What do you do when she is not able to keep up with her checkbook and gives out her credit card to anybody?

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I am so angry right now it is unreal. I am the caregiver for my momma who we believe has dementia. I am also her POA and have medical directive. Momma has a living trust that I am trustee over that she does not understand. She has a checkbook where the trust pays her x amount of money each month for grocerys, hair cut and etc. My brother and his wife and my sister lie to her and take advantage of her in getting her to pay for things. This time it was $5,000.00 for braces for my neice. Momma already paid $4,000.00 for the first set of braces but bro and wife never followed through with the remaining treatment of purchasing a retainer and niece's teeth moved back. They had the nerve to expect momma to just roll over and pay again. Momma does and does not tell me. At one time she was able to manage her checkbook but I have noticed it has gotten worse. She just basically writes out checks to whomever for whatever and gives her credit card to any of them. Has no clue of what her balance is and how much she is spending. I try to protect her as best I can and provide for her. When you tell her about these things of people taking advantage of her and not to give her credit card out - she agrees with you and then does it anyway. She is going to the ortho on Monday. I don't know what or how she is going to pay. I am just going to let the do do hit the fan.

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Excellent answers here, including the details of what to do for Mom.
Do not be surprised if siblings commit identity theft and open new credit in your Mom's name, at a different address!
SOLUTION: Monitor her credit reports with the 3 major credit reporting agencies.
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Don't know the exact amount but she does have a liile over a million. She also has a large ltc policy - eqity in her house - a cabin in tn that is paid for and investments. lost dad 4 years ago so it is just momma who cannot handle it. Dad did it all. She does have dementia and some other health problems.
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Akababe - the costs of elderly care are staggering. At your moms age of 81, my mom had a pretty nice nest egg, home paid, stable income...flash forward a dz+ years when her lewy body dementia got to the point on needing a NH and hello Medicaid! With private pay skilled nursing care running 5k - 15k a mo plus whatever copay for Medicare and other services, easily 100 - 200k a year. LTC policies pay for a limited run and some facility's will flat not take LTC policies as payment (my moms 2nd & better NH would not take them as too paperwork heavy on to get paid).

In this mice maze of dealing with our elderly what I've found is that if they live long enough they will run out of money unless they are generationally weathly. So Medicaid comes into the picture. If so, and mom continues to gift $ to your brother and mom eventually runs out of $, there will be a transfer penalty issued by Medicaid for all gifting done for the last 5 years with the penalty starting on the day of the application. Brother isn't likely to return the $, now is he?

At 81, your mom could have another 15 years. Hopefully your mom has over 1M available so never finds herself in the Medicaid predicament. But it's those who are 300-600k comfortable now who find themselves later on down to their last 50k and needing Medicaid. Family is unprepared as they just think there will always be $ out there that mom just has. Really take the time to go to visit her and review what moms costs are, how much is bring siphoned off to your brother, what her LTC requires to pay out, what NH memory units cost for private pay in her area, the sellable value of her home minus mortgage, and then see an elder law attorney (who will have a good FA who understands medicaid) to come up with options as to how to best position her funds for the future.

Another thing that seems to happen for the better off elderly needing a NH, is that they are cash poor but property wealthy. So they are down to their last 50k and could quickly spend down to qualify for Medicaid but their home bought in the 1960's is worth 550k. To their surprise, they are ineligible for Medicaid as the home is over the value allowed by Medicaid in their state.

Planning is the key to doing this & start with gathering moms info and see legal in her city. Good luck & keep a sense of humor going.
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When the other siblings are criminal exploitative addicts abusing a senior, then it is time to redefine "it is Mom's choice" and put her into some kind of protective custody, preferably nearer you.
Sometimes, being nice is just not nice. Do what is right.
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i agree with the above posters who strongly suggest you get mom into AL where her needs will be met. You are already paying bills, so no credit cards are even worth having, PERIOD. No one can access something she does not have. If you have DPOA, by all means make use of it. You and Mom and Dad will be better off, even if others have to foot their own bills. (siblings)?
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Between her house which is not paid off but has a substantial equity - another peice of property in gatlinburg that is paid off and her trust all together - at the age of 81 she is in very good shape. My dad was a very good provider. She also has a large Ltc policy.so she would not qualify for medicaid. She has medicare and also a usaa medical supplement along with humana.
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Have a talk with mom and tell her you will be doing the bill paying from now on. If anyone has used one of her credit cards, cancel that card and confiscate all the others so she can't rinse and repeat.

"Mom, you gave me your POA so that, when the time came, I could help and protect you. It's time for me to take over. We'll discuss everything of COURSE. But don't let your mind trick you. It's time for me to step in."

If your mom runs out of money and needs Medicaid? Any money mom has given away in the last five years will have to be repaid. If it isn't, your mom won't be eligible for Medicaid for MONTHS after she's exhausted her funds -- until those gifts are set off. This is serious. Get on it.
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Happiness for those with dementia isn't going to happen as what is going to make then happier is to roll back time to when they were competent and cognitive.

I world suggest you focus on safety & security and both physical & financial on both of these. Physical well it's probably time for either AL or perhaps a very organized IL for mom. Security well having her in a living situation where she is checked on & eats daily is important & the AL or IL can do that. But she needs financial Secuity and this is going to be sticky.... Just how big of a trust does mom have. Between the trust $ and what her home (I can't tell if she is in her home or in an apt) could sell for is there $ 300 - 500K available?

I agree with the others that if you want to continue to be a DPOA, you just flat need to take the time and go to her city and find places to move to; change how she can access $ (like 2 signatures for over a certain amount); and get her legal either tightened up or start guardianship or a conservatorship.
Now speak with attorney as to how moms state does G/C...often the judge (where GC is done) will flat not name someone out of state or even out of the county as a G/C.
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I already pay all of her bills for her through the trust checking account. She receives x amount every month for her groceries and etc. She does not have a ATM card. I already have all other checks and have destroyed old accounts. She doesn't really drive that much, but still every now and then drives to the grocery store. Not only do we have to protect our loved ones from family members, but also from your momma's. She is not going to be too happy about this.
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Get in the car or on a plane/train/bus and head to see Mom. I can't imagine that she is safe living in a house mostly by herself. How does she go to the grocery store that she needs a check for? Ditto on billpaying etc. There is no way she should have access to her checking account or a credit card at this stage of her health.

Alternatives? Yes, Assisted living (memory care). Or a live in aide (take away everything and make arrangements for ordering food online or provide grocery store 'gift cards'.

Ifyou have POA, move money after each trust deposit to another account inher name that she doesn't even know about. Get in touch with the credit card company and either drop it or lower the available credit line to the lowest possible amount. ($500 or less). That way large purchases would be denied. Take control that is your role at this stage! Take over all finances: pay bills online for her. Open a new checking account and take all of the checks with you. Destroy the checks from the other account -- as well as all ATM cards. Isn't it disgusting that we even have to figure out how to protect our loved ones from other family members???
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