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He has Frontal Temporal Dementia, so although his memory is impaired somewhat, his big problem is in behavior - he has no inhibitions anymore, about sex, money, and other things. He still knows how to spend money, but can't figure out the details. I could hide his debit card, but there would be H... to pay! Does anyone else have this kind of problem?

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I do not have any personal experience with Dementia yet, but hope to God I never do! I admire each and every one of you in that position, and cringe when I read of some of your trials! God bless you all!
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Vegaslady, rut row, you've got yourself a situation! I agree, stay away from the junk shops! Umm, freeze the credit/debit cards in an ice block? Lol, I've got nothing! Lol. Good luck!
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My FIL was constantly spending money on sweepstakes and ordering Reader's Digest books. At least, we were able to send those back, and this was prior to debit cards. With these types of problems, it is much easier on the patient if he is in a treatment center, because ALZ gets SO much worse. I wouldn't want him to wander off and get lost.
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No StaceyB....this is not for fun, this is no way a cute way to spend the day. My husband haunted Goodwill and other thrift shops. You spend a ton there if you are there every day and grabbing everything that strikes your fancy. He bought guitars, an accordian, swords, furniture, bikes, crystal stuff, paintings, tvs, antennas, plates, sets of plates, and it goes on and on. It is a symptom of brain deterioration and should not be encouraged. I could do what you suggested, but not a person with FTD.
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If he loves speding to whiles away the time and out of boredom, try taking him to junk stores, second hand stores and the like, where he gets to spend without spending too much, then have a garage sale, where he can redeem some of that money. More work for you yes, but it will give him something to do with his time, and keep him busy, without braking the bank. Just a thought. Some people are spenders, (like me), and just need something to occupy their time. Make it fun!
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Almost all FTD patients with the behavioral variant seem to screw up their family's financial situation, even into the millions of dollars. Put your foot down and squash the spending as well as you can. Yes he will go into a rage and be scary. If the doctor can medicate to help out, go for it. The spending and hoarding become obsessive. They can be attracted to the shiny, unusual items. I always recommend the AFTD organiztion, the Radin book "What If It's Not Alzheimers", and the online support group at ftdsupportforum website.
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Sandwich hit it right on this one. "Ignorance is bliss". Somehow, someway, get control of the cards and money away from him. I noticed your comment that there would be h*ll to pay.

This is going to create financial disaster for you. How old is your husband and how good is his memory? With my dad I slowly took over the bill paying, cancelled credit cards and so forth. Occasionally my Mom would slip up and say something about me controlling their money. He'd have a big fit, accuse me of trying to steal money , get all paranoid. At first I would freak out but I just diverted his attention, bob and weave and it would pass till the next time.

But your situation may be different. In any event, you're not going to be able to reason with him. It's going to take some tough stuff to deal with this.
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Sandwich makes some good points.

Another option is to try to redirect the spending to worthwhile activities and/or organizations. You might try asking him if he has a favorite charity - animal rights, military, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts - but do your research first as there are a lot of bogus charities with big hands out trying to get into pocketbooks.

Periodically mention the benefit of helping someone by helping that organization. Keep mentioning how so many people need help - cite the recent Nepalese earthquake. Wonder aloud if there's anything you could do to help them, and be prepared to suggest donations, gradually making this a topic instead of purchasing stuff.

Ask if you can write a check to his favorite charity for him. If you can get this far, you've done very well!

There's a principal we learned in Economics - can't remember the exact name of it now but it addresses the satisfaction people get from spending money. And it isn't just elders - look at women's clothing and shoe collections, and men's collection of tools, perhaps cars, motorcycles, etc. I'm not suggesting this is bad in and of itself, but when it's a primary source of emotional satisfaction, and has become compulsive, the habit has crossed over into a different realm.

We talked about this in the Alzheimer's Creating Confident Caregivers course I took; it's NOT an isolated incident.
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Yes, I have this problem.
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I do need to respectfully disagree and say that the going thinking is to not put the patient on the spot about their memory lapses, remind them of, or confront their deficiencies. We join them in their world vs. basically saying "now look how you've messed up again..."

They don't know, aren't going to know, and the person can be very humiliated in this situation by being called out, even if it's done gently. They don't even know why they can't remember. Not only are you now missing money, but you have an ashamed and upset dementia sufferer on your hands who no longer has the ability to control their emotions or behaviors. I would be very careful.

I saw this with my husband's grandmother. One of her daughters simply had to "reality orient" and correct everything. She was always reminding grandma that "remember, you can't drive anymore because of your dementia" Or "you can't make the quilts at church anymore because of your dementia". "No, Daddy isn't coming to pick you up. He's been dead for years. You forgot because of your dementia." It just went on & on like a horror show for years. It set my teeth on edge to see grandmother look like a scolded child and cry because she could no longer do so many things and made constant mistakes. It was cruel. We just could not get this aunt to change her approach.

My advice is to structure life so he does not have to encounter the problem in the first place. Just do the things you need to without a lot of discussion or calling attention to the problem or the solution. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
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If you have a debit card also for the same account, tell him you lost yours out somewhere, think you must have dropped it in a parking lot, leave to retrace your steps. :-) When you get back tell him you stopped by the bank and they are taking care of it, canceling cards, getting new ones and you'll just have to go on "cash only" while it gets worked out. (If you don't debit out of the same account get his card when he's not looking, let him tell you he lost it, and proceed as above.) Ask him how much he thinks he'll need per week for pocket money, and make a weekly stop by the bank to pick up cash, dole it out weekly while the bank "fixes" things. :-) Then when he bugs you about it in a couple weeks tell him you decided the security risk and keeping track of the transactions wasn't worth it since plain old cash is working out better.

If/when he runs out of "allowance" cash right away, question him where it went. Try and help him remember where he went each day, how much he may have spent, help him by jotting it down as he talks. When he can't figure it out, softly tell him his illness may be progressing. Then you can ease into the "I'm sorry honey, but you know you aren't great with handling money anymore" talk when the time is right, keep him clear out of the finances in the future. Let him blow his set weekly allowance after that, everyone needs some pocket money. You can have your credit frozen, google it for your state, so that no new cards/loans can be taken out via phone or computer. You'll get a pin number after freezing the credit, if you need to buy a new car or something you'll have to plan a couple of days in advance to temporarily unfreeze your credit reports, but otherwise no one can do anything new you don't know about. It's scary, but people will prey on guys like that. Never know what can happen, reverse mortgage/home equity line of credit you didn't know about, new credit cards with big balances, etc, etc. Act quick, you're protecting his future too, even though he's not going to like it.
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We had a serious spending problem with my father. It was very difficult to manage. He was a very meek man with dementia. He shopped from catalogs and would spend $1-2K a month on junk. These were things like trinkets that had no use or value. He bought knives and fancy foods in tins. I tried to do something to curb the behavior by canceling catalogs or tossing them when I could before making it in the house. My mother would encourage me to do these things, but then back down if Dad began to sulk, acting like it was me alone who was doing it to him. Sometimes we could get him to cut back, but soon he would be at it again. In his case I think it was boredom coupled with dementia.

Is there a way that you can get your husband engaged in something that doesn't require spending money? I know FTD is serious to contend with, since there are so many personality changes. But I still wonder if there is something that will occupy his mind and distract him from wanting to buy things.

If there isn't, I think you have to take care of yourself and cancel the credit and debit cards. I don't envy you this task, because I know there will be h*ll to pay. You can't let him spend you into pauperdom, though.
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If you don't get control over this you will have major MAJOR money problems that will be worse than any fit he will throw over not having a debit card anymore.

Yes, DO work with a neurologist over this so you don't get caught behind the 8-ball on the medical situation behind this.

DO go to the bank and get him a special account like they probably have for teenagers (which is what they are at my credit union). A no minimum checking account with a very, very limited low balance debit card for it that will decline instead of overdraw. DO NOT setup your other accounts to dump money into it automatically. You need to control the balance without him knowing it, which is very easy to do online.

Don't overexplain this. Just tell him "hey here's your new debit card from the bank. I have to turn the other one in." and say no more. Cut up the old one.

Good luck!!!
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I'm sorry I don't. Does he travel to the store by himself to spend this money?

With a debit card, perhaps you could change the PIN so that it would no longer work. Or you could tie it to an account that has a small balance so that he can't bankrupt you. Or you could see if you could put a maximum transaction balance on it? I'm not sure if that's possible. I guess you could keep the receipts and return them, but boy what a hassle that can be.

What does his doctor say about his lack of inhibition? I would think that there would be something they could suggest. Good luck and maybe someone will be able to suggest something more.
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