We moved in with my mother-in-law to help with bills and the dogs but now she thinks we're stealing money form her. What should we do?

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Dementia is slowly increasing but she is able to do anything personal care ect. except reason about bills and dogs.

Answers 1 to 9 of 9
Move out.
It's pretty classic. Any time you are looking after anyone else's money, or executing an estate, or ANYTHING like that, keep absolutely scrupulous records so that you can account for every penny. Then you can just show them to her -- whether she understands them or not -- with a calm confident air that is based in truth, and she is likely to settle down at least for a while. If the issue is that cash is "disappearing" that she has simply forgotten she spent herself, then you have to watch HER every penny too. And if it's that cash is "disappearing" that she has misplaced, you've got to insist on a single place where it can be and refuse to hear about anything else. You may not be able to stop the paranoid accusations from happening but you can defend yourself from them and from any serious charges brought by her or anyone who believes her. You're grownups and stories are always more complicated than a quick summary suggests so I'm confident you had good reasons for moving in when you did -- but not knowing more, from the outside it seems a little odd to physically move in just for bill-paying and animal care, is there no other way to handle those and maintain a little more distance? Note that whether you're in the same house or not the same rules about money management apply.
Top Answer
I can really identify with this. My mother moved in with my daughter, and after about 9 months, moved in with me saying my daughter stole her money. I knew this wasn't true, but there was no way I could argue the point without her accusing me of thinking she was a liar. This was the onset, or very close to it, of our realizing she had dementia. I really think it started long before this, but she lived alone in Florida, so we really weren't with her on a day to day basis. She got her own apartment after this in an elderly housing compound. At first it wasn't obvious, but I soon realized she had stopped doing her daily crossword puzzle and reading books. She was independant, so I really didn't make a point of it. Than I realized she wasn't combing her hair or washing it too often. After that, I realized she wasn't washing herself either. It was a very gradual process, but soon I was doing her laundry, keeping track of her pills, buying her groceries, paying her bills, etc. Like I said, it was all very gradual, and I really didn't realize what was going on at the time. I got people to go in and clean, arranged for home health aids to come 3 times a week, and made sure I went to her apartment every day. I was like the urine police, sniffing everywhere to see where that smell was coming from, and making sure it was cleaned up. It was a downward spiral. She was very careful in hiding just how bad things were. I could go on and on, but I just wanted you to know that's it's a process, and it doesn't get better. My mother is now in a really great permanant care facility. I had insisted on taking care of her myself in my own home, and I just couldn't keep her safe. She fell down when my husband were both here and broke 3 vertabrae. It was a very hard thing to do, but at least I know she's safe and getting excellent care, and is really fitting in there. I also have my life back. All the people on this wonderful site will know what I mean. You still feel guilty, but deep inside you know it's the right thing for everyone. Keep your eyes open for the clues I've mentioned. Sorry to go on and on, but you really hit a nerve about the money. My daughter still feels terrible, and my mother won't speak to her and still insists she stole her money.
Snooky48 is dead on! It is an awful, gradual disease that sometimes we as family actually get in denial. There are many common traits about it such as the stealing money, not bathing ect. Our loved ones can be very convincing to others who are not doing hands on.One of the worst parts is the out of the area family talking on the phone & our loved one sounding totally coherent! Very tough & trying! God Bless!
Thanks so much for your comments I had said we moved in with her but what i meant to say is she moved in with us. She really is struggling with staying with us
but i just want to help she doesn't want it I'm concerned for her safety she falls can't remenber her sons names when u tell her the names she says were crazy. One day she didn' t know Jeffs name and call him Kiff also didn't know who he was. All the things are short lived and then she'll remember again.
She insisting to move out and I don't really know what to do I have no legal recourse to keep her here and what good would it do if she doesnt want to be here. Shes a very unhappy person and is has burnt bridges with all her sons we are her last help and she doing her best to made it hard on us. I guess I have to just let her go??????? I pray we do the right and just things for her and my family.
Smils64: Oh it's your home? She moved in with you? If she's unhappy with the current living arrangements, then she should move out. I suppose you'll just have to find a living arrangement that she likes......assisted living would be my first choice.....group home my very last choice. You did not mention her age... (important). Good luck finding a place for her.
p.s. All old people fall at some time. Hint: How to prevent falling: Think about falling every time you walk, then you'll be less likely to fall. Cane and walker should be near-by at all times.
thank u we have decided to move her out to a nearby apt and send in home health care she is 78 yrs old we told her this morning that wed find her a place today if possible or asap now were no good for nothing people kicking out an elderly mother never mind what else she calls she also says she can't stand her grandson and never did like him. I know all this comes with dementia but its time to go she's not happy and we are unable to help someone who doesn't want help. very sad it had to come to this. but it is what it is. Thanks for letting me vent and all ur comments
Smils64: Glad that you found place for your mother-in-law. An apt. is suitable, I think, because she is only 78 years old. Good luck to her and especially to you.
Almost 3 years ago my 82 year old mom moved from her house to an indepedent living senior community...not completely her decision..we had to convince her to move because her house was so cluttered (hoarding) and she wasn't eating properly and we were worried that she would trip and fall because of all of the stuff and no one would know. It's far from where I live, but at that time she was more independent and wanted to stay in the area. Dementia was in very early stages, but we felt that she would be safe there with three meals a day, activities and a string to pull in her apartment if she needed help. She's been both happy and angry living there - she says she feels like she's in a prison, complains about the other residents, etc. Then she says she loves it. She was forgetting her medication and not bathing for months, just using a washcloth here and there. Now she's 84, her dementia/Alzheimers has worsened, and she really needs more supervision than is given at the independent living place which her doctor agrees. Over the past few months I've taken her to an independent/assisted living community close to where I live. It's beautiful, lots of gardens and trees, they have a great activity center, and parties for the residents. She's always enjoyed her visits there. A few weeks ago while talking with her about how much she dislikes where she is, we discussed her moving to this new facility. She was on board with it. They had one opening so I took it and mom and I have gone through all of the paperwork both there and with her doctor for the physician's report required..she was fine answering questions, to the best of her ability, and seems ok with moving. Well, she's moving the day after Thanksgiving, and this past weekend when I suggested we start to pack, she got very angry, said she wasn't moving, she loved where she is, and I couldn't force her to move. She says she'll live in a dumpster or slit her wrists instead. She said she will call the police. This constant yo-yo ing of her mind with the on-again,off-again is frustrating. Bottom line, she IS moving, they have rented out her apartment, and it's with the doctors approval that she's moving to an assisted living facility. I have POA over all of her affairs. My adult son is flying down Thanksgiving night to be there for the move on Friday.... He will try to be the "good cop" - they have a good relationship. She has a kitty and he's also a cat person...so hopefully he can distract her by taking her out to breakfast, movie, whatever, while we move her things to the new location. I'm hoping for the best, but I hope she doesn't create a scene and yell and scream and actually call the police. I hope my POA and the letters from the doctor will help if that's the case. So much drama. It's wearing me down, as I'm sure it's wearing her down. Wish me luck.

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