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My mom will buy things just for the sake of making the purchase! I have POA, but she refuses to give up her credit cards or bank card. She buys things she does not need and does not use and a lot is wasted food purchases. She gets mad when I tell her she does not need these items and is wasting money. Without taking her cards away, how can I get her to stop buying everything she sees!

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Rich, the other problem is the Terms and Conditions of Service for the website state that you are not supposed to promote your own business in postings.
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Or perhaps I should have just written that it's a different line of public interaction, since it's not a business line for you.
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Rich, I checked your website, which I thought was completely oriented toward the apparent primary business of providing props for commercial activities and entertainment venues. I'm curious how you developed the "sideline" of advising nursing homes - that's quite a different business line.
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Rich in a controlled environment where the dementia resident does not have access to the outside world without being totally supervised then that sort of money is not an issue I imagine. However in the outside world where people with dementia can and do still go out (because in the early stages they can and do) then it could be really problematic. Let me give you an example of things that can happen and did with a woman who has now passed but was a friend of Mums.

She went to the ATM and had no problem at all remembering her pin. However she gave the money she got out to the nearest passer by. Now in the UK she is limited to how much she can withdraw and thankfully it was only 300 pounds (about 450 dollars)

She then went shopping but didn't have any cash and caused such a fuss because she couldn't understand who had stolen her money (the same money she gave away) that the store called the police for her. At this point no-one in the store realised she had dementia.

Can you imagine what would have happened if she had tried to use prop money in that same situation? How upset she would have been to find that she didn't have real money - if she could understand that?

So while your idea for nursing homes might be fine it isn't for the people who are still somewhat integrated with the outside world as we know it.

I absolutely understand where you are coming from but its not a route I would opt for because it could cause more problems than it solves
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Hi. I own the prop money company. I was a bit offended it was deleted. We get calls from nursing homes regularly asking what to do when family members with dementia loose money or give it away to strangers.

I have literally given the prop money away to help. I know families that have suffered through it. We havr literally given it away for free to help people.

I was trying to be helpful. If that somehow offended you, I cant imagine why.

You might not know who we are, but i am the owner and President. We are the folks who make the props for most of the shows you see on TV and in thr movie theatre.

I occassionally go on this site to help folks with dementia. If they feel like they have some degree of control over their live, abd they they have a sense of pride, yhen i know we did the right thing to help a family in need

Sincerely

Rich RJ R.
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Yeeessss!
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Anyone notice that Prop's post has been deleted?

Thank you, Admins!
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You have to be careful with regard to donations - really careful. If your LO always gave 10k to the local charity all well and good. If not then was it reasonable for you to allow it (if they have mental capacity issues that is).

I have had serious words with our local church over much smaller amount but in terms of what she usually gave was about 8 times what was the norm. We have reached an agreement. I will donate the money on her behalf when it is donation time and they will give me a receipt

In return I won't contact the police to contend that they are harassing her and demanding money from someone incapable of making that level of financial decisions.

How did I come to that conclusion. Well nothing is simple and Mum got right up on her high horse and told me she would do what she wanted and I was only after her money - I didn't tell her I could access what I wanted any time I wanted but DONT. Eventually when she calmed down we had a fun quiz - I showed her pictures of things and she had to put a price on them - she could have a sweet for every one she got right - (she could have them anyway but this made it more fun)

It was an interesting little game. Mum hadn't got a clue about money - While she knew the picture of the apartment would mean a lot of money she put £1000 on it instead of 200k

She knew a stairlift was expensive and put a value of £100 on it instead of 3-5k for the one I showed her

But when I showed her a picture of a holiday advert to USA she put a value of 20k on it

Weekly groceries? £5

A carton of milk in your money about 10 cents

A car? £100

Yet when I asked her about flowers she was spot on, when she saw chocolate spot on, when I asked her about cake again almost exact.

So don't think they actually know the values of money - test it for yourself.

We have also played another game using monopoly money funnily enough. We play shop and I give her the money and she has to give me change. Now my mum used to be a bank manager but now she cannot do that simple sum so I really do KNOW that I have to take control
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Pamzimmrt I am yet to receive

She luckily only donates to St Judes!

Darn I forgot I am Ms not St - Oh well
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Just charge those slippers to my account, would ya?
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GardenArtist, I do appreciate a lot of your advice. I do not appreciate the political stuff so much. Let's not make this board about politics, please. We're all different people of varying opinions that come here for caregiver help and advice. There are places aplenty on the web for that sort of thing as a person of your obvious intelligence already knows. Thanks for hearing me out.
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FF, that was my thinking as well - that an elder might attempt to actually buy things with fake money. An alert sales person might figure out the situation, but others might not and could cause the elder a lot of embarrassment if the police were called.

As to old clothing, seguing into that nostalgic age, I've been trying to find my old ballet slippers and tap shoes that I wore when we took dancing lessons when I was a child. I wish Mom had had a saving instinct for those; they probably mean more to me now than they did when I took the lessons.
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GardenArtist, regarding the fake money, legit to use for films, TV shows, and venues as such, but I would wonder about using it for off the street consumers.

An elder could accidentally use it to purchase something and be arrested for trying to pay with counterfeit money even though said money has changes to it that would make it play money, but how many cashiers would know that. Or send it to the grandkids who in turn would believe it was real and try to use it. I wouldn't want to put a child through something like that.
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And there are those of us who parents won't spend on anything.... dust and cobwebs are covering those wallets.

Among my Mom's clothes were clothing I had back when I was in my 20's that Mom liked and I handed them down to her, and she wore the clothing. Good grief, those clothes are almost 60 years old and still look pretty good. That was back when clothes were made to last :)
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Opps. great minds think alike..
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Would not Monopoly money do the same job?
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SendMe, I too was wondering about the legitimacy of selling fake money to clients. A family could just buy a monopoly game for a lot less.

This doesn't seem above board to me either.
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We discussed this in the Caregiver course I took. It's not an isolated incident. As parents age and become more debilitated, and lose their ability to care for their adult children as they did when we were little, they need something to substitute for that intense caregiving instinct of their own.

Hence the attraction and lure of "charities", especially veteran and animal charities. My father generally relies on me to check out the salaries of CEOs as a determination of whether or not to give, and of course they're always above $100K (except for Salvation Army). That usually stops it. The ones who make $200K and $300K don't even get a second thought.

What really irks me are all the right wing nuts trying to get money for their political activities to impeach Obama, or hassle immigrants, or whatever offensive plots they're using to deprive people of their money.

The only ones I like are those that include a SASE, which I fill with junk mail and return to them. The little paper circles that are created by 2 and 3 hole punches are also nice filler. Imagine the mess they make when someone pulls out their donation form, it spills open and little paper circles fly all over the place.

One of the catalogues that repeatedly comes to me even though I've never bought anything from them includes some, shall we say, very intimate items for intimate activities either between a male and a female or for solo use. Gross in terms of mail etiquette, but solicitors don't count. I cut out those pages and send them to the right wingers.

Another catalogue has what is jokingly describes as a "redneck plunger", a plunger with the shaft being a rifle barrel and the handle that of a rifle. I send those to the right wingers as well.

When another one of those offensive Carson solicitations comes, it's almost always with a SASE. I fill it with Democratic propaganda that I've been saving, then write all over the front and back of the envelope "Hillary in 2016! Vote Democratic! Hillary for President!"

Small way to get back at the harrassers.


What I have tried to do is rechannel the giving instinct to neighbors who help us, to MOW with its generous volunteers, and worthy recipients.
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My mother was used to a new sweet ride every 4 years... and now she lives with us, has no divers lisence and her last sweet ride is in my name for a "spare" and we drive her in it. It is 6 years old with only 10,000 miles on it ( my "new truck" has 65.ooo in 3 years due to their medical problems added to my work drive).. She keeps saying it;s time to get a new car.. Hello!!! I finally asked her if she wanted to spend 70,000 on a new car from HER money right now? Oh heck no!!! She luckily only donates to St Judes! It;s an ongoing situation .
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I know what everyone is talking about. My father used to order from the catalogs that came to the house. He would spend $1-2,000 a month. I tried canceling catalogs, tried to intercept them and throw them away, tried to talk to my parents to get him to stop. He didn't really want any of the stuff. He just liked ordering and opening the boxes. They were like presents that were set aside after he opened the box. We ended up with enough knives, coffee mugs, and fake medals to support a small army. And the trinkets with no possible use weren't even good for donating. My mother would be on my side when we talked, but she would switch over to my father's side when it actually came to doing anything. My final decision on it was that some men retire and buy RVs to travel around the country. My dad orders from catalogs. It was his money.

My mother and father are (were) hoarders. My mother would buy food. When I first got here, I took her grocery shopping. It was like being with a kid, grabbing this and that off the aisles. I would tell her we already had 10 of something and didn't need any more. She would get so mad. Shopping with her was awful. The kitchen, refrigerator, and freezer showed her buying habits. They were stacked full, with some food dating back 20 years. This was the first hoard I tackled when I got home.

My father also liked to donate money to veteran groups and the humane society. I refuse to give money to either, anymore. They showed themselves to be predatory, unfortunately. When I give to the humane society, I give directly to the local one. That way the money goes to the animals and not the fundraisers. And veteran groups -- there's so many of them now that soon we're going to have one group for every veteran. It is really sad when fundraisers use a worthy cause to raise money for themselves. We have to be careful which veteran charity to give to. Some give very little to the ones they are supposed to be helping.
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My comment was to RJR PROPS COMPANY.

Do you mean, if I give you the money that I am responsible for as rep-payee for my husband, you will replace it with 'props money', so he can spend it?
How does that work in the U.S.A. and the Federal Reserve?
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In other words, your business is selling counterfeit moneycto the elderly to hand out as real money, kind of like a money laundering scam?

Can you please explain how you can charge for this service, and even if someone's heart is in the right place, how can this be legal?
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I hope it isn't too late to add on to this. CareSimply12's comment about being able to assert independence through spending with growing age really resonated with me.

My mother's completely dependent on my father for money. She doesn't work, and has no work skills. My father's in his mid-60s, is becoming more fragile (physically), and wants to retire. However, he can't retire yet because my mother is spending all. of. his. money.

My mother has two children: me and my brother. I'm a junior in college and am financially independent, aside from my father paying my student tuition and giving me money when I see him, which I always try to slip back into his pocket. My brother is also a spending machine. He's going to college next year.

My mother used to be busy taking care of my brother and I: taking us to the doctor, to practice, to school, etc. But since we've grown up, she's had less responsibilities to fulfill. So, what does she do? Shop for groceries and useless odds and ends, and I know this is because spending money is the only independence she feels she has.

What can I do to stop her erratic spending? We've told her to stop, given her the numbers of how much she's costing us, but she won't listen. Help, please.
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I guess you should pray for all the other un aware drivers on the road, offer to drive as much as possible and I will just be grateful that is one out of many other issues, I don't have.
(Thanks to everyone - who shares their stories, it somehow makes me feel not so alone)
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Been there, done that. All the above is common. I have a mother, who insisted, she needed another car. She is very adamant about her wants. She wanted my help. I agreed to take her, to look. I told her the car was "too much car" for her. Her previous car, that she wrecked in April, was a Dodge Neon. Today, a pretty red '04 Cadillac Deville, sits in my driveway. Twice the car she had before. She didn't want my help. She was determined to buy a car. Period. But, I am tired of fighting. She has a car. Now, she needs to shut up about it. I won't be a passenger as long as she is the driver. What else can I do?
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Usually the compulsive spending is a way for parents to assert independence when they know they're getting older and losing control over other areas of their life. It's a good idea to have a discussion with them and express your worry. Discussions always go better if you don't accuse them of anything, rather try to come up with a solution together. If the problem becomes serious, you may be able to block certain websites they visit or prevent charities from calling. Even though it's their money, it can be dangerous for the whole family if the spending continues to become out of control.
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Even with POA, it is not that easy to just sit a parent down and discuss this topic. I have had the same challenge with my mom, she says it is all for christmas presents - and is only $9.99. Well I printed her statement and showed her all those charges added up to over $800 and she still didn't care. I explained her grandson's were driving around in the snow on bald tires while she threw money away on jewlery to wear when she goes out only to the doctors office. She still didn't care. Bottom line, it is her money, I have always disagreed on how wasteful in my opinion she is, but I do and will continue to as POA make sure her bill is paid off in full every month, because if I get stuck with her debt, I will care!
* I also think bottom line, she's lonely and these shopping channels are her friends. Any advice on helping a home bound senior not so quick with a computer to socialize would be great. Maybe a site like this in reverse :)
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If you have a DPOA, it should state that you have permission to handle her financial affairs. This means that you can go to or call the companies (you may have to send them a copy of the POA) and have her credit cards and debit card closed. This way she will not be able to make the wasteful purchases. Be ready for her to get really mad, but this will allow you give her so much money per week to spend on the little things she wants to purchase. She may also suffer from hoarding, which is a mental disability, and be able to help herself without counseling. Be careful, if you do this, you may wind up taking care of her bills as well.
My father is so far gone in his dementia, that this is exactly what I do. He has a debit card, but rarely uses it. I closed all of his accounts and took his cards well over a year ago, when I had him sign a DPOA. I put everything on automatic withdrawal from his checking account, charge him for room and board, as suggested by my tax adviser and give him money every now and again. He no longer drives, so in order to spend any money, we must take him or he must go with the seniors, at the senior citizen center on a day trip.
Life is much easier!
Suzanne
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MIL also goes crazy with grocery purchases. At one point, we had 12 boxes of cereal and 9 loaves of bread. 5 cans of sardines. I know that is her one enjoyment. My gripe is there is literally food everywhere. All cabinets are full. Fridge and pantry also full. She likes to leave it out on the counter tops so she can find things easier. This also drives me nuts. My only real solution is when college aged kids come home, I tell them to take what they want. We have to do this when she is sleeping, because she gets panick stricken when she sees them taking food. Anyway, the only other thing we have tried, with minimal success, is to review her list before we go to the store. Sometimes that works, sometimes not.
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If your parent has enough to pay for continued long term care or has sufficient long term care insurance, it is certainly reasonableable to spend their money as they see fit. If someone is taking advantage of your parent, stand up to them and bring it to a halt. Why not sit the paremnt down and tell them how you you feel anbd tell them you are going to take steps to stop it if you are able.
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