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My 83 year old father lives with me 6 months in South FL and 6 months at home in New England alone. He has a pension and social security, no investments, no savings, no retirement. If there is money left over at the end of the month he spends it all. He will buy anything on sale (he bought a wood splitter, doesn't have a fireplace or trees to cut down) he will buy another "whatever" if he can't find the one he has. I refer to him as a impulse buyer, if he sees something he likes he has to have it, no matter the cost. It goes on and on. He needs new hearing aids, and doesn't have the money, he has no money because of all the "stuff" he buys. It saddens me that at 83 years old he has no safety net. What can I say or do to get him to realize that God forbid something major happens I don't know if my husband and I can foot the bill. I have said it, but he doesn't take it seriously. So, he needs hearing aids to hear, totally deaf without them .....do I pay for them so he can hear his 7 year old grand daughter or do I tell him "save your money"? Sighhhhhhh seems petty to me sometimes but really effects me and my family. Thanks in advance!

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This isn't petty at all. I'm wondering if he was always like this with money. If so, it's so ingrained that I don't know if you can change him. You may ask a good friend of his to talk with him, but it's not likely to do a lot of good.

If this is new behavior, then you might want to have him checked for dementia. Impulse control and the inability to handle money can be signs of some types of dementia. There may or may not be a medication that can help, but having him checked wouldn't hurt.

As far as buying his hearing aids, that's a tough one. If you can, I would do it because of quality of life and especially because of the grandchildren. However, there is a limit to what you can do unless you are wealthy. He needs to be told this, even if he doesn't retain the message.

Good luck. Please keep us posed on how this goes.
Carol
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Thank you all for the input. Since my initial post I have a had a lengthy chat with my Dad and he said "I never cared about money" and my response was it is fine to not care about it but you have to respect it. I have investigated and found over the last 5 years (my Mom passed away 6 years ago) he has incurred over $24k in credit card debt, and has nothing but "impulse stuff" to show for it. My mother handled the money and he didn't want to ask anyone to help him as to what to do after she passed. I think our chat was a wake up call, I have come up with a firm budget and am making a plan to pay the CC debt. He suggested and I agreed to hand over the responsibility for the money issues to me. So I felt good, until I saw a list today of things he wants to buy on the table. I am not going to say anything I want to see what he does. I have a 7 year old daughter, but I feel like I also have an 83 year old teenager who I have to keep an eye on. I am laughing to myself so I don't cry ....do I have to worry about him sneaking out the window at night to meet his friends?
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Carol is right. If your dad has always been this way there's probably no changing him now. If this is new behavior he should be seen by a Dr.

But what to do about the hearing aids. That IS a tough one, as Carol said. Do you have any control over his finances? Are you on an account with him and/or are you POA? If so I would protect his end-of-the-month money that he has left over, the money he spends frivolously, and save it up to buy his hearing aids. I know how much hearing aids are and I don't know how much money he has left at the end of the month but if it's doable, try saving it up for the hearing aids.

If you don't have any control over his finances see if he will give you this extra money at the end of the month so you can stash it away. Doesn't he want new hearing aids?

It'd be a shame if you had to pay for them. That's leaves your dad with no accountability whatsoever. He's a grown man and should take responsibility for his business but I think trying to teach him a lesson at this point would be pointless. If you can afford it and there's no way you can get the money from him I say buy the hearing aids. When our loved ones are hard of hearing, as my dad was, they're not a part of what goes on around them. My dad was born deaf in one ear and when he became elderly he was practically deaf in the other ear and he was treated differently and I didn't like it. People thought he had dementia at times but he didn't, he just couldn't hear. He had a hearing aid but it was always breaking or he would lose it.

If you can invest in his quality of life by buying the hearing aids, go ahead and buy them if you have to.
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Hearing aids are VERY expensive and I know I wouldn't foot the bill for them if my parent weren't even trying to save up to help pay for them. Sounds hard but after caring for 2 elderly parents both with different stages of dementia and other mental issues - I have found you have to do what is best for them yes but not at the expense of yourself or your own family. You shouldn't have to go into any type of your own finances for them to have what they need.

There are ways to get the hearing aids paid for or partially paid for. This link has several links and information that may help you.

http://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-05-2011/paying-for-hearing-aids.html

Medicaid often covers the expense of hearing aids but it is different from state to state. Since he has his own residence in another state that is the sate you would have to contact to see if he qualifies. If he has no money other than the SS check and a small private pension then I would assume he would qualify for Medicaid. You dad would have to give them permission to talk to you if you are the one going to do the leg work on this the first time you call if he is there he can give permission over the phone but if you are going to do this long term then there are of course forms that need to be filled out so they can talk to you and the Medicaid folks will let you know which you need and send them to you.

As for the spending - does he have a POA for financial? Are you listed as the POA? I would get him evaluated (if he is willing) to see if dementia has set in or some other type of elderly mental issues. Even if he has done this his whole life its not normal to spend every dime in your pocket on things you don't need and not have the funds for the things you do need.
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