A warning about losing wallets/purses; Dad (89) was in the hospital and lost his wallet.
Short version: Dad (89) was in the hospital and asked for his wallet (he's always looking through it). Mom gave it to him because that's the kind of marriage they have. He dropped it in the sheets and forgot about it. So did Mom. It's gone. Every bit of ID he had--including his Social Security Card and Medicare card! It was a nightmare cancelling credit cards because he didn't know what credit cards he had. He also had two department store credit/debit cards and a gas card. We finally got the cards under control (we think!). Had to go through piles and piles of old paperwork to see if we could locate bills from credit card companies. They resisted having my husband (their son) be a Power of Attorney because "we're in great health, we'll do it later." Now that they are suddenly "old" (not driving and moving to assisted living), they want him to be a POA. Turns out you can't sign a POA without a photo ID! Dad can't get a photo ID from the state unless he has a social security card. You can't get a new SS card unless you have a photo ID. Irony of ironies! His passport is invalid/expired, so that doesn't count. So, my advice to caregivers is this: 1. Get a front and back copy of every single credit card in your loved ones wallet. You can't cancel cards for them if you don't know what they are or who to call. 2. Make them leave their SS card at home--use Identity theft as a reason. 3. Become a POA before they get "Old". Show them this thread as a cautionary tale if needs be. 4. If the person you are caring for goes in the hospital, take their wallet home with you. Even if there is a spouse (like in our case) who will be certain they can keep track of it.