My 92-year-old mother is independent, but sometimes gets finances confused. What do I do?


Dr will not diagnose her, cuz get DL would be revoked. I am alone and don't believe I can continue to care for her without control of her finances as she is stubborn, and while mostly able to do her own finances occasionally I have to straighten out messes. She's on social security. I don't know how to go about finding a place to care for her, or if I even have a say in where she goes. What do I do?

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Frustrated17...thanks for your input. He car is wrecked, undriveable, sitting in my carport. She's mostly accepts that she can't drive. Once in awhile she'll say something about getting a car, but does not pursue it ...thank God!

There's nothing to put on auto pay I don't think. We got rid of her 2 credit cards, no longer has car insurance, and her phone is on my plan. All the bills are mine.

She is paying for her mobile help button....and that is on auto pay. And she switched from the pendant around her neck to the wrist band and seems to like it better...hopefully she isn't taking it off...I haven't seen her without it so far.

I've resigned myself to keeping her here until it's truly not possible...and hopefully she passes here quietly when it's her time.

I was in my mid 40's when she came to live with me, after being unable to live with any other family members. I'm 59 now. And her physical health is so good she could live another 10 or 15 years. I'll be 69-74 by then.

I stopped having most friends over or having any social gatherings at my home, except with a couple of very close friends and family, years ago, because she can be petty mean to them at times. I don't want that for the people who visit my home.

For a long time I kept getting to points where I would say enough is enough and getting pretty upset with her being here, but at 92 I couldn't send her off by herself, so my end of my rope moments are fewer and I come to my senses quicker.

Maybe 10 years ago she could have gotten her own place, but not at this point. It is what it is. I feel I'm doing the right thing. So be it.
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A diagnosis will not mean she is going to be put into an assisted living. You and her are the only ones that can decide that and you can't force it.
My 90 year old Mom wouldn't wear her life alert button either. We begged and pleaded for 2 years She said she would, but didn't. Finally cancelled it. She lives alone. Very frustrating.
I would make Sure she doesn't drive. Does she have access to a car? She could hurt or kill others or herself. I wrote the Secretary of State because of my mom's vision and frailty. They sent her a letter saying she'd have to take a driving test if she wanted to renew (she has no clue it was me. Thinks it's Dr. Or State). So she knew it was time and she'd never pass. She hadn't driven in some time anyway since my Dad did most driving until he passed away 2 years ago.
Intercept the mail? Are you on her account? Or can you set everything on auto pay?
It's not easy. We can't Make them do anything ☹️ Good luck.
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Now that we cancelled her Macy's and Bloomingdales cards I don't think she has any bills. She lives with me so all the bills are mine and I provide her with a cell phone on my plan. She stopped driving so she doesn't have the insurance bill anymore.

I am going to monitor her bank acct to make sure she's not caught up in anything. She did have a recurring charge for a political candidate, but she said she cancelled that herself. Ill be checking for that. I found out about it after the fact...if she did actually cancel it.

Thanks for your input. It's always good to hear of others experiences.
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Those oral tests for dementia are ridiculous. My mother passed them repeatedly. However, you are unlikely to get help from the dovtor. I never did. Do monitor her finances online. Can you convince her to have most of her bills on autopay? My mother was an accountant so it was hard to get her to admit her inability to track finanances. This was the best I could do for a long time.
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Oh BarbBrooklyn that is such a good recommendation. I knew I needed to get more insight, but with 2 jobs I haven't been motivated to go anywhere physically, and while I used to read voraciously, I can't seem to pick up a book and read it through anymore. Videos are ideal for me. Thank you so much! I will definitely check them out. And I know they will help. One of my worst actions is to forget that she's not the same and try to interact with her as if she is full capacity.
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Charles, Google "Teepa Snow" videos. Teepa is a gifted occupational therapist who has taught us all a lot about caring, effective ways of dealing with demented parents (especially good for when you just want to throw them out the window).

But seriously, I'm sure you could gain some good skills in watching her stuff.
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Thank you for giving me a better overview of what people mean by medications. That helps. She's not seeing an Alzheimer's specialist. I may try to get her back to the Alzheimer's center for further testing. She didn't like the girl there, as you, or someone else said, because the girl had testing that my mother could not handle.

My mother has always had a strong, feisty, & testy personality....and has always had trouble admitting any faults. Sometimes she is much sweeter now with her more child like personality, but she also can get very anxious when confronted with certain things.

Thank you for sharing your experiences. These things can be so tricky as to who can do what when. So sorry for your recent loss.

Thank you for sharing some of those specifics about power of attorney. That's very helpful. I am currently medical power of attorney, and making my sister one also is a good idea.

You may be right about why she chose me to take control of her finances, but I know it's also because she trusts me. She knows I've never been about greed and I'm pretty good with finances. My sister is the same, but sometimes my mother gets an attitude about her that I've never understood, knowing, as I do, how good my sister is. Thank you for your input.

And thank you all! I've only been on here a short time, but I've gotten so many great answers that have really helped me to understand certain things. It's a real blessing. God bless you all.
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Charles, I can understand why you rather have your sister take over Mom's finances, but I feel the reason why your Mom picked you was because you are the "son". This goes back generations where the sons were usually picked because society thought males knew more about finances.

I remember on this forum where the son was clueless about handling money and his sister was a CPA. The parents choose the son.... [sigh].

For your sister to handle Mom's finances, she would need to have Mom elect her to be the primary financial Power of Attorney, with you being secondary. And what about the medical Power of Attorney? Maybe you being primary and your sister being equal since she works in the medical field.
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Charles, I have heard that medication can slow Alzheimer down, we wish Mom would have had it but she refused to believe that she was getting Alzheimer and would not get diagnosed. Can't blame her, she was scared and she had Dad to take care of her so that was a blessing.
It all came to a head when she was very ill and we finally got the ball rolling to get her medication. Dad was oblivious and Mom could not longer make decisions. My sister and I got homecare together for him, and then finally my younger brother got on board and would do a lot to make their life better and easier.
I just hope you can get the right medication for your mother Charles. It does not mean your mother will always be happy, but more calm. I know with Mom some things upset her because it was part of her personality, so we had to be careful to respect what she did not like. ie touching her unless she welcomed touch, messing with her food etc. Many things that would annoy me too if someone was in my space if I did not want them to be.
Mom lived almost 7 years after her diagnosis before passing just recently, and there were some very happy moments I had before at times despite her not being herself anymore. I know deep down Mom knew us because she was more comfortable with her husband and her children.
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Charles, there's Aricept and Namenda, which were touted as slowing dementia. From what I've seen written, in some cases of certain kinds of dementia, they slow the progress of some symtoms. But only in certain kinds of dementia. 

From what you've written, it doesn't sound as though your mom is being seen by a dementia specialist. It also doesn't sound like she's interested in getting a dignosis, or pursuing treatment.

In any event, what some of us here are talking about when we say "medication helps", we're talking about that help with depression, anxity and agitation, which are sometimes the result of brain damage from dementia.

So, antidepressants,  anti anxiety medication and sometimes antipsychotics are used to treat those symptoms 
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