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Mother has dementia, should I feel guilty for not giving her money?

My husband, myself, and my son live with my 88 year old mother who has dementia. I used to give her money every month but now that she misplaces things, I stopped giving her money and started paying her bills from her bank account via my smartphone and I buy the groceries and pay for any house maintenance. Since she receives state benefits, the state needs to see that she pays the bills so they won't deny her benefits if she's keeping all of her money. She calls me a thief and says my husband is a millionaire. I wish so I don't have to go to work. I am so frustrated and blow my top easily with her. Should I feel guilty for denying her money and ATM card? Am I stealing from her? I feel she'll be giving me a heart attack. She can't remember where she places other things either.

Status: Open    Sep 07, 2016 - 01:23 PM

Caregiving, Dementia

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Sep 15, 2016 - 05:52 AM

No, you shouldn't feel guilty. You may want to put her money in an Irrevocable Trust as it can help with taxes and benefits. Then, you can show her statements occasionally and walk her through "her money." Separately, I found that when I gave my father with dementia a wallet with twenty dollars in it - it was all he needed. I've seen women that have a purse with a little cash in it with a change purse feel "more in charge" of their life, even though they never spend it.
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By alfred.satchell on Sep 15, 2016 - 09:26 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

My dad lives in a flat and thinks all but me is stealing from him. He has any utiluty bills paid by direct debit. So when he gets a statement he sees this. I pay for his shopping and he has a little old tobacco tin that I keep topped up with about £20 in small notes and a handful of change for newspapers. Its stressfull enough so i can not be bothered to deal with messing about with petty small receipts. Every 2_3 weeks i ask for a cheque for £100 and write it out for him to sign.that way he feels a bit more in control.
But he hides loads of things, tea coffee sweeter toilet rolls and I spend about half an hour every visit trying to find anything. Patience is a virtue but I am not living with him as you are. I wish you all the best and your mum.

By usheroes on Sep 25, 2016 - 09:16 AM | Like (1)  |  Report

I opened an account in my dad's name with my name on it. I am his POA, therefore have the right to make his decisions. I am currently trying to get some assistance and his account s I have it is acceptable. Simply put her name on it. When my dad questions it, I pull up his account online, and make a copy for him to see. Also I show him the checks with both our names on it. It seems to relieve his mind and social services accepts it. I hope this helped.

By gloriaaliciamunoz on Sep 25, 2016 - 11:41 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

I am also the POA. I started writing down and keeping the receipts of what I buy for her. She wants to have handy every cent of her social security check. She demands for me to pay her home insurance, life insurance and credit card which only equals to $140 a month just on those 3 items itself. To her she wants to be free of anything. When I show her the bank account online to see where it's been spent she starts telling me off and demands for my husband to stop helping his mother with any medical help so he can give her the money. My mother should be happy that she receives Medicare and Medicaid and gets all medical for free plus free medication.

By gharrison_1 on Oct 16, 2016 - 08:31 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

I am so familiar with all these situations. Try to remember it's the disease talking not the person.

By usheroes on Oct 16, 2016 - 09:14 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

gharrison_1 is so right. As the dementia progresses, she will probably demand something different each time. Therefore, you do what you feel is best, and try to divert her attention to something else. Short-term memory is good on that front. However, I understand as my dad gets his mind on something and beats it like a dead horse. For us, it's finding his keys (to a truck he can no longer drive). But his mind does not think rationally, so I just help him find them and don't argue the fact that he can no longer drive, because he will then get depressed. Your mother is losing her independence as well, and I try to put myself in his place to help me understand. Being compassionate and moving the subject on is the best thing, if it can be done.
As for your mother, you do what's best, use a doctor or some other person in authority as your back up for what you do if you can. It's probably the paranoia talking when she speaks of your husband, as my understanding is that dementia patients usually choose one person to take everything out on. Just keep on trucking, and each month, year etc... will bring something new, Try to love her and spend quality time as much as you can. It's the hardest thing I have ever gone through and I feel for you.

By roneluys.durbanville on Feb 14, 2017 - 02:41 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

All of the above comments just hit home and I relate to most of them. We can only love our parents who have Alzheimers or Dementia. My dad had both. a R10 note (South Africa) in a hospital drawer made the difference between my dad staying willingly in hospital or getting out of bed (which he could not manage at that stage any more).
My dad had many music instruments and although he was in the final stages of Dementia he was worried that somebody could steal it. For some or other reason he understood once it was in my house behind burglar bars and an alarm that it was safe. He never asked again.
The other thing was shoes. Although in hospital he wanted to see his shoes - the slippers were not enough. So we kept it in the cabinet next to his hospital bed and showed it to him when he asked. He died 3/11/16.

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Sep 07, 2016 - 09:22 PM

Oh my God! You sound like you've taken the words right out of my mouth. You are not alone. I want to give up and let my siblings take over. I blow my top with them more than I do my Mother, but I am there with you. I feel tore up and angry most of the time. I been sick more this past year than I have been in the last 20 years of my life. I can surely see why they say the caregiver sometimes dies before the one needing care. The stress is astronomical. You are doing your best and don't feel bad about the money. Depending on how far her dementia has advanced, you could try giving her a few ones and see if that works, or I have seen elderly given fake money and that helps. Just something to think about. Hang in there.
Prayers to you, your family, and your Mom.

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By gloriaaliciamunoz on Sep 08, 2016 - 07:29 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

thank you. I need all the prayers I can get. prayers also for all dementia/alzheimers patients and their caregivers. fake money is a good idea. I need to try that.

By womanrising on Sep 09, 2016 - 11:55 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

I am going through the same thing with my 90 year old mother. Last year her dementia started to kick in and boy did it start to advance. She was going shopping all the time for the same thing she had at home. It go to the point where there was no money to pay her bills. Of course there was also the vultures taking advantage of her memory loss. When she lost her card, we put a stop on it and never got it replaced. It was hard telling a woman who raised 7 kids on her own that she could no longer handle her own money. It really hurt with the thought alone.. But after talking to my siblings, I felt a lot better with having to do it. You should not feel guilty at all. You are doing what is in her best interest. I pray things get easier.

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