How to handle restricting cash?

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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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