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I took over her bills about 2 years ago after bills not being paid and things gettings turned off. I got a POA and had her bills sent to my home. I am on the checking account and pay her bills thru the bank. She is going out almost everyday and shopping and buying stuff she doesn't need. I can follow her by her debit card. She spends well over her income and the savings has rapidly gone down. She couldn't even pay property taxes with out using the credit card. I gave her a budget and she just went to the bank and got more money out of saving, or charged it on a credit card. I took away her debit card and checks and credit card and gave her cash to use for a month. She went to the bank and got more checks and ordered a new debit card. I don't know what to do, she is almost broke. I need help!

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Rosetree, if a person is a big time spender, it is almost impossible to change their spending habits.

Have the bank create a two signature procedure, thus if your Mom goes to the bank to get more cash, she would also need your signature to do that. Lower the limits on the debit and credit card.
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Rosetree002 Jan 29, 2020
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How is she getting to the bank? Sounds like she's still driving. My Mom went through this and I was left to "take care" of the aftermath. Mom ran me off after her first initial diagnosis/hospital stay of almost a month and was told she was no longer able to drive. (I live in TN, her in AL) Well, she continued driving and ended up getting lost quite a few times and assisted home by county sheriff deputies. At that time the state stepped in and took custody of my Mom and put her back in the hospital/geriatric psych ward. I had to go to court and get guardianship of her and she was only released if she was being placed in a home, which I did. Assisted living. Since you have the POA I would definitely talk to the bank about the double signatures someone else mentioned and if you can get some type of official diagnosis from her Dr, and show that as well, you might be able to do what you need to with her bank. It's a very sad road, this disease, and you just have to do everything you can to help her at this point whether she likes it or not. My prayers are with you.
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Your profile says Mom has a Dementia. Telling her what she shouldn't do is falling in deaf ears. She no longer can reason and short term memory means she can't remember. You r going to need to make decisions. Mom will not be able to live alone at some point. It will not be what she wants, it will be what she needs to be kept safe.
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Rosetree002 Jan 29, 2020
Thank you for your reply. I know she can't reason and I do pay her bills , and manage the bank account. I was told that she needs her own money to spend and feel like she is in control of some things, Not working . I gave her money in the account to spend after her bills were paid.
She went thru it in a week and then went to the bank and got more and went thru it in 4 days. Now she is broke and has 4-5 day till a payday. She called to ask if I knew where her checks were, I said you don't have any money so take something back that you bought last week. I send her her bank statement and weekly spending log every week. I know she will have to move here at some point but won't even talk about it now. I'm going to start looking for some one to come in and help her with things. I just don't know where to turn or who to get involved.
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Get her a gift card/loadable debit card. Load a certain amount on it every month. Tell her that when she spends out the card, she will have to wait until next month to "go shopping." TAKE AWAY HER DEBIT CARD.
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Reply to Taarna
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Consult with her doctor. She may be getting dementia. Irrational financial behavior is a symptom. Can you lower the limits on her credit card, or switch to a prepaid credit card for her? Since she is still mobile and able to order more checks and cards, the situation is more difficult. Can you open up another account for her (such as a new savings account) and move most of her money to that account so that she doesn't see it? At some point you may want to request guardianship, but that is an extreme solution.
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You have the POA. It's time to go to her bank and change her accounts. Since she has been able to override your limits on her spending, it's probably time to limit her to either a prepaid 3rd party credit card or cash, and make you the signer of all checks on her account. I don't know if banks will let you do that or not, but maybe a letter from her neurologist will help.
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Please be sure you are on her bank account as POA and NOT JOINT OWNER. Our attorney told us if you are joint owner and your mom runs up debt, the creditor can come after YOUR ASSETS.
As POA you are entitled to do for your mom what she wants, but cannot go against her wishes. You may need to get conservatorship.
Good luck.
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PeeWee57 Jan 30, 2020
How so? Creditors can lay claim to the joint account, but not other unrelated assets held solely by the co-owner.
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Are you sure that your mother is actually spending all the cash she draws? I am not talking about credit and debit card purchases that leave an electronic trail. Time after time I have heard carers complaining about the amount of cash an elder seems to go through, only to eventually discover most of it secreted in the strangest of places.
Let me illustrate. My daughters MIL was regularly visiting her own mother in a retirement village where she was increasingly being monitored as a dementia resident. The MIL visited several times a week, her mother kept saying she had spent all her money so was given more. Amounted to about 50 dollars every visit.
Following her mothers death my daughters MIL had to clear out the flat. She found all sorts of missing items that had supposedly been stolen (according to the mother), like knitting and sewing needles, saucepans and so forth. But no items that could account for all the spent money.
Following my suggestion the MIL found bundles of cash wrapped in plastic hidden inside the toilet cistern, in jars buried in the garden, under carpet and lino that had been carefully pulled up and replaced. It amounted to some 20,000 dollars!
As far as your mothers out of control spending is concerned, all I can say is to approach the bank again and tell them you have POA and they must keep to thevli it you set. Could you have some of the funds tied up in a short term deposit where it is not accessible but still available in the future?
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rovana Jan 30, 2020
But how would the bank stop the use of an ATM? And this sounds like POA, not guardianship.
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I went through the same thing. Mom thinks she has an endless amount of money, but when she sold stock and spent all of it at the Casino, I put an end to her spending.
Some banks do not accept a POA. I took my POA paperwork and Doctors letters stating she couldn’t manage her money or any financial decisions . Then had her bank limit her spending amount. She was mad and accused everyone of stealing her money.
Be sure to have your mom diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimers before to try limiting her accounts. It helps.
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Reply to Eaglet333
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Rosetree, I am in tears for you and your family. Dementia is insidious and it affects the entire family.

Learning to be our parents authority figure is brutal, especially when they are not the least bit flexible. From everything that you have shared, your mom should not be living alone. She is a danger to herself and others. Not intentionally, her brain is dying and with that process all of her life skills and even survival skills are dying. That is what you are seeing with her obsessive purchasing, something isn't clicking in her brain and she may or may not even know it. You can't reason with dementia, that seems to be one of the 1st executive functions to go.

Call the local area on aging and ask them for a needs assessment. This will help get things in motion for your mom. If one of you can be there to share all the changes you see it would be helpful.

This resource will direct you to the resources available for mom. Believe me, there are so many resources available that we never even hear about until we are on the dementia train.

I would also talk with her neurologist about what they see and ask them what resources they can share. If you do not have a signed HIPAA can I recommend that you do one that specifically states that it never expires. The ones at the doctors office is only good for 1 year. Get one for all of you guys.

I am going to encourage you to get ready for a ride like no other and none you could have ever imagined. Being prepared for the unknown is going to help you. This disease is a rollercoaster that has no exit until death, it progressively gets worse and just when you think you have it figured out, things change and that is the only true known thing with dementia, constant changes.

You and your siblings will do well to get educated on dementia and Alzheimer's, they are not mutually exclusive in how they affect our loved ones. Just having information will make the trip a little less challenging. Try to find support groups for each of you.

Great big warm hugs! You can do this!

ps: can you check with her bank and credit card to see if they have a double verification process? We do this for online purchases and we have to give a code that comes to our phones or the credit card will not process. Just a thought, I don't know about point of purchase transactions, but worth asking and use your number, then you can deny the transaction.
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