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Mum is getting through cash!

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by alwaysfretting, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. alwaysfretting

    alwaysfretting Registered User

    Jan 1, 2015
    I am new to the Forum, Hello. I would be so grateful for some advice and I hope I can help others in the future. My Mum is in early stages of Alzheimers, she is 87 and lives alone (through choice). My sisters in law and myself have recently got PoA but Mum still has capacity so she still has her own debit card and cheque book. People take her to the cashpoint and over Christmas she got through £1,500 in cash through taking out £300 at a time. There is nothing to show for it, she has hardly been out or seen anyone. She can't remember taking the money out or what she's spent it on, and we've checked her handbag. We want to take some practical steps to limit her spending and how much money she can take out but stopping short of taking her card and cheque book off her. Has anyone else had this situation, please?
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    I suspect she is hiding it for safety then forgetting. It is always possible someone is scamming her but if you are around this is less likely. With the POA go to the bank and ask them to put a limit of £20 withdrawal on her card. You could also have a separate account for her DDs and SOs and one just for her daily spending keeping the latter quite low.

    Do it as soon as you can as this will not get better.
  3. opaline

    opaline Registered User

    Nov 13, 2014
    You're going to have to search her house, I'm afraid including any outside area, sheds, bins, etc, she's probably hidden it 'in a safe place', lol, good luck! x

    WILLIAMR Account Closed

    Apr 12, 2014
    I can only agree with marionq.
    I did hear of a case where an elderly lady was making withdrawals and the offspring could not work out what they were for. They suspected about £1,000 was missing.
    The offspring decided she needed a new carpet and the fitter ( who was obviously honest ) found £ 500 under the fitted wardrobe.
    Another £300 was found in the garage.
    That may leave £200 outstanding which is probably in some odd place. ( Anybody's guess ).

  5. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    It's difficult isn't it? I'm wondering if it might be possible to set up a basic bank account for her with no overdraft facility into which you could transfer a certain amount of money each week? That way she could still have her card and cheque book, but you could limit withdrawals.

    Mind you, I'd also want to talk to the "people" who are taking her to the cashpoint. Because while maybe well meaning, this is not a good idea in my view.
  6. henfenywfach

    henfenywfach Registered User

    May 23, 2013
    Hi!.money is a dangerous one.when theres an inkling of independence!..what about topping up a preloaded card so that you can determine a sensible amount?..I also have poa..and we have online banking to check anytime what where and how much..by computer or on app on our phone...

    The stashing can be an issue..my dad bless him is like a little squirrel sometimes..but not with money..he counts every coin and obsessive about money..

    The danger with dementia and banking is that banks can freeze accounts if theres suspicious activity on it..so I would take my poa papers aslong as theyre registered..and speak to them..better than having to sort a mess out!

    Best wishes

    Sent from my GT-I9505 using Talking Point mobile app
  7. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    I asked my Mum if i could look after her card for her and because she knew i would take care of it she agreed readily and then forgot i had it and forgot she needed it - this stopped anyone accessing her cash. At least that would fill a temporary gap to get to the bank and sort out the cards etc. My mum's gardener was taking her money, strange that he left very soon after. We lived happily for 4 more years with me mak
    ing sure no one took her money :)
    Sounds to me as though someone local has cottoned onto the fact that she is so vulnerable
  8. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    I do hope she has been hiding it, rather than anyone using her as a cash machine. Colleague of mine found over £2000 hidden away after an old uncle died. He had stashed much of it inside magazines and newspapers, of which there were piles lying around.

    My FIL used to hide money inside and behind books on shelves. I have also heard of it in cornflakes packets, stashed under piles of knickers and nighties in a drawer, in pockets of old coats at the back of the wardrobe, tucked inside shoes and old handbags, in a sponge bag (one of my mother's hidey-places) - anything that could conceivably serve as a 'container'.
  9. loveahug

    loveahug Registered User

    Nov 28, 2012
    Moved to Leicester
    In my days of being a street warden an old chap living nearby went into hospital. The social worker and I searched his house (getting rid of soiled bedlinen and clothes, mouldy food, poo in odd places etc :eek:) and found nearly £5k in total. it was stashed in socks, toothpaste cartons, under the bottom drawer, under the bath mat, and all sorts of weird and wonderful hidey holes, including under the coal in the coal bucket!! This was all counted and signed for by us and it went into his funds when he then went into care. It paid for his funeral 6 months later.
  10. Cathy*

    Cathy* Registered User

    Jan 4, 2015
    I absolutely agree with this.

    I changed my mum's PIN number. She could never remember it and it wasn't written down. It didn't stop family members taking advantage unfortunately but it did alert everyone to the fact that I was keeping an eye on it
  11. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    #11 Linbrusco, Jan 6, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
    At the start of Mums dementia she gave my brother her credit card, and told him her PIN as he wanted to borrow about GBP500.
    It wasn't until 2 yrs later when we had POA arranged and Mum was going into hospital, and I was sorting out all her and Dads bills that I discovered it all.
    My brothers "loan" of GBP500 turned out to be GBP2500. He was in arrears in payments, and the Bank was shortly going to turn to Debt Collectors.
    Mum who always collected the mail, would give the bill directly to my brother and never looked at it. Even when her card had expired, he had taken her up to the bank to put a new PIN on it, and then took the new card.

    I took charge of the whole situation, cancelled the card, accused by brother of Fraud (for which he never ever apologised saying Mum said he could use her card) made him set up a regular payment, and once its paid off I will close the credit card account.

    In New Zealand banks cannot put a daily limit or maximum ATM withdrawal on your personal card. Other than you limiting what is in the account.
    If the banks in the UK can do this I like this idea :)
  12. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    Who are the 'people' taking her to the cash point?
  13. alwaysfretting

    alwaysfretting Registered User

    Jan 1, 2015
    Thank you so, so much for the very helpful replies! I will summarize for my sister in law now but please keep them coming! We are both going to see Mum tomorrow am to go through her bank statements with her as she doesn't believe she has been to the cash point that many times. We have tried all sorts of things, too numerous to mention here and she is very upset that we are going to have to control her spending. We are very upset too! The various financial organizations have been really unhelpful so far.
  14. lizzybean

    lizzybean Registered User

    Feb 3, 2014
    My MIL hides money, she keeps finding new places to hide it that I can't find unfortunately! Recently I was clearing out a drawer (she has way to many clothes & most of them 2 sizes to big) sure enough money tucked inside a very old nighty. But be very careful tho as they can be very touchy when it comes to money. Luckily my MIL doesn't go out under her own steam anymore so I get her pension for her, I also keep her card, with her blessing (for now!) so there is no chance for others to take advantage.
  15. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    But who are the 'people' who are taking her to the cash point?

    Are you saying she is going alone and confabulating the 'people'?

    The banks will have CCTV footage, perhaps you could ask them to check and discover if she is withdrawing money on her own...bank statements will pinpoint the time of withdrawal then perhaps you could identify who it is that is robbing her.
  16. Karjo

    Karjo Registered User

    Jan 11, 2012
    In the freezer with the frozen peas , in with the potatoes, even found 150 euros in the newspaper while looking for the £500 she had withdrawn for a new car! Found that in some old plans my dad had who had died years before and she insisted we take with us. We did and found the £500- had to let carers, police etc know.found £100 wrapped in tissues with some playing cards recently. Even had to check her sofa when clearing her house as it had been torn and sewed up for some reason. Also took cushions apart and sewed them up.
  17. creativesarah

    creativesarah Registered User

    i have a prepayment debit card and that helps if you lose it its not connected to a bank account but you can keep a track of topping up and spending
    It means I have some independance
  18. Karjo

    Karjo Registered User

    Jan 11, 2012
    Another thought is has she posted any xmas money with christmas cards. We think a fair bit of cash may have gone this way with mum as she wouldnt have put the stamps on or known the addresses which were abroad. This is when we began to realise things were not right as she insisted she had posted them all money for xmas but i know she didnt have their current addresses. ( grandchildren always on the move)
  19. alwaysfretting

    alwaysfretting Registered User

    Jan 1, 2015
    Thank you again! We don't think the money has been taken out fraudulently as mum had told me on the phone on each of the days she had taken money out but denied it subsequently. And denies spending it. I helped her write cheques for the grandchildren for Christmas (had to lie down after!) So it's not that. I think she has given the dustman, the paperboy, the milkman, and the gardener massive Christmas bonuses! She doesn't know the value of £10 versus £100.

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