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I have a elderly Aunt that I'm caring for.She's 88 and lives at home alone.She appointed me her DPOA about 6 months ago.She has me go to her bank to get spending money for her once and sometimes twice a week. Each time it's $300.
I have no idea what she does with her cash I get for her from the bank. But, somehow she's always short on money she says. I think she hides her cash then forgets where she placed it.
This is becoming a problem for me as her POA.How can I account for money she hides and then misplaces it?In turn this makes me look like the person taking her money.It's her money not my money.I shouldn't have to account for money she hides then misplaces.Why should I be the one to think of a accuse where her money went?While she seats back and worry free?Not fare to me.
In the last month I drawed out of her bank account for her $600.I only seen her with maybe $150 out of that $600.If this keeps going on,this will become into the thousands.I don't want that to happen.
She has full control of her checkbook.She feels she has no problems paying her bills on her own.I ask her many different times to let me handle her bills and checkbook.There's times to where she would agree to give me her checkbook to attempt to take charge of paying her bills.But,with her dementia she forgets!Then,she would attempt to accuse me of taking her checkbook.I don't want to go to jail because,of her dementia accusing me of taking her checkbook.

She's starting to accuse me of spending her money.She writes a check out for something.Two days later she accuses me of writing in her checkbook saying it's not her signature when it really is her signature in her checkbook.
When I do her grocery shopping for her.She never has cash to give me for her groceries.She tills me to use her debit card as credit because,she forgot her 4 dight pin to use as debit.Then,when her bank statements comes in the mail she accuses me saying what it all of these charges for."Accusing me".I'm getting tired of all of this stuff!..I'm helping her not abusing her or taking her money as she thinks I'm doing.What should I do?

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Vetefns, I have to stand with LEP. You are not unfeeling, but perhaps not reading 'between the lines'. . . family members - esp. those who choose not to partake in caretaking -- are usually "hard of hearing/blind to the obvious." I have been, with my husband, for the last 30 years, a caretaker of three elderly family members. and we have buried two of them. Literally. No assistance -- physically,emotionally or financially. But I/we were grilled upon the death of each about the wellbeing and care that was provided when each passed away -- both well into their eighties wih serious diagnosed physical conditions. (Mostly trying to find out what their share of any monies might become available.) It was very annoying and had we not already shielded ourselves from the emotional attacks that had come before we would have been destroyed. Family members can become vicious, and when you are a caretaker, they can drive you right over the edge...not that being a caretaker isn't enough to keep your mind on hyperdrive.

Every situation is unique. Yours, mine, the next person. We care about what we are doing, we sacrifice, we take a lot of abuse. We don't always feel that we are qualified for the position -- believe me. no one would ever hire any of us to do the job we end up doing. We aren't qualified by any medical standards. Sometimes I think I wouldn't hire me. . . But we do the best we can because . . .
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I knew I was taking a chance doing that, but It figured there was a chance that if despite the hurt and anger you could see another reason why that might question you, maybe you would not have to end up as lonely. Believe me I know it hurts to have your motives questioned, or have it questioned how much you care when from your point of view you have been going the extra mile and then some. And that's my point, these people don't get it probably because they have NOT walked knout shoes...but that does not necessarily make them bad people that should be hung up on and cut out of your life...do you see what I am really saying here? NOT that your feelings are not valid, just there might be another way to,deal with situation that will work. Enter despite those feelings.
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Vatefans: you are the only person who has ever questioned my feelings. As the saying goes, walk a miles my shoes. I'm not angry, I'm frustrated and exhausted. Thank you.
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Lep, why so mad at family and friends? Most people, unlike us, don't realize that someone could carry on a conversation but still be impaired and innacurate about what's going on. Hanging up would possibly make them suspect you even more. Hopefully APS has unfounded the report already, and you probably know to document everything, but why not open back up with family and friends - explain that you are feeling very hurt to have it even considered that you might be misappropriating funds, and that though it is not obvious, your caregivee is actually very confused. You could even say that in a way it is nice that they care about her to have called to even try to verify what might or might not be happening. APS is there for a reason, as financial abuse really does occur. I sure believe you, but maybe offer to show them the records too since they are probably having a hard time believing, accepting, or understanding the cogntive decline (on top of prior narcissism) that is behind this, even if they have been through it before... hugs...
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Sorry for all my typos!
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We all sound like we are living in the same world with dementia and money. Once I did the reload able debit card from Chase, at least that was ONE thing I didn't have to hear anymore. But it didn't stop my evil brother from calling Adult Protective Services! I am Power of Attorney and I have hung up on friends and family because she will tell them I take money and they have never did any investigating into her illness. I'm done with them. My Aunt should know better given my Grandmother did the same thing. I wish everyone well and strongly suggest a bank card because they are the one with access and you have nothing. To do with it. I'm hoping to change my situating soon and place Mom in care. Like someone else said, she is mean, selfish $ narcissistic (as is my brother). He won't know anything until I've done it. I don't know if anyone feels this, but I feel alone and that I can't trust anyone.
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go on a hunt at home - you could find the cash in some very interesting and unlikely places. underwear drawers, the freezer, an unused teapot or kettle, you just never know.
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I should mention my dad has a very nasty attitude as well....its been 5 weeks since i have seen or talked to him....my hubby goes over....but im still looking after his bills & well being thru his Dr. & mental health...good luck :)
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I am POA for my mother with dementia. It came as a complete shock to me that she was telling everyone who would listen that she was bankrupt, and I was taking all her money. This got resolved immediately upon figuring out what she was doing. She exposed herself! I also discovered that she was taking cash and sending it out to everyone she wrote to or sent a card to. I put a stop to that immediately. She has a very limited income which we supplement. She can use her bank card to make purchases. She has NO need for cash. I confiscated her check book too. I just can't trust her. Even her own attorney told me he thought she was completely incompetent. Some of this is dementia and some is her being the self absorbed person she has always been intensified by the dementia. I no longer cut her any slack with finances or her nasty attitude!
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Ok ive read alot of great advice here and some bad advice. 1st of never ever ever give them money from ur own pocket!! They have their own use it. Thats alot of money to spend every month....i would be wondering where it all is going myself. I look after my 90 yr old dad who still lives in his own house and basicly takes care of his day to day needs the best he can. I have POA along with my sister this way we can both back each other on things we do. Almost all my dads bill are setup to be paid automatically out of his bank account. His pensions automaticaly come in to the account. I give my dad $400 every once in a while but i make him sign the withdrawl slip. I couldnt copy his signature if i tried! I also have a bank debit card for his account which i use to purchase all his groceries he helps me go thru the bill as we put things away in his cupboards and signs the bottom of the bill and i put it in a file....keeping a paper trail is one of the most important things cause it gives u the piece of mind that u can prove where his money is going. Good luck
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yep
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I have POA for a friend with MS and dementia. When she wants money, I take her to her bank (we use the drive-through with a teller and, hopefully, cameras). She writes a check to herself and signs the back. This wouldn't protect you from *her* accusations, but the check in her handwriting, with her signature not once but twice (front and back) plus the testimony of a teller or videotapes would be helpful to you legally.

Caregiver or POA should never cash a benefits, pension, social security check. All checks should go into an account under the payee's name and that the POA should be on file with the bank.

Bills should be paid by check and any expenditures using a card, keep the receipt and be sure the receipt abbreviations are clear. If they aren't, immediately write in what was purchased. File them and keep them safe. Paper is your friend.
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I agree with what every one says. You pay the bills and then write it down and then show her. Never give her 300 dollars.I give my mom a hundred. Butr she goes to the bank with me and gets it out. Also your aunt can go online from her bank and she can see where her money goes and so can you . I also do this with my mom.
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I guess I was lucky with my dad. He had talked to his neighbor about getting his taxes done for 2013. The neighbor suggested the CPA that he uses, who happens to be a local man and his father before him was a CPA. Dad couldn't remember if he did his 2012 taxes or not, so the neighbor called me to ask. I knew that he had them done, but dad couldn't find the return. He did however find a letter the former CPA gave him with his estimated taxes and the due date. Dad just filed that paper away and never paid the rest of the payments. I paid only one. I went over to ask about the 2012 return and he showed me the paper. But dad, you never paid the rest of the taxes, only the first payment. I took his check register and looked for the payments. Maybe he did pay but forgot to write the dates and check numbers on the paper. Nope, no payments. Now it's time to do 2013 taxes, so I wrote out a check for the IRS and the State and he signed them. I told him then that I thought it was time to put my name on his accounts at the bank as he was getting forgetful. Thankfully he was very receptive to the idea, so off to the bank we went. He still goes to the bank and takes out what he wants by himself. The new CPA gave him vouchers and 3 envelopes to send out his tax payments. I wrote a note on each one telling him when to write the check and I also came home and wrote the dates and amounts on my calendar so I can remind him. So far he's writing all his bills out as soon as they come in the mail. I put his accounts online so that I can monitor them. The bank also knows him very well and called me last week. Dad had come in 3 times in 1 day to cash checks and they thought I should know. So far, this is working well for me. I think that I would keep a journal like the other posters suggested of the date and amount that you took out and what you did with the money. I feel bad for you as it's not easy to manage the elderly, but to be afraid of taking their money is pressure that you don't need. I wish you well!
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Dear Dogabone
I take care of my mom's finances because she has dementia. It is very very difficult when they are used to doing as they please with money. She still thinks she has lots of money sometimes, but doesn't, it has all been used on assisted living, etc.
Keep a close eye on those who come in to do nursing care. Those who seem the most honest might be the ones stealing from her. That happened to us. When elderly person is resting or doing something, the aides have that opportunity to slip around and look for things, as in our case. If you could ever talk her into coming to live with you or something, you can keep a closer eye. Otherwise its is very hard. You can have her sign stuff, but then she might say she did not sign it, etc. with dementia, you can't win at all sometimes. Best for you to make things as transparent and lucid as you can on your part, so if anyone questions, they will have a better idea of what might be happening and not be able to accuse you.
If I were you I would get a conservator for her and that way it would be out of your hands and thus relieve any potential for suspicions on the part of some. Until then, you will always have to be sort of fearful that she might accuse you big time and get you in trouble. Set up cameras in her house to see what she's doing with her money, that's another idea. You can see if she's giving it away or something.
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My mother is almost 93 and she is a bit fuzzy at times. One time thought a caregiver stole cash but she had hid it under towels in a cabinet. We added a lock to one of the kitchen drawers and gave her the key- that became the "safe place" under her control so hopefully no more hidden surprises. Don't have to do the "logbook" mentioned above (yet) but that seems to be a great idea too.
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You are fortunate that you have POA. However, more importantly, please remember that the person you thought your Aunt to be is no longer that person. She has dementia. You will have to remove yourself emotionally from the picture. Its not you. it's not about you. Coping with someone who is in this condition requires a lot of patience, and if she has a doctor, visiting nurses, etc., this is your first line of defense. Actually, you need no defense.

First: keep a diary. This was mentioned earlier by vegaslady. She is right. This will help you keep track of day to day transactions (and a total record of the decline) and will be your protection, should you ever need it, in the future. It will also help you communicate better with her doctor. That in itself if very important for him to determine how best to treat her.

Second: if necessary, do your transactions in front of a witness and LOG it. She will tire of this very quickly in the future, believe me!

Third: Fib. If she wants say $200, per petzva, give her $20 or $40 of "your" money out of your pocket and say you will give her the rest when you get a chance to get to the bank. She will forget this transaction. But she will remember have gotten some money.

And lastly, if it looks like she really isn't managing the checkbook very well, take it away from her (not physically), but it can go "missing" one day (I had to do that with my MIL's passbook); "oh, my gosh, Auntie, what did you do with your checkbook? Did you loose it again? Do you want me to help you look for it?" She definitely will NOT want you 'messing with her things" and will spend the time looking for it -- probably coming up with a stash or two of the cash she hid and forgetting what she was looking for in the first place. (Stashing is classic dementia - it will drive you nuts! Just expect it.). You are going to have to control the situation making it look as if she did this not you. She can accuse you, but it doesn't matter: You have the power of attorney.

I went through many of the same scenarios while caretaking two aunts and a current mother in law. I was accused of trying to poison one with fish I made for her for dinner (left the skin on which was normal until she determined I was dropping it on the floor then putting it back on the plate with the dirt on it. Try explaining that to the family members she called!); my current loved one one day took all her pills (4 different kinds of High Blood pressure type) and dumped them on the kitchen table . . .and not a few on the floor, then tried to 'select' which one's she should take (that was an eye-opener) -- fortunately she got frustrated and called me to help her figure it out (whew!). I was obligated to take everything away from her. Big fight. Many accusations. But is saved her life and probably the dog's. She has accused me (to every other member of the family) for years of trying to take her house away from her (I live there) when I cut the grass, bring her her meals, clean her apartment, take her dog for grooming, etc., etc. This one is tougher and meaner than her two older sisters combined.

As tryinghard54 says, the POA gives you the right to act in your loved ones best interests.

Taking care of someone in this condition must be considered a job and a responsibility, but cannot ever be an emotional binge. From the sounds of it, you are doing the right thing by your Aunt.

Good luck. And from now on, no more guilt.
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I went through this (and being accused of stealing her money). Alzheimer's Association suggested I get her a refillable ATM card. That has worked like a charm! And she can get cash of it too. One less issue.
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I took over my Mother's finances gradually, her weekly pension was quite a considerable amount, and she was used to going down to the post office and drawing out as much as she needed each week. On one visit to her, she complained she didn't have any money despite going to the post office, it turned out she couldn't remember her pin number. It was then I suggested I took over paying her bills and dishing out her pension. I registered my power of attorney with the bank and gave her a percentage of her pension each week. However much I gave her,she always wanted more money and after a while I found a "stash" of over £3000 in envelopes all around her bedroom. Eventually I only gave her £50 each week, as she had meals delivered and her only other expenses were the cat and her weekly hairdo. This proved to be the correct balance!. When you have power of attorney it comes as somewhat of a shock to have to "manage" your parents, don't be afraid to do what you have to do, I went through a stage of thinking that the authorities were going to knock on my door, asking me what the devil I was up to, taking over my Mother's life!. The power of attorney is a powerful document, but it gives you the right to act in your loved ones best interests and hopefully alleviate some of the "guilty" feelings that I know I felt when I first had to use it's power!!
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No, as a POA you Don't need to give her cash!! She apparently doesn't remember at any rate so why are you doing it? Her needs have to be taken care of but not cash. However, if she insists...give her $10-$20. I was my mothers POA and I dealt with all the bills. Checks written leave a paper trail...easy to justify. She never went anywhere by herself so no need for cash. Yes it was her $$ and was used for her welfare/needs. I'm frankly having difficulty seeing where the issue is?
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vegaslady

Understandable, thanks!
Sounds like I need to slow down on going to her bank to get her spending money for her.Rarely does she go anywhere.She has a caregiver & nurce that comes twice a week to see her.Maybe she's tipping the helpers who knows.
When someone cashes a retirement check for their elderly loveone as all POA's do.There is no proof that shows that the elderly recieved the cash from that retirement check other then who 's Signature and Memo.Other then that there is no proof that they recieved the cash.It is her money in her account.By rights she is allowed to do what she desires to do with her money.My job a her POA is to get her money from her bank to her hands when needed or asked to do.Any shopping/spending I do for her I keep all recepts for my records.If my Aunt ask me to go to her bank for her to get her $200 in cash so she can have spending money.That is what the POA is used for.When elderly people can't no longer do it for them selves.If I lived with her or if she lived with me I would know what she does with her cash.But,I don't live with her.I'm not their 24/7 to know if a visitor stopped bye and asked for money or if she gave money to someone.All elderly people hide money that's a fact.It's just unfare for POAs to be pointed towards when money is missing from dementia elderlies actions.
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You might want to keep a journal that keeps track of what you withdraw for her and give to her. Would she sign a receipt for you that you gave her the cash? Does she go out anywhere on her own to spend it? Does anyone else come in who could take it from her? If those two things are not happening and the money is not leaving the premises, what are the other options? She's hiding it or destroying it. Is she eating it, flushing it, burning it, tearing it up in little pieces? If no one can figure out where it's going I wouldn't keep bring it home for it to go into the black hole of unaccountability.
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