Mum keeps asking about her care home fees!

NVgal

Registered User
Dec 31, 2021
12
0
Hello! This is my very first post but I have been using the forum as an incredibly helpful guide since my mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia 4 years ago. She went into a nursing home just before Xmas after a mini stroke put her in hospital and we knew she could no longer be safe at home. She has good days and bad but has actually settled in pretty well. However, my mother regularly asks to see all the paperwork concerning her care home, especially those concerning the fees. I keep finding excuses because I know she will panic when she sees what an eye watering amount she actually pays - £1450/week ( her savings are over £23,250 )
Before her dementia she was very fixated on organising her financial life, constantly checking paperwork, moving money around and this desire continued as her dementia worsened. In truth she hasn't actually been able to handle any of her finances for over 4 years ( I've been doing it all) and has completely lost her ability to count, use cash, tell the time etc. anything to do with numbers.
I'm wondering what I should do? I feel I can't keep putting her off forever as she does really have a right to see what she's paying, but I know it will give her extreme, prolonged stress if she were to see the actual figures which none of us needs, especially her. Would it be OK to lie outright and quote her a much lower weekly fee, write out a false invoice to show her?? I would greatly appreciate your thoughts
 

SAP

Registered User
Feb 18, 2017
1,331
0
Personally I would keep dodging the question. The right to know and the need to know are two very different things. Your mum does not need to know about this as you are managing it all for her. In time she will stop asking because it will no longer be important to her. I always told my mum that it was ok because I was looking after this side of things for her or not to worry because her money was safe. Love lies versus her prolonged stress and anxiety is being caring.
 

NVgal

Registered User
Dec 31, 2021
12
0
Personally I would keep dodging the question. The right to know and the need to know are two very different things. Your mum does not need to know about this as you are managing it all for her. In time she will stop asking because it will no longer be important to her. I always told my mum that it was ok because I was looking after this side of things for her or not to worry because her money was safe. Love lies versus her prolonged stress and anxiety is being caring.
Thank you so much for your reply. I'm very much hoping mum will stop asking but it's a very regular occurrence right now and , even though I assure her her money is safe and say not to worry as I'm looking after everything for her, it just doesn't wash and she asks the next time I visit. I will keep dodging though!
 

Mrsa77

Registered User
Sep 14, 2021
11
0
I know it’s not ideal but can you not make up a fake invoice to show her and maybe fake statements to put her mind at rest. So she’s then got something physical to keep hold of and it’s something you could keep showing her when she’s asking. She will be fixated on it till the next fixation kicks in. We’ve just had to sell my mams home to fund her care the fees are outrageous aren’t they but worth it for the peace of mind it brings.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
5,286
0
High Peak
I just told my mother it was free to people her age. She would have had heart failure if I'd told her the truth, i.e. that she was paying every penny. But even worse, she'd lost all sense of money and how much things cost, having regressed to an earlier time in her life, so the cost would have been an even bigger shock.

I just decided there was nothing to be gained by telling her anything about it and that it was in her best interests to lie through my teeth.
 

McSuffolk

Registered User
Feb 12, 2023
72
0
Hi @NVgal
As this is something I would be totally freaking out about too if my mum were to ask …. perhaps tell her there is no paperwork as everything is online now and that you would have to bring in your laptop then make excuses why that’s not possible…
 

Chaplin

Registered User
May 24, 2015
354
0
Bristol
Hi @NVgal, as your mum was familiar with the process of looking after her finances and paperwork, personally I think I would do what you suggested, create fake invoices for her until she stops asking. Beforehand, you could try and gauge from her how much she thinks it’s costing and use this as your guide.

You know her better than anyone so you’re better placed to make the judgement. People told me my mum would eventually stop asking when she could go home, after over four years in care, she continued to ask up until 7 days before she died. As we all know, everyone has a different experience with dementia so none of us can predict if your mum will be pacified with fake paperwork or not, but if not having it is causing her anxiety, what is the harm. Might be worth asking the Care Home Manager how to manage it, if you trust their judgement. I hope for your sake and hers that she will move on from this and enjoy he company and support of her care home.
 

Veritas

Registered User
Jun 15, 2020
318
0
Hello! This is my very first post but I have been using the forum as an incredibly helpful guide since my mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia 4 years ago. She went into a nursing home just before Xmas after a mini stroke put her in hospital and we knew she could no longer be safe at home. She has good days and bad but has actually settled in pretty well. However, my mother regularly asks to see all the paperwork concerning her care home, especially those concerning the fees. I keep finding excuses because I know she will panic when she sees what an eye watering amount she actually pays - £1450/week ( her savings are over £23,250 )
Before her dementia she was very fixated on organising her financial life, constantly checking paperwork, moving money around and this desire continued as her dementia worsened. In truth she hasn't actually been able to handle any of her finances for over 4 years ( I've been doing it all) and has completely lost her ability to count, use cash, tell the time etc. anything to do with numbers.
I'm wondering what I should do? I feel I can't keep putting her off forever as she does really have a right to see what she's paying, but I know it will give her extreme, prolonged stress if she were to see the actual figures which none of us needs, especially her. Would it be OK to lie outright and quote her a much lower weekly fee, write out a false invoice to show her?? I would greatly appreciate your thoughts
I think you keep stalling. "Oh dear, I knew there was something I'd forgotten to bring with me." She will stop fretting about it eventually. Personally I wouldn't go down the fake invoice route; I'd rather use the 'it's free for people your age' option, but I'm not that keen on either. From what you say, she's not really able to make sense of any financial information - and it's interesting that she doesn't seem to have worked out that you are likely to know the weekly amount without having an invoice in your hand! This rather illustrates how much ground she has lost.

In a moment of 'transparency' I did tell my husband that his carer didn't come free, but also that it was covered by his attendance allowance (for now, this is true). I wish I hadn't because every time she's due to turn up he asks me if he needs to pay her while she's there :(. It will pass.

Sometimes, though, 'love lies' are necessary and you will know what might work best for your mother at the time, with the aim of reassuring her that she doesn't need to worry about it.
 

NVgal

Registered User
Dec 31, 2021
12
0
Personally I would keep dodging the question. The right to know and the need to know are two very different things. Your mum does not need to know about this as you are managing it all for her. In time she will stop asking because it will no longer be important to her. I always told my mum that it was ok because I was looking after this side of things for her or not to worry because her money was safe. Love lies versus her prolonged stress and anxiety is being caring.
Thank you SAP, I agree about "love lies" and will keep dodging as long as I can! I have told mum many times that there is nothing at all for her to worry about and that I'm dealing with all the finances but it doesn't seem to wash. Naturally, she wants some control as before. We shall see!
 

NVgal

Registered User
Dec 31, 2021
12
0
I think you keep stalling. "Oh dear, I knew there was something I'd forgotten to bring with me." She will stop fretting about it eventually. Personally I wouldn't go down the fake invoice route; I'd rather use the 'it's free for people your age' option, but I'm not that keen on either. From what you say, she's not really able to make sense of any financial information - and it's interesting that she doesn't seem to have worked out that you are likely to know the weekly amount without having an invoice in your hand! This rather illustrates how much ground she has lost.

In a moment of 'transparency' I did tell my husband that his carer didn't come free, but also that it was covered by his attendance allowance (for now, this is true). I wish I hadn't because every time she's due to turn up he asks me if he needs to pay her while she's there :(. It will pass.

Sometimes, though, 'love lies' are necessary and you will know what might work best for your mother at the time, with the aim of reassuring her that she doesn't need to worry about it.
Thanks so much Veritas. I'm managing to stall things but that is causing some tension in itself so it really is a difficult area. As you say, it will pass.....
 

NVgal

Registered User
Dec 31, 2021
12
0
Hi @NVgal, as your mum was familiar with the process of looking after her finances and paperwork, personally I think I would do what you suggested, create fake invoices for her until she stops asking. Beforehand, you could try and gauge from her how much she thinks it’s costing and use this as your guide.

You know her better than anyone so you’re better placed to make the judgement. People told me my mum would eventually stop asking when she could go home, after over four years in care, she continued to ask up until 7 days before she died. As we all know, everyone has a different experience with dementia so none of us can predict if your mum will be pacified with fake paperwork or not, but if not having it is causing her anxiety, what is the harm. Might be worth asking the Care Home Manager how to manage it, if you trust their judgement. I hope for your sake and hers that she will move on from this and enjoy he company and support of her care home.
Huge thanks Chaplin. I have a feeling my mum will be rather like yours and continue asking for paperwork forever. I'm sorry you both went through that. I have now written a fake invoice ( rather convincingly I'm surprised to say!) and have decided to keep it in the car for emergencies. Until then, I'll try and keep dodging the request. I think I'll also take your advice and ask the care home manager, this can't be a unique scenario.
 

NVgal

Registered User
Dec 31, 2021
12
0
Hi @NVgal
As this is something I would be totally freaking out about too if my mum were to ask …. perhaps tell her there is no paperwork as everything is online now and that you would have to bring in your laptop then make excuses why that’s not possible…
Great idea McSuffolk, thank you. I'll give that a try this week, see if that can stall matters a little longer!
 

NVgal

Registered User
Dec 31, 2021
12
0
I just told my mother it was free to people her age. She would have had heart failure if I'd told her the truth, i.e. that she was paying every penny. But even worse, she'd lost all sense of money and how much things cost, having regressed to an earlier time in her life, so the cost would have been an even bigger shock.

I just decided there was nothing to be gained by telling her anything about it and that it was in her best interests to lie through my teeth.
Many thanks Jaded'n'faded, I do wish I'd said the same to my mum right at the start of her care. However, her desire to keep up with her bank balances would've quickly shown I was lying, so maybe not! I've decided to create a pretend invoice with a much lower fee and eventually show her that when her demands get too much. I'm very much hoping she'll keep forgetting until it's no longer on her mind.
 

NVgal

Registered User
Dec 31, 2021
12
0
I know it’s not ideal but can you not make up a fake invoice to show her and maybe fake statements to put her mind at rest. So she’s then got something physical to keep hold of and it’s something you could keep showing her when she’s asking. She will be fixated on it till the next fixation kicks in. We’ve just had to sell my mams home to fund her care the fees are outrageous aren’t they but worth it for the peace of mind it brings.
Truly outrageous Mrsa77. I believe we should contribute to our care costs but to wipe mum out of her life savings and home strikes me as cruel. I have made up a false invoice from the care home but I'm not sure how I can create a convincing bank statement. I'll look into that. You're right, I could leave her with " creative" paperwork for her to fixate upon ( this is a big thing for her at this stage) and refer to when she wants to while not giving her the fright of presenting real invoices for £5,800 a time.
 

unci

New member
Jan 22, 2024
1
0
Hi I was diagnosed with mix dementia before the covid. I've found it difficult to except the fact until I heard I think it was Joeanna Lumlly on the radio Oxford recentlly, saying about odd things happening with her friends brains(all alzeimers). The one that has stuck with me is the life long vegetarian that started eating meat & couldn't understand why, as she didnt like its taste. This has happened to me, veggy for many years, but suddenly have a fancy for meat.
 

maggie6445

Registered User
Dec 29, 2023
581
0
Truly outrageous Mrsa77. I believe we should contribute to our care costs but to wipe mum out of her life savings and home strikes me as cruel. I have made up a false invoice from the care home but I'm not sure how I can create a convincing bank statement. I'll look into that. You're right, I could leave her with " creative" paperwork for her to fixate upon ( this is a big thing for her at this stage) and refer to when she wants to while not giving her the fright of presenting real invoices for £5,800 a time.
Hi @NVgal , does your mum know the date? If not I'd get out the old bank statements and use those you could say that the gas/ elect etc is how the care home bill you. Itemised. Would that satisfy her?
 

NVgal

Registered User
Dec 31, 2021
12
0
Hi @NVgal , does your mum know the date? If not I'd get out the old bank statements and use those you could say that the gas/ elect etc is how the care home bill you. Itemised. Would that satisfy her?
That's a possible maggie6445, thanks so much for your suggestion.
 

Canadian Joanne

Registered User
Apr 8, 2005
17,710
0
70
Toronto, Canada
Her constant asking will pass but it may take several months. It took at least 6 months for my mother to stop asking where her car was (it was in British Columbia 2,500 miles away). She also kept asking about the fees and I said the government was paying it. Fortunately, the fees question fell by the wayside fairly quickly but the car questions!
 

SeaSwallow

Volunteer Moderator
Oct 28, 2019
5,815
0
Hi I was diagnosed with mix dementia before the covid. I've found it difficult to except the fact until I heard I think it was Joeanna Lumlly on the radio Oxford recentlly, saying about odd things happening with her friends brains(all alzeimers). The one that has stuck with me is the life long vegetarian that started eating meat & couldn't understand why, as she didnt like its taste. This has happened to me, veggy for many years, but suddenly have a fancy for meat.
Hello @uncl: and welcome to the Dementia Support Forum. That is interesting about you as a veggie, suddenly wanting to eat meat. Just shows how dementia can affect people. You might find it useful to start a thread in the - I have dementia - area of the forum. There you could tell us a little about yourself or ask any questions that you may want answered. You are also very welcome to post in any area of the forum.