How can I force my mother to stop spending money? - AgingCare.com

How can I force my mother to stop spending money?

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I need help enforcingMy Mother from getting a D.L, Buying A car , she is a shopaholic I have had to charge her elect. on my credit card to keep it from being disconnected. I do have medical documentation

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If she is on your credit card take her off and let her hire an accountant to handle her money which you will nedd if she has to go on medicaide anyway. Do not help her get driving lessons or to buy a car let her do it on her own-if you feel she can not drive have her doc put it in writing and send a copy to the DMV. Do not pay for her spending habit sooner or later she will be without funds but do not take her into your home. You may have to detach from her by not visiting or getting in touch by phone and if she gets upset too bad-keep us posted.
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If you find the answer to this one, please tell me! I've been struggling with this situation for four years. First, STOP charging her bills on your credit card - DO NOT spend your family's hard-earned money on your Mom's dementia (I'm assuming that's a root cause of her 'shop-aholic' problem). Make a complete accounting of her assets, income and expenses. Determine exactly how much 'mad' money she has to play with each month. Present this to her. My prediction is that you'll get one of two reactions. She'll seem to understand and commit to developing a spending plan and adhering to it (she won't be able to). Or, she'll react like a petulant teenager and just reiterate her desires. It doesn't matter which reaction you get, the result is the same. She can't handle any decisions about her finances and you have to take over or abandon her (financially). However, you will now know exactly what her financial situation is and can plan accordingly. If she has significant assets (the hard won legacy of your father that he wouldn't want to see frittered away, perhaps), then fight to preserve as much of it as possible. Demand that she turn over control of her money to you (or to a guardian of some sort; attorney, etc). Keep at it. She won't agree immediately. It will be a battle 'til the 'last man standing'. Be that man! Or, if there are few assets and little income, still try to take over. And, most importantly, spell out for her (as simply and directly as possible) that you will not take her into your home and support her when the money is gone. That conversation is for your benefit, not hers. She won't truly get it, but you need to commit to it! She'll spend down, and wind up qualified for medicaid and in a nursing home. Actually, a very nice situation for her and for you. She will have to accept the authority of the nursing home and you will be able to sleep knowing her needs are met.
Now, I should confess that this advice is a 'do as I say, not as I do' situation. I so wish someone had given it to me several years ago!
p.s. - Try to relate to your mom as your mom, not just as the biggest stress in your life. When with her (and not directly dealing with all this crap), talk with her about topics that will let her show how much she loves you. It will be your salvation. It surely is mine.
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Since you have medical documentation regarding why your mother should not drive, ask her doctor to send a letter to the DMV stating she is not capable of operating a vehicle. We had this done with my MIL and it was one of the most difficult things to accomplish. Depending on the personality of the elder you are taking care of this can be so stressful. But, you have to stick to your guns and accomplish what you set out to do.

The spending of money they don't have is sooo difficult to handle. My mother is in a nursing home, and thinks she has an endless supply of money. Well, she doesn't and if I tell her how it is going down due to buying her things she wants and needs, plus paying for a telephone each month, she thinks I am stealing from her. Actually, I have been paying myself for a lot of her stuff and can't anymore. My credit cards are very high and we are on the heels of my husband being out of work for 9 months. And I can't work due to health problems. It gets so stressful when all they want to do is spend money. My mother is a shopoholic who continually bought things at stores and my poor father had to constantly return them even though he was very sick himself. She is very blessed to be where she is and all her needs are taken care of. Some things they just have to adjust to themselves. I don't have the energy anymore to keeping trying to placate her and try to make her happy. It is futile.

And the car thing, about wanting to buy a another car, we went through hell with my MIL because of this; but we would never give in as she needed to be off the road. She was angry a lot at us over this, but it had to be done,

Believe me, I'm understanding of the fact that independence is taken away from a person when they can't drive. Well, when you are 90 years old and the doctor says it is unsafe to drive as the person has dementia and coordination problems; they just have to learn to live with it. I lived 2 hours from her and took her everywhere she wanted to go, did all her shopping, doctors appts., etc. She was never stranded. I've known other elderly with sweet dispositions who were upset losing their independence, but didn't make everyone around them suffer because of it. A huge part of losing independence is the personality of the person even before dementia. Hopefully, your mother is more understanding.

So, just tell her the reasons she can no longer do what she use to; and she will have to come to terms with it herself. She will blame you. I gladly took the blame as I felt good about the fact that she would no longer be a threat to herself and others on the road. I live with debilitating pain myself which has impacted my life tremendously. So, I know first hand what it is like to lose independence; no matter what the reason. And I live with it and don't make my family suffer because of it. I deal with it on my own; and so get tired of the elderly making everyone else miserable because they "Can't do what they use to or what they want to do".

Things have to change and your mother will have to change with them. Don't let her make you feel guilty; and do what you need to do even though it is hard. Thoughts and prayers with you. Take care.
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