I have durable POA for stepfather that was made when he was medically capable. I have found out he has been sending money to scammers abroad!

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My stepfather is proud man but suffering from dementia. He has sent 3000 dollars 3 times abroad expecting a windfall that never materialises. He won’t stop and I want to know the best thing I can do to protect his money. He does not accept there is a problem. help please!!!!

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I am grateful for those who have taken the time to offer advice. It is much appreciated. The situation is my stepfather is now 84 years old. He lives in the same street opposite our house so we can call in everyday, sometimes several times. He is very independent but in the early stages of dementia. He often cannot remember what he did the previous days. He does not like to accept help and gets aggressive when it is offered. This is such a shame as up to a few years ago he was a very pleasant friendly person. I think the difficulty is deciding when to intervene as this for him will be the end of his independence. I am not remotely interested in his money, but it breaks my heart to see him throw it away. The scammers have built up a relationship with him and I feel he thinks more of them than his family. We have removed his house landline and gave him new cell phone, but still these people have found out where he is and keep up a constant barrage of calls. I feel that the only answer is to take away all his freedoms and contacts and run his life for him which is tragic. The criminals have not only taken his money they have also taken away his freedom, self respect and dignity. Isn’t it a dreadful world we live in.
Once again many thanks to those who have responded to me. It goes some way to restoring my faith in human nature. Good luck to you all
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Reply to Homerton
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Would it be worthwhile to put a fraud alert with one of the 3 credit bureaus in case he gave out his info? It's easy to do I think.
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Reply to wally003
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JoAnn29, yes, the profile says Homerton's stepfather has dementia, but it also says he is living in "independent living," so it seems reasonable to at least question whether stepfather is incompetent. Having a dementia diagnosis does not automatically make a person either legally or medically incompetent. (Case in point, my dad was diagnosed by a doctor as having mild/moderate Alzheimer's dementia three years before it had progressed to the point that he was determined to be incompetent.) Some DPOAs specify that a person must be determined by a doctor to be incompetent before the agent named in the DPOA can exercise the authority given in the DPOA. And being preyed on by scammers does not necessarily make one legally or medically incompetent, else millions more otherwise competent people would be deemed to be incompetent. Regardless, it may be a bit early to begin treating a "proud man" as a child and abruptly disrupt his way of life with too little regard to his ability to maintain his dignity.

Homerton, it appears that you may be fairly new to this forum and so you may also be new to caregiving. Asking questions here is a good way to get opinions, which you now know can vary based on the different experiences that caregivers have had. Most questions asked usually have no single answer that provides the ultimate solution and, instead, result in getting a variety of good, but differing, answers from which you get to pick and choose what best helps you in your situation. Again, best wishes in your caregiving endeavors.
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Reply to bicycler
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Bicycler, the profile says Step has Dementia.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Homerton, as stated by JoAnn29, it may be past time for you to use your DPOA. However, given that your stepfather is still living in independent living, depending on his condition and on the exact wording of the DPOA (e.g. springing upon determination of incompetence), you may have to get a doctor's statement that he is incompetent before you can exercise the DPOA to help him. On the plus side, if he hasn't yet been declared incompetent and your DPOA isn't yet in effect, then the $9k that he sent abroad due to scams shouldn't effect a future Medicaid application.

Based on the words you used to describe your stepfather, it sounds like you are sensitive to his feelings, which is important but too often neglected during the heat of the moment of solving immediate problems. Best wishes.
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Reply to bicycler
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This is where your POA kicks in. Take away his checkbook and credit cards. Do it when he is not looking. When he complains he can't find them, just say " you must have misplaced them". Take his wallet too. Easier to say he misplaced it. Make the facility aware what you have done so they aren't looking for it or in case he accuses someone. This happened to a friend of mine. Her husband did misplace his pants which had his keys and wallet in. It took her days to find out he had put the pants under the mattress. Since she had been trying to get him to stop driving, she hid the wallet and keys and told him without his license he couldn't drive. He excepted that. This 9k will effect ur Dad being able to receive Medicaid if he ever needs it. So you really need to nip this in the bud. You are now the adult and him the child. He is no longer able to make informed decisions. How is he getting this info? Phone? Emails? You may need to set his computer up like a childs. May need to take the phone away. If mail, then you may want his mail sent to your home.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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