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acting out of character? I am concerned that his changing behavior indicates a deterioration in mental health but I may well be over reacting. He used to be more focused on the long term and cautious or prudent. He no longer follows his diet, has also started smoking again and drinking but not driving, thankfully. Risky investments appeal to him now that wouldn't have a few years ago. He has no financial concerns, but could get some if he were to get into these risky investments. He seems to think he needs more money. I am really not sure what is the best category for this one.

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My dad does the same thing but yet he is tight when it comes to helping me with utilities, food, etc. My oldest sibling said that when my mom died so did my dad's common sense.
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You can set up his accounts for bills to be paid on-line or automatically through his bank. This way bills are paid and accounted for each month and you can oversee this. With your father having a hard time writing his name this may be a good time to sit him down and explain this easier way to pay bills and he may be agreeable to it now also. Your father would still get his monthly bank statement showing all the payments. My husband does this for our bills and it works out beautifully. We just wish ALL companies would go truly paperless as well.
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I agree with much of the advice given. I should have indicated that at about age 86 or 87, my father asked me to handle his business affairs. I would ask what he wanted to do with this or that investment but he would give me the feedback and I would take care of it. He still signed all checks and documents to accomplish what he wanted done. I recorded all expenditures in his check register which he could review as needed. It just took the leg work out of it and he was happier. He was becoming overwhelmed with the check writing etc. He wanted time to read his history books, 3 daily newspapers and magazines. He didn't want to waste a lot of time doing the checks. He had started to have some hand tremors and it was just a slow go for him to continue writing checks.
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It may well indicate a decline in mental health. Drinking will not help and could be implicated in the change. My mother, who has been very careful with her money all her life, has started losing cash. She gave her credit card number over the phone to someone, then, thankfully, realised it was wrong and cancelled the card and replaced it. She forgot her PIN number when trying to make a purchase. It is part of what we see as a decline in her mental abilities in terms of shortened short term memory, increased paranoia and confusion over times and dates. and indulging in some risky behaviours (tried to fly across the country with a vague idea that a niece or nephew would look after her but no phone numbers or addresses to go to). Doctors have assessed her and judge her borderline competent. The family feels she has crossed the line. I would have your father thoroughly assessed by a geriatrician and referred to a neuropsychiatrist. There may be some physical health issues, as well as mental health ones. I think it would be wise for him to appoint someone e.g. you, as POA, financial and medical, while he still can. I have activated POA (financial) and Personal Directive (medical) and am watching mother's bank account for anything irregular. I may have to limit her spending if I see her spending foolishly. I think he needs someone to take charge and look after his interests - financial and medical, while allowing him to maintain as much independence as possible. Good luck and keep us updated. (((((hugs)))))
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Please go with your father to the doctor immediately. Call the doctor's office first and describe the behavior so the doctor knows and can observe your father's behavior during the visit. Discuss medicines prescribed to your father past and present, dose ages and when to be taken. Go speak w/the pharmacist about possible drug interactions as doctor's prescribe but don't know much about drug interactions. Perhaps your father is taking "old" medicine that has been replaced w"new" medicine. Pharmacists are a fountain of information and will help you and answer all questions about drugs your father is taking as long as you don't go on a busy day. I did this w/my mom's medicines since I didn't understand why she was taking some of them. I took all of her prescriptions and went to the pharmacy on a Sunday afternoon (they were slow...football season! LOL!!) and the pharmacist went through all meds w/ me, explained everything about doseage & when to take them and confirmed all were current and not "old"/replaced.
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It's a starting point as taking or not taking medicine can affect a person's mental state which they may not be aware of themselves. Good luck.
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Please go with your father to the doctor immediately. Call the doctor's office first and describe the behavior so the doctor knows and can observe your father's behavior during the visit. Discuss medicines prescribed to your father past and present, dose ages and when to be taken. Go speak w/the pharmacist about possible drug interactions as doctor's prescribe but don't know much about drug interactions. Perhaps your father is taking "old" medicine that has been replaced w"new" medicine. Pharmacists are a fountain of information and will help you and answer all questions about drugs your father is taking as long as you don't go on a busy day. I did this w/my mom's medicines since I didn't understand why she was taking some of them. I took all of her prescriptions and went to the pharmacy on a Sunday afternoon (they were slow...football season! LOL!!) and the pharmacist went through all meds w/ me, explained everything about doseage & when to take them and confirmed all were current and not "old"/replaced.
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It may be a short timer's attitude that is driving his actions. It's not that he wants to take it or deny others. Children are selfish until they learn better and older people sometimes become selfish as they are becoming a child again. Just keep working little by little to take more control over the money. If you can figure out exactly who may be encouraging such behavior, explain to them that it's time to withhold advice as it is becoming detrimental to the family. SOME, but not all, will assist in that manner. I've had to play this game several times as our family member tries to buy cars, books that he never reads, and other non-essentials that, once he has them, he doesn't use or enjoy. Sorry you have to go through this.
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I would have him checked out by a dr. Something similar started happening with my mom who has Parkinson's. My mother who was the best anything financial became a different person All of a sudden she was convinced that she was winning or had won Publisher's clearing House. She kept buying thousands of dollars worth of crap convinced that every mailing that came in telling her how closer she was getting was our ticket to Easy Street. She got mad at me for not sharing her vision. I finally had to contact PCH by phone and mail and told them to please stop sending mailings to our home and told them my mom was an elderly woman suffereing from Parkinson's By that time mom was forgetting that she ordered some things she orderedl. Surprisingly, PCH heeded my wishes. I've since learned they have gotten into trouble for taking advantage of seniors and some lawsuits resulted so they knew to stop the nonsense with my mom or else. Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and a list of other things change the chemical balances in the brain. It's like you're dealing with another person. Hang in there and have him checked out and see if you are able to gain control of his finances. Good luck!
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when I took over for my fathers care he was buying wrenches ...old rusty ones for 1500 dollars and he gave a 1000 check to church and they thankfully called me. Dad had 4 cars in the yard...he was reporting to my brother that he was having naked poker parties(hallucinations) at 3 am. The doc put dad in the looney bin because his MEDICAL condition didn't allow him to be held for any length of time against his will and he would've gone AMA. His blood sugar was over 500. And he was running that way on a regular basis....not taking meds and the only thing he had in the fridge was a case of hot dogs and a gallon of milk. The psych doc was gonna hit him up with haldol injections....instead he let me take him home with me and manage his diabetes. I can only speak from my experience...there could be alot of reasons your dad is making poor choices. My dad is glad I stepped in.
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Have him checked out by a neuropsychiatrist. If it is dementia that doctor will find it, or if it is a mood disorder that doctor will find that too.
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My dad acted the same way when he started having cognitive decline. He made several bad decisions, including hiring a handyman who ended up stealing tens of thousands of dollars (family silver, antique typewriters, etc.) from him. My dad thought the man was his "friend", but the friend never returned after he cleaned out my dad. Yes, loneliness complicates cognitive decline. It is best if you or a trusted family member can get POA to control his funds for him, or else he may have nothing left. It's also good if you can have him live near or with a family member, who can give him daily companionship, if you don't want to put him in a facility.
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I noticed there was no mention of a spouse. If your father is single (widower etc) he may be lonely. Playing around with his investments, gives him something to do and he feels he controls something. Much of an elders life is about giving up control (you mentioned driving has been given up) feeling too dependent can generate these types of actions.

I would watch to make sure no one is encouraging him to make risky financial moves like friends with stock tips or so called "financial advisors" who phone or send "get rich quick schemes" in mass produced mailings. Many financial advisors want to switch (churn) a seniors investments so they make quarterly commissions on these transactions.

If he has chose to play with a small part of his money, it might give him something to control and make him have something to live for. He should keep it to an amount he can "afford to lose" not risk his assets for the rest of his life.
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Maybe it's time for a medical evaluation by a specialist on aging and/or brain disorders?
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