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Hi everyone. I'm new here. My mother has some rather alarming memory loss at 76. It was noticeable to me about a year ago (I live about a mile away) and we see each other often. It began to get more and more troublesome and now she is forgetting things said during conversations and most alarmingly today was unaware that she had driven to my house yesterday to ask for money for cigarettes and when she arrived today to ask again, I reminded her that I had spoken to her yesterday about it and she has no memory of it. My mother and father live together, alone in a house. My father had a stroke 2 years ago which left him with some swallow and speech issues. Both are heavy smokers. My mother also has COPD and has been hospitalized most recently as last winter. During her hospitalization I came to notice that she is also having money troubles. She had found that her credit card was used without her authorization (or she doesn't remember) a couple of times through online (Facebook) ads. I'm quite certain she made the purchases but has no memory of it, because the purchases were always delivered to her house.

Fast forward to now. My mother went to purchase fuel for her car and all methods of payment were declined. The gas station owner called me to come pay for her fuel. I did. She claimed there must be an issue with her cards, so we went directly to the bank where I discovered that all her accounts are overdrawn. She has a savings and checking account (both overdrawn), 2 credit cards that are at their max. Also learned that her payment for auto insurance and house insurance was returned twice. I am unsure at this point if they have coverage on their vehicle and home. I asked her if I could sit with her and my dad and try to get to the bottom of things and figure out a plan for them going forward. She said "there's nothing wrong, we're fine" and "your father doesn't want you in our business". Yesterday, she arrived at my house at noon to ask for money for cigarettes. I said I had nothing to give her. We are a family of 5 with 2 high school students and one in university. We have NO extra funds. She left and I carried on with my day. Today, she arrived again at my house asking for money for cigarettes again. I told her "don't you remember you were here yesterday asking the same thing?" she has no memory of it. Again I told her no, and she went on. During her drive home, I took the opportunity to call my father. I wanted to ensure that he is aware that I am very concerned about her memory and I wanted to be certain that he is aware of their terrible financial situation. The have separate accounts and I'm told by her he's in just as bad a situation as she is. His response was "did you give her money?" I said "No, I haven't got any to give." He said I'm going to hang up now and hung up. I'm guessing he's not happy that I'm "in their business."

I'm frustrated and angry at the same time. As I mentioned, I'm new here and to this sort of issue with aging parents. I'm taking mom back to the doctor on Thursday to discuss further with the Doctor my concerns.

I guess I'm looking for advice, suggestions, anything that will help me navigate through this difficult time.

Thanks for your time.

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Heather, type out a brief, bulleted list of your concerns about your mother's financial situation. Smoking is the least of her issues. She's going to be homeless unless someone takes over her finances.

FAx this letter to the doc AND take a copy with you when you go to the appointment.

Don't worry about making your mother angry. She is quite clearly financially incompetent and someone needs to get guardianship
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What is your question about smoking?
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