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I take care of all of my mother’s financial responsibilities using money from her savings account. If I return the bank book she will see how much has been removed since I’ve taken over. She is quite angry knowing that I have the book. I tell her it’s at my home under lock and key. She obsesses over it. Any suggestions for handling the situation better?

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My mom had dementia and she clung to her savings account bank book. It was important to her as it made her feel like she was in control. She carried her savings account bank book in her purse. This account was one she'd had forever, and her pension and social security were deposited in it and all her bills were paid from.

Before I took over (under her DPOA) for her finances, she would receive the paper statements and throw them away intact. I stopped the hard copies of her statements and received them electronically.

I opened a checking account in her name (and mine; she'd never had one before) and transferred her pension and SS and her auto-bill-pay to this account. I kept her savings account "isolated" from the checking account. I kept about $100 in her savings account and it was just for her to be driven to the bank, she could hand over her bank book, and withdraw cash for her spending (usually she just bought us lunch and gas for driving her around).

She was happy and I was happy. Easy peasy.
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Reply to MountainMoose
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Hmmmm. This is a tricky one. My mother would have a stroke if she knew how much money was being spent on her care each month, so I keep all of her finances a secret. I am her financial POA and use her money for her care only, so there's nothing to hide, but at the same time, I do not need her seeing the figures, that's for sure! Can you somehow rig a new bank book to show her? Get one of the grand kids to whip something up on the computer that looks like her old bank book and have the old $$ numbers typed in, and let her see that. With photoshop and things, I'd think a computer savvy person could easily create something similar to her old bank book........? Other than that, maybe print out a bank statement online, white out the numbers and type in the numbers she wants to see? Or keep using diversionary techniques to distract her from the original question......but that may only last SO long, right?

Good luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1
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SandyBW Nov 4, 2019
Thank you for this idea. I could never show her the amount being spent on her care. She isn’t capable of understanding her monthly bank statement, even monthly bills confuse her. I’ve returned her checkbook since I now pay the majority of her bills online with the rest coming to my address. Gladimhere suggested asking the bank for a duplicate bank book and I will try that today. If they won’t I will find someone to create a duplicate. Again, thanks for the help. We all understand the difficulty of caregiving and I greatly appreciate everyone’s suggestions.
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I struggled with this too. At the beginning of the year, my mom kept asking me how much money she had and how much the nursing home cost. I didn't feel right about keeping her in the dark, and fully disclosed every penny in, every penny out and every penny in the bank.

She almost had a heart attack when I told her what the nursing home cost. But then I drove the point home that her money is there to pay for that care! What else would it be used for? Save it for the inheritance of the sons who never visit? F them! She had been in an assisted living that was obviously less expensive before she was in the nursing home but she did poorly there and required more care. Her medical condition is such that she cannot be adequately cared for in her home. She can't walk, toilet herself or manage her medications, and there is no social stimulation at home. So I told her, what do you want? We are lucky we have the money for you to be in this nice nursing home and Medicaid will pick it up when we run out! Would you rather be at home where your sons still wouldn't visit, and you'd fall and be dead within a couple of months? If so, you're on your own!

After that, the reality sank in and she didn't put up any fuss. I think she just wanted to feel like she was in control and was informed.
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Reply to alexis9368
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Just keep telling her it is at your house and safe. I know it's hard. Don't feel guilty. You are actually doing her a favor. If Need be, get another savings register, doctor it and give it to her. Worked for us. Good luck
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Reply to Flowerhouse1952
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Would the bank issue a duplicate? Bank statements are impossible for those with dementia and likely cause additional agitation, even from just not understanding what they are reading.

Find something that is very simplified for her to hang onto. I gave my mom a checkbook from an old account that satisfied her.
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Reply to gladimhere
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SandyBW Nov 4, 2019
Thank you, I will go to the bank today!
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Would she be happy with an old, outdated bank book? (Hopefully with an old number on it).
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Reply to partsmom
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blueberrybelle Nov 7, 2019
GOOD IDEA!
(1)
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Are you using all the money for her? If so, then there should be a paper trail substantiating what has been paid out. It is her money, she has every right to know where it has gone.

If you have nothing to hide what is the issue?
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Reply to DollyMe
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lealonnie1 Nov 3, 2019
My mother would literally have a stroke and die if she knew how much of her money was being spent for her care every month! I have nothing to 'hide' from her, yet I'd never consider showing her bank statements either! Some things are best left unsaid, especially when dementia is at play.
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They probably wouldn't "die" if they saw the amount. The problem is--if demented mom is still the account holder and she has access to a phone, she can call the bank and tell them to stop you from accessing her money.
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Reply to Beekee
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Goldie1800 Nov 6, 2019
Well, actually no.  As a banker we really cannot confirm who is on the phone.  However, in order for the daughter to take care of any of the banking she would have to be an authorized signer on the account.  Additionally, to be an authorized signer she would have to be the POA with documented proof retained on file with the bank.
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Stand firm. She cannot control her finances so she should not have a bank book back in her possession. Good grief, NO.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Not sure why, but money is one thing they seem to get fixated on when they age. With my Mom she had Dementia. She was in an AL and would say "We need to talk". That meant talk about money. She could never give me a good reason for needing it. "Oh, that girl is collecting money for something" Now, I am sure that ALs do not allow solicitations when it comes to residents. There were no vending machines to by snacks and she never went on shopping outings. She was a fall risk and couldn't follow directions so I felt she was safer at the AL. So, just told her I don't carry that much money around so will bring it next time which she
Savings books, I didn't think banks used them anymore. And if they give one, its just for you personally to keep records. Can u ask the bank for another one and fill it in and give it to her. People suffering from Dementia get fixated on one thing and won't let it go.
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