How can I get mom to understand she can't leave cash laying around her apartment?

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My parents live in independent apt. in senior bldg. w/ 24/7 caregivers. Mom has dementia and dad has multiple medical problems but is cognitively okay. They rarely go out except drs. appts. When I relocated them to that building several years ago, I found lots of cash hidden in my mom's drawers etc and with my dad's agreement, we deposited this in her checking account. My dad pays their caregivers quite fairly and gives holiday bonuses, etc. When I was there last month helping him pay bills, my mom suddenly realized that she is lacking cash on hand. My dad is concerned that she will give "tips" to her "friends," the caregivers. I thought of a compromise and took a small amount of money from my dad's wallet (he doesn't keep much cash on hand) and gave it to her, and her aide said, great, let's get your purse and wallet and put this away. Well, she was alert enough that day to realize that $16 was "insulting." Additionally, they have had one aide dismissed upon her arrest for stealing (forging checks) from another client; to our knowledge that individual never stole from my parents, again they treated her very well and actually she was an excellent caregiver and very close to my mom. However, it highlights that one cannot leave cash laying around in any setting, esp. where various therapists, etc. are coming in and out in addition to the private aides. Anyway. now my mom is fixated on this issue and demands every time I talk to her that she wants the money out of her checking account despite the fact that she doesn't go anywhere to spend it. I suppose I can give her a small amount ($100) but my dad doesn't want me to "on principle." I go back to visit in a few weeks and know this will come up. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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I took my Mom and Dad to my daughter's chorus concert and my daughter has special needs so she has an aide to help her during the concert and I bought the aide a little gift --it was a Christmas concert so I got her a little Christmas pin. My Mom insisted on wanting to give the aide money. I told her it was illegal. I said the aide would get fired! But did she listen???? No!!-the minute my Mom saw the aide she bee lined it ( this was before she was in a wheel chair ) to her and forced an envelope with cash in it on her. The poor aide looked so baffled. She looked at me and I just shook my head and apologised to her and told her to just keep it and we wouldn't tell anyone. My Mom is so stubborn!! I totally get your frustration 6631.

Maybe try and let her have some other wins. Maybe it is more about losing control over her environment and decision making independence and you can fill that void with other things? Just some guesses. With my Mom if my Dad were to ask her how much money they should give to the church that week and listen to her I bet she would feel less anxious about the money. Maybe let Mom choose a charity of her choice -humane society, Feed America, "adopt"a tiger, maybe sponsor an African child ... Have your Dad do the leg work but have Mom choose the amount to give ( within reason). My Mom loves the humane society and retired nuns. Careful though, Dad insists all the charities target them now. Be sure they are valid and do not give out any of your info to other charities. Most respectable charities wouldn't I imagine.
Just some thoughts.
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That's what I thought, but she found the $16 I gave her "insulting." The consensus seems to be that I support Dad's decision that NEITHER of them keep much cash on hand, and he and I (mostly he) will have to accept her anger about the situation. And previous comment is also correct and I am quite sure that their aides would not accept "tips" from her, but she would still likely try to "tip" them. Also by the way these are private aides, not from an agency, though the lead aid does have everyone's criminal background check on file before hiring.
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Caregivers should NOT accept "tips" or gifts from a client. It's so unethical to accept a gift from a client and can open up such a huge can of worms. And a caregiver who does accept a tip from a lady who has Alzheimer's is not someone you want working for you.

When my dad lived in skilled care he got onto a thing about money too. He wanted some cash on hand. Since he had already been ripped off once I did not want him to have any money in his room and we went back and forth on this for about a week. Finally I took his $13. A ten dollar bill and 3 ones. He felt like he had some money 'on hand' and it was an amount he could afford to lose, which he did. The money was never seen again.

Maybe suggest to your dad that he give your mom a little money, enough to satisfy her. Is there any harm in it? And is it worth all of the stress involved in trying to figure out what to do about this?

Maybe let mom have just enough so she feels like she has some control over her situation but not enough that it would really hurt if it were stolen or misplaced.
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My mother also wants to keep a little money in her purse. She has had the same $20 bill in there for over a year. She is happy with that. It is difficult for cognitively impaired people born in a more innocent time to understand that doing certain things tempts fate. Some people, e.g. my mother, thinks it's fine to leave windows and doors open at night in the city. Other people, e.g. your mother, thinks it's fine to leave money lying around. I wish we could do things like this without worrying. Usually we could get by with it, but it only takes one bad person to do a crime.

I agree with others to let your dad have the final word on this. He said no, so your decision is easy. You just have to agree with him. :)
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I agree with the last post wholeheartedly. It's dad's decision, but dad is asking me for help. He knows rationally cash should not be kept in the apt., but he gets upset when mom becomes angry at him for not allowing her to have cash. I was trying to think of some way to help him. I would not give her $100 without his permission, as he's afraid that will lead to her asking for another $100 and so on (not remembering the first $100 that was given etc). There's probably no good answer but I appreciate the insight of this group and hearing others dealing with the same issues.
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I'm going to say this again, because I was the caregiver of a spouse with dementia, for 10 years.

This is Dad's decision. He is the primary caregiver. He lives in the house. If he asks for help, advice, or in carrying out a plan, fine. Do your best to help. Otherwise a spouse in his right mind can deal with issues regarding cash in the house.

I welcomed help, believe me! But I would have resented any of our kids coming up with "solutions" without consulting me. And if I specifically said, "I don't want such and such to happen" and one of the kids made it happen anyway, that would have damaged our relationship.

Dad doesn't want Mom to have $100 cash. End of discussion.
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Maybe your Mom is trying to be nice, say thanks to ...or maybe buy the affections/loyalty of the caregivers.
Seen the money-stashing thing , "someone stole my $" & the complaining about no $ (even tho $ in the wallet).
Money DOES mean independence. Maybe it's worth the $100 (5s &1s maybe?) for her to feel in control. If that is a lot of money for your parents maybe a notebook to keep track of where it went, and the $100 only gets replaced if there is a signed receipt as to where it went, ie caregivers allowed to take tips, but only if signed for.
If your Dad really doesn't want the money around maybe you could tell her that the agencies do not "allow" their caregivers to work in places where money is around or that caregivers are not allowed to accept tips (they may not be!) .
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Very true, I won't be able to get her to understand the situation rationally. and my dad is in agreement with me that they should not have cash laying around the apartment. He's the one who bears the brunt of it (like MishkaM - mom tells anyone who visits that he won't let her have money...but I guess their friends/visitors understand the situation.)
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My Mom is kind of obsessed with cash money as well. She will see someone who she hasn't seen for awhile and they will ask how she is doing and she says "John is hiding my money". Seriously. I have heard her say it. (John is not his real name). That is her answer to how she is doing. Dad isn't really hiding her money just not letting her control it and it makes her mad. It is hard to adjust to the different parameters from husband and wife to caregiver and caregivee. I don't really have an answer for you except I think this is a common disagreement between spouses whose roles have changed.
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BTW, since your mother has dementia, the answer to your question of how you get your mother to understand something is in all probability you can't. That is the nature of dementia, and why your father needs to be the one in charge of cash on hand.
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