1. Susan Kidgell

    Susan Kidgell Registered User

    Jun 27, 2008

    Our A/D Care worker put me on to this site. My brother who is 67 was recently diagnosed with A/D after I had been trying for months to get his GP to do something and only after contacting the Alzheimers Society was I able to get him an appointment for a brain scan. This showed he has had the disease for 4 - 5 years and it makes me so mad that he could have been diagnosed earlier if only his GP had listened to me. I think that the cost of any drugs may have been a factor as his practice would end up footing the bill! Are all GPs so unhelpful and backward in recognising the signs? As my brother was a former maths teacher he had no problems in counting backwards from 100 so his GP said "nothing wrong with him" He hates taking medication and says the tablets confuse him but fortunately he now has them in a dosette box. My husband and I live nearly a hundred miles away and it is not so easy to travel up and down to see him as my husband suffered a stroke 10 years ago and driving long distances is sometimes hard.
    As I have recently been granted Power of Attorney my brother thinks I am after his money and now won't speak to me whenever I phone him. Is this paranoia with money usual? I feel so upset when he won't speak to me or my husband but am continuously told that it is the illness, not my brother who is angry with me. But the words are coming out of his mouth and that is what is so heartbreaking. Will he come through this obsession with his money and be my brother again or will I continue to be his number one enemy? We have no parents or other siblings and it feels like I have already lost him to this devastating illness.
    I would dearly love any feedback from carers who have faced a similar problem.

  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi Susan and welcome to Talking Point.

    4-5 years puts him in his early 60s and it is classic that GPs don't recognise young onset dementia, I'm afraid.
    a thing you need to be aware is that this of course does not mean the medication is taken.

    accusations of 'theft' of money, of possessions, of 'life itself' are all common things. This is so very hard.

    I think the answers are probably yes to the first, unlikely to the second.

    However, while it is good to take the experience of others onboard, it is best just to remember it, but not to expect it to be the same for your brother and you.

    It may well be that with appropriate medication, and time, you may see your brother again.

    Sorry that the reply is not bright eyed and bushy tailed, but that's the nature of dementia and caring for someone with dementia - it is good to be optimistic, but also realism is essential as dementia takes no prisoners.

    I really hope that this forum can be helpful for you, and your brother.

    best wishes
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hello Susan

    From experience on Talking Point [TP] and from my personal experience with my mother and my husband, there are two things that cause the biggest problems for carers.

    Giving up driving.


    My husband stopped driving over two years ago and has stopped fretting about it now, although he still believes he is saving for a new car.

    But although he is no longer able to read a bank statement his conversation always turns to money.
    He doesn`t accuse me of stealing his money but he is very cross that I have taken control of it. Where all our married life we have had `one pocket` he now talks about `his` money.

    I`m afraid there is no way to handle it other than try to change the subject. It is even more difficult for you, living so far away. It will make no sense at all to your brother that you should control his money, especially from such a distance.

    Tke care xx
  4. harvey

    harvey Registered User

    Aug 10, 2007

    Sorry to hear you are going through the traumas that we have. My MIL was & is the same, we were unaware at the time that she was suffering from dementia and we were devastated that she could think we would steal from her. TP was the saving of us, knowing that the money obsession is common helped us back to sanity! We are still upset when she makes these accusations but knowing it is part of the illness helps a great deal.

    We are both power of attorney for her and have just set in motion the registration procedure through the solicitor. We decided last year that any dealings with money we would channel through the solicitor for our own peace of mind. We know that we are in for a rough ride, she will make our lives hell. MIL admits in her lucid moments that she cannot understand her bank statements and is unable to deal with any of her own financial affairs. Nothing will really change as we already do everything for her but she often destroys mail if it offends her so if the bills/statements etc can come straight to us at least we can pay them.

    We did have some repairs done on MIL behalf recently. Some time later my husband got a call on his mobile from them asking why the bill had not been paid. MIL had obviously destroyed the bill, it was lucky they had his number or goodness knows what might have happened. Sometimes she will hand over bills but we have to go searching at times. We have also paid from our own pockets on several occasions just to avoid the accusations.

    The hurt will not go away when these accusations are made but I have found that having TP to turn to makes it less intense. I hope you will find the same.

  5. Clive

    Clive Registered User

    Nov 7, 2004
    Hi Susan

    I just write to confirm that being obsessed with money is quite normal with AD. My mum had no interest in actually spending money, but she would spend hours counting it.

    She would also get very upset when the person in front of her at the Post Office was given more money than mum was (she could not understand any explanation I gave her. I was always wrong!). She would refrain from visiting the Post Office for several weeks until she knew that they would hand her several weeks worth of pension at once so she appeared to get more than others.

    (This was in the days when Pensioners had Pension Books. You can possible imagine what happened when the Government stopped issuing Pension Books… mum was devastated and never understand why her pension had been “stopped” and she had to live without an income. Strange how some things are remembered!)

    I used the Power of Attorney to get all the bills redirected to my house. I told any workmen that they would only get paid if they sent the bills to me. Mum just paid the milkman and breadman.

    It is a difficult time for you. It is the illness talking.

    All the best

  6. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    East Midlands

    Hello Susan,

    Another long suffering (wife this time)..who is totally fed up with money conversation....

    Clive says..
    That is my husband..he has shares..our days are spent looking at the stock market on Teletext..working out losses and gains..and asking me if we are ok financially...
    If we go out for lunch he is suspicious about who has paid..
    If I take my mum shopping he asks if she pays for her own shopping..
    And every Saturday..(he forgets a lot these days..but not Saturday lottery..) he insists on checking the lottery numbers in case we've won.
    His wallet is regularly inspected.

    I have become a perfect liar..:rolleyes:

    Everything to do with our finances is wonderful......:)

    To conclude, money obsession is normal by AD standards...but tough on the carers...

    Sorry Susan..no easy answers..but lots of support here on TP..:)

    Love gigi xx
  7. Chrissyan

    Chrissyan Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    N E England
    It strikes me there are two things most dementia suffers have in common. Personal hygiene & obsessions with money. :rolleyes:

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