Follow
Share

My 91 year old mother has shown a steep decline recently. We had her memory doc run tests and they are observing her but can't give us any reasons (like a UTI). She is throwing away mail that she shouldn't - ie 1099's. She gets charity donations and throws away everything but the envelope. We have asked her to save all her mail and have us go through it with her. That worked for about a week. We have taken her off of many accounts but she still has a small checking account to give her some independence. Can I get her important papers sent to me instead (ie tax documents etc) and is there a way to control her mail and still have her feel some independence? I visit her about once a month (live several hours away) and have 3 sisters that also live about the same distance. I do all her financial paperwork (make sure taxes and bills are done and paid etc). All her bills are on autopay - but I need certain forms for taxes, etc. We have POA forms filled out and signed - is it time to pull the trigger? She has some dementia but not Alzheimer's.

I have all my moms bills on auto pay for the same reason. Maybe have 1099's and other important papers forwarded to you.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to SoVeryExhausted
Report
imadaughter17 Feb 14, 2020
I do have all her bills on autopay and can do a lot remotely but grapple with how to let mom get 'fun mail' and have me get all the financials. Also, her handwriting has gotten so bad I can't always tell who the check was made out to when she mails it.
(0)
Report
My Aunt who I care for from a thousand miles away was doing the same thing.
As her POA, I did a change of address to my house so I could pay bills and do taxes.
She hasn't once asked about her mail!
Not sure, but on the change of address form there may have been a section about magazines etc..
It may be possible for her to still receive them.
Best of luck!
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to xrayjodib
Report

If you get a post office box, the mail is secure and you can take mom the fun mail to open. You also have a good reason for forwarding to the PO Box if she asks: "There have been mail thefts and we didnt want anyone stealing your mail."
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to surprise
Report

I was just talking to SS concerning my nephew. I mentioned him not going to his mailbox regularly and afraid he would miss an important papers. The SS rep put My address in to receive a duplicate of everything sent to nephew.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

Having dementia but not Alzheimer's is still having dementia, making it unsafe to live alone at some point. My ex MIL threw away her mail, attributing her hatred of it to some 'disorder' du jour and wound up getting $1 million embezzled from her by her stock broker who knew she didn't read her mail, including her Smith Barney statements! And she didn't even have dementia!

Others have addressed the mail, I will address 'pulling the trigger'. It's important for you and your sisters to pay close attention to small changes in your mother's behavior, speech patterns, emotional state, etc. Changes in handwriting is a hallmark of dementia (and Parkinson's Disease) issues; with Parkinson's, the handwriting gets SO small, it's barely visible. With dementia, it's messy, and nothing like it once was in their younger years. My mother's handwriting is barely legible these days; she was diagnosed with dementia in 2016 but the signs and symptoms were there as early as 2014. She became incontinent in 2015 (urine) and started wearing Depends at that time. Some changes are subtle while some are profound. They eventually lose their sense of smell meaning they won't smell a gas leak or if the gas stove is left on.........things like that. Mixing ammonia with bleach to clean and literally killing themselves from the toxic fumes.

My mother lives in Assisted Living but I see her frequently and speak to her daily.

You may want to schedule trips to see her once a month and plan to speak to her daily so you can chart the changes you 'hear' and see. What you DON'T want is to have her start wandering.......getting lost..........and facing an emergency which requires immediate placement. If you line your ducks up NOW, you can get her placed sooner rather than later, before the major problems strike.

That is my suggestion to you, based on dealing with a demented mother for a long time now. It really is a dreadful disease in so many ways.

Wishing you the best of luck moving forward.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to lealonnie1
Report

Most POA's are legally enacted the moment they're signed.
You have the ability to manage everything stated in the POA.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to xrayjodib
Report

Yes do something. I was going to mention a 6 month lease on a PO box at the post office. Otherwise you may have alot of time talking on the phone but whatever you decide do it soon. Maybe you could bring her the ad mail and say you are talking care of the financials. I had to specifically show my mother the monthly statements that showed her being billed a charge for lack of funds because she was moving money around but it made no sense as to why she was doing it. Somewhere in a tired brain there was a reason. She didn't want the extra fees so I was able to take over.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Riverdale
Report

Talk to the post master for her route. They may be able to help you with getting the actual mail forwarded and mom still getting the fun mail.

You could do a forwarding and then send mom a priority envelope every week or 10 days. We had someone do this for us when we were fulltime rving. It worked great and we didn't have to deal with all the junk mail and ads.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal
Report

I went through the long distance nightmare also. I convinced my mom to let me forward all bills to me. I had POA and enacted it with her consent. We still had the problem of junk mail charity scams and phone scams. I’d had a local nephew stop by once a week and “Help” mom deal with her mail. Translation: He got it all out of the house.

This is not sustainable for very long. My folks stayed at home about 3 years too long. It was just a damn mess.

And don't get hung hung up on dementia or whatever diagnosis. You have to deal with the reality whatever the cause.

I finally got my folks in care after a bad fall. They stayed in their home town but after mom died I moved dad to a nursing home near me. Soooo much easier than 12 hours away.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Windyridge
Report

What I did was change out my aunts mailbox. She has one where the mail goes into a reservoir in the base. It’s waterproof and will hold a lot of mail. It’s more convenient for me to do her mail at her home and not all mail can be anticipated. As an example, She once received a settlement check that had been pending for over 25 years.
The mailbox requires a key to open. When I am at her home I get the mail out and she and I “do” the mail. She always encourages me to throw it all away and not bother with it.
Here is a link with a picture of the one I’m talking about.

https://www.wayfair.com/outdoor/pdp/step2-mailmaster-locking-column-box-stp1599.html#2mj2ty79esp-7
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to 97yroldmom
Report

File a Change of Address form with the post office so mail goes to you instead. She may still get junk mail things, but that's okay.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to LoopyLoo
Report

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter