1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. Kingfisher1

    Kingfisher1 Registered User

    May 7, 2015
    54
    Kent
    Hello fellow carers. I am having big issues with my relative Harry who is 92 and suffering from early stage dementia. Harry is housebound now and has carers come in 4 times daily to see to his needs as he is unable to cook or take care of his personal hygiene. I have POA for his property and financial affairs and have been trying to sort out his myriad of different accounts, ISA's, Bonds and goodness knows what else which over the past few years have just been left sitting gathering dust in various accounts (most of which he's forgotten he had) This has been very frustrating as the financial institutions involved do not seem to know what the right hand is doing and I've lost count of the wasted appointments, duplicate letters, forms not sent off, wrong names passed on...oh the list is endless. Anyway, the real issue I have is that Harry is VERY suspicious of anything he now receives in the post concerning his money and is insisting that his sister (who has been dead for almost 9 years) has stolen his post office and other bank cards and is systematically emptying his accounts of his life savings. Every time he gets a bank statement through or a letter concerning his ISA's or savings accounts he goes through it with a fine toothed comb pointing out the withdrawals for things like his shopping, direct debits, things he needs ordered online etc he denies having received despite the cupboard being full of food (which he claims he went out and got himself) and his bills being paid (says he doesn't have any direct debits and always pays on receipt of bill) He then gets all agitated and says he is going to call the police and that his money is being stolen.
    I have tried to tell the banks and post office etc not to send him any statements and just to send them to me instead (I do online banking for him) and they agree, but then the next thing I know he's ringing me up saying he's just had a letter telling him his ISA has been reinvested, and he as sure as hell didn't authorise that, and anyway what even is an ISA? I try to explain about the POA and that someone (me) has to be responsible for his finances as he can no longer manage them but he then goes off on one and says he just knows his sister is stealing from him and what am I going to do about it because if I don't do something he's going to the police!

    I'm at my wits end, it is making me ill to be honest and I wish to God I had never taken on this damn POA business because it's been nothing but a headache from day one. His carer today suggested having his mail redirected to me so that he doesn't have the letters to fixate on, so I looked online but it appears that the post office will only redirect mail if you are moving, it's very expensive, and then they will write you a letter and phone you at your old address first to confirm that you are legitimate (I'm guessing to prevent fraud) Well, I can just imagine Harry's reaction to being told he has requested that his mail be redirected! He will insist that his sister is up to no good again and deny that he ordered it, which of course he didn't! And I hate all this sneaking around and trying to do things behind his back when by rights I should just be able to say to him "Don't be so bloody stupid, Ellen has been dead for 9 years now so how can she be stealing your money?" I've tried telling him that she passed away many years ago on numerous occasions but he insists she's still alive and "fleecing" him as he puts it.

    Does anyone have any suggestions at all as to what I can do because I don't know how much longer I can cope with this to be honest. Sometimes he will call me 20 times or more a day and leave messages on my phone requesting a call back, and sometimes he rings up in the middle of the night or early hours of the morning saying the same. I'm sure if he didn't get mail he wouldn't bother because sometimes he doesn't get letters for a few weeks, he forgets all about the banks and all is peaceful - then a statement will come through and set him off again... I just don't know what to do for the best.

    So sorry for the long post, but I've just got home after spending the day with him and I'm about to blow a gasket - already I can hear the phone ringing downstairs and I just know what it's going to be because we were discussing his finances today and he was very wound up..
     
  2. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    514
    My husband recently had his Mum's mail redirected - there is a form to use if you have a power of attorney. I don't think they wrote to her address to say that the redirection had been set up, I think the only letter came to him. You can only do it for one year at a time though, and only twice.
     
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,538
    Female
    South coast
    Oh the stealing.... and the suspicion.... oh and did I mention the stealing?

    Actually there are a few things you can do.
    Firstly you can indeed redirect the mail if you have POA. Use this form
    http://www.royalmail.com/sites/defa...cumstances-Redirection-Form-30-March-2015.pdf
    I had trouble with it and I recommend that you download it, fill it in and take it with the ID the POA etc down to your local PO and do it over the counter. The only problem is that, as you say, they will send a letter to his old address. I whipped it out of mums hands and said "Oh crumbs, someones made a mistake - Ill sort it out for you mum", or is there some way of intercepting it before he sees it?

    You can also get as many of his accounts (ISAs etc) registered with the POA so that you can sort them out and they will send letters etc to you. If there are problems with him spending too much you can take the POA round to his bank and get his account changed to a POA account, but this will probably mean that he wont have access to it.
    Some banks are better than others, Im afraid. Ive also found it helps if you turn up in person as its harder to fob you off.
     
  4. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,714
    Female
    London
    If you are doing Internet banking anyway, can't you just go paperless? There ought to be an option saying that you don't want to receive paper statements anymore. Going paperless is all the rage these days.
     
  5. Kingfisher1

    Kingfisher1 Registered User

    May 7, 2015
    54
    Kent
    Oh thank you all SO much, you are lifesavers!!!! The POA form option seems much better than going through the other route, but unfortunately I have no way of intercepting any letter that goes to his address so I'm just hoping they send it to me instead.

    Beate - I did select the paperless option but for some reason only I am getting statements this way, Harry is still receiving the traditional paper one even though I've told them not to send it. I think the problem arises when, like me, a POA is added to the account. The POA can request paperless, but unless Harry himself asks for paperless he still gets a paper statement (yes I know, the mind boggles doesn't it?)

    Sadly the Post Office is the least efficient financial institution involved in this debacle, so I'm not holding out much hope of a happy ending with that one..
     
  6. Kingfisher1

    Kingfisher1 Registered User

    May 7, 2015
    54
    Kent
    Sorry, one quick last question...

    Canary - on that form you very kindly sent me the link to it says the cost is £59.99 for 12 months per different last name. Well our surnames are the same as he is my Brother-in-Law. Am I just being thick or does it mean if you have the same surname you don't have to pay?
     
  7. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,538
    Female
    South coast
    Could you take the POA to his bank and have a word with the bank manager (dont just go to the counter)? Even when I only had third party signatory on mums account I was able to get all the statements sent to my address.
     
  8. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,538
    Female
    South coast
    Nice try, but Im afraid not.
    Its if you want to redirect more than one persons mail from that address eg a married couple. If they have the same surname then you just pay the £59.99, but if they are 2 people with different surnames, or if there is one person who might gets letters under a different name (eg a woman using her maiden name as well as her married one), then you pay for each different surname.
     
  9. Kingfisher1

    Kingfisher1 Registered User

    May 7, 2015
    54
    Kent
    Thank you - I knew it was too good to be true lol!
     

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