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Been a while since I posted. I was helping Dad move to AL (he could no longer stay in Independent Living due to his declining health and cognition).

Surprisingly, he adapted to the change to AL much better than I thought he would. I took special care in decorating the room well and making sure the support staff (most of whom he already knows) helped with the transition.

I was on the brink of sighing with relief until he told me that he gave some man $20. This was his last full week at the Adult Day Center (he will only be attending the two days the VA covers), and I guess his FREE transportation was taking too long and he claims he hopped in a cab with someone else and gave him $20.

This brings up the ongoing challenge I've had with attempting to all but eliminate the amount of cash my Dad carries in his wallet. Past entries will enlighten you on Dad's attachment to money, and I really don't want to get screamed at in the middle of a crowded bank again or be called a thief to everyone Dad can get to listen, but this wallet thing has been and is becoming more of an issue.

He DEMANDS to have at least $80 CASH at all times. His sight makes it so that he's challenged with cards (tried prepaid cards-it was a disaster), and quite frankly, after the bank incident, I just decided to let the chips fall where they may.

The director of his Adult Day Center has received complaints that Daddy has been counting his money in front of everyone, and there have been several times that the director has had to return money that Dad has given out. He's dropped cash in the past or lost his wallet. We even had an incident where a terrible caregiver took Daddy shopping and watched him spend every cent he had... So.... it's an issue.

I've tried to convince Dad to leave his wallet at home when he goes to the Adult Center, but I still don't trust the staff at the AL facility, I'm afraid that amount of cash is tempting. Even the prospect of locking it up makes me nervous.

The bottom line is, I NEED to restrict this man's cash. He has no legitimate reason for carrying around that much money as his expenses are all handled by automatic bank draft. I can use his debit card (which I keep for meal outings with me and light snacks for his room).

I guess I just don't want to bear the consequences of reducing him to about $10 tops. He always complains that I treat him like a baby BUT....

HELP!!

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My Dad was COMPLETELY consumed by money,having ready cash always, and telling him that absolutely anything he needed or wanted I would immediately provide was futile.I filled his wallet with $ 1s and odd $5, reassured him.His caretakers were totally trustworthy and let him pay for food or toiletries, if they went on fast food runs or errands.He felt like a fully fledged adult. I thought about fake money,but he could still spot it. If he lost it, I figured it was the cost of doing business if it gave him some pride. If his sitters ever used any,they left receipts in the wallet and I would bulk up the wallet,again. I had great,loving sitters.
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Mother got put on a "cash only" basis many years ago when it was discovered that my eldest brother was hitting her up for money constantly. Dad had Parkinson's and was nearly bedridden, they were living in our (HUGE) family home and brother was slowly stealing tools, coins, silver, antiques, etc from mother and dad. When time came to 'size down" and move them to my brother's---we discovered brother had taken well over $100K of money, (a second mortgage) and all the valuable things they owned. Dad was furious and put younger brother on the checking acct (so he would get the checking acct statement every month and older brother couldn't take checks anymore) and put mother on a cash-only for groceries and incidentals. She was furious, as she felt very diminished by this, but dad was adamant. She could now only slip older brother $20-40 a month, rather than hundreds.

Flash forward 14 years and daddy and elder brother have passed. Mother still carries cash for groceries and lunch out with the "girls"...and has embraced the habit. Brother still gets the checking acct emailed to him, but she only writes a few checks a month.

She is careful with cash in a way she wasn't with checks. Also the main source of drain is gone. She supported my brother for 20 long years and he lorded that over the rest of us as a sign he was the "chosen one". Yuck.

I personally don't care if I inherited a nickel from her estate , if she ever dies. I just didn't want to see her made totally bankrupt by a scheming sibling. Now he's gone, there's no drama.

A lot of financial planners do tell you to only use cash for all purchases (excluding basic ones, like mortgage and cable and such)..seeing the actual money that is designated for "fun" "groceries" "clothes" go out makes it more real. Maybe if our elders knew that a lot of "Millenials" do their finances this way--it could encourage them.
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I should have seen it coming, but I didn't. After my mom broke her hip and was in rehab, she began enjoying the attention and things that she was receiving; and, she became a con artist.

When mom went to AL, I took interest in her room by letting her pick out matching valance, quilt, and lamps. They were my gifts to her. We sat down with a budget, and I showed her how she had gotten into trouble with money with the equity in her house and credit cards in the past; but, it seemed that as long as she had a credit card or money, everything was OK. Well, it was taking more money than my dad's two pensions and his social security to pay for her to live at the AL and to pay the additional expenses. I really felt sorry for her not having any money left at all, so I told her I was going to pay her cable, telephone, and internet and give her $200 a month for spending money. The only way I could afford to do all that was because I was working a post-retirement part time job. Of course she was more than pleased with this deal and loved her room and furnishings. She had taken a recliner with her, so she had a cozy and roomy (at that time!) place to live.

The first "must" was a love seat that the ALF was removing, but would sell if someone wanted it. When I arrived one afternoon, I was met by mom and two or three of her buddies. I am sure she had told them her daughter would buy it for her. We measured, and she was convincing me all that time that if she had company they would be able to have privacy in her room and be comfortable. It did make sense, and the love seat was pretty...

The AL provided an apartment size refrigerator/freezer. I didn't care what mom did with the spending money I gave her (within reason) until I discovered she was going on the bus to a super store and buying CLOTHES (we had to stuff HER clothes in her one double closet!) and FOOD that was too much to fit in the refrigerator and was spoiling. The next time I visited, one of the sliding doors of her closet was open. When I ask why, she said she was straightening it up. When I glanced later, there were blouses with tags hanging on them, protruding from the closet and preventing it from closing.

The AL provided fruit and ice cream (I don't know, but probably low fat) for the residents all day. Mom had bought ice cream bars, though, that had melted in her refrigerator and leaked down the side of it. She didn't want to walk to the where the AL ice cream was. We had a serious talk about money that day. This was during the transition from daughter to mom, so now I understand how hard it was for her to deny me things I wanted when I was a child. Her pretty blue eyes teared up and she told me how she had given up her whole way of living "because you wanted me to!"...she deserved some of the things she wanted! Talk about a guilt trip. Her broken hip, living alone, doctor's orders that she couldn't live alone, our inability to adequately care for her...I guess they didn't count...

Skip to about two months later, after she had bought herself a used full-size refrigerator/freezer and paid for it in two payments. I am surprised they allowed her room to be that crowded. By then, I had gotten to know the owner and staff well, and I spent a lot of time with mom.

I finally settled on this for money. I opened an account with the beautician to do mom's hair and nails weekly. The only thing at the AL she really needed was coffee. So, we got her a small coffee pot for her room. She and I had were out enough that there was time for a shopping stop, when she could pick out what she wanted and needed. I needed things, too (of course!), so I paid for all of them together. No need for her to have money. When the group was going out to eat, I told her I wanted to be sure she had plenty of money to have what she wanted, so I gave the activity director more than enough to pay for her meal. He was allowed to do that for individual outings, but the AL would not be responsible for holding money for the residents. She ordered anything she wanted and it was paid for. I made sure mom had some change at the AL in case she wanted a drink or snack from the machines. Problems solved. I think she realized it worked out better for her doing it my way, and she didn't have to worry with money. I went on some of the lunch and picnic outings with the group, too. When she saw that she truly was fortunate to have the attention and a way to get everything she wanted, she was more appreciative of her situation; and, our time together became quality and fun time.
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Ferris1 I agree with you. If he's in an AL living, they should know when he leaves. Then they can give him $ (real). But if he's in a memory care or within the AL they can be part of the phoney money idea, especially if it's a concern. If someone takes money from him within the facility then it's up to that resident to worry about its validity given the range of medical and mental capacity within any AL.
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I know this is very wrong and illegal in some terms BUT if you are in dire straits I have known people to do this with their parents in the exact situation such as yours as I am tempted to do with mine. Of course, letting the AL unit know the plan. Here is goes, make colored copies of the money for him. Just a few so he can feel and belief he has cash but there would be no worries of lost money. Once again, I have heard of a friend doing this and it worked. Same issue of shouting in the bank- they now go thru the drive thru and accusations of stolen $. This solved the issue.
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I went through this in different ways with each of my parents. My Dad was the one 'in charge' at his home, and he always had at least $100 in his wallet. When he quit driving due to his dementia, he started having less and less money on him...just cause he was not going anywhere. He had initiated POA with me paying their bills. This was after he had his ATM cards taken away at the credit union, because he left his in the machine too many times.. The manager called me and asked me to watch him, as she said she was afraid someone was going to take advantage of him. She canceled the checking account and put all his money in the savings account so he had to go inside to make a withdrawal. He was ANGRY!! How dare they move HIS money around! But he admitted he couldn't remember things anymore. So we added me to their account, and I had the card. But when he had to go into memory care, I made sure he had about $10 on him in the beginning. However, he thought he was staying in a hotel, so he kept trying to pay for his own meals...and giving money to someone else. So finally, I 'forgot' to give him his $10 and said I would bring it next time...but he kept forgetting about 'next time'...and the issue went away. Then, with Mom, she was home with caregivers cause we didn't want her driving anymore. But, after a few months, we discovered that they were taking her to the bank, where I funded an account for her so she could get gas and groceries.... and she started taking out $200 every two weeks, and would get home, and then go in her room/bathroom and shut the door....and, we thought, 'hide' the money. Two weeks later she wanted to go to the bank again because she was low on money. Well, in the end, she did something with over $2000 at that $200 every two weeks....and we've not found it yet. We went through every drawer, all her known 'hiding' places, when we moved her to assisted living, and 3 of us searched through everything when we were moving her stuff out of the house as it went up for sale....never found it yet. I have 3 storage buildings full of stuff that has not been sorted through....so maybe.....it will show up somewhere. Also, there was a whole bag of silver dollars that ended up missing too. I was with them, when Dad asked Mom and I to go to a safe deposit box and get it out, and close that box. So I saw the bag and the amount of silver....and when I left my folks to go back home, Dad was sitting counting the silver dollars, and he had told Mom that he wanted her to take them up to their bank that was close and put them in the safe deposit box there. I thought they were there and safe, but when I went to close that box out, NO...it was filled with other proof sets, but no silver dollars. I am very fearful that my Mom took them to the bank and asked to convert them to regular money because she didn't understand about silver prices and investments in coins etc. Searched all over for that bag too....and it's not been found. The issue with the money being withdrawn and then missing?? cemented the plan to move Mom to Assisted Living. We know it was not stolen by a caregiver, because the only C.G. who took her to the bank, was a family friend....very reliable young Christian gal....that just wouldn't have done that. Plus Mom always was paranoid of anyone with her money....so she would go in the Bathroom, shut the door and then hide it somewhere. I just hope we get surprised and find it in one of the boxes in the storage buildings! She has no money with her in AL. She won't take part in any activities unless I go with her, so I just use the card connected with her account. She's never said a word about it though.
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I have to restrict my husband's money, so I give him a $5 and some one's. If he says he doesn't have any money, I remind him that anywhere we go, he is with me and I have money. I let him keep the expired credit card because he thinks he can use that if he needs it....the card number has changed, so it is totally useless.
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Like Ferris's comment I am also amazed that people with Alzheimer/dementia are allowed out on their own!
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OH, that raised a memory for me. When i was just beginning to realize that my mom had a problem, I had not yet put two and two together, my mom "found" a large amount of cash--about $800 in twenties--stashed away in a seldom used drawer in a file folder or something like that.

She was beside herself. In her mind, she had just "found" a hidden treasure and never gave any indication that she had hidden and forgotten it.

I started getting worried about money at that point. At about the same time, she started donating to lots of charities. She also forgot where and how to get cash. It all went very fast after that. I would say that within two years she was in AL.

I always top off the money in her purse to about $100. According to her, she doesn't need it because "she never goes anywhere." But that is not true!!!!!!!!!!!! She goes on outings in a shuttle bus with her buddies out to lunch and to open markets, etc. each week. She just doesn't remember that she did it!
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If he has dementia, why is he being allowed to go out alone? There would be no need of cash, and my suggestion of "fake" cash was something more like Monopoly money where the recipient would know immediately it was not real money. Just say, "No" you cannot carry cash anymore.
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Wondering how this works in the Medicaid spend down. Money being just given away.
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Money is often a key issue for patients with Alzheimer's to argue about. Loss of financial judgement often goes hand in hand with seeing money as security. But there is no point giving any patient living in a home or AL anything more than $20, and even much of that should not be in notes but in coins. Watch them as they spend it. Never fill up wallets with "cash for later" - it goes immediately. They have no idea how it is spent, nothing to show for it. Nurses and carers are accused of stealing, when the patient may just have taken everything out of their bags and wallets and stored it all somewhere else;
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My mother was handling out $20 bills for this and that reason. There is a stage where they like to have money as it seems more concrete to them. We fixed the problem by giving her the cash in $5 bills. Now she hands out $5 bills one at a time and her cash goes alot further.
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My mother is in AL. She has regained all her memory and senses. She just can't walk. My mom insists on having 200 cash on her at all times. Someone goes to Walmart or Taco Bell and she wants to have money to but things. Avon comes once a week as well. I give her the money and tell her when it's gone it's gone. It's too much stress for me to keep fighting. I'm alone and have no back up. So she gets her money. After 3 years of this. I no longer care.
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Our mom's AL would not manage her money. She would want $100 at a time. We gave her $40 in ones and fives. The ones were for bingo.
If you limit him to ones, he won't flash that around. Nobody is impressed by a fist full of ones.
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Check with the AL. They probably keep records of the money Medicaid patients are allowed monthly. Money is needed for outings. I would not allow him to have money on his person orvin his room. Staff can't watch everyone. Residents have been known to enter other residents rooms and pick up stuff. You never take valuable stuff to a AL / NH facility. No matter how vigulant the facility is in hiring staff, there may be one who steals. I like the idea of telling him the facility does not allow residents to carry money. He shouldn't need a credit card, debt or ATM card. The AL is supplying most of his needs. Maybe a prepaid Credit card would be good but put in the hands of the AL.
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I would remind him that people wander in and out of rooms all the time. Things disappear -- especially cash. It is dangerous to keep that much around. Give him $10 and tell him that you'll keep the rest safe at home until he needs more.
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I would not replace the money with fake, because if he does in fact get in a cab with someone, a couple things could happen: he could get charged with passing counterfeit money if the fakes are good enough for him not to be able to tell the difference, or he could be stranded somewhere and not be able to pay for what he ordered. Either would be a grave blow to his dignity, which is why he feels he needs to carry it with him in the first place, I mean how would YOU feel if somebody did that to you? Even if it all got straightened out in the end, it would be a big embarrassing hassle. I agree with what Jeanne said about letting the ALF handle it.
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Switch the "real" money to fake. I don't let my husband have any cash since he will hide it and forget where he put it. I don't care if he "insists" on having $80, tell him if he needs something you will get it and be FIRM! You are the rational adult here, are you not?
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Although he did not need to spend actual cash on anything once he moved to assisted living my dad needed to have money in his wallet at all times to feel like a man. I was able to get the amount down to $30 and I did not worry about what happened to it. I could tell how much it meant to my dad's self worth and dignity. I got him to accept the amount of $30 by showing him that I always have at least $60 with me that he could borrow if need be.
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Try the above abt the money at the facility. Leave him his wallet with pictures or other things in it. They all seem to have this fixation about money. If you feel you have to give him money they make it $5 ones. Tell him that is all you have and will more next time (but do NOT). You have to learn to go with the flow of the day. Do not take him to the bank. If you are out together then just say you will come back to the bank or there you are on a timed thing to do first. You have to learn to play the game. End you day with you will go to the bank tomorrow (not).
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I am curious as to if this worked....? Blaming it on the facility that the policy is only so much money etc. My Dad lives at home and he has caregivers etc. who we do trust. But he always likes to have $$$ in his wallet and does not like cards. Just looking into "our " future and stocking up on tips. BTW....I hope it did work for you as I know this is a problem.
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Lucky us! My dad lost his purse with everything in it - probably left it on a counter somewhere - with a lot of cash in it. He returned to the shop but was told that they did not see his purse. So we had to go through all the trouble of getting new ID cards, bank cards, Medical cards, etc. At one of the places the person looked at my dad and said: This is your third time in here, you have lost your cards twice before - he forgot his pin at the bank and his card was pulled back it sounds like. But we did not know about the previous times! He was so upset - he called the assistant a lair. But the assistant then just said I will not give him another card unless you (me - the daughter) will take responsibility for his cards - you will sign for it and keep it with you. (He does not have any finger prints left so it is always very difficult for them to issue cards - they have to get special permission.) That solved our problem as now I were "instructed" to keep his cards. I withdraw his SS every month, ask him if he needs anything, and then just deposit it in a savings account for them. They normally does not need anything, we pay for everything for them - their toiletries, food, snacks, sweets, etc. We pay for their medicalaid (in our country it is expensive) but whenever there is things or procedures that the medical aid will not cover, I will pay for this with their savings - which we have saved for them with their SS.
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Yes, letting the AL handle it is a good idea.

My idea was to give him counterfeit money..as much as he wants. I know this guy named Frenchy...

Anyway, lots of empathy. Hang in there.
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Actually that's what I did with my mom - told her when she moved into the nursing home that the residents weren't allowed to have anything of value in their rooms. So - no cash, to credit cards and no checks - thank God! At first she was a little anxious about being able to pay for "things" and appointments. On the rare occasion mom needs cash I stash it somewhere in her room in an envelope the day or two prior and then let whomever is taking her where ever, know where it is. We've not had a single problem with this routine. The funny part was mom continuing to carry her purse EVERYWHERE she went in the NH. Nothing in it but some random junk and her empty wallet - but that does contain her i.d. and med insurance card. It took about five months but she's finally leaving her purse in her room when she's rolling about the home.
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Good answer, Jeanne!
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Ha! Never thought of that! Thanks!
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I wonder if you could let the ALF handle this one?

"I'm sorry, Mr. Dad, but on this side of the house we have residents who are not as sharp and capable as you are, and for everyone's sake we don't want to have cash in wallets or rooms. It is nothing personal about you. It just works best for all of us if there is no more than $10 for any resident.

We have accounts for each resident. at the the front desk. You can deposit any amount, for example $100, and when you have a need for it you can take out the amount you need. For example, if you are taking the bus to the shopping center you can take cash out. If you don't spend it all you can deposit the change back into your account. If you are going to lunch with your daughter and you want to buy, you can take out cash in the same way. That way you have what you need but the ALF doesn't have thousands of dollars of cash floating around in resident rooms."

Let the ALF be the reasonable bad guy on this.
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