My husband has started giving things away. Any advice?


It worries me and the family. He will buy something one day and not want it the next. He bought a ladder for $300 and couldn't figure out how to use it so he wants to give it to a family member instead of returning it. I cleaned my closet because I gained weight and gave some clothes away. the next day he cleaned out his closet and wanted to give away expensive clothes that fit him. He has never been a overly generous man to others financially but now he keeps trying to give large amounts of money to the children and grandchildren to the point that they are uncomfortable. yet he will not part with some unless things like old sheets or broken tools. he was scammed by 3 different people last year 1 being a doctor for over $5200 and it is now in the attorney general's hands. this I was prepared for. I have power of attorney now. I am lucky in that we have an honest family but I am afraid that he will be taken advantage of again I seem to be undoing his finances daily and have informed banks and credit card companies to check charges above a certain amount. I feel that I am doing okay in this line. my question is does such a change in behavior indicate an progression of his disease. if so should I prepare myself for his needing home care or assistant living? and how do we get the keys away from him he is dangerous on the road.

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Definitely hide a safe in your closet and put all your family's important documents in it. You can buy one at Staples for around $75. I just discovered that a car engine immobilizer costs around $35 plus the cost of installation.
Helpful Answer (7)

Jan, think of a dementia suffer-er as someone with child-like qualities. I don't think that the medical practioners can always have the desired effect. Can you seek out ways to solve things without involving your husband in the decision? Can't the keys get 'lost'.

If you have POA, he should not have access to any substantial financial assets. Sadly, that means locking up check books, jewelry, credit/atm cards, bank statements, cash and items of value. The risk of him giving things away to someone who won't return them is too large. Is he home during the day? Scammers are all over the place. Not a day goes by without a story in the news about seniors losing large sums of money to scammers. You need to protect yourself and him and your family.

Don't expect him to return the ladder, load it up and return it your self. Ditto on other purchases. Take away the car and the assets and it will stop things from coing into the house. Hire a companion for when you are away.
Helpful Answer (6)

Yes, a change in behavior can be the result of progression of the dementia and should be reported to his Dr.

As for his driving that's a whole other issue. Since he has dementia he shouldn't be driving. You know that. When I determined that my dad shouldn't be driving anymore I called his Dr.'s office and spoke to the nurse about it. I wanted the Dr. to tell my dad he shouldn't be driving since my dad wasn't listening to me. On my dad's next appointment the Dr. told my dad that he'd have to stop driving and my dad agreed to it.

As your husband's illness continues to progress you may want to be ready to bring in home care or move to an assisted living facility. It wouldn't hurt to get some information on these things now so you can begin to think about the future.
Helpful Answer (5)

You can call the DMV about the licensing. Tell them you're worried that he will hurt someone. Nearly every state in the US has some means of handling this with or without a doctors advisement. Downside is that you will still need to make sure he has no access to keys or he may still try to drive. If he has a credit or debit card get the bank to switch it out for an ATM only card and put a limit on the amount of cash that can be taken out per day, he gets to keep his pride and still have access to money and you get to know your account won't get cleaned out by some opportunistic someone taking advantage of his generosity. I have my hubby set to only $60 a day. Talk to the kids/friends about returning money that he gives them to you. You can also notify the credit bureaus to flag his account so that nothing gets approved without a call to your cell phone, that makes it a little bit harder to do business but it is worth the extra effort to know that the scammers can't touch a thing. You may need to have your home phone number changed and then private listed to avoid those same scammers from calling back. (hugs) I know it's not easy, none of it is, we're in the midst of it too.
Helpful Answer (5)

jan123, the wisest course of action would be to immediately seek Guardian status. Meet with an attorney as soon as possible. Hubby can revoke your POA in a snit of bad temper.
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my husband's doctors disagree about his driving, but the one who is saying he should not told me he does not want a confrontation with him because he has a nasty personality. his florida doctor said he should not drive and told him so now he only uses a golf cart now and goes 3 blocks to the mail, however in nj the doctor who does not want to confront I am planning on replacing. not only is he dangerous to himself he is dangerous to ours driving down the street. changes have been reported to his doctor but he has not had his appointment yet perhaps then he will see for himself.
Helpful Answer (3)

I agree with comments on all points to include dealing with his access to the car. A less expensive way is to remove the fuse or the relay to the Starter. This way when it is needed, there is no big effort to make that happen.
Helpful Answer (3)

I see your question regarding giving away possessions is progression. While I cannot answer that, I, too see this and other things you say reflect a possibility of Frontal Lobe Dementia. Therefore, I agree a ***complete*** neuropsyche evaluation is needed to rule out FTD or for a possible 95% probable FTD dx.

Warning: Although you did not ask about anything else regarding giving away possessions, I warn you to gain guardianship asap. My family chose to not do that when our LO with dementia reached the same stage. In a delusional state coupled by a hostile outbreak, after courted/preyed on by a hospice group earlier on the scene for my mother, he changed his will, willing ***everything*** to hospice. No attorney nor anyone else was ever able to successfully contest the will. Had guardianship been invoked when obviously needed, this would have never happened. The family adamantly agreed that was not needed nor desired. I will always regret I did not do it myself, for his sake and ours. Sending a big hug to you. Stay strong.
Helpful Answer (3)

Would his doctor write a prescription for driving lessons that includes that he can only drive with an instructor?
I did this with a client who believed she could drive, even though I had her car repaired three times for a total of $7.5K. The driving instructor and I cooperated so that the lessons went on for weeks ands weeks.
Finally, the driving instructor told her that she should not drive any longer. By that time, her interest in driving has waned. Then I disabled her care.
Confrontation around the driving issues makes it worse, IMO. One needs to be clever, especially if the affected person is clever or aggressive.
Also immediately lock up everything of value and items that you treasure. If you don't have access to a security deposit box, then rent a self-storage unit for a short time until you can find a secure place. Be sure the storage unit is in a safe neighborhood and use tamper resistant lock. Also move stuff when your husband is asleep or away from the house.
Most importantly, you must gain control of your assets, especially cash and anything that can be liquidated easily. Cancel as many credit cards as possible or if your credit score is high, then take them out in your own name or have them sent to your attorney--you need a good one ASAP. Other poster offered excellent advice about POAs and guardanianships. Find an attorney who can help you ASAP.
If there are guns in your house, take them to the local police station ASAP. Find out what your state's procedures are for turing in weapons of any kind as well as ammunition. If this applies to you. this can be a real hassle. But be sure you get receipts from the law enforcement officials where you turn the guns in.
Also get rid of all flammable liquid, propane gas tanks, gasoline storage containers around your house immediately. This includes any flammable liquid, paint thinner, brush cleaner, paint remover, etc. In fact, get rid of anything caustic, including drain cleaners.
If you have sharp kitchen knives, chef's knives, cleavers, etc, then you should lock them up or hid them, This could be a pain, but it is better to be safe rather than sorry.
If you have not unplugged your range, then I suggest you consider that option. Find a plumber who can help with a gas range if your have one.
Lastly, get rid or hide matches, lighters or anything else that can start a fire.
You may think that my suggestions are extreme. But safety is where the devil in the details really counts.
Good luck and stay strong.
Helpful Answer (3)

happytraveling, how did your father get into debt if POA did it? If POA misused the funds or his authority, it should be reported as misuse of funds or fraud. It shouldn't be your father's debt if you try the legal route of pressing charges. (Just like when someone charges your credit card, you formally dispute it. The same with POA misusing his authority.)

If your father did not do the charges for that 200k debt, then Don't Pay It. He shouldn't pay it off, nor you. Just because they're family doesn't mean you shouldn't press charges for fraud, etc... If they have no problem doing this to their own father and grandfather, why should you have problem reporting them? If you don't, they will continue to charge things under your father's name, increasing his debt.

Your father's debts is HIS debt if he was the one charging it. Not yours - unless you signed paperwork saying that if your father is not able to pay for it, then you will. Or if your name is also on the loan, credit cards, documents, etc....
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