1. amethyst

    amethyst Registered User

    Feb 24, 2007
    11
    N E Lincs, UK
    Hi
    My mum has short-term memory loss. She lives in her own home just down the street from me. The love of her life, my dad aged 61, died around 19 years ago from a dreadful stroke and every day since she wishes she had gone with him. She is very active still and can look after herself just fine. The GP says her daily routines should stay with her for a long time as they are so deeply rooted.

    Its the financial side that is the problem. Early last year she did give my husband and I Enduring Power of Attorney in case anything ever happened to her. November '06 arrived and she was in such a muddle financially. Drawing money from her bills account instead of the current account. Not understanding her bank statements or even the overdrawn letters coming to her. She was quite happy for me to keep my eye on her 2 accounts at this particular bank and was pleased to be rid of the worry. Only to view them though and she would still go and spend from them as always. But I could keep an eye on them to see that cheques and standing orders were ok.

    In December '06 she was put on Reminyl. In just 2 months the Reminyl has made a difference to her. She is more aware now and doesn't know why I need to have her bank statements or be keeping an eye on things. She says she is quite capable of doing it all herself, thank you. When I point out that she needs to keep an eye on cheque spending and show her what she is doing on her statements, she can't reason at all. She just says that any mention I make of her finances makes her feel stupid. If she herself makes a mistake with drawing money from the wrong account at the bank counter, as she doesn't like to use the cash machines, then it is the girl at the counters fault. If I question her spending then it is my fault for making her feel stupid. Giving me power of attorney was not for this, she says, it is for when she can't do things for herself!!!

    So. I'm sorry this is so long. The crux of it is that Reminyl has made her more aware of things and that is so good but it has not restored her reasoning. She also muddles things that happened a few days ago with years ago. And things that happened years ago with a few days ago. I have learned to keep my mouth shut when yesterday she tells me that she has never in her life been overdrawn, not ever, she just wouldn't. Cos if I mention that yes she has and this is why I am viewing her account then she yells at me that I make her feel stupid. So I will just keep my mouth closed.
    We see the consultant for a review of the Reminyl on Wednesday next week and I will be in the same room and I really don't know what to say to him. She says she wants to go in alone, so I say Ok. I ask her what she will tell him and she just shrugs her shoulders and says "I don't know, I can't see that there is any change". I could let her go in for the first bit and then go in myself after and try to fill him in. He is to decide whether to up the dose if there has been any positive effects.
    I don't know how far down the line she is with her dementia. They say she is borderline, if so, there is an awful long road to travel. I know that my problems are nothing compared to a lot of the posts I read on this website and my heart feels so heavy when I read what may be to come for my mum. All I can do is my best but the sheer frustration is difficult. Even her bank adviser, who knows this now and does his best. He says that as she still has control of her account then she can alter the things that we put in place as she wants. But he can then let me know and we can if necessary alter things. Such as, changing the address that her statements come to from mine to hers.
    Thank you letting me post this, sorry it is so long.

    Helen
     
  2. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Helen

    First the positives: your mum is more alert on Reminyl, and is still capable of independent living. That can only be good.

    The down side is that she now thinks she can control her own finances, and that must be a terrible worry. For you to take over completely would knock her confidence, and make her resentful.

    But you have an understanding bank manager, who will contact you if there is a problem. On those terms, I would let things continue for as long as possible. Your relationship with your mum is vitally important.

    This is a problem that I haven't had to deal with as we have joint accounts, but it must be very difficult for those caring for a parent.

    Regarding the consultation, our consultant has John in first, then comes out to talk to me, then we both go in, so that he can see how we relate. That seems to work very well. I think if he doesn't offer it, you should ask your mum's consultant for a private talk, so that you can weigh up the pros and cons of increasing the dose.

    Good luck, and let us know how you get on.

    Love,
     
  3. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    yes this stage is a hard stage with dementia AZ , as you know its not you making her feel stupid , its herself that is feeling like that .

    I am sure they do know , but don’t want to admit it that they get it wrong . so you do the best thing like you say shut up , yes they is no reasoning they do lose that part .some where along the journey well with my mother it did click in that what I was doing was right with her money , some weeks she had insight other day weeks she did not .

    Sounds like you have a good bank manger
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,865
    Kent
    Dear Helen,

    My husband doesn`t take Reminyl but he has struggled to maintain his independence, just like your mother, and controlling his own finances has been the biggest cause of discord between us.

    On Friday, when I went to the bank I asked if he needed any cash. His reply was quite cutting, `If I need money, I know how to get it. I don`t need you to go for me, like a baby.` He continues to tell me how he ran a business for years and is proud to be able to say he was never overdrawn.

    He too, is now unable to understand a bank statement, and gives me all the post, unopened, to read. We have joint accounts, but as long as he sees his name on correspondence and on our cheque books, he is satisfied. He hasn`t written a cheque for ages and I`m sure he wouldn`t be able to if he tried.

    I have an understanding bank manager who has agreed to inform me if my husband makes any inappropriate transactions.

    At this stage of your mother`s condition, I can only suggest you allow her as much leeway as possible. Are her bills paid by Direct Debit? Does she have a limit for overdrawing? Perhaps you could simplify her accounts, so there is less room for error.

    Before she sees the consultant, if she doesn`t want you to go in with her, perhaps you could write to him prior to the appointment, voicing your concerns.

    I`m sure it is very distressing for you to have to cope with your mother`s changing moods and behaviours. But try to put yourself in her position. Although I`m sure she appreciates all you do for her, I should imagine she is not yet ready to give up on managing her own life just yet. She is still trying to get by.

    This is so hard for carers. It would make life so much easier if dementia sufferers would just be able to accept their condition. If they realized they are making more trouble for themselves and their carers, by trying and getting it wrong all the time, everything could be accomplished in half the time.

    But life`s not like that. There are a lot of strong characters hit by dementia, and they are not prepared to go down without a fight.

    I do understand how difficult this is for you, but I also understand how difficult it must be for your mother.

    Take care.
     
  5. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Dear Helen .... no apologies for long posts ..... please!

    Good advice already here - just in support to let you know after I had actually registered mum's EPA with the Court of Protection she went through a very lucid and 'improved' spell - at which point I thought I had made a huge misjudgement and acted too hastily taking away her 'independence' on a financial front ...

    If we could assume a measured and steady decline it would be so much easier to make those calls and stand by them .... if we knew what drug treatments may or may not be available and appropriate now or in the future ... ....

    We can only do our best with the best we know at the time we have to make a call .... and practise smiling sweetly in the face of it all!:rolleyes:

    Love, Karen, x
     
  6. amethyst

    amethyst Registered User

    Feb 24, 2007
    11
    N E Lincs, UK
    Thank you all for your replies. Each one giving good advice and so relevant to my position.
    I will keep reading them for the next few days as they help to keep things in perspective and will let you know how we get on on Wednesday.
    Thanks again
    Love
    Helen x
     
  7. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    542
    Hi Helen

    Reading your post is so very similar to my situation with my mum. If I'm honest, I've found mum's attitude to my dealing with the financial side of things more difficult to deal with than her illness - and that sounds a bit pathetic on my part when I think of what other people on here are having to deal with day in and day out. However, it's the loss of reasoning as you said. One minute mum is fine and seems to understand - and then she goes into orbit saying 'it's her money and she can do what she wants with it/not my business to interfere/she's had a 'minor' stroke that she's recovered from, blah blah blah.' All at full volume.:eek: It's the circular nature of these conversations and her complete lack of regard to the large overdrafts she runs up - until I step in and slosh money over, that I find so wearing!

    I could, of course - do the deed with the EPA and register it, but I continue to prevaricate and will continue to do so because once I do that, it will take away any independence she has. I don't live anywhere near her and she doesn't really have anyone else who could pop in to dole out money. So it's a catch 22. She is very depressed at the moment and the only saving grace is her ability to go out and spend money ... hey ho. What do we do? As the others have said you have to do what you think best (easier said than done, I know).

    Regarding the consultant, I would hope that he/she being in the field they are in would appreciate you need to know what's going on. Again, my mum fought me going to any kind of appointments with her, but now she's quite happy about it as there's been a slow acceptance on her part that she has memory problems (except where her money is concerned, of course :rolleyes: ) Oh, I don't know, it's all very tricky isn't it?

    Just to let you know I know how you feel and stick to your guns.
     

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