How to keep Mom from looking at bank statements and making phone calls to "clients"?

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In addition, how to get her to attend senior center?


Mom has been diagnosed with dementia after having a stroke 2 years ago. She is only 68 and I am 40. I am single and have to work. My sister and I can't pay for the nurse all day, don't have that kind of money. Mom finally signed POA, but she threatens to take it away, she always wants to run things and secretly make phone calls "thinking" she transacting business behind our backs. All our lives she was a very private person and kept secrets. Now we are having a time trying to transact her business. It's hard to get her to take her medicine at times. She lives with me and I am struggling with lying to her about things, but she is making it hard to get her affairs in order. How do I keep her from the bank? She use to own her own business and people don't know her medical issues and so she gets calls with referrals from people and she is telling them how she will be back in business in the winter. She has her own cell phone. Should I take that from her? She struggles some days on how to use it. She is in the early stages of dementia...still somewhat functional, but not to do her finances, she not allowed to drive, but we believe with daily recreation she can have some better days for as long as she can.

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I am having some of the same problems. While it's good from a personal standpoint that you mom is in the early stages of dementia, it's also a time of great difficulty because she is lucid enough to think she's still herself, and often to convince others that she is, too, but you know better.

I am going to start having mom's mail sent to a post office box so I can screen it for financial stuff. You can also sign up for "paperless" options for bank statements, credit card statements, and the like. If they're out of sight, they will be at least partially out of mind.
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I too have to temper my frustration with my father and vent where it is safecto do so. He is constantly complaining that he doesnt have money and what am I doing with his money, that when he was in NY he always had money and was able to do A, B, C. I have to constantly remind him that 'yes you were but thats because you werent paying your bills and that you spent about 500-700 a month more than you had and were going further in to debt each month. That for the past plus year he has been (actually me) paying off old debt and thats why he has less "spendable" money each month.' I sometimes throw in thatvonce the debt is paid, he still wontvget more money because HE needs to save money for future medical needs because I am in no position to pay his bills and if he doesnt have the money set aside, he will suffer in the long run.
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I'm not sure why you are feeling bad about saving your mom from financial ruin, since her brain is not working properly. It's the right thing to do and her getting upset is really just not something that should effect the decisions. She's not dealing with reality. Trying to keep her happy or satisfied is probably not a goal that will be achieved. Of course, as she progresses, she may forget all about her bank account and never ask about it again.
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Hi Goldilocks! thanks for the response. I actually am joint owner on my mom's accounts so I recently got a debit card and started paying/setting up electronic payments for her bills. My mother is not one that you ask about financial things, because in her mind, she pays her bills, but in reality, she hasn't paid any medical bills since March. She thinks she has paid taxes and when I called the tax consultant, she has not received anything from my mother since 2012 taxes. So, I talked with the family since my last post and we agreed that it's in my mother's best interest that I just go ahead and organize her bill payments so that she doesn't get into collection for everything. My mother had a bad divorce with my father over 20 years ago that left her in high debt and so that is why she pinches a penny and always says, "She has no money" when she has it. I will just have to deal with the talk back from her when she reads her bank statements showing bills have been paid, but I say oh well, because if I don't pay it, it won't get paid. It took me three months to convince her to write a check to the doctor for $45! Discussing finances with her ALWAYS makes her upset and not want to spend her money, BUT if I say I'm paying for it, she will gladly calm down. Manipulator she is, for years her siblings told me she was selfish and I paid no mind, until I found out how much money my mom actually had, I was livid. Over the years, she would call and tell me how she couldn't pay a bill or something and I or my sister would send the money,not knowing that she just didn't want to spend her own. So, I am placing her on payment plans for her bills, trying to get some of them forgiven and praying that all will be accepted and she doesn't kill me in the process when she finds out I have been paying her bills with her own money..OH MY..how wrong is that??? Sorry to vent...just having a flashback moment.
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Do you have access to her account? What I did (because dad was over spending) is set up a second account and when his ss comes in, I transfer all but about $100 out of his account and into the other account and pay his bills for him. Also, I set hip the statements to be eStatements and go to an email that I set hip just for his financial things. I don't know if this will work in your situation but good luck.
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I agree with above comments esp the bit about going for guardianship. I have seen this exact situation play out with a close relative who owned her own business. Her closest relative finally had to get a guardianship over her because she was terrorizing the neighborhood with her driving and strange behaviors. You are really going to have your hands full with her. I hope there will be enough $ to afford assisted living and dementia care for her because as she progresses, your life will be sucked in to her delusions.
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Countrymouse, that's a good point. I should have added mom can see her bank statements anytime, I just print them for her but she rarely asks for them. She just asks what's my account balance. When she started getting anxious about them and getting her bills she just said you take this over for me. The other reason was because my dad had a habit of looking at her statements and then ask her for money. I caught him one time when he quickly left the room. So in this case, it serves those purposes.
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I carry a small photo copy of my mother's advanced health directive, The POA paperwork including the page that has the lawyer's signature, and copies of the 2 Different Drs. letters written that stated that mom could no longer live alone, make financial or health decisions due to her having Dementia. One letter was from her family doctor the other from a neurologist. I carry a copy in my purse and my car.
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I so love this site! The feedback is great and it is making me feel good that I am not alone and having some good tips is great. I know each situation is different and so I will take it all under consideration. Yes, Countymouse, my mom is about her money and I have no problem with her seeing her information, just the backtalk about me allowing "people" to take money out of her account is tiresome. The "people" is her health insurance. SHe never liked her bills debited, however, I can't sit with her to right out checks, because she doesn't want to pay bills all the time, she wants to do what she wants when she wants to. She has always been this way. It's like my moms crazy behavior before now on steroids! My siblings and I are trying to appease her by "including" her in some decisions, however, we have to do what's best for her, because at times she doesn't make sound decisions. Yes, the senior ctr is not equipped for her, but I'm monitoring her at the moment (first week). She likes going there for now. Yes, my siblings and I will have to sit down this weekend to see how we will move forward with her when she refuses to go to the center. You guys are awesome! Thanks again!
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PS You ought not to prevent your mother from seeing her bank statements. She has every right to be kept informed if she wishes - after all, it's her money. I'm sorry, I know this can be problematic and wearying in practice, but it is unethical to withhold information from her if she asks for it. Hope it all gets easier as you go along.
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