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My dad has recently had several memory tested by phsychologist as recommended by his physician (stroke,CGHF,depression) and did very poorly. I sat with the doctor as he reviewed the result with my dad, end result was "Your dad shouldn't be alone." No problem, I moved in with him months ago and plan to stay. He stated that I should have everything in order as far as POA, HCP, etc. which I told him is all set but that the lawyer said I need a doctor letter to stating he was no longer competent, which he gave me. Of course my dad didn't see any of what the doctor said as being correct. Now the problem:

My dad likes to control the checkbook, money, bills, etc. worries about every penny ( not keep a book balanced). I must say he does a terrible job, stroke effected his hand writing. He has stopped paying for his AARP Rx and owes them for a good half of this year. Also when they sent him a new bill for 2014 w/ payment book he ripped it to shreds and tossed it. I have tried hard to get thru to him that he needs it and he doesn't listen. When I ask him who pays his Rx he thinks he does, I explain he pays the copayment only. And he can't answer beyond that, like he gets confused and says drop the subject, I'm not going to fight about it. Should I worry ? Let it get cancelled ? Will I be able to get it back ? How and do I take over ? Taking the checkbook will be a huge seen he looks at it everyday, sometimes several time a day. His heart is very bad and upsetting him could be dangers.

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I have and still am living your life with my mother. I am living in her house with her and my daughter lives with us as well. I took DPOA of my mother about 3 years ago, Mom signed the paperwork for the attorney and he spoke to her alone to make sure she was able to understand what was going on. No letter from the doctor was needed to do this as she had previously had a diagnosis of beginning dementia a couple of years earlier. We explained that it was set up for future use, when it was needed....although we knew it was needed now.

I let it go for a while and watched her but I had paid her bills for years and I had done her banking and was up to date on most everything that was going on. Finally I had to step in and take away the check book and tell her that I would give her a copy of the ledger but she would no longer have the actual checks from the check book. She was giving money to anyone and everyone that called on the phone or showed up at the door, so she had to be stopped. My older sister was paying her dental bill and car repairs from my mothers account with no intention of ever paying Mom back, so I had no choice but to say this stops NOW!

I handle everything, all bills, banking, etc....and I do mean everything! I no longer let Mom handle anything, in the first place she is not able to, her memory lasts maybe 5 to 10 minutes. I do not even let her see the real checkbook because it causes an argument....she says she wants to write checks and I tell her NO!
This is hard to do and you do not want to cause an argument, but let me tell you it will happen, no matter how kind you try to be. They think they are right and of sound mind and you know they are NOT! As DPOA you are now the grown up and you are in charge of helping this person handle financial and health issues that they can no longer comprehend. This job will not be easy because the person you are trying to help will fight you and they may fight you to the point that you wish you had never taken DPOA. There are times my mother probably hates me, but I know what I am doing is for her welfare and I am keeping records to prove every bill I pay and I know that I have her best interest in mind.

Seeking guardianship does involve a lawyer and it is expensive and takes a long time and you have to obtain letters from more than one doctor to prove the need for guardian ship.

I would explain to Dad that I was here and I was now going to take over paying his bill for him and handling his checkbook but let him know that you are going to make a bill book so he can see that the bills are being paid and that you will balance the checkbook so he can see what his balance is, etc. He may take it easier if you show him a simple system you have set up and show him how you handle it each month. I have a coil ring binder that I simply write down the Month and year on each page and then write down "Gas Company, $35, Ck7726 pd 12/11/13. I write out each paid bill on the page, this is simple and easy for them to see, I keep the bills and write this info on the bill as well and file it. I balance the checkbook and run the highlighter across the line where it is balanced to each month and I give her an exact copy of the checkbook ledger.

If you can stay away from any conversations about money, it will keep their mind off of the checkbook, bring up any conversation about a bill or money and they will RUN for the checkbook. I even balance the checkbook AFTER SHE GOES TO BED to keep her from seeing what I am doing!

It is hard for them to relinquish their finances to anyone so you have to be a bit gentle until you wind up having to basically lay the law down that they will not be getting it back....my mother used to hide it, then forget where and scream at me for not knowing where it had gone. After months of this, I said NO MORE!

My mother was just recently given medications to help with her behavior and it has helped to calm down some of her fears.

Good luck this is never easy!
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If you read some of the posts here, a lot of them are about parents who the doctor said was incompetent but mom or dad gave away money, remarried, changed their Will or POA. Time and time again they found out that because there was no JUDGE who declared dad or mom incompetent in court, anything could be signed, sold or torn up. You're obviously motivating him to keep going, congratulations and best wishes.
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He had his license revoked last year, so nothing to worry about there. Guardianship, sound like more lawyer ? I would think if the doctor said the diagnoses is mild dementia I wouldn't think he could change his POA ? I'm an only child and he has no one else to choose. Honestly not many people like him, he can be quit ignorant (European), but he's my dad. He doesn't display real anger, just not agreeable, difficult to make him understand because of his memory problem, heck I think I get more angry, but I bite my tongue. Just makes it hard to deal with. I do most everything for him, he still is able to shower, cloth and eat ( what I give him). Didn't expect it to be this long, when I got here he was dying, lucky if he was alert for a hour a day back in August. I've got him back on his feet and up around. Everyone tells me I'm doing a great job, just trying to avoid a bump in the road.
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I think you might want to pursue a full Guardianship. It sounds like he will refuse to authorize a POA or revoke it and appoint someone else. The anger you see will get worse if he is not properly medicated. Unless he is declared incompetent in court, he cannot be stopped from doing whatever he wants with money and other assets. He must not drive, now or ever. You are also now saddled with 24/7 care. God bless you for taking this on.
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