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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I noticed, as a result of my son learning how to count money, that there is play money that looks EXACTLY like real money except that it is half the size. You can try giving him a few $5 bills or $1 bills of this "funny money", and perhaps he will not notice that it is the wrong size. (but really try it, don't assume that he will notice and reject it). You can find this faux cash at those stores that sell supplies to teachers - or perhaps a big toy store.
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Officially it was my sister who made the arrangements. My sister checked with her lawyer and yes, in North Dakota, unless she has a guardian, legally she can check herself out of the nursing home. However, that is all over tommorow, either my sister or an outside third party will have guardianship. She is not very happy about it, but she has agreed to having a guardianship, we'll see what happens tommorow if she changes her mind overnight. Taking it out on me now for telling on some of the unsafe things that were going on when we were in the apartment together, all the times she fell and the times she got on the phone and tried to order expensive stuff, even gave out her checking account number. Took me forever to get that straightened out with the bank and get the charges removed and get the checking account number changed. Hopefully we will all be on speaking terms over the Holidays without any major problems. She has given up and trying to get her things back that are stored in my sister's garage, realizing that she is stuck in the nursing home.
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Who put your mother in?

If you put her in, then she can't check herself out.

Does the staff know about your mother's plan to check herself out and do they know your position on this?

I don't remember if you said that you have POA or not.
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She has always been strong-willed. She was very sick when she was a small child, her family was poor during the depression, and she felt that she had to pull herself up out of that and she went on to get two master's degrees, the only member of her family to go to college. She says she pulled herself up out of that, and now she wants to pull herself up out of the nursing home and live on her own again, even though she has failed that several times before and I had to go take care of her full-time for five years to bail her out of the nursing home. This time I cannot do it, she is not being careful, she falls a lot and I cannot pick her up off the floor with my own age-related problems, hard to believe I will be 60 next years and I wonder where the last ten years of my life went, first to help take care of my sister's kids and then take care of mom. She has deceived a lot of people in the nursing home into thinking she doesn't need help, tries to put on an act by dressing up and putting on makeup, doesn't ring her bell when she really needs help, etc. Then complains that her roomate isn't high class enough for her and is upset at the lack of privacy. Yes, I have checked around and there are no such things as private nursing home rooms in this town, they are all full up and doubled up, and I do not have the money to pay for a private room for her.
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lmw124, I am sorry your mom feels so determined to get away from the nursing home. This must be a huge worry for you. Has she always been strong-willed or is this agitation and determination something new?
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I would have no problem with that, just so it is no more than $5 because she is threatening to order a cab and check herself out of the nursing home. In my case she would use extra money to try to get away from the nursing home or go somewhere without an escort.
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If the business card idea works, hooray. However, I do think that everyone wants a little something in their pocket - a little jingle in their jeans. What do you think your father would do with a few dollars and some coins? Would it be a big problem?
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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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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.
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