My mother wants her ID in her ALF. I'm concerned she'll use it to convince someone to take her home and to her car. Advice?

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She has mild to moderate dementia and mobility issues, but she is pretty determined. She says I don't trust her. Guess she may be right! She has been at the ALF for only 1-1/2 months, getting more used to it, but she still thinks she can go home. She doesn't like it when I have told her the reality, that unless something drastic happens (improvement) she is not going home. That won't happen. There is no one there to take care of her and she needs 24/7 care. On the flip side, she says she just wants her ID so she can feel like a person. Legally I suppose she has a right to her ID. Do I just take a chance and hand it to her?

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bpositive,

You're right to be concerned about scams. Unfortunately my elderly father was scammed out of $60,000. It happens.
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Also, giving her one of her credit cards is out of the question. I'm still working on canceling out and trying to get refunds for "subscriptions" for pills, magazines, services, etc., she ordered when she lived at home that she had no need of and couldn't afford. Let's not even talk about the heavy-duty scammers who tried to hook her the year before. These people told her she won sweepstakes, but advised her that she had to sign a check and deposit it to her bank before she could collect the big prize! The only way I found out was that she asked me to drive her to the bank to deposit the check!
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Thank you, everyone, for your words of wisdom! I will definitely speak with the residence social worker and/or some of the caregivers in Mom's assisted living facility. She keeps asking me for her ID so she can "feel like a person." But I haven't gotten over the idea that she could do something like call a taxicab to take her to her house/car. I'm sure the staff would intercept her before she got through the locked gate! I'll keep standing my ground, diplomatically, but my mom probably will not give up her "requests" for the identification. I asked her if she knows how other residents handle this, and she said they trust the people around them. Judging by what I see, many of them have some degree of fuzziness themselves and probably haven't given it any thought. I rather doubt they have their licenses with them, either. Thanks for the advice!
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jeanne is right. I'd be concerned about identity theft if her ID fell into wrong hands. It's not worth it to give it to her. Tell her you are safekeeping it for her to protect her from bank fraud. Assure her you will have it right there for her if she ever 'needs' it.
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Please review this with the treatment team at her facility. They can note if she is hanging around near the exits or talking about going home. She should not have cash or credit cards or ID.
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When my husband wanted to carry various cards and documents that I didn't think he should have with him, I told him I worried about identity theft and it was safest to leave those items at home. He didn't understand exactly what identity theft was but he had heard the term and accepted the explanation. It was easier for him to accept that I worried about what "bad guys" might do than about his behavior.
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If you don't want her to lose her ID I wouldn't give it to her because with the dementia she's liable to lose it, stash it away somewhere and you'll never find it. However, is it really such a big deal if she did lose he ID? I'm assuming she doesn't drive anymore. If having this ID is a really big deal for her then you might give it to her just to calm her down and IF you don't care if she loses it.

And she's not going to find anyone to take her home. Who's she going to ask? The kitchen staff? The visitor of another resident? With an ID or no ID there's no one who will take her home so I wouldn't take that into consideration when you make this decision.
After my dad stopped driving his driver's license came up for renewal. Getting him to and from the license bureau would have been a huge undertaking so I convinced him that he didn't need a valid driver's license since he didn't drive and we never came across a situation in which he needed a valid driver's license.
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People with dementia that enter AL oddly enough may get better after structured living and proper diet. Its been proven dementia is greatly effected by the proper diet that wasn't administered while they were living alone, and then get proper nutrition in AL and then improve. Not always of course, and some get worse, but this fact is far from rare. That doesn't mean she is ready for independent living but may shine some light on her feeling better and wanting to do so. It would seem a smart move to ask assistance of in house social and nursing staff.
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I would talk to alf social worker about this. they may have some sort of internal ID that would satisfy her.
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I would talk to the alf social worker about this. They may have some sort of internal I'd that would make her happy.
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