My mother disagrees with the doctor that she has Alzheimer's and has a gambling addiction. What is my next step? - AgingCare.com

My mother disagrees with the doctor that she has Alzheimer's and has a gambling addiction. What is my next step?

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She can't remember how often they go or how many times she takes out her limit of $300. There is a POA drawn up but she refuses to sign stating she's not ready to lose control and she'll spend till she can't. She's currently living with her husband, also a compulsive gambler..What's my next step?

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Does her doctor feel that she would be found legally incompetent? If so, you can sue for guardianship.

If your mother is legally competent, she can make her own choices, poor as they are. But if there is no money left for her care, that doesn't mean that YOU have to take her in.
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My mother wasn't a gambler - she was a collector.

She told me in no uncertain terms that it was her money and she could spend it anyway she chose.

Sometimes you just have to pick your battles. Since I never worried about receiving any inheritance, I really didn't care what she did with her money - I only hated the thought she might be getting scammed. I had to accept that she was happy spending her money - and since she didn't need me to spend mine on her, I decided it wasn't worth the fight.
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You know, CountryGirl3, after what my family has been through and is going through with my father's care -- I say, let her spend and enjoy while she can! That sounds ludicrous but watching my 86 y/o mother fret/worry and in a constant state of anxiety/panic EVERY DAY as she monthly spends $10,000 to a for-profit nursing home taking care of my 87 y/o father deteriorating with Parkinson's type disease with ever progressing dementia, wheelchair bound, total (bowel and bladder) incontinence and she's watching the money that they worked their lives for being, basically, flushed down the drain. Granted, we tried taking care of him at home and it got impossible. We are grateful for the nurses and CNA's, dietary staff that take care of him but you know, what's it all for? He'll never get better; Mom won't go out with me or anyone else, she doesn't want to spend any money on herself for fear she'll run out and won't be able to afford his care. (That's extreme--she has the money but that's not the point--IT ISN'T WHAT THEY SAVED FOR.) In the beginning of this dreadful disease, Dad saw it coming and attempted suicide--we stopped him from shooting himself--and if he had the cognition to see himself now--OMG, he did not want this. Long story short, let your mother have her way while she can! As long as she doesn't hurt herself or anyone else, why not? Maybe my outlook will change but it has taken over three years of watching this and I've had enough. Live and let live. God Bless You and your family. Good Luck
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My mother also isn't a gambler, but still manages to live right to the bone every month: her addiction? Buying junk from catalogs. And I mean junk. She's very proud she doesn't and hasn't ever participated in the Sr. Center "fun bus" to the casino. (We live in Utah and you have to drive about 100 miles to GET to a casino, we don't have legalized gambling here, maybe the only state that doesn't?) Anyhow, she may as well take her "spending money" of about $300 a month and go have some fun with her friends. She's wasting that much and more on tchotchkes and junk for her house. Every single day a package arrives for her.

She's not dipping into her savings, the POA makes sure of that, she's on a pretty tight budget and she does respect that--but the garbage she buys. Nothing has any value and when she passes, it will all be junked.

If your mom enjoys this, and she isn't "losing the farm" literally and figuratively, as annoying as it is to you, just let her be.

Perhaps you can surreptitiously check on the status of the land and make sure she hasn't mortgaged it to pay for her gambling. If so, I'd be concerned, but only for mom's future financial security. Kids really should not plan on inheriting anything from their parents. But you don't want them destitute due to their own ignorance, either.
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The results from the neurological test stated the Doctor recommended she enforce a POA for financial and medical decisions. But her Primary care doctor is more hesitant to write a letter of incompetence for financial reasons..Her lawyer wants 2 letters to enforce the POA. We feel that she, along with the persuasion of her husband might fight that in court. You see, he has a conflict of interest. She owns and leases some farmland..He has mentioned more than once that they were millionaires if she was to sell..Also in her will he gets liquid assets and we five kids any real estate. She needs to hold onto that farm for her guaranteed income for her life. The farm has never been part of his estate.They kept their farms separate when they were married, as his was in bankruptcy. I just cant get through to her about how much she has just thrown away at the casino this year and that I'm worried for her financial well being. The excuses are endless..
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As a geriatric care manager and clinical social worker I have worked with MANY family members in your situation. We live close to many Oklahoma casino locations, and many Arkansas elders have driven across the border to gamble. One very wealthy man was taking $5,000 to $10,000 cash from his bank WEEKLY to gamble. It took us three years to finally mandate a hospitalization and mental examination, but only after he became so angry at his sons that he pulled a gun on them. It is necessary to have a person tested then you have a neurological exam to show the inability to reason and understand loss. Until you can go this, you have no grounds to manage your mother's financial expenditures.
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I agree with both answers. The worst that can happen is that they will go through all the money and she will wind up on Medicaid. I can share an experience a family I know had. The mother and father owned a large piece of land in an industrial/ rural area. Mother lived in a house on the land until she became a resident of a nursing home. She was self-pay. Her daughter's husband, although he was a good man and did what he could for the mom, used to brag they'd be millionaires when she passed. When Mom did pass, the land wound up for sale for years. It was sold for just a few hundred thousand, not the "millions" expected and the profits had to be split between the children. At this point, I agree with the others. Whatever will be will be.
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They are married, and hopefully not depending on you for care, so let them spend their money the way they choose. But if and when the time comes that they don't have money to pay for their own care, then make sure that they know and truly understand, that you will not be footing the bill for them, and that they may end up in less than desirable living Arrangements! That is the Only thing that I would make clear to them! They should be planning for their years ahead,  but a lot of folks do not!

Otherwise you are fighting a losing battle, which you will not win. For now they have each other, and wish to enjoy their money in any way that they see fit.

Do you Really wish to go the route of Guardianship, which is costly, and then You end up managing their day to day operations, and when they are too unfit to live independently, then it will be on you to care for them or find alternative solutions? You might just anyways, but at least they are happy for now. It's their money, they worked for it, and should be able to decide how they spend it, even if it is right into the poor house. You should Never expect an inheritance, as for most people, that day will never come!
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Writing as an elder I would say that it is your Mother's money to do as she wishes with. Nobody has a right to any inheritance. It is a gift. If she wants to spend it all that is HER RIGHT. Laws are made to protect people from relatives worrying about their inheritances. The last thing on your mother's mind is anyone's inheritance!
ITS HER MONEY. Stop obsessing about what she should or shouldn't do. When I discover people trying to pump me about their inheritance I simply cut them completely out of my will.
Try giving her some love. Most people gamble because of the lack of love in their lives. Consider that. If she suffers ill health and doesn't have the money to pay for her care, she knows that.
Fact is, elders are taken care of and not thrown in the street. She probably wouldn't want you taking care of her. Reading your
letters carefully it seems to me you are more concerned about money than her enjoying herself at this stage of her life. Believe me she is fully aware, even if she has some Dementia or Alzheimers, of the attitude of her children and those who hope to
inherit. Back off and give her some space and latitude to live her
life the way SHE wants.
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Staceyb: In your previous post, you say "they should be planning for their years ahead, but not a lot of folks do."
Let them gamble it all away then because gambling is an addiction, but they should be told no one will hand them over ANY money.
I know a man who hit the slot machines and won $1,900,000, but he lost his house because of major overspending and giving it to everyone who he knew. Ended up living of his social security! 
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