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I can't be sure, however, he is increasingly having serious money problems. And when he talks when he is tired, he loses concentration rather more frequently and more profoundly. I don't know how else to describe it but its like he's lucid most days and it would SEEM like he's slowly losing his concentration/memory on some of these days and nights. He won't see the doctor because he couldn't pay for his tabs or insurance and won't let me take him, finding any excuse not to go. I have power of attorney, is this something I need to look into taking the reigns of somehow?

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Again, thank you so much for your productive answers. Very helpful! I'm going to ask my sister to help me brainstorm too, and in the meantime do some research on conservatorships and Elder Law attorneys in the area, as the power of attorney was done incorrectly by us and won't stand up and its probably too late to do another one. Live and Learn.

Thanks for the auto withdrawal point, I'm afraid he is already doing that and its caused overdrafts and I have been unable to talk him into a new bank account because he probably knows where that will eventually lead. Hard to give up independence, alright -
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Good suggestions above. I'd try to get my hands on his bills to make sure things aren't overdue. My cousin's car insurance and life insurance were past due. Her utility bills were overdue and near being shut off. How do you think he would respond, if you just casually mentioned that you had decided to pay your bills by automatic draft. That it was so easy and freed you up to do other things with your time? Would he agree and let you set his up that way? Can you get your hands on them, when he's not looking?

If he has dementia, this is a very trying time, because there is the resistance and insistence that nothing is wrong. If he won't let you step in with his finances, then, I'd seek a consult with an Elder Law attorney to see what options there are for you to take control. I would be extra concerned if he has investment accounts, savings, etc. that could be suffering. I'd check to see if he's struggling to manage his affairs or if someone is taking advantage of him.
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Getting him to a doctor is important!

It is also important that you find some way of monitoring his finances. That is often the first area where impairment shows. Paying a late charge once in a while is one thing, but general mismanagement can be ruinous. Don't say you want to invoke the POA. Just be curious about various aspects of his finances. Bring over your electric bill (print it out if it is on computer) and ask to compare it to his. If he is 3 months behind in paying it, tell him how easy it is to have it on auto pay. Maybe that could lead into getting all recurring bills on auto pay. One step at a time, try to get a handle on his financial situation.

The fact the he doesn't have current license tabs or car insurance may be a very good thing, as long as he doesn't try to drive anyway. If this is dementia or some other serious brain impairment he will need to stop driving, so don't help him get those items up to date!

Very early in her dementia, before it was diagnosed we noticed our mom paying some bills twice and being way overdue on others. She had a few small medical bills she couldn't figure out at all. She was grateful when one of my sisters straightened things out for her -- and then kept them straight.

My husband's dementia was sudden onset -- one day he was fine, the next day he had symptoms of moderate to advanced dementia! But when I took over our finances (we had taken turns) I realized maybe he hadn't been as "fine" as he appeared. I discovered bills stuffed under the couch cushions!

Several people in my support group had similar experiences with their loved ones. Screwing up your finances can have serious consequences.

Get dad to a doctor.
Get a handle on his finances.
Don't encourage him to update his car license and insurance.

Come back and tell us how it is going for you.
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Chronic heart disease = vascular dementia. Eventually. And since you mention the mini strokes, it sounds like it's already here.

Where did you get the power of attorney done?
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Thank you all for the great responses. He has the only copy of the power of attorney because we were in a rush and didn't really know what we were doing, he may have talked me out of copying it that day, I'm not sure - it was done in a very hurried manner. I might have to find and grab it when he isn't home?

Doesn't he have Medicare? No, he goes to the VA hospital - but lately won't go unless its specifically about his heart. Always has an excuse. This last time, it took 3 pleas over 2 weeks to get him to make an appointment plus 2 missed appointments to check for mini-stroke (which he agreed, at the beginning of making these appointments, was a concern but now acts like its no big deal)

Have you observed him in his home? Yes, almost every day for 4 years. He is getting progressively worse in terms of concentration, energy and memory - but I don't know whether its a deficiency, stress, or what. Its hard to distinguish between normal aging and what I see. Since I can't get him in to the doctor, I can't reliably determine what is going on with his spiraling finances because I can't invoke power of attorney if its just Vitamin D or something of that nature.

Is he paying bills, able to cook, bathing, have spoiled food in fridge, etc? He won't talk about specifics in regards to his bills, just generalizations about how bad it is but how he can handle it. Bathing seems not as often but he's an ex-marine so its sort of automatic for him. Spoiled food, no - almost burning the apartment down by falling asleep when he burnt cookies - yes.

Have you talked to his neighbors, friends, etc? Yes, my sister lives with him but barely talks to him (another topic)- however, she is concerned because every couple of months he asks her for more money - yet his income and expenses don't change. No neighbors or friends that would have any valuable information.
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skytrike, by chance how old is your father, if he is under 65 he wouldn't have Medicare.   As for getting Dad to the doctor, tell him that he needs to go twice a year otherwise he will lose his Medicare.... I know that is a fib but sometimes we have to use "therapeutic fibs" to get our parent to do something important. 

As we age we tend to forget things, it's just a normal process.   The way I look at it, our brain is like a lot of filing cabinets all crammed with information.   We get to a certain age and it takes longer to dig thought those files to find what we need.   That explains why at midnight we remember something we were trying to remember at 6 pm  :)

Have the doctor check Dad's vitamin levels to see if he is low on anything.   Usually low Vit B12 and Vit D can make one very sluggish and slow the memory when the issue isn't Dementia.  That can be correctly by taking more of that certain vitamin.
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True. When my cousin was so overwhelmed with bills, mail, bank issues, she just crawled into bed and left it sitting. Fortunately, she had appointed me DPOA years earlier when she was fine. I just got all the mail and told her that I'd handle it until she felt better. She was so relieved and thanked me profusely. It was a huge weight lifted from her. She couldn't figure out how to do it anymore and had given up. Your dad may be too embarrassed to admit that he's having trouble.
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No excuse not to go to the Dr. Medicare pays for a check up once every year. If he needs medications for some reason look into the stores that offer cheap prescriptions. I know of a couple of big box stores where can get a 3 month supply for about $10. Also one big chain pharmacy does the same thing and in my area a grocery store does the same. Not a choice of the latest medications but something to treat most common conditions. Some big drug companies will also offer some free meds and ask the Dr if he/she has any samples he can be given. If he is really low income look into Medicaid.
Definitely try and get control of the finances. He will probably be grateful if he does not have to worry about this any longer.
It is possible that he does have early dementia but it could just as likely be stress or depression.
It is very possible he is getting so tired because of an underlying disease such a hypothyroid, that can be easily treated.
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I don't understand what you mean by not paying for tabs. Doesn't he have Medicare? The co-pay shouldn't be that high. I'd try to devise a way to get him to a doctor. Not by saying there's something wrong, but, acting like it's just routine, check up, immunizations, requirement for something OR ask him to go with you. Say it's your appt. He could have a UTI or something besides dementia. I'd try to rule out things, so you know what you're dealing with.

If his finances are messed up, I'd try to get control quickly, before he loses a lot of funds. If he'll allow you, that's great, but, if not, you'll have to get creative and/or see an attorney about it and possibly going to court for Guardianship.

Have you observed him in his home? Is he paying bills, able to cook, bathing, have spoiled food in fridge, etc? Have you talked to his neighbors, friends, etc? Often they can tell you more, since they may see him more often and when he's not on guard.
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Yes, it is.

What sort of POA has your father given you, do you know?

Any other health problems?
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