult. I'm afraid most financial transactions now seem to be to be beyond mum. It's upsetting as we've gone to so much effort to ensure she has social contact (she has moved 60 miles away from her friends to be close to my sister), but mum's obsession with visiting the building society prevents her from participating in those activities.
 

Jale

Registered User
Jul 9, 2018
599
0
Oh boy, I feel for you and your sister, but I think your Mum is a real danger to herself. Walking along a tow path and withdrawing money in such large amounts must be such a worry for you. I know this is not what you want to hear but maybe the time is coming for you and your sister to be considering a care home for your mum's safety and your peace of mind. It sounds as if you have both so hard to try and make your mum happy and safe but there comes a point when you cannot do any more.
I hope you can get things sorted and maybe someone with far more experience than me in these matters will be able to help
 

Frank24

Registered User
Feb 13, 2018
189
0
Hi there - my mum also got fairly obsessed with money and did at one time take a large sum out of the Nationwide but then panicked and returned it She got scammed at a cash point by a group of men. She also visited her local shop up to 5 times a day. My mum also went into town most days as he lived alone and it was part of her routine. one day she got lost - she actually returned to her old childhood home which another family member now lives in - she was in a confused and distressed state. My mum also wandered when she was in hospital for long periods of time, and she walked up and down the corridors when first in her care setting. In fact walking out down the stairs at one time. Your mum sounds incredibly vulnerable to me and its very sad but it sounds as if for her own safety you need to consider full time care - I had full time live in care for my mum before she went into the care home and they would go in to town together. I don't know if this would be affordable for your mum and it comes with a lot of problems of its own so not a magic answer by any stretch but it might be something you consider for an interim time to keep your mum safe while you consider other options. My mum sadly is immobile now in her care home so no more wandering which is sad but I know she is safe. Its so so hard to think about taking away someones freedom - I remember it seemed totally impossible at the time but the march of the disease continues, and takes things away daily. Freedom is one of the biggest and hardest to contemplate though - when you are working through problems and trying everything to keep someone in there own home - you can win for a while but it sounds like your mum is approaching the stage when this won't be possible. The stress of you and your sister will be HUGE and shouldn't be underestimated either. Ringing around, wondering where someone isn't where they should be when you live at a distance and constantly stressing can damage your health. I know firsthand. You have to think what your Mum would have wanted when she was well I think. She wouldn't want you totally stressed out. Just my opinion anyway. Best of luck x
 

Jessy82

Registered User
Mar 15, 2021
83
0
My mum was the same before I moved in with her, she would go the bank up to 5 times a day, the staff knew her well and would just give her £10 at a time, she even went to banks she was not in and would get upset and cause a fuss when they couldn't give her money. Two of them called the police out of concern.

She was also the same with the dentist, there all the while making appointments, even though she had one, going to different dentists and making appointments. Oh and buying dog food from the corner shop, I had to go in and ask him not to sell her any more, same with toothpaste, the list was endless. She was also walking to all the clubs and dances she went at all times of day, going up to church at 5 am. One thing that made me laugh, she was a regular at slimming world in the church hall ! She's about 7 stone wet through, but the ladies there were lovely with her.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
10,956
0
Yorkshire
hello @HelenMcI
a warm welcome to DTP
how worried you must be about your mum

I do agree that as her Attorney you need to take control of her finances ... her behaviour shows that she is not just being reckless with her money (which any adult can be) but that she no longer understands how to manage her finances and is putting herself at risk by her actions

though her taking out so much money (whatever she is doing with it, hopefully hiding it in pillowcases) will not be considered Deliberate deprivation of assets as she is not doing it intentionally to get rid of her assets so she doesn't have to pay her own care fees

going to the Building Society so often and taking the route by the canal is also dangerous ... and doing this when she had a previous appointment shows she is not understanding how to organise/prioritise her time .... your mum needs much more support

you might arrange home care visits to make sure she is ready for the transport to day care and doesn't go out before it arrives ... though if she insists on leaving, a carer may not force her to stay ... and have someone there when she returns ... but unless you arrange live-in care, no-one can be with her 24 hours daily

overall, I think you're wise to be looking for residential care ... all together your mum's actions are causing her to be a 'vulnerable adult' who is putting herself 'at risk' both financially and 'at risk of harm' with her walking route, and if someone realises she may have large sums of cash .... I'd contact her Local Authority Adult Services and explain all this to them, use those phrases in '', tell them you consider this is a 'safeguarding issue' and ask that they take action to care for your mum's safety

I appreciate your concern about how your mum likes to walk and that this may not be possible when in residential care (it's unlikely any staff will be able to go out with her) ... you may be able to organise a companion for her so maybe contact AgeUK as they may have suggestions to help
 

thistlejak

Registered User
Jun 6, 2020
127
0
MIL was a wanderer before she went into hospital and then onto a secure dementia unit at the local hospital. As she was not going to come home we looked at various nursing homes. The ones we chose were the newer ones that have long corridors to wander around in but she couldn't get out. She used to walk around all day at first as she could come to no harm. She doesn't leave the grounds of the home, that is a necessary requirement for her , but we could take FIL out if we wanted from his home even though he had a DoLS in place.