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Why is my wife hiding cash?

She has mild dementia but still enjoys walking down to the bakery for a cookie or being able to pay for a few groceries so I always make sure she has $20 or so in her purse. Do I stop giving her money or should I just move the money I've found into her purse?
Status: Open    Jun 22, 2015 - 01:17 AM

Dementia, Caregiving

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Expert Answers

Nov 19, 2015 - 01:42 PM

You sound like a very caring husband who is honoring his wife’s desire to maintain some independence. You’ll likely never figure out WHY she is doing something irrational, but continue to deal with it in a dignified way by just returning the cash to your supply. It’s great that she is walking in the neighborhood for now. Monitor her closely as dementia patients can have sudden increased confusion and be unable to find their way home. Make sure she has emergency contact information on her person, and if her confusion increases, considering hiring a companion to walk with her and ensure her safety.


Jun 23, 2015 - 03:16 PM

Where is the money that you are finding? Is it in a logical place? or is it in the bathroom drawer, or the freezer?
If she is getting home and putting the reciept and the cange in the same spot and then returns to that spot to get the money when she goes out again then maybe set up a bowl or box for her to put the change into. If she is forgetting that she had money or where she put it then putting it back in her purse is a good idea. I do caution you about how much cash she has at any one time. A few dollars if she goes alone or if she is with you shopping a $20. would be fine. My husband used to have a wallet full of cash and he would hold it open at the store and I was always worried that someone would follow him if he were alone. I started removing money from his wallet so all he had were a few dollars.
Does she go to the store with you or by herself? Is she walking or driving?
You might even want to buy a dozen cookies at the bakery and then the next 12 times she comes in they would be "free" because she is a good customer. Maybe they could even give you/her a punch card for the 12 cookies.
At the grocery store if she is going by herself if there is a way you can call in your order and pay over the phone so all she is doing is picking up the groceries that would also remove any of the money issues.
Tough call to remove another part of independance from someone but there is a safety issue that needs to be considered as well.
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