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I have heard it called "compassionate deception" or "fibbing" when we must avoid telling too much to people with Alzheimer's. My dad is 80, and I am managing all of his finances, taxes, etc. including filing a lawsuit against a company that took advantage of him once he became ill. He really can't do any of this, but he constantly asks me about his files. I know I am doing the right thing, but it is tough dealing with his repeated questions. He used to be the one that understood all this stuff, and now I have to lie to him about what I am doing to try to protect him. I feel really terrible for saying this, but I almost wish he would forget even more and then he might stop worrying.

You seem very understandably overwhelmed. As holder of the POA, you can resign. Usually, there is a provision about how to appoint someone else to be in charge. You can hire someone to hold the POA. Absent resigning and getting a new POA, why not get a case manager who can run interference but you still have ultimate responsibly for their affairs. You retain control, but someone else can handle the grief.
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Every day is a new day when your parents both suffer from an illness that right now, science can't solve yet.
My Mom was doing just fine with the way she had everything set for the future back in 2004.
Then the prodigal daughter returned, the one who disappointed her the most over the years.
When Mom's Alzheimer's started, my sister convinced Mom I was the terrible one and trying to take everything from her money to her house.
Ffunny thing, no one could find the Durable POA that Mom had signed back in 2004 naming me to take care of everything for her.
Enter sister who convinced her to change things. After 10 yrs living in Mom's house, she up and leaves. Then I am told I need to take care of everything now!!
I needed Mom to place her thumbprint on the copy of the Durable I had from 2004. This woman was like watching the Exorcist, I kid you not.
This began in April, now I am her guardian/conservator and she doesn't remember who I am.
I think your Mom is at this point. She is saying things to your Father and all he hears is his wife telling him what to do, can't separate the reality from what is locked in his mind.
I would just let her talk and say her piece. The only way she or dad can revoke is to have a new one prepared, who's going to take your place?
If dad has 24/7 care....beware that this could be coming from one of the caregivers.
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contact the attorney that did the poa maybe he can reason with your parents or give advice - tell the attorney your parents are uncooperative.

again sorry this is happening to you
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Hi everyone,

Well now both of my parents want to rescind the POA. My mother said I am "lording it over them", and my dad told me when he drew up the POA with his lawyer back in 2014 he thought it would be for after he dies. I am tired of the constant criticism from them. I really am starting to think I want to turn all this over to the state or whoever. I just can't let this keep affecting affect my physical and mental health. I'm a teacher and I can't wait until summer break is over and I can go to work and be away from all this. I refuse to take any calls during the day unless it my wife for emergencies.
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The fibbing is actually going ok. It seems that if I can give my dad any answer, then he just accepts it. My mom, 79, is actually a bigger problem. My dad has insurance and can afford an aid 24 hours a day, which he needs with the Alzheimer's and the fact he is confined to a wheelchair. I went to the 24 hour schedule because he fell and got hurt twice when he was by himself. She will leave him alone. She is now furious that I don't trust her to watch my dad anymore and is trying to convince him to get a lawyer and try to rescind the POA. It will never happen, but she just gets him upset. I am basically becoming estranged from my mother and will probably just visit with my dad.
Many people are telling me my mom is getting dementia, but she hasn't been diagnosed yet.
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Does your dad stress only about this or is he stressed with other parts of his life? There are meds that can reduce the anxiety and let the person with dementia relax. I would speak to his doctor at the assisted living place about this.

I know all about just wanting to walk away but there's none of that for me as I'm the only child and there is no other family. You have to pace yourself and learn to ignore the continued harping of your dad. He doesn't realize that he can't function like he used to anymore. Tell him you'll have the lawyers call him. Get over the guilt of having to tell "therapeutic fibs" to your dad. You are trying to HELP him. Keep that in mind.

You may also need to limit your visits. Keep them to half an hour or less. Redirection and distraction are vital as the dementia progresses. It's enough to loose OUR minds over. If you can't come to grips with his behavior, then take a break for awhile. You need to have a good mental outlook and, if that means taking a 1 week vacation every 4 weeks, then so be it. It's for your good mental health. Consider seeing a therapist to help you traverse the bumpy Alzheimer's road.

As the Alzheimer's advances, there won't be the same challenges as you're facing now (there'll be new ones ;)]. You won't have to face the same nagging so take solace in that. This too shall pass.

Do whatever you can to reduce stress in your life. Meditation, warm baths, long walks, movies, a glass of wine (just one) a night, etc. Treat yourself once a week.

You'll get through this. We're all still standing, albeit somewhat worse for wear.
Keep coming back. We hear you.
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Please keep in mind that the behavior of a person with dementia is different than who the were before. You must develop a thicker skin when they accuse you of things and act ungrateful of your efforts. Often suspicion of everyone is a feature of dementia.
The lying is a kindness. There was a lady at my parent's memory care who sometimes tried to get out of the door as I as coming in. She thought she was supposed to meet her mom at the eagle statue in the Wanamaker's store. She was upset that she would keep her mom waiting. I would take her hand, look her in the eye and gently tell it's OK, you are meeting her tomorrow. Then I would invite her to the living room to see what's happening there. She would be reassured and happy. This happened repeatedly. I was pleased to be able to relieve her distress. I used to meet my mom at the eagle. Of course the lady's mom is dead and the store is no longer there. What if I told her that her mom is dead? How very cruel that honesty would be.
Your situation is very hard, perhaps the hardest thing you will ever face. Do the best you can at the time and be kind to yourself.
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I know exactly how you feel about the lying....I just call it fibbing and it's the 1 time in my life I won't get into trouble for it.
I tell my siblings to lie or fib. Mom and our stepfather aren't going to know the difference. If they're in an assisted living facility, the staff fibs to them all of the time.
There's a lady at the group home where my Mother/step-father are and she is waiting for her Mother to come get her. They tell her that they've called and she'll be by later. This resident is happy and goes on with her life.
It really isn't the fibbing as the hurt with what is happening with your parents, the ones who you looked to for help and guidance. I know I cry when I leave Mom to come back to TX (childhood home is AZ).
Tall with a therapist who specializes with this feeling of guilt etc. It truly helps you both mentally and physically to vent.
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He is in assisted living and she is in independent living in the same facility. He is diagnosed with Alzheimer's and she probably has it too, but hasn't been diagnosed yet. I have been doing everything for them for a year, and I am tired of being accused of doing everything wrong. I blocked my mom's phone tonight, and I just don't feel like cooperating or being responsible anymore. I will not speak to a lawyer unless I get an order to appear - I am sick and tired of cooperating.
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so your mother and father live together? they 'both' have dementia? are you an only child? do you have any support from other family members?

you can call the rental co. and have them pick up the wheelchair? is it a bill for a 'months rental' or for the 'wheelchair.'  im sorry but you should probably pay the bill or arrange for co to pick it up.

this is just part of taking over. I know its hard. I don't like doing tough stuff for my mom. and I used to do both mom and dad. but he is passed now.

is it possible to forego the lawsuit? seems thats more than most people have to deal with - with POA

sorry if I am all over the place with writing this

but you sound like you need some extra guidance in person. and I know how you feel I really do.
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Sorry, to keep complaining, and I feel like a whiner. Now my mother is saying she is going to a lawyer to get the POA taken away from me. I know it will never happen, but it makes me really mad. They have threatened this three times in the past year, and I have only tried to help. Today a bill came for a wheelchair they rented and never returned. I have everything coming to me since they can't remember to do anything. I just ripped it up. I'm so frustrated. I don't even want to help them any more. They can have their POA and my inheritance.
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Jumary, I agree that this is all very hard to go through and I just want you to know that we all hope things get better for you and your dad....Blessings to you! Lindaz
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They are not supposed to contact him, and they are aware of his diagnosis. I agree that he will probably forget most of this. I know I am doing the right thing and protecting him, but I just don't want to talk with him about it. I realize this is all part of the illness; I just have to get through the days when this is all getting to me too much.
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hey don't be too hard on yourself. your dad will probably end up forgetting part of what you said or didn't say. Just keep on. and keep reassuring your dad, that he can trust you. It is a ton of responsibility depending on the parents situation.
Its an ongoing thing with elderly parent(s) - I understand, I get tired too. I feel I have double 'everything' to keep straight. Are you able to give your number to the company so they don't call your dad again.?
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Now the company I am suing has called my dad, and he knows I have been compassionately lying to him. I will let our lawyers know about this, but I really did not want to have a conversation with my dad about this. I am really tired of all this and wish I never became POA. I wish I could just walk away from all of this and just go somewhere where no one could contact me.
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You need to remind yourself that you are doing the right things when you "lie" to him. It will get easier. With the files, maybe you can schedule a day of the week or month to look at some of them. When he asks, you remind him that Tuesday is paperwork day. On Tuesday (or whatever day) you could go over some papers with him. I was doing my mom's taxes. When I finished, we would go over every line. This was before the dementia. I'm not sure how much she understood, but she felt I was doing it correctly because I could explain it.
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Thanks everyone for your great comments and suggestions. Most of the time, I am getting quite good and compassionate deception. Lately, my dad had been fixated on one investment he made, and I am trying to keep him from knowing too much. He made some very large and questionable silver investments with crazy high interest rates. Doing my best to keep this particular situation away from my dad.
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My dad is 95 and still sharp. About 5 years ago, his interest in his finances diminished. I increasingly found a simple answer would be enough. He still had the interest but not the need for the in-depth analysis. And he was a real bottom line guy. He didn't care about the steps, but the outcome. So, our discussion of taxes became " your income was $xxx.xx and that was $yyyy more than last year and your taxes were $zzz."
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I am a factual person so when my late mother asked a question, she got the answer. My mother cried about incoming mail; easy task for me - "let me handle that, mother." No more tears.
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Over time this issue will probably fade. My mother struggled to pay bills and what should have taken minutes could occupy her for hours. It was only by sheer chance that I discovered she was far behind in paying the health insurance premium...luckily living in the house and with my dad's okay and support I slowly siphoned off the receipts she was hoarding, statements, bills...and eventually snaring the guarded checkbook and OTHER additional check pads...it took hours of organizing...and 15 lbs were taken to be shredded. One by one as bills were paid I filled out the address correction and had them sent to my PO BOX which I had their names added to...so less bills came to the house. Still have one that hasn't changed yet and when she got her hands on that one, dad caught her putting paper bills (i.e. money) in the envelope to pay it. I also noticed that window envelopes were very confusing and she would attempt to hand address a plain envelope. Use the sticker on a stamp folder for a stamp...but she doesn't ask much about it any longer and we keep it in a safe place. The anger will eventually fade I'm guessing...
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maltesmom I would say you need to start your own thread. copy and paste your question and go back to 'ask a question' I don't have any answer for you but someone else sure could. otherwise your question may not get any response where it is.
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My father is 95 and a depression baby who is terrified of being poor, broke. He used to have a lot of money and an entire team projected his retirement to age 75. That's 20 years ago. 8 years ago I moved in with him and when I got my disability paid him a large sum of money to repay him for relocating et al. Although we live very frugally, We are tapping out our combined Social Security incomes and Dad's reverse mortgage, and there's no way to refinance it given the balance and new laws. No relatives are going to help. Unless I can come up with a way to raise more income, we may be forced to sell the home, something which would be a huge burden to fall upon me that I cannot handle emotionally or physically. Dad desperately wants to lived and die in. He's insisted upon an accounting and writing of our finances and doesn't realize we have $15K in credit card debt due to Hurricane and other major unexpected expenses plus his growing needs. We have to have help for the inside and outside of the home because I also have health issues. I've secured a balance transfer credit card which will give us 15 months at 0% but only cover$10K. If we spend $500 in the first 4 months, the credit card pays $150 bonus so I plan to only transfer $9500. I fixed it so dad can't access our finances online but he could always use his caption phone though he can't really hear clearly. I dread when I have to tell or Show him. He asked me how much the credit line would be on the new card. He's still very sharp and some ways but not all the time. I need help on how to tell a white lie and keep some of this from him until I find a possible way to generate some income or funds from well-to-do family who have been very stingy to date. Help!
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Jumary
I have been going through this same thing with my step-father; Mom doesn't have any idea what is going on; I'm blessed if she remembers who I am. They both have Alzheimer's.
Do not fee guilty about lying to your Father; you have to do what you have to do. Try to have him 'involved' by asking him questions about the finances etc. That is one thing that irritates a person with dementia/Alzheimer's, they do not like someone taking 'over'!
Question: Have you gone to Court to become his guardian/conservator? Do you have Durable Power of Attorney?
This is EXTREMELY important that you have one or both. I just became Mom's guardian/conservator as of July 2nd. It will take a few months to get a hearing for this, so in the mean time get Durable, this protects you for any decisions you make for your Father. Once he is 'deemed' a protected person, he cannot be sued or responsible for decisions he makes without your knowledge so it makes it much easier to take any company/person to court.
Let your Dad make out the checks like you would pretend with a child. Place it in an envelope and tell him you'll mail it later.
My step-father keeps worrying about the house and bills etc. I tell him over and over that I am taking care of everything, even the dog's needs and that he just needs to sit back and relax, enjoy the attention he is receiving from the people who come in and check on he and Mom.
He begins to cry and tells me that I am his best daughter. I tell him thank you and that I love him then change the subject. He's happy and that's what matters!
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I too am a fan of therapeutic fibs. At first dad would ask me if I had bills paid and I told him they were done automatically. And when he’d worry about something I’d tell,him ",don’t worry...that’s why you have people!" He would tell his friends he had his people taking care of things. We’d laugh over that. He trusted me and when I’d give him an annual accounting of his money he couldn’t believe he had that much. He was a saver who was a blue collar worker with only a high school education but boy did he save. I’m so thankful!!
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I'm going through this with my live-in mother in law right now. She tried to sit at her desk yesterday and pay a bill. She got so confused and really messed up her check ledger. I know it will be impossible for me to explain it to her - I wish she would just let me take over paying her bills and just reassure her its all taken care of. We are not there yet. I like the idea of starting over. I think I will make a fresh page in her ledger with a more clear balance column. That way she can check it at any time, and of course I can show her her accounts online to check the balance. Nothing will be hidden but it may be a nice step to move her toward "overseeing" her finances and letting someone else (me) pay the bills.
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I think of the theraputic fib as almost another form of medicine/treatment to keep mom calm & not get angry [& possibly have another stroke] - just as you wouldn't feel bad about her taking a bad tasting cough syrup so to the fib is for her own good -

It is a waste of your precious energy to stress over this too much so find a way that is good for your mind to deal with - ask others/professions how to get over this issue in a way that works well for your own circumstances - then share with us some of the methods because you are not alone in this issue & maybe just knowing others face the same issue might help you move past the guilt feelings

With mom I always used the same numbers which were not an easy number so I would say $68,750 not $70,000, you have enough money until you are 119 years old, the money is invested so that it gives $649.28 a month for you and similar phrases - odd numbers sound more accurate so use them not round off numbers - this also lets your parent see that you are keeping close track of all the finances quite closely
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I would say the same 3 phrases over and over again and my dad came to accept that. The phrases were: you have plenty of money, your bills are all paid, you don’t owe anybody.
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I give my MIL a copy of the receipts she wants and other items she asks for. She seems pleased with that. She usually stacks the stuff on her dresser and just re-arranges it often. I think it satisfies her need 'to do' something with her very will to file things 'her' way.
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Hi, another regular fibber here. :) Boy I know what you mean, and I don’t think it’s wrong, to hope they forget a bit more about some things or about the details. That lawsuit sure adds an extra load for you, sorry for whatever happened and good luck. Sometimes I give more detail about something she keeps asking about, and it’ll quiet her for a while because the data sort of overwhelmed her. I’ll get lucky sometimes and fall on a catchphrase while explaining whatever it is, I use it when she asks again and she remembers it. We had to battle with YouFit for over a year, and I left a folder with most of the paperwork at her house and reminded her she could look at it whenever she wanted, which she didn’t. So when she’d ask or fret about it I’d suggest she could look over the papers. I also put sticky notes over many papers, “This bill due July 30” since she can’t tell just by looking at the bill itself. My mother has low confidence in my abilities in general, so I get a lot of questions. They know something will need doing but fear they can’t.. like willy said, just let them know it’s going fine, I use phrases like “We’ve got that covered!”

mollymoose, I’m terribly sorry for your loss and am so impressed with how you handle your mother’s questions. Bless you.
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Hello JuMary. My Darling Mother Who I simply adored and I was so glad to Care for at Our own Home for the last three years of Her long and beautiful Life. Mother had been diagnosed with moderate to medium alzheimer's in December 2013, and a S R Nurse advised me not to make Mom aware of Her diagnosis stating that Mother is in a very happy state of mind and to leave Her be, and asked why upset Her and I never did. I know it is very difficult so when You feel tested count to 10. When Your Dad's Life ends You will feel so glad You did not tell Him. Good Luck JuMary and remember to get Restbite Care for Your Dad so You can get breaks for Yourself.
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