My mother needs help with her paperwork. I help, then she loses it and accuses me of taking her mail. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

My mother needs help with her paperwork. I help, then she loses it and accuses me of taking her mail. Any advice?

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My mother complains about her incoming mail. She asks me to help to sort all, which I have, filed it, then I find on a return visit, she has misplaced it. She also accuses me with evening phone calls the day of the visit that I have taken her bank statements...etc. and other paperwork. The good thing is, I was proactive a few years ago and set up automatic payments from her checking account and her bills therefore, are up to date. How can I continue to help her, without being accused of taking her mail and personal documents?

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I don't think you can. I'd tell her, oh, I took it home by mistake. I'll bring it back when I come again, and then produce it from the file, if she even remembers it. From what I understand, this stage will pass.

My father had what appeared to be some sort of dementia the few days before he died in that he would ask over and over again about some financial matter. Eventually, I learned not to tell him he'd taken care of it, but to "call" the bank to check--sometimes two or three times an hour. Sometimes, the only think I can think of doing is lying.
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Had the same problem so one by one I changed the address to mine and told her the banks weren't sending out monthly statements only 4 times,a year worked till she went in the nursing home
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Get a scanner, or use a free scanner app on your phone like CamScanner, etc. Scan and annotate everything that comes in, save it online and then it no longer matters where she puts the papers, you always have it at hand and can show her the digital copy...
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It's easier to take ownership and apologize. "I'm sorry Mom. I should have been more careful where I put that. I'll print another copy of the bank statement." or "I'm sorry Mom, maybe I misfiled it." You get the idea.
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It is normal that the person who is there is the culprit because they won't admit they are at fault - the police quickly get her number as dementia so don't worry about them

As to meds - you need to remember she is not in charge but you are so hire the med people - tell her that it is manditory or you can go away for a few days & hire service while you're gone then say it's now permanent - if you go away tell her it was such a load off your mind that you decided to keep up med service for you not her
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You can try what others have suggested - say you took it home by mistake, make copies, etc etc, but given with dementia they tend to put things away in odd places (and dig out old crap and insist it is new), most of these techniques will be at best a bandaid (even bandages can be bad - mom got cellulitis just before the move, which delayed the move, and just after my brother cleaned and dressed the wound, she ripped it off and stated she needed a new one! AUGH! Better him than me!!)

I actually temporarily forwarded her mail to me for about 1.5 months (I could not be there often enough to snag all the mail over the month) and took over all the bills. I contacted each place and had the billing address changed to me. She received notice of the temporary change and was mad - "I get more than bills in the mail" - yeah, a bunch of crap (flyers, various other junk mail, donation requests, etc.) I also had to get my brother to take her out for a while and go remove any/all paperwork to stop her digging through old crap. It caused another nightmare! I was going to suggest doing that, then YOU mail her a copy of each one, but then she might notice your address on the paperwork.

Another option, since she seems paranoid about the outgoing mail - perhaps a PO Box in her name? Then you could maybe pick up the mail once/week and go over it all? Show her the scheduled payments (which you could continue to show her.)

Even better - you can say that billing is all electronic now... everyone wants me to switch to E-Billing... If you did that, you can show her the statements online and print them if she wants it. Tell her the banks now require it!!!
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An elder is OVERWHELMED by incoming mail, let alone bills that they may owe. My late mother cried about her mail until I took it over that day--#1 Recycle, #2 Bills Owed, #3 EOB's and #4 Trash. They just can't handle it. Do the best you can.
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silver, I walk the line on a lot of that, too! First, I DO take a lot of it and file it at my home, medical stuff e.g... so we both always know where it is. Also, she is paranoid about outgoing mail and will only drive it to the PO. She asked me to do this for her once, so when I was at the PO I took a pic with my phone of which bills they were, in case she harangued me about whether I in fact mailed them. Maybe these two ideas will help you. Good luck. :0
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I am going through the same experience with my mother. Her bank statements are now kept in a three ring binder on her bookshelf. I have post-it notes around her house to remind her to look there, yet I still get questioned. She is suspicious that I am receiving her statements at my home, even though her name and address are printed on them. I try to reassure her, but periodically she will keep repeating that she is not receiving them in the mail, or that she is not remembering bringing them in from the mailbox. Being on the receiving end of an untrue accusation is difficult and upsetting to work through, especially when it keeps happening, it wears me down. How to best manage those moments is quite the challenge that I am trying to figure out as well.

I do think she is grieving the loss of her independence, primarily because of the challenges she has with her short term memory. As her caregiver who wants to protect her and meet her every need, because of her difficulties, she may perceive me as taking away her sense of control in her life. I understand her frustrations with her limitations, I know Mom appreciates all that I do for her. As caregivers, how do we stay strong in the midst of our loved one’s emotional suffering?
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I can relate! Mom asks everyday about where her social security, & pensions are. I remind her its all direct deposit to her bank. But when she sees her statement, she denies all her debit purchases & accuses me of making them!
It's so exasperating & hurtful.
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