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Mom lives with myself and my husband. She loses money that she gets out of the bank by other family members taking her to the bank. This happens every week. Most of the time we don't even know she has the money, much less how much. When she can't find the money she accuses us of stealing the money and gets very angry. The same thing happens with her losing her debit card. She does not want us to keep these items for her. She keeps saying she can handle it. Should we continue to let her keep the money and card in her possession or should we keep them for her? It is nerve wreaking when she loses it and the house is turned upside down.

I’ve learned that dementia patients can’t make sound decisions so you have to do that for them. You should handle her money.
I had to do this with several things with my mom and she got very angry, but eventually after time she just let go.

A little humor for you...my aunt told me a story about when my grandmother with alzheimers lived with her. My grandmother would say ‘Have you seen that woman that comes through the house? (Which was my aunt) ‘Well she’s been taking my things!’ My aunt whispered back to her “Well, when she goes to sleep, you and I will take all of it back!” It made my grandmother giggle and say “ok!”
I hope something good happens to you tomorrow.
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Deirdrem Mar 2, 2021
GardenHoneyBee Loved your response to your grandmother! Priceless!
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Are you her financial PoA? If so then yes, I'd take the debit care away and replace it with a pre-paid credit card so that it can't get hacked and if it gets lost or stolen it's a limited amount of money. Cancel her credit cards and put as much on auto Billpay as possible. Tell the other family members to STOP taking her to the bank for cash and tell them why. Maybe keep some of her cash with you so that if wants a $5 or $10 you can give it to her. You can print out her bank statements and show her the balance whenever she asks to give her peace of mind. It's not easy and she won't like it but there's really no other options.
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SkyPrincess Feb 28, 2021
Yes, I am POA. I agree with your answer. I am very transparent with her. Anytime a statement comes, I show it to her. Although she forgets that I showed it to her. She is paranoid about money. She payoff and close all credit card accounts at my insistence. I just have to keep her from getting money out of the bank and losing it. That is my next task. Thank you for your answer.
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A little story..

As a bank employee many decades ago, I remember a bag of stinking damp bank notes brought in to be counted. It had been found in a deceasd elder's house (stuffed in a hole in a wall, in a tin). More under the bed, hidden in the bed, lots of places.

Unfortunately most of the notes were too soiled to be legal (needing two serial numbers). These were paper notes, unlike the plastic we now have. Only a few hundred dollars were salvaged from the thousands.

Was it being saved for the rainy day that never came? Being hid from robbers? Hidden by someone with dementia? Never knew.

I would go on a little treasure hunt with Mom in the house.... the 'faeries' may have been hiding it & you may get lucky & find it back!

I'd be stopping the helpful family bank escorts instantly. They may be helpful, but just maybe could be the 'faeries' on to a good thing 🤔

Pocket money only for Mom now, no ATM cards. Hard but necessary.
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jacobsonbob Mar 2, 2021
Because you are not in the US (because the US still uses paper banknotes), I'll mention this mainly for the benefit of those in the US and in other countries (still) issuing paper banknotes.

If you have damaged paper currency, don't assume it is "worthless". The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) has a "Mutilated Currency Division" in which it will receive this currency, and investigate as to whether the individual notes can be replaced. Apparently, their "detective work" is very proficient in identifying money that has suffered a wide range of calamities, such as fire, decay, etc. and can often identify and then replace money believed to be damaged beyond the point of no return. In general, the staff there either need to see at least half of the note or, if less than half, then be satisfied that the remainder of the note has been destroyed. In addition, paper money that has been contaminated with dangerous substances can also be packaged and sent for replacement. The BEP website (www.bep.gov or www.moneyfactory.gov) provides further information. Disturb the currency as little as possible before sending it (that is, don't try to force the notes apart if many are tightly stuck together--let the professionals do it).

Notes that clearly have more than half of the original (or if in pieces, the pieces together make up more than half), and on which the printing is clearly recognizable, can be replaced at a bank and don't need to be sent to the BEP.
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I know I am exhausted being the “bad guy.” But sometimes it’s necessary to put an end to others taking her to the bank and allowing her to keep cash in the house. As my mother’s POA, when I finally got to delve into what was happening with her accounts, I found a mess. I stopped everyone from taking her anywhere. She also was withdrawing cash from the ATM and doing God knows what with the money. I had suspicions that some of the people that were “helping” her were also being given cash.

I had a conversation with the bank manager about options. Some were to open another account with only a small amount of money in it. I also had the option of limiting the amount of cash that could be withdrawn on a debit card. I had to take away her checkbook and debit card after I placed her in an AL.

I actually didn’t have to deal with setting up a different account because she declined so quickly. One of the things I was worried about however, was having those larger cash withdrawals scrutinized by Medicaid in the future. She was taking out 500 or so sometimes and that money was never accounted for. So I want to insure that everything is transparent and paid for with a check and a corresponding bill or receipt. So I actually never have withdrawn cash from my mother’s account with a debit card.

When she had good moments there were many arguments and accusations. But I had to be firm and stand my ground. If she is in your house you may set the rule to be “we don’t allow cash in our house because we don’t want to tempt thieves” or something along those lines. Good luck!
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As much as you dread dementia getting to this point, it DOES get to this point if your loved one lives long enough. I was like you in I was always transparent with my husband as his FTD progressed. However when he reached 65 and we met with the Social Security Admin, since I was his POA, they told him he could not manage his money period. He was crushed and I sympathized out loud with him, but also told him we had no choice according to the SSA. You could ask for the assistance of a doctor or any professional that your loved one would respect to tell her this harsh reality. Hearing it from a detached person will keep her from constantly blaming you, if that makes sense? I took his debit card and I removed his computers and any link to the internet where he could use credit cards etc. Please understand, I subtly took these items without any fanfare if you will. I took his debit card from his wallet while he slept. I put away his computer where he could not possibly find it. When he couldn’t find his debit card, we were both at a loss. This may“feel wrong” but understand a peaceful environment is key especially for them but also for you to survive and care for their increasing needs. I basically had to create a bubble of protection around him so that others could not take advantage of him via his spending. At this point I stopped explaining every little thing I did, because like a small child, he couldn’t remember what I told him anyway. So, when he misplaced his phone, it just never got found 😜. Prior to putting away or hiding his computers he did at one point sneakily order himself a new debit card online.... when it arrived in the mail, I intercepted it, cut it up then he and I made a trip to the bank to explain how this was not to happen again and I removed his name from our account. You may need a Payees Account since she is a parent whereas mine was my spouse. Not to go on and on, but try to realize the changing role you are in. It’s like the reverse of raising a child. Eventually you may have to change and spoon feed them. But between now and then you’ll need to protect them and how you do that will change as they deteriorate. By the final months of my dear husbands life, if any object in our life caused either of us strife, I simply removed it. At that point if he didn’t see it, it never came up. He died in Dec peacefully at home and for that I am beyond thankful. Blessings to you on your journey.
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Omg this was my mother last year and until I found her money (where she hid it in her room every night ) it was a living hell. Then she felt bad accusing me and cried this went on for 3 weeks until I finally took her money away and told her she doesn’t need it I will pay for everything. Just so you know the problem is not over it will just be something else a shirt, nail clipper, brush. They usually hid things in draws and it’s usually the same place. Everyone around her has to be on the same page or their will be fighting. Best of Luck this is moderate dementia.
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Nazdrovia Mar 5, 2021
My brother is POA, which suits me fine. My father has his pension going into one account which he is allowed to use, the others are savings accounts. Now he wants to donate money out of the other accounts by sending cheques. I want to take his cheque books and hide them as my brother is trying to keep his accounts organised. He doesn't need more than one account as we pay for shopping, bills etc. He wants to pay his way but I see it as a type of manipulation to give him a green light to behave how he pleases.
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Ask family members to stop taking her to the bank. Tell them it causes many problems when she can't remember where she puts it. It means accusations and tearing your house apart.

It maybe time to place Mom in an AL if she has the money. Then you can request that she not be taken out of the facility without your permission. I was asked for a list of people that could take Mom out. She will need no money in an AL.
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What does she do with the cash she gets from the bank, besides hide it? Does she use it for misc expenses? Or does she just want to have some in her wallet?
Could you possible "trick" her with fake money? If she's not spending her real money maybe you could just keep her happy with the fake stuff you can buy at novelty stores.
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Catherine1109 Mar 1, 2021
Mom given credit card sm amount of cash...CC can be replaced charges questioned...let her have something makes them feel normal

Alas we had many great pocketbook hunts 😆 Tile App and fanny pack your new best friend
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You say she has dementia, and I am assuming that is "diagnosed" dementia.
Who is her POA? Who has control of the "accounts".
She should have only a small personal account if "other family members" are taking her to the bank. Clearly she is no longer competent to handle her finances. A debit card for such a senior is VERY VERY dangerous in that credit card expenses can be dealt with on a monthly basis, but debit will likely NOT be forgiven.
Whomever has POA should take over all finances, and should keep meticulous records of all cash in and all cash out on a monthly basis, records that would hold up in court. Good luck. Wishing you the best.
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SkyPrincess Feb 28, 2021
Yes, she has been diagnosed with dementia. I am her POA and in charge of all of her accounts. She made me POA years ago long before she got sick. I have been handling all of her bills and all finances for years. This money coming into the house will need to stop. I will have the other family members to stop with the bank runs. She is going to hate this, but I feel it is the right thing to do. Thank you for your answer.
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They may get to the point where they don't know the value of money. They could be scammed easily. And she will most likely keep losing the card and of course there is always the possibility of someone finding the card and using it. So, if it were me, I wouldn't let her keep it. Also keep track of who is calling, people could scam her over the phone.
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