I am my moms 24hr caregiver since Aug 2015. For the last 2 years I've been telling her she needs to stop with the charities and the Publishers Clearing House. I've tried my best to remove the charities that come in the mail. I've told her I was gonna leave if she kept doing it, I've threatened to take away her check book and i finally did take away her check book. I stopped working in Feb 2015 when my Dad was in hospice. He passed on Feb 29th 2015 then Mom had heart attack n stroke on June 6 2015. We live in Orange County Calif. and was forced to go on EBT for food because I went thru my savings and my IRA. Now mom has a little nest egg a family trust of 50k and she gets SS, but here is my problem: She'll be 88 in August and I'll be 56 in Oct, She can't be left alone. She doesn't have dementia, shes just not in her right mind. She looks forward to the mail like an addict waiting for next fix. We've cried, I've yelled and every time she promises she wont do it no more. A few weeks ago there were some extra expenses and without dipping into the trust I told her we were outta money. She had a couple charity checks in the outgoing mail and I told her we should take them back so that I can eat for the next 15 days. My mom is on formula and a feeding tube so food is not a necessity to live. Hers is delivered every month in a box. The total came to like $40 that she had wrote but I was trying to make a point. She told me NO.

To leave them in the outgoing mail. I said to her again in case she didn't understand what i said and she said she understood and still would not take the mail back. I took her checkbook away and she promised to not write anymore to charity, Well that didn't last long. The agreement was i held on to the checkbook and she can still pay the bills with it. Well at first i just gave her a single check outta the book. And i thought this is pretty stupid, im sure shell keep her word. So the next time i gave her the book. She couldn't help herself and wrote 3 checks to charity that day, I pull the charity junk mail as best i can with out her noticing but my brother doesnt think sometimes and gives it to her anyway., Last week she said to me " I need the checkbook! I have bills to pay! i replied in a calm, nice manner "okay, no problem, what bills you got?" She replied "None of your Business" And i snapped a little. I told her it was my business because she cant keep a promise blah blah blah. Then she says " You cant keep my checks from me, I'll call the police" My mouth dropped to the floor. I couldn't believe my mom said that to me. and in front of my best friend. I was so pissed and hurt. I told her to go a head and call the police and I'll tell them that your outta your tree then ill be forced to take you to court and have a judge decide who's competent or not.

Is this something I should bring up to her Primary? What do i do? How do i go about doing it behind her back or in front of her. I dont want to embarrass her. This is making me physically ill. I've lost everything and when she dies whats gonna happen to me? ill be an old woman out of work not able to collect from ss and ill be homeless with no cushion to fall back on if she keeps spending like this, im so depressed

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Yes, you must tell her doctor about this. You can send the doctor a note prior to her next appointment.

Her behaviour sounds like addiction.

You must also start looking after yourself. You need income and she needs someone else to provide 24/7 care. If she is not going to pay you for caregiving, then you need to get a job.

What is the difference between dementia and not being right in her mind?

Other measures? Have her mail redirected to the post office and toss the solicitations before giving it to her.

When you take the mail to the post box, do not put the cheques in the mail. Destroy them or have them shredded.
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worriedinCali May 2019
She can’t just have her moms mail redirected. She needs an activated POA.
Time to go get a job and fend for yourself.

Even if you got the entire 50k how long do you think that would support you?

You need to look after your future.
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Yes. You should speak to her doctor. How do you know she doesn’t have dementia? Was she tested and evaluated? What do you mean “she is not in her right mind”? If she has mental concerns, that’s even more reason to get her to her doctor. She may need to be on medications. If she has issues, arguing with and threatening her will do no good. Arguments and threats between the two of you need to stop immediately. It’s getting you nowhere. To her way of thinking, she is the mom and you are her child. In her mind, you need to listen to her and do as she says, just like you did when you were little. She doesn’t understand that if she continues to mismanage her money, you both will wind up living in a cardboard box under a bridge.

You need to put your your foot down and permanently take over the bill-paying and money managing. Ignore her threats and anger. If you don’t already have Power of Attorney, get it. Failing that, tell her you can no longer live like this, under the constant threat of homelessness and with the constant threats, anger and arguments. Tell her doctor you need a referral for in-home health care for her. Find a small apartment and a job. It may be the only way to save your sanity. When she sees you are serious, she may change her ways.
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