dealing with sulks.

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My father has been in a nursing home for 5 weeks. He has early dementia. He keeps asking for money in case he needs to buy something. He gets angry when I won't leave him money. What is the best way to handle this?


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My dad had the same problem and the frustration is awful. I kept telling him everything was put on his "tab." But he keep wanting to tip after meals and pay people.

I tried using expired credit cards, but that didn't work for very long. I did give him a little cash but that didn't work. Over time, what I found worked best was that I made him business cards. I told him to leave his card when he was done eating, or give people his card, if he wanted to tip them. It took time, but it finally helped. The staff just hung an envelope in the nurses room and they gave me back cards to reuse : )

When we think of this, it's natural. They are generous, honest people and they want to pay as they always have. They don't realized everything is paid for. It's about independence, as well. You don't like to be without money, and either do I.

Hang in. It will get better. But you may want to consider the card idea. It doesn't cost a lot to get a package and do them on the computer (or have them done up).

Give him some money. Let him keep it in his pocket. Ask to see it everytime you visit him. Everyone deserves respect.
Many hursing homes will keep a little money put a way for haircuts stc. in their office for this purpose and medicade pt.s use to get 50 dollars each month they could have their families bring them in treats also we use to have a supper once a week for my MIL from Mc Donalds which she enjoyed I think maybe a few dollars left with them might be helpful since it means so much to their feelings of contentment they will probably give it to their favorite aides but so what it makes them feel better in the short run.
Hi-I had a similar problem, and what I did was to have money in an account at the nursing home, and checked on it periodically. Perhaps you can do the same, if they offer such a service. You might also see if you can have the facility set up an account-for some incidentals that he may need, and just send you a bill. Good luck!
You could explain it's like being on a cruise, all expenses included. Perhaps make the business cards look more like money. And if you take him out for an outting, give him $25 and really go shopping for what he wants, magazines, paying for meal out, buying treats for the caregivers, etc.

Others might be persuaded that good looking poker chips would work for inhouse money. Because I'm a graphic artist, I could make up special money for her use should this come up. Actually, the nursing home itself could print up its own patient currency, rubber stamp patient's name, give them a weekly allowance with special holiday bonus days, maybe have a fake store. Why not create a fantasy reality?
I met a doctor once who was a practicing psychologist from Miami, FL. he also worked with the Hearing Impaired. He was adamant about truth-telling no matter what. It was a matter of respect for both the teller and the listener. He spoke to a rather large audience, and gave many examples of the absolute MUST of truth telling. His audience was up in arms against him, saying things like "don't we want to protect them"? "Don't we want to prevent them from being hurt"? etc. I sat there amazed at his insistency on truth telling. Over the years, I have thought about this man, a Dr. Mueller, I think, and have come to realize that he was absolutely correct. No lies, no white lies, no half-truths, no cajoling, no game-playing. At the risk of losing, let us be brutally honest. In the next segment, I'll tell you WHY this is necessary.\
p.s. I can HONESTLY say, ever since this experience, I have never told a lie. That's right, never,...not even a smigin of a lie.
The rewards are tremendous.
Alz: I can't get over your disingenuous behavior.
Are you kidding me? "disingenuous"? There's a whole field of Alzheimer's care where you ride along on the patient's fantasies. I've created a whole alternative reality here at the house with "meaning" invested in pets (to replace my sisters who have forsaken her). The next door neighbors offer a really valuable family experience, like where they really read storybooks to their children and play games together. I'll re-envelope greeting cards if I have to (as she'd forget receiving them in the first place). I send her greeting cards from the cats and the backyard squirrels; I put a one cent stamp on the evp and bring the card in with the rest of the mail. A little imagination, and she can be "loved" by SOMEthing. She carries these cards around with her.
My step-dad is 85 and lives alone at home. I've noticed that the older he gets the more he wants to make sure he has some money in his room so if he needs something, it is there. He doesn't need it nor hardly ever uses the cash in his billfold, but it gives him a sense of security to have it. My, can he get fussy when he wants to have some money in his hands and another beer does not help! I think the main reason he refuses to consider a nursing home is that he will have to give up drinking beer.

My mother is 78 and has been in a nursing home since April. Sometimes she will ask about paying bills or her pocketbook and sometimes she brings up the several years of back taxes she and my step dad are behind on. If her question is about paying bills, I will tell her not to worry for I'm taking care of that now or if it's about her pocket book, that I have it in my private office, or if it's about the 4 year's of past due taxes, I tell her that the CPA is working on these things and give her the most recent update. My mother is always ok with these responses.
This is a big issue with my mom, claims she has always managed her finances well, but has a tendency to try to order cabs to places out of town that would cost hundreds of dollars, or order a cab to take her across town and not have enough cash to get back home in the cab. In the nursing home she has only $5.00 in her purse, that is the minimum cab fare so she won't be going anywhere with that, and I have possession of the charge cards. Right off the bat when she entered the nursing home the manager told me that they ask that the patients not have large amounts of money or credit cards in their possession, so I have possession of the credit cards now hidden in my dresser drawer. When I was taking care of her she had a tendency to order stuff over the phone while watching TV ads, then I would wonder what arrived in the mail. I had to take control of the credit card charging and I had to be on the ball whenever she made phone calls and stop her and I explained to her that we had to pay off what we already had before she could order more. A lot of arguments ensured. However, now she has so much trouble hearing over the phone that she has lost interest in telephoning, she would get into arguments with the customer service reps because she couldnt' hear and understand them. One trick I used was to not have her call and register new cards when they arrived.

At the present time mom is threatening to just walk out of the nursing home she wants out so bad. We have a guardianship hearing Friday for a third party guardian, otherwise she could legally walk right out of the nursing home. She is also threatening to take cabs to go shopping, insists on wanting to go with me to the women's club meetings and social gatherings that I go to. She says now that if she had more than $5 she would order a cab on her own to get there with no escort. She was used to having to tag along with me before she was in the nursing home, but I can't have her shadowing me everywhere, I have to have my own life too. And no, she says she has no possibility of a social life in the nursing home and will not go to the activities.

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