1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

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The carers taken all of my money

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by James60, Jun 13, 2015.

  1. James60

    James60 Registered User

    Jun 13, 2015
    2
    London
    #1 James60, Jun 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
    Hi there everyone.
    I am one of 4 brothers (all in our 50's) who are caring for our 89 year old mother who has been diagnosed with Alzheimers and Vascular dementia. Over the last month things have been getting progressively worse and we are now seriously considering the option of a care home.

    First a little background. My mother was involved in nursing all her working life and money was always tight so she was careful with it. Another point worthy of note was that she read the Daily Mail.
    The information above has now become entwined in obsessive behaviour which exhibits as follows.

    We would receive calls from her saying her tablets weren't right. When went round to check she would have them all out of the blister packs all over the kitchen table. I put this down to the nurse in her telling her medication needs to be checked and rechecked and must be correct without fail.
    This was easy to sort with an automatic pill dispenser which we top up every week.

    Money has now become the big issue. One of my brothers has Power of Attorney and we have removed her bank card and cheque book so we know everything is safe. However, she is convinced she has given her carer her account details and the carer is taking money from her account. No matter how hard we try to convince her, she's having none of it. Even if we get somewhere with that she just switches to saying the carer has taken all of our money instead.
    There seems no way to shift this obsession. It causes her to panic, she is not sleeping and tearfully calls us at any time of the day or night demanding that we call the bank.
    We are reasonably lucky because 2 of my brothers live within 10 minutes of her, I am 30 minutes away and our other brother is an hour away but this does put undue pressure on the two that live closest who end up going to attempt to calm her down.

    Her obsession with money has affected her health to the extent that we are now concerned for her well-being at home.

    And so to my questions:
    Do these kind of obsessions tail off at all and what is the best way to deal with them.

    Every time we mention care homes she panics and says the only way she will leave her home is in a box. Is this normal and what's the best way to convince her that being in the house alone 24 hours a day is not helping the situation.

    Regards,
    James
     
  2. Sad Misty

    Sad Misty Registered User

    Jun 8, 2015
    31
    #2 Sad Misty, Jun 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
    Sounds to me like a similar problem i recently had with my mum only it was me that stole from her (in her mind ) , what im told by the dementia nurse is that this obsession will usely fade of in some time and the best thing to do is gently try to back of and not talk about it with her ,and delicately try to redirect her attention to something she is fond of instead . In my case im currently in charge of grocery shopping fore her but as she dont have enough money to get al she whonts as her " goodman" (a man appointed by a court to be in charge of her financial things ) and as of this im soon to be released from this duty and some other ones out of my own will to prevent further risk of frictions between me and mum.

    Try to not take this up at the moment James as its clear it only upsets her, and in al quietness move on with sed redirection and then when its time you and you're brothers just have to try to swallow if she protest and cry etc.... (believe me i know and understand it rips your heart apart as i also sadly within a not to long future am forced to take the same step with mum when the new arrangements we decided on yesterday isent working no more, but i have to also see it from her safety point of view that this will be the best thing fore her when this is being implemented :( what im trying to day is no need to ad to her her stress by talking to her about al this things as it will only make things even worse fore her in the state she is (i got the same advice from my dementia nurse as well actually )

    I do wish you and you're brothers al the luck in the future James and i so wish this wasent happening to you're mum or indeed anyone's loved one :(
     
  3. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,282
    SW London
    Hello James,
    These obsessions can be terribly hard to deal with - it's often the case that no amount of persuasion or even cast iron proof, to be honest, will convince the person that it's all in their poor head. The only thing is, they do usually pass eventually, only it can seem like forever at the time.

    When my mother had a similar obsession and nothing I said could convince her, I ended by telling her over and over that I had told the police/a solicitor, and they were on to it, so not to worry. This would satisfy her for the moment, but her 'thing' was over a sister she never saw any more, who she was convinced had 'stolen' their mother's house. It would be a lot harder with a carer who's there a lot. Even if you changed the carer she might well transfer her obsession to the new one, but might it be worth a try?

    As for persuading her into a care home, I am afraid to say that it's often the case that the worse dementia gets, the less likely the person is to understand or recognise that they now need 24/7 care. Many of us here have been in this situation, where the person is never going to agree to go. We have had to be 'creative', and say it's just for a holiday, or 'just until the doctor thinks you're a bit better/stronger', or 'just while we have work done to the house' or basically anything else that might work. If the person's short term memory is already very bad they are unlikely to remember that you said the same before, and people do often forget the home they have recently left quite quickly.

    Not sure whether any of this has been any help - I hope others will be along with better ideas. Good luck.
     
  4. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,489
    Female
    Near Southampton
    What on earth has the Daily Mail to do with it?! :eek:
     
  5. mrjelly

    mrjelly Registered User

    Jul 23, 2012
    317
    West Sussex
    Probably their scare stories about criminal carers make James's mum even more paranoid than she otherwise would be.

    General Health Tip: Don't read the Daily Mail! :rolleyes:
     
  6. James60

    James60 Registered User

    Jun 13, 2015
    2
    London
    Thanks for the comments. It's good to know these obsessions can pass. We'll just have to hope they do before our house gets stolen as well.
    She was always a keen gardener so as long as the weather is okay a walk in the garden seems to be the best way to distract her at the moment.

    And mrjelly, you're spot on. She locks herself in the house because she is afraid of the hoards of burglars and pickpockets that have come to our country from eastern Europe to live off benefits and steal our jobs.
    Funny thing is that she was an economic migrant who came to England from Ireland after the second world war to be a nurse.
     
  7. SarahL

    SarahL Registered User

    Dec 1, 2012
    229
    Hello James,

    I spent so many times over the years trying to explain my Mum's fixations rationally to her. In retrospect I realise I should have entered into her reality more which I believe is a much better approach. For example, you could perhaps agree that the money was taken but that is has been returned now, or whatever the fixation of the moment is. I do this with my Mum now and it definitely lessens anxiety for both her and myself. I think it is so good that all your brothers are working together in this and supporting each other. All the best, Sarah
     
  8. SarahL

    SarahL Registered User

    Dec 1, 2012
    229
    PS You may wish to have her medications reviewed too.
     
  9. Gigglemore

    Gigglemore Registered User

    Oct 18, 2013
    526
    British Isles
    If you feel she is alone in the house too much, perhaps you and your brothers could investigate whether there are any day centres that she could attend so that she has some company and distraction.
     
  10. Rageddy Anne

    Rageddy Anne Registered User

    Feb 21, 2013
    5,990
    Cotswolds
    I have to ration the TV news now because of all the distressing things that become interwoven into our lives...we've been in a war zone, suffered an earthquake and are subject to criminals and sneak thieves creeping round our house looking for a way in. We used to have all the doors open in summer, but now every one must be locked, and the keys in my husband's pockets.
     
  11. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,282
    SW London
    I trust you've got spares!! My mother became fixated on locking her French windows and hid the keys so effectively that we never found them, even when clearing her house a couple of years later - maybe she actually threw them out to be on the safe side. I had to get the lock changed - and made sure I kept both spares myself.
     
  12. chrisdee

    chrisdee Registered User

    Nov 23, 2014
    171
    Yorkshire
    Hello James,
    First of all I think its brilliant that the four of you are involved in her care. As others have said, this obsession will pass, though we all understand that its very upsetting at the time. I wanted to comment on getting Mum into a home, as that was the issue for me with Mum for a very long time. Good that you all agree on what can be a real sticking point. Do whatever you have to that will work, and I know this is hard if you are a truthful family. No one will ever vote for a care home that I have heard of as the agenda seems to try to convince that the person is ok! I had to involve the local mental health service, a cpn came with me and I could have not got mum into care on my own.
    All the best to the four of you.
     
  13. Sooty2

    Sooty2 Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    30
    Hi James,
    We have had exactly the same thing with my MIL, she is also a daily mail reader everything in there she swears is the truth! Following my father in laws death she was left very comfortable, but my husband has power of attorney as she forgets to pay her bills, we also deal with all of her medication, we are now getting daily phone calls, we apparently have stolen her dishwasher, a hand steamer and a smaller steamer, we have been using her money to fund our holidays, the list is endless, she is very aggressive at times, the carer caught her making a list the other day of all the things we have taken and borrowed, we find it draining and I know just how demanding it can become, we deflect the comment and distract her she gets angry, we agree she gets angry, we cant win either way, its hard work, we were advised by the memory clinic it would either pass or get worse, up to now its worse so we are keeping our fingers crossed!
     

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