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My mother has dementia, she is in complete denial and will not admit it. We tricked her into moving to Assisted Living and I invoked the POA. I now collect her mail and pay her bills. She is constantly in an uproar about this, she says
Where is my mail? Who is paying the bills? Where are my bank statements? How much does this place cost? I cannot afford this place? When can I move back home? I cannot tell her how much the Assisted Living costs, she will be ballistic and she can be violent. I finally broke down and told her that it was $400 a month and she is livid, that is way to expensive and of couse it is a huge lie, it is much more than that. What do I do? Should I dummy up the bank statements each month and give them to her or what?

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We just told my mother in law that Insurance pays for the assisted living and she's happy with that answer.She never asks to see bank books because her daughter who is POA was paying her bills even before she went to assisted living.
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One way to gain control over the financial paperwork, especially if you are her POA, would be to rent a post office box in your own and your mother's name. Then have her sign the change of address form sending mail over to the post office box. Of course, you would have to bring her mail to her, but you can leave out the ones she should not have. You can offer to work on getting things straightened out with the bank for the change of address.

The reason for the po box is because of identity theft and mail box theft. These are real problems, and exactly why my family uses a mail box - when we moved out into the country, we found our tax refund check in the ditch a quarter mile away, a month after it was delivered, and soaking in mud!
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I tell my mother that insurance covers [whatever]. It eases her mind and allows me to get the services she needs.
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Sometimes an elderly persons outlook on money is colored by the past. My Mother had to work to help feed and cloth 5 kids as we grew up. She was very frugal and careful with money. Now, at 97, she has plenty of money in the bank to last her the rest of her life. However, she won't go to a doctor unless I really push her, she needs new false teeth but won't spend the money. Says that's all she has in case she gets sick. She has insurance & Medicare. The only bright spot for me is when she dies I will be able to replace what I have spent on her so my kids won't have to help me financially.
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My sister quit her part time job to get involved but it was a financial crunch. As my mother's trustee and POA, I reimburse my sister for temporary caregiver duties until financially she is better off, then she doesn't want anything. My mom asked me about this and I did not lie but before answering I outlined how this alternative is the least expensive. She was a little shocked, but no matter, because she asks me the same question every week. Eventually she will totally forget - when she freaks, I then will downplay it, not because I'm lying but because I'm not dealing with someone who is mentally capable of having an intelligent conversation.
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Great answers - and what a relief to hear it's not just my mom who does this! I typed up a simple "summary" - 1 page showing she has plenty of money - and put it in a colorful binder. Now when she asks, I say, remember it's all in that pink binder. Basically, I reassure her she has plenty - the stock market went up! You made money! Since her concept of money is mixed up and time is mixed up, I just remind her about the large total and that it's all in the pink binder if she needs to check (she never does). As for the amount held by the CCR --- I just said it's in one of her accounts.
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I was a nursing home social worker for 20 years and I have always had a special place in my heart working with elders with dementia. Absolutely learning to tell little fibs is what needs to happen - it completely depends on the person - one fib for one person with dementia might not hold water with another - it's all about knowing the person (and you as family members do). Telling a parent that insurance is covering it or good investments were made, or the accoutant is taking care it are excellent choices. I also like the "it costs a million thousand dollars" because that got the person to laugh. I also agreed with the writer who said that what they really want to know is if everything is OK.
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I pay my aunt's bills and taxes., She insists she needs to keep tabs on what she is doing. She wants the bank statements and questions what I did. I try to answer her question, but she keeps repeating it. She has dementia , but is quick on the response. She can yell and belittle and ask how I would feel if this was happening to me. My aunt is in an independent living apartment at a retirement center. I have most of her info. coming to me, but don't know how to get SS and IRS to send me the information. My aunt puts income papers in with other papers. She insists on knowing all that is going on with her money so she can keep her mind sharp, but she has no short term memory.
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I'm a good spot because ny mother's oldest grandson is living in a tiny apt in Boston. When she asks, we tell her that X is living in a place with less square footage than she has and is paying $1000 more. Then we talk about how exorbitant it is to live in the City!

Her neighbor is hilarious - my husband is the town's stock broker, in the paper all the time, and my mother probably brags about him. The lady next door to my mother is constantly asking about her investments when we visit. He finally got tired of guessing her 10 stocks, so he recently told her - "your investments are almost at a million now! Isn't that wonderful! I'm doing such a great job on them!" She buys it and is so impressed that she picked such a wonderful broker. However, he is not her broker, has done no investing for this lady, and she has had and continues to have much more than that. Let me tell you, when I have a million dollars I hope I remember it!
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My Mom had some of her bills paid automatically until she became real forgetful. I was the closest child and POA so when I saw the first signs I started slowly watching all her bills. I called them and sent copies of the POA and it was a pretty smooth transition. When we saw we needed an outside caregiver that was a little more stressful. She fussed and complained we were bullying her . She said she didn't have the money (she does and then some) so I told her medicare was paying for it (I wish). I never heard anymore about that . She did lock her caregiver out one day but she came back the next day and told her she missed her the day before. I think fibbing is a must for her and our sanity. She asks how her money is (investments etc) and I tell her they are fine. Even though she struggles with all this and I know it must be hard to not remember she looked at me one day, hugged me and said "I trust you completely, thanks for taking care of me". Those word are played over in my head and heart everyday. Hang in there everybody.....
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One thing I'm not seeing in these posts is whether the level of mental functioning may be pressing the limits of what assisted living can do. If the questioner's mother has the potential for becoming violent, as the questioner says, most facilities would consider this a reason to remove her, as she may pose a safety risk to staff and/or other residents. The options after that are a secured, i.e. locked, dementia ward. The questioner is in a really tough spot.
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It goes in cycles for my Mom. There are day that she is "in the poor house", a favorite saying of hers from the depression years, and other days that she "has enough money." When a bill would come in the mail she would stare at it for hours. We went to the bank and made all of the bills come out automatically so she would not have the anxiety of getting bills in the mail. It was like she had forgotten how to pay them and everytime a bill would come she would be "in the poorhouse" again. Having no more bills come to the house took care of some of that anxiety. At first she would ask about her bills and then she forgot for the most part. We just tell her that her "accountant" is taking care of all of that and has made some good investments. That seems to appease her somewhat. It is a daily game.
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I am amazed that some people have gotten their parents to believe they have dementia. My mother went ballistic and I don't blame her. So we told her she had a severe nervous breakdown from living alone and three doctors said no more. I get the same rhetoric but I give her "comparison charts" so she can see that she is getting a better deal by living between her kids. My sister quit her part time job to keep my mom during the week (so I can keep my full time job) but I do give my sister some money to compensate for the big bill she was trying to pay off (after that, I don't know if she will accept any payment but it will be minimal). It's a daily game, I can tell you that.
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Same as some of the other replys, I just tell my mother that she has very good insurance, and it covers the expense. It's sweet and simple and works.
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When my MIL would ask my husband about the cost of assisted living, he would tell her she did a great job of saving money and everything is ok.
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The social worker that helped me said " learn how to fib creatively...remember you are not doing this to hurt them, but protect them." She also taught me distract them with a story about something else and they may forget what they were originally talking about. Hey whatever works. Remember, when kids were young and wanted to know where babies came from, I said hey let's go play outside or read a book...same thing.(lol)
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I agree with NancyH I've been going through cost issues with my father regarding his prescriptions. I make up astronomical amounts for what the prescription costs without insurance and he doesn't go ballistic about the cost of the prescriptions with medicare supplement insurance anymore. A little white lie actually works and saves on the stress/worry to my father and I.
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I tell my parents that insurance covers the assisted living. So, maybe also you can just tell her you obtained insurance to cover her stay or that Medicare covers the cost. You have to learn to tell little lies. I tried to be truthful at first and soon learned that truthful does nothing for their understanding.
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My mother-in-law has dementia, macular degeneration and was also forced into an asst. living place. After breaking her OTHER hip, the doctors that evaluated her said she could no longer live alone. It was a terrible blow to her, so I get it. I pay her bills, have are her mail (except personal mail that is) sent to my house, so she has no idea of anything money related actually. She is constantly asking me how much she is spending at the asst living, and how her money is doing etc etc. I used to tell her the truth, but then she'd go ballistic about the cost too. Problem was, then she'd forget what I told her, so she'd ask me again and we'd go thru the whole scenario over and over again. It was pretty bad. She knows I pay her bills, that's not the problem. It's the cost of living where she is now, when she left a house that was paid for. It's terrible to have to shell out that much money I agree for sure. Finally I stopped telling her the truth, cause that was pointless. Now I tell her some astronomical amount, like "it's a million thousand dollars' and when I don't tell her the actual amount, she just laughs and lets it go. But then again we've been doing this for the last 5 years, so she trusts me now and knows I won't let her go to the 'poor house'. I think all she really wants to know is, is everything okay? She really doesn't want the details, just to make sure she's doing alright money wise. I feel for ya. Been there, done that, got the T shirt. :)
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