SelfishSiblings Asked December 2010

Dad has dementia and is angry and crazy. He pays the bills, but he is spending money like a madman. They'll be broke soon! How can I stop him?

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Can't invoke POA cause he would flip and I would worry about my mother's safety that he would take it out on her.

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EXPERT Carol Bradley Bursack Dec 2010
It sounds to me as if you need a third pary to intervene. Family members will only make him mad. Does he have an old friend he'll listen to? Or a clergy person? You may need to talk with an elder law attorney about this. It sounds serious.

Good luck,
Carol
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ChristinaW Dec 2010
Wow-sometimes you just have to Take Charge. He'll be "mad at you"? Kids do that, too, when you discipline them, but everyone survives. Bring your Mother to your house and get him in for an evaluation. Remember: HE'S SCARED. LOVE HIM.
Good luck.
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pastorkarla Dec 2010
I would call the local adult protective services (I believe they can keep your identity anonymous) on behalf of my mom if I were in your shoes. She needs protected from financial ruin as well as from any physical or mental abuse that might occur (or might be already behind the scenes.)
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I gather not much has changed since the question you posted back on November the 9th about your parent's trust fund. I wonder just how completely you understand what I assume is both Durable and Medical POA's for your dad, and I hope for your mother. It took me some time to really get it and to absorb the fact that hey, I'm authorized to do this for my mother because she is not competent and she entrusted me to take charge in such a time like this, so I did.

First of all, you must deal with your out of control spend, spend, crazy dad by putting all bills on auto draft from the bank. Every Bank and or investment group must have a copy of that POA. It's your badge of authority for getting this stuff done! His doctor(s) must have a copy of his medical POA which opens the door for them to really discuss his health issues with you. It's your badge of authority to get past the HIPPA privacy laws. When it comes right down to it, when you act and speak as his POA in his behalf, legally speaking, it is as if he were speaking or doing it himself. So, today, take that authority and use it for both his sake, your mom's safety, their financial security, and for your well being. Today!!!!

Second, get your dad evaluated by his doctor to determine if he is or is not competent to handle his affairs in a business like manner and for the doctor to put that in writing on his letter head and or even notarized.

Third, if invoking your Durable POA risks flipping your dad out to the point that he becomes a danger to your mother, then call 911 for he is totally out of it.

Fourth, get yourself into therapy to help with some internal strength.

Fifth, tell yourself that when he was of a more sound mind, your dad entrusted you with this POA so take the authority given and dang blast it, use it because he gave it to you for such a time as this. You dad and your mom, need you as their surviving offspring to be their strong, authorized adult daughter and not their frightened little girl who might make daddy mad. If not, he and your mom will be mad when you've let him spend all of the money because of not using your POA which means that was wasted money too.

. I'm wondering between the lines if your dad has ever been abusive to you or have you witnessed him being abusive to your mother?

You have survived much already and you can survive this too, but not by fearfully burying your head in the sand. I wish you the best in dealing with this
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This is one of the great weaknesses of laws concerning the elderly, elder abuse of a dependent spouse which then treats them as fully functioning adults so demands the victim point the finger at the abuser. We need laws where the adult child can point the finger. Elderly people have the same dependent problem with care takers who abuse them or steal from them. Yet, the law also expects them to say 'you are the person.' That is not right either. We don't expect this from victims of child abuse,but we sure expect it of elderly people in a dependent child like state who are abused. Absurd!!!!!!!
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risperidone is an antipsychotic and those drugs don't always do right in a person with dementia. I"m not a therapist or a psychiatrist, but he sounds like he's needed a mood stabilizer and an anti-depressent all of his life because it sounds to me like he has a pre dementia diagnosis of no impulse control and widely polarizing mood swings. I'd google risperidone with dementia and see what you discover. Your dad really needs a medical follow up for I don't think it's he's not taking it per say, the medicine just might not be working which is what it sounds like.
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I am the wife of a dementia patient very much like your dad. I tried, too long, to keep him under control byintercepting catalogues, sending back ridiculous purchases (4 sets of night vision binoculars...what was that about!), but still giving in to his demands and whims much too much, because I was fearful. I never admitted that fear even to my children, until the night he began stabbing my arm with his car key because he was angry that I said he couldn't drive. If you are afraid he will hurt your mother, he probably will, one day. I am now spending all our money to keep him in an assisted living facility. I never thought I would end up[ with so little money, but it is worth it.
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clwinegar - Thanks for your message. I do love him. in fact, I'm the only one that does. He's been verbally abusive to my mother for 57 years and now with the dementia, it's just elevated. He swears and threatens to divorce her. He doesn't know what the heck he's talking about. We don't have the money for assisted living but that's where he should be. He's been evluated over and over again. He's not bad enough yet to be in a nursing home.My mother will not say she is afraid of him so I don't know what to do. I know he's scared. He's scared because his body is totally deteriorating and his mind is next and he knows it. But he has this new sense of entitlement, where he screams, "I want respect! I'm in charge, not you!" If you disagree with him in anyway AT ALL, he screams that at you. Along with other nasty notations. I already have taken Mom in during a time he went ballistic. When we brought her back 4 days later, he was worse. He can't live on his own.
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Pastorkarla - Thank you for the guidance. See my last post. Mental abuse of Mom already deeply entrenched. Mom has POA for Dad. it's one day at a time right now. I think he should be in a home somewhere. He is totally incontinent, can't dress himself, but still bathes on his own and pays the bills and orders from every catalog that comes to their place. They have about a 1.5 years left, then they'll be on welfare. When I tell him this, he just screams at me. "Don't tell me what to do with my money!!" He also gives money to charities (which is nice), but I've told them their favorite charity should be themselves!! Mom won't make a move to change up things or take the checkbook cause she's never been able to make a decision for herself. He's always been in control.
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Hi all - And thanks so much for writing in. I really appreciate it. The Police have already come to the house once. He was verbally ranting and raving and out of control. Mom WOULD NOT tell the police that she was afraid of him so there was nothing they could do. They left. I can't tell you how hard I cried that day. I felt so all alone. No one would help me. The next day I demanded an office visit to his primary doctor and told him the story. He put dad in the hositpal for an evaluation and on risperidone but i don't think he is taking it cause it usually makes him sluggish and now he's all wound up again.
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