My mother-in-law is 65. The past year we noticed that her memory had begun to decline. She has been on a multitude of memory altering medications for years due to chronic pain, anxiety, and depression, but we knew something was definitely different when she called to ask if her parents had passed away and if not, where do they live now. (They both passed within the last 10 years.) We just last week received her diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s, but they want to retest in 9 months because depression, anxiety, and isolation due to the pandemic could be contributing factors. Also, she was unable to complete testing because she was so fatigued before the end. The results are likely correct, but the doctor cannot say they are absolutely the diagnosis due to incomplete testing.
We are in the process of convincing her to give her daughter, my sister-in-law, power of attorney, but she flip flops between accepting help and being extremely stubborn, paranoid, and has a victim complex. She has always been like this, but with her being hyper aware that her memory is declining, she has doubled down on the paranoia and resisting “control” instead of accepting that our help is a positive for her wellbeing. We all (her 2 children and their spouses) want her to be safe and healthy, but she perceives it as wanting to control her life, to take everything she loves away from her, and put her in a home to get rid of her. The opposite is true and we try very hard to reassure her of that.
We have been struggling with her online purchasing. I assume getting POA asap is our best bet, but there seems to be some limitations/resistance considering she is still mostly with it. She has been getting fear mongered by Facebook ads and YouTube into purchasing supplements for herself and her pets. She sometimes will spend hundreds of dollars at a time in the middle of the night on these supplements and have no memory of the purchases the next day. Then, when she calls the bank to check her balance and recent charges, she thinks there’s fraud and cancels her card. She has had at least 4 new debit cards (probably more) this past year due to fraudulent purchases that she made herself.
With her diagnosis, she is currently and knowingly “doing her research” and purchasing supplements, nutrition books, and online classes from websites that say they will help with memory loss. I look up information on these websites and it’s all mostly fear mongering and outdated information geared towards taking advantage of people just like her. But she refuses to see it that way. She thinks we’re just trying to control her and prevent her from getting better. She is on a fixed income and doesn’t have the extra money to drop $300 on books and webinars about nutrition when she eats a very healthy diet and takes the supplements and medications prescribed by her actual doctors who are truly invested in her wellbeing.
I guess my main question is, does having POA give the holder the right to cancel purchases that are obviously very bad for MIL’s financial health while she is still with it enough to know exactly why she made the purchase? Enacting POA seems like such a grey area because my MIL knows exactly what she’s doing, but she isn’t making the logical connections on why she shouldn’t do it. Her mental health and flip flopping is a whole extra layer that complicates things. We never know if we’re getting the woman who is willing to receive help or thinks we’re out to get her.
We’re all so new to this so I apologize if this didn’t flow as well as I intended. There are so, so many details about her situation that I left out because I could write a novella on her whole situation.