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How much cash does mom need in Assisted Living? Management would like her not to have large amounts of cash. Mom feels she has so little left to control in life, she likes having cash there. She misplaces it frequently and I am resolved not to worry if it is ever lost. It won't be the end of the world for her. However I don't want suspicion to fall on innocent staff or to pose temptation to them either. I figure mom needs $50, and maybe the same in the office petty cash fund. She has about $1000 and wants more each month. We can stop what we give her, but to take from her what she has seems harsh. She carries it in her purse, or in an odd assortment of containers. What about a room safe? What is the best way to handle this so she doesn't feel she's losing yet another freedom? Or are we being to lenient?

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Very difficult.

From your and your mother's point of view, there is the option of just letting things be and if it goes it goes. But $1,000? - that is a serious headache for the ALF.

If a whole thousand goes AWOL, they won't be able to shrug it off. And if it is proved or strongly suspected that members of staff are responsible (and they may not be - it only takes the wrong container or envelope to get thrown out with the trash, after all) then you can see immediately all the problems they'll have to deal with, and the potential knock-on effects on reputations and other residents' confidence in them.

Little old ladies like to have security in their hands. Would your mother compromise on keeping, say, $100 in crisp notes in a nice new billfold in her purse, which she keeps on her? And the rest goes either in the safe, or you bring it in in the same wallet every visit for her to check. You'll have to turn into a broken record during arguments about it: "mother, this is a staff welfare issue and the ALF insists - no more than $100 to be kept in residents' rooms."
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Wow, this is so timely for me.
Today I am moving furniture and tomorrow my mother goes to assisted living. Wish me luck -- I'm going to need it!
I can't imagine letting anyone, capable or otherwise, having $1,000. It's just too risky.
My healthcare advocate, who has helped me find a place and arranged moving etc., says there is sometimes nothing wrong with a lie. So, "Sorry, mom. But it's the policy of the folks here that you don't have more than $100 cash. It's for your own safety" might be the way to go.
If you're physically close to the facility, you can assure your mom that if something comes up and she thinks she needs more, you will take it to her.
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My mother (@ 96) always asks to have some cash available to her. It seems to be a security that I keep around $50 in her wallet and would never consider more.

The reasoning for the ALS and staff is very valid and should mother want more, it would be my reasoning/explanation that she does not need it unless she is going shopping. Recently, mom's credit cards were removed from her wallet as well -- she does not need them since she does not go shopping any more.
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I've worked through this issue...but it still arises. I say we're not allowed to have a lot of cash on hand...for security reasons. "But I don't have any money!" So we search here and there and everywhere and I usually find what she has hidden. It makes her happy if I can find a twenty and some ones. "Oh, I guess we don't need to go to the bank." And because of her obsession with money and needing to get a job....she is the after lunch clean up person...with reminders from the activities coordinator who thought of this. Each Fri. she gets a $5 bill. I make sure the director has an envelope of fives. Of course, most of the time she forgets she "has a job," but the staff are terrific and Mom loves receiving an amount that seems like a lot to a child of the Depression.
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When my mom went into assisted living I gave her $20 - all ones. She felt like she had a million dollars. I put $100 in the petty cash fund for her use that was kept in the office. Whenever she used some, I replenished it. I also bought her a new wallet to put her cash in. She was happy. In the end, the $20 was still there in her wallet. But if it had been taken, I wouldn't fret over the $20.
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When I was cleaning out my mom's house after she died, I found various amounts of cash stuffed in purses, drawers, pockets, etc. over $500. I hope that if and when I go to AL or Nursing home that I will remember where my cash is! Right now it is in my wallet, around $100, and in a locked filing cabinet, about $800. I usually get $1000 from the bank when I run out of cash. My 2 children know about this and also where the keys are. They have concerns that caregivers, if such become necessary may also figure this out. I too worry that I will get dementia (maybe I already have!) and have tried to prepare for that eventuality. But how do you know and when it does happen are you willing to accept it? My observations have been that you are not!
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I have worked in rest homes [ the hospital part] and so will say to everyone on here. PLEASE for the staff's sake, dont let your parent/loved one have loose cash more than say $20 in their room. and if in a unit no more than $50 ITs not fair on the staff. they have to 'go through the locker' to look for the comb, the false teeth, to clean them to find the soiled undies. etc etc. A few coins in the purse with a note, more money in the safe. I arrived at a place [ was doing agency work] where staff had been blamed for the loss of $50 [a lot of money here] and talk about scared and worried staff. Because the family went ape *** saying their mother would not have misplaced it. [forgetting the teeth were found in a funny place the week before] And demanding the rest home replace it [they didnt]
My mother carries her purse and 2 handbags around most of the time, when they are not lost. with nothing in them, we had given her some coins. but they soon go missing. And she is constantly worried how will she pay for her bus fare to get to London and get a job as a hand sewer [ she thinks she is about 20 and pre WW2] and has no idea where the country she now lives in is down at the end of planet earth.
I will say far better to be having a concerned resident, than a total upheaval of the rest home. All over a few $$
I like the $5 concept, having some available by the staff to pay out.
Go for the smallest denomination what ever they carry in their purse, it will get lost
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Give her $20 a week? in fives and ones? If it disappears (and it probably will), that's not too much to lose. Not more than $20 a week, and do not add another $20 every week. Tell her there are thieves around and the facility does not allow residents to have a lot of money - have her favorite nurse or aide or doctor tell her. (She will misplace it, hide it, or someone will lift it, along with any medications, jewelry, stuffed animals, knickknacks, magazines, etc.) Other residents who are mobile can go in and take things. People can walk in off the street to 'visit' someone and take things. It's just a fact of life. If she demands more money, tell her you will bring it along next time because the bank was closed, or you forgot. Depends on how much you are comfortable with her losing.... Medicaid did allow my mother about $40 (?) a month in an account at the nursing home, but she was too far gone to worry about it or ask for it.   So it just built up every month and after she died, it paid for a part of her funeral expenses.
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My mom 90 yrs old in long term nursing home. She too always liked to have some cash in house also. Not much because she didn't have much. When she went into long term care I took her wallet with all ID & ins cards, ss card etc for fear of originals getting lost. I got her a new wallet with copy of her ID & some cards. I also gave her cash from me & over time totals approx $200.00. Even though she never needs it. But gives her some control & feeling of a little security. She also wanted some of her jewelry which consisted of a wedding ring she hasn't wore in 40 years. At first I didn't want to then figured why not it makes her happy & I told her if it gets lost or stolen we will not do anything it's just what it is. She has a couple of drawers that have a lock & she wears a key around her wrist. She is coherent & has her faculitys some short term memory. She is there because she broke her ankle & can't walk on her own since. If anything goes missing oh well she is happy. I wouldn't give a $1000 that's too much. I give my mom $5.00 Starbucks cards & she will give them to who she wants. You have to realize it's hard when your independent all your life then in an instant your not. I myself would have trouble dealing with that. Hope you can come up with a happy compromise good luck to you sounds like your doing great.
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I forgot to say we live in Canada & smallest bill is $5.00 but loonies [$1.00] & twonies [$2.00] are all coins - but jiggle jangle of them is comforting for mom when she grew up in an era that $1.00 bought a good meal & hamburgers were $0.25 - coins count to that generation!
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