How do you answer the question of what happened to the war bonds when the caregiver has no idea?


My 86 year old Mom has memory problems and is now living with my husband and myself and is asking questions regarding the war bonds and savings bonds she and Dad used to have. I do not have the answers to this, how am I supposed to respond. I have tried to explain to her that parts of her memory are missing and that I was not privy to her financial doings for the past 35 years but she swears that the bonds should be in her safe box.
By the way she also swore that she had not cashed in my fathers VA ins when he past and I had to confirm with VA that she had.

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This is heartbreaking. I had similar situations and the only thing I could do was to say something like, "Let's make an appointment to check on them" and then distract Mom to something else. Another idea, one that I used with my dad a lot, was to make "fake" documents. You may be able to write your mother a letter from the "bank" saying that the War bonds are safely kept in Washington now, but that she is credited with the money. I know it's not fun to lie, but it's very hard on your mom and you to have to keep going over this. I'm a firm believer in the hard truth the first time around, but if they can't remember what happened and keep asking and keep feeling depressed over the answer, then try something else. Distraction can work for awhile, but sometimes therapeutic lying is the only way to peace. Be as vague as you can while still settling her down.
Good luck. You've got lots of company.
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Thanks for your thoughts, I will try the distraction route, but it is frustrating at times as the question will come back up again. I will see if my brother will go along with the theory that she gave them to him or your letter from the bank idea was helpful - they can tell her she cashed them in the 80's as she seems to be ok with the idea of someone having the bonds , its the not knowing that bothers her.
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