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.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

Warning Message about Money

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by pebble, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. pebble

    pebble Registered User

    Apr 18, 2008
    57
    The Borders, Scotland
    I am a bit shocked at the recent turn of events with mum and money matters and thought I would "warn" others who like me may be thinking of opening a joint a/c with an AZ sufferer with the best of intentions to assist with bill paying. In Nov Mum was in a right state - lost 3 cheque books, 2 purses with bank cards and shouting that her grandson had stolen £500 in cash. I went up (200 miles alas) calmed things a bit and even found the £500 stuffed in a cupboard (alhough she still says he has it!). Mum has always trusted me 100% so I suggested putting my name on her Bank Account so I could deal with the bills as she just isn't able to write cheques now. Most bills are on direct debit anyway and all went okay until last week when I got a phone call from the Bank to say that Mum had instigated a fraud enquiry on her Bank account saying that evil daughter (me) had misappropriated lots of money from her account. I was very shaken and can not describe how frightening and grubby this felt. The Bank took her concerns at face value as they have to but eventually realised she was having difficulty taking in what was being said and the implications of involving the police. I went up to visit and called at the Bank and showed them photocopies of the 5 grocery and 6 milk bill cheques I had written. The worst thing is that mum doesn't even remember what happened at the Bank now and I didn't want to spoil my visit by raising the matter (how ridiculous is this?). The visit did sour a bit at the end as we went to the Bank and she took out £100 for going out with her grandson but by the time I was leaving next day she had hidden the cash away and is now maligning me on the phone for having taken it!! I would never ever have thought that my Mum would turn so badly about money and that it would feel so dirty being accused. Anyway my advise to anyone nursing a joint account arrangement is to keep full records and be ready to brace for impact at some stage. Unfortunately I don't have power of attorney and mum's doctors say that it will have to be the guardianship route through the courts. I can't face this just now but am concerned that the current situation is a little unsafe. My concern is that she will just close the account, walk out of the bank with a substantial amount of cash and loose it. The places she stuffs keys are unbelievable - the inner cardboard tube of a roll of greaseproof paper - what hope have we of finding things. It is exasperation and distressing to see.
    Okay, Pebbles signing out.
     
  2. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Thank you for that warning, Pebble.

    Lot's of people with dementia become very insecure about money, hide it, then accuse members of the family of stealing it. But you must have felt terrible to have to go to the bank and explain.

    An awful warning for antone thinking of having a joint account with a parent with dementia -- though it can happen with a spouse too!

    I hope you can bring yourself to go for guardianship, for your own security.
     
  3. andrear

    andrear Registered User

    Feb 13, 2008
    402
    Yorkshire
    How very sad that is for you Pebble.
    Dad does hide his money and I've found it in places where I just wouldn't have ever thought to look before. He used to carry a lot of money with him wherever he went, but now we've got that down to carrying only a small amount. But the amount of times he's lost his pension money is unbelievable, but to date, there have been some very kind people who have indeed found it and handed it back.
    Love Andrea
     
  4. TLJ

    TLJ Registered User

    Jun 11, 2008
    24
    Kent
    I think we can all sympathis with your plight Pebble.
    I had a similar problem with a 92 year old friend I was caring for as her family did nothing to help her.Although I did not have a joint account with her.
    I would find her pension money stuffed in drawers, at first over £1000!
    I made sure it was all put in her savings account and continued to pay it in regularly for her and showed her the passbook although she never doubted my integrity.
    Then one day she accused me of hiding her cheque book and it snowballed till she accused me of stealing ALL her money even though I could show her the book to show where it all was.
    One day I arrived to find a police car outside and I almost through up with worry that she had reported me, but it was, it was just a routine call.
    Now I care for AZ dad. He is not trouble as far as this is concerned but i do have problem. He had a joint account with my mum who died a few weeks ago. I am now living with him and his full time carer. The account is not in just his name. he has a cash card but was not allocated a PIN cos of his AZ. I cannot access any cash from it to buy groceries etc without taking him to the supermarket to sign for it, then we get cash back. But if he became unable to get to the shop I would not be able to access the money. Iasked about Power of Attorney but it would cost over £300! Just can't do it.

    Please don't take the insults to your integrity personally. Easier said than done I know but it is very common for this to happen over money and I am sure the banks must come across this a lot.

    Best wishes to you and I hope it calms down.
     
  5. elle2

    elle2 Registered User

    Jun 7, 2008
    13
    cheshire
    #5 elle2, Jun 19, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
    oh pebble,
    what you are saying so hit home, my aunty has no idea about money at all. We basically pay for everything, she has been horribly subjected fleecing by other members of the family, Im talking thousands, people who havent seen here in years. I still am having trouble with getting her will sorted out, as the guilt envolved there is horrible.I feel like I dont want her to pay for anything, my hubby is okay about this at the moment, but I know we cant go on too long with this.We are ok with are finances, but since we changed our lifestyle its cost us way more, very hard to address..
    My aunt is worth quite a bit of money and what I and my husband have done is take photos of all the stuff she has, Im terrified other family member will sweet talk their way in and leave with "gifts"...God it a flamming minefield isnt it.
    I tell you its a relief just being able to talk to other people going through this.
    all the best elle
    eeer "!!!
     
  6. ChrisH

    ChrisH Registered User

    Apr 16, 2008
    281
    Devon, England
    I can sympathise with you Pebble, especially the 200 miles away bit as that's how far I am away from my mum (and an only child too). I do worry about her handling of money. She has a few problems with cheques (doesn't write the date, who's been paid or the amount on some counterfoils) but insists she's perfectly capable of writing cheques even when shown the evidence.

    I discovered she had a lot (for her) of money in her current account and as she tends to mumble her PIN at the checkout in the supermarket I'm worried some nasty person will overhear and grab her bag outside. She's already had her purse stolen once in the supermarket because she tends to open her bag and rumage around and then can't find anything and then leaves the bag open.

    Fortunately she trusts me completely with her money (at the moment) and I persuaded her to go to her bank with me to transfer some of the money into her deposit account. The woman behind the counter said they'd been suggesting that to her but that she'd been a bit confused. I think she's concerned she won't be able to get at it if she needs to (she's planning on having some new flooring and a walk-in shower). I asked if they could arrange for a certain amount to be transfered if her current account fell below a certain level but was told since they'd been taken over by Bank of Scotland (this is NatWest by the way) they can't do that any more. Then she said I could become mum's 'third party agent' and could have access to mum's accounts, either for info only or with the ability to access the money. Mum duly agreed, filled in the relevant forms which I took into my branch of Nat West and within a week I now have access online to mum's accounts and can keep an eye on any unusual transactions or transfer funds for her whenever she wants. I should also be getting a cheque book and a cheque card.

    Don't know if that applies to other banks but hope the info is of use to some of you. I was suprised that I didn't need power of attorney to do it either. Of course, if your mum is now accusing you of taking her money Pebble, it's unlikely she'll sign the relevant papers.

    Chris
     

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