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Mother is in an assisted living facility and demands a cell phone, and access to all financial records. Wants cash, etc. She gets very angry and aggressive much of the time and calls her attorney (through facility phone) almost daily. Should I go ahead and get her a phone? She is going to cause a lot of problems.

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My Sister has moderate to severe dementia with underlying mental issues as well, and she would just break it or give the phone away, and the money too.
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Thanks for all the great responses. Yes, through 4 months of courts, I am her conservator. She has turned on all people who she feels is trying to get control of her. Since I have known her the longest, I am at the top of her "most hated" list. She and I have tried to review statements on many occasions over the last years. Always resulting in a fight. She doesn't believe anything if she can't remember it. There is no one in her life now that she has not turned on, including her accountant whom she revered at one point. If you disagree, you're out. Of course, it is her money. And she has made it very clear that she can spend it anyway she desires, including $1500 per month to various sweepstakes, politicians, charities, scam artists, etc. A sit down, trust me meeting, in an effort to explain expenses will only result in more problems. There is no one in her life that she trusts. And on and on, we go.
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MountainMoose Sep 16, 2019
Oh, OL68, I am so sorry. Yet, you keep on keepin' on, trying hard. I so hope she will appreciate you. *hug*
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Are you the one handling her financial affairs, and as a daughter and/or pursuant to a DPOA?    The issue, what is the legal authority on which you're presumably handling her finances?

I take a somewhat different approach on this, more like that of Mountain Moose.
Anyone acting as fiduciary pursuant to a DPOA still has an obligation to the principal even if that person has dementia and isn't capable of understanding the financial issues.   It's still her money.

When I paid my father's bills, I told him what I had paid, the amount, and that that account was current.    Eventually he asked me to just take care of some bills for him, which I did.   

Confidence and trust have to be established, but I know that's hard when dementia is involved.    

Your profile indicates a frictional relationship, so try to avoid that by providing limited information, as MM suggests.   Break down expenditures into categories, indicate what you've spent on AL, clothing, and other obligations, but don't use company names as this needs to be as private as possible.

I would even try to take a more congenial approach and review the expenditures at a general level over coffee, tea, treats, or something to make the meeting more pleasant.    Even if you don't get along, that doesn't mitigate against accepting it.  

Or you can start out with summary information and let her decide when she wants more detail.  

I feel strongly about this, in part b/c there have been so many posts in which getting ahold of someone else's finances is more the goal than serving as a fiduciary, for and on behalf of that compromised individual.
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I agree with those commenting below. Esp about the sheet listing finances but no details. I think nothing will work, so it is as with 2 years olds. The "No" will have to suffice.
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If she has access to the facility phone, don't bother with a cell phone. You won't get rest because she will be calling day and night. Give her a very basic sheet about her finances but don't have identifying information, otherwise unscrupulous individuals will take her to the cleaners. Just give her $10-$15 for her purse.
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Are you her general POA?
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I wouldn't give her a cell phone. As Lileesa stated, she has access to the facility phone. My mom, who had dementia, had a phone by her bed and I placed my sisters' and her granddaughter's phone numbers on auto dial to make it easy. Usually she couldn't remember how to use it because of her dementia. Then one night she could remember and started calling people in the middle of the night! I removed all those numbers. Then one night she started dialing random numbers! That's when I removed the phone.

For Mom's financial information, I had a habit of making up a monthly statement (and sanitized of all account numbers or mention of her bank because Mom would throw away intact bank statements) of all her finances that month. Again because of her dementia, she would forget she had them. If she mentioned her finances or when she was having a lucid day, I would show her the latest statement, carefully go through it with her, and make sure she had all her questions answered.

Your mother is entitled to know that all her finances are being taken care of properly. Do you (or the person taking care of her finances) have a set-up for a once or twice-monthly meeting where you (or whomever) show her all her finances and what's happening? If she had a meeting that she could count on without having to ask for it, that feeling of some control may settle her.

For cash, I always kept about $60 in Mom's purse. This way if she and I or if a sister or her granddaughter took her out, her being able to help out with gas or buy lunch made her feel good.
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IMO if she has access to a facility phone she does not need the cell phone under the circumstances you have described. I can picture all kinds of problems and purchases. My mom has late stage Alzheimer's. I photo her bank accounts and give a copy to her. Frankly, I could give her anything and she wouldn't know the difference. It most times satisfies her.

I give her a limited amount of cash and try to monitor it. A small amount of money is worth the investment to find out. - My mom counts it - hides it and then forgets where it is.
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