Follow
Share

Though very kind and generous in many ways before his dementia became severe, he now insists that his retirement money that is directly deposited in Our joint account is just his to use as he pleases. We are in dire credit card debt due to his inability, it's to keep from buying things like a truck, two large screen tv's, a move and buying a new house in another state, which had a payment far higher than we could afford, all the while we continued to lose money in the stock market. He would simply not listen to me. He had been doing work as a handy man and had earned enough for the down payment and I had hoped that I would be able to cut back on my hours at work, but though he'd been retired for several years, I continued to have to work full time in order to pay the bills. We eventually had to short sell the house, returned to CA and then tried to dig out from under.


He would max out one credit card, then get a new one at a lower interest rate to pay that one off and proceed to do the same thing all over again. We finally came to an understanding, but it was pretty much too late to save our savings. So now I am trying to pay off credit card debt with a very good counseling service. But it requires a large payment every month, though the cards are on much lower interest rates. So far I have paid off three cards. But the point is that he is constantly finding things that he wants to spend "his" money on, talks about moving in with his son or daughter and taking his money with him so that he can get his license back and buy a car. He hounds me constantly about seeing the bank statements, peruses them for hours, asking the same questions over and over, like "what's "Rx?". This is his prescriptions. Or "who drinks this?" -milk I bought at the pharmacy. "What does solar mean?" I try to make notations on things without descriptions. Needless to say, with his dementia, he does not understand or remember what I explain-but he won't let it go.


We recently sold our home in order to be able to have enough money as we live in an HOA community. I invoked the POA after discussing our situation with his kids and they agreed that this was the right thing to do -to simplify our lives. So the sale was handled solely by me and I am managing the funds received by putting them in a credit union savings. It was not much as our home is very tiny and we had only three years of equity. The house turned out to be a huge money pit, thereby taking every extra cent we could save, and I am glad to be rid of it. And now he of course thinks I just steal his money. OMG! So sorry about all of that! I guess I just needed to vent. But is has been a struggle to keep our heads above water.


Find Care & Housing
Stick to your guns, you are doing the right thing.

I would not recommend turning over your finances though. Money makes the worst come out in a lot of people, not saying anything against anyone, just don't agree it should leave your capable hands.

Have you asked his son to talk to him and let him know that he better be nice to you because his house is not an option?

Also, are you legally married? If yes, he can not just walk away from the debt. If no, was both your names on everything? He can not just dump it all on you, regardless of what he thinks.

I am so sorry you are having to battle his broken brain and unreasonable spending habits.

You are doing great, keep it up and come here to vent when you need to, cuz we all understand your frustration and the need to blow steam and how utterly useless it is to reason with dementia.

Hugs 2 u!
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal
Report

Just another sad effect of dementia. My dad became much the same way about money even getting to the point he told my mother that everything was "his" and nothing was "hers" because she had been a homemaker and never "earned" any money. Even her gifts were "his". Dad wanted her to deposit her SS check into "his" account and was very angry that she had opened a separate account for "her" money. Angry that she had money in her account when he was broke because he had spent all of his check. Angry because Mom would not sign a mortgage on their paid off home. Angry because Mom took over managing the rental properties after Dad didn't pay any taxes for years and the property was scheduled for auction over the back taxes. Dad would tell Mom he wanted the rent money; bookkeeper Mom would show him her balance statement which showed the annual expenses (with back taxes at 36% monthly compounded interest) were a few hundred dollars more than the annual income - until the taxes were current there would be no actual rental money available. According to Dad, Mom was the reason he wasn't independently wealthy.

Dad became very hostile toward Mom: if she wasn't so dumb she would be able to understand his "investments", didn't want the heat or AC running in the house when he wasn't there, wanted every light turned off, didn't want to run the oil furnace even when it was below zero, didn't want Mom eating "his" groceries, didn't want to pay monthly bills, etc. I was a terrible daughter who betrayed him by giving Mom money to pay back taxes and when his grandsons started college set up bank accounts and deposited money for their living expenses (instead of "investing" my money with him where it would do some good).

Dad's brain wasn't working well and he would have most likely done a lot of this stuff anyway, but my family situation wasn't helped by my oldest brother "agreeing" with Dad and actively working to isolate Dad. According to my oldest brother _everyone_ in the family besides him were against Dad (we were against his irresponsible spending) and betraying Dad by supporting Mom in her crazy ideas. My brother didn't have any job except helping Dad run his "investments" and resisted my mother wanting an accounting of Dad's money when he started telling her he couldn't afford to pay the electric bill.

Based on my experience with my father, I doubt your husband will ever drop this topic or that you will ever be able to satisfy him that you are managing your resources better than he can now. You could try telling him the doctors don't think he should be managing finances anymore but he may just decide the doctors are dumb. If you can get to a point where you view this behavior as not really coming from your husband and instead a sad manifestation of his disease, you may be better able to listen to his crap with less stress.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to TNtechie
Report
She1934 Jul 27, 2018
Wow! It sounds like your poor mom had it much worse than I. Has your dad passed? I cannot imagine living under that tyrannical behavior, let alone the son believing the dad and calling her crazy. So very sad.
(0)
Report
My hubs and I owned a business that did very well for many years,, and then it didn't . He was a trusting, hand shake kind of guy.. that did not work so well in the long run.Jobs for the local states and goverments did us in.., they don't pay on time.. I had to take things in hand.. and now I still owe on my house what we paid for it... but at least I got rid of all the other debt. I know how you feel! You are smart to be on top of this now.. and it seems like you have his families backing.. take the credit cards away, ad stand firm. I know how hard this is. When his check is deposited.. transfer as much as you can to the other account..
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to pamzimmrrt
Report

You did the right thing with POA. Keep on keeping control of the finances. You’re doing a great job.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to anonymous439773
Report

I guess u froze the cards so no one could charge on while your paying off. I just can't imagine. My SIL has this problem with her Mom.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

First, I am so sorry you are going through this! Sounds like his kids are in your court though and that's a big plus! As someone else mentioned, he can't legally walk away from the dept even if they would take him in and help him leave you in the cold with it all. None of that makes him easier to live with of course or helps you find the kinder part of him. I know venting helps and you go right ahead and vent all you need to right here but maybe a little creative thinking could help passify him a bit. I think "money" is a common issue with dementia and Alzheimer's and even more specifically this "my money" and spending it while not being able to track/understand the other side of the balance sheet. It must be so hard, so frightening for the patient who worked hard and managed money all their lives and sense that they can't understand simple bank statements anymore. I know they aren't fully cognizant of it and that's the problem but I also know that look of panic when they know they aren't getting something that used to be simple. Dare I say especially for many men of a certain age who prided themselves on being the "bread winner". Dementia patients often fall back on a time or what they "know", it makes sense to me that they fall back on the way they pictured retirement to be all their lives. He probably pictured finally being able to buy that truck and enjoy an extravagant TV, spend on his enjoyment (and yours), travel etc.

This doesn't change anything but maybe trying to look at it from his brain, at least as much as one can follow a diseased brain and then come up with inventive ways to let him live in that world. Maybe that means giving him control over a bank account with a card attached so he feels in control of "his" money. Set up an automatic transfer into it each month and tell him that's his SS/Pension after they take out medical and whatever else you can come up with that could make sense. Have the real one electronically deposit to your real main account so it's only a small portion really that is going into the account he is in control of. It would take some work and dip further into the possible "deceptive" category but you or one of his kids could even create official looking statements that are either available on-line or mailed to the house for him to open. You could create bills as well that he can then pay from his account and feel like he is taking back over the household responsibilities. You could get as extreme or not as you want but the object here would be to give him back a sense of control, the power he used to have even if that's the way he looks at it. I know my mom digs in and starts hiding things, demanding more control when she starts feeling like she isn't understanding or manage something important. Instead of looking for help when she knows she needs it she goes the other way, not in areas that don't matter either, things like her medication. I'm picturing your husband doing a bit of the same thing, they aren't conscious of it really and yes I know it's the disease and you can't control the disease but often you can manipulate it a bit. Instead of telling him what he can't do anymore and what he did wrong your focusing on things he can do or you need him to do that aren't giving up control. Perhaps helping him get that control he is loosing and missing in some way will help him let that go a bit and you can both enjoy life again.

One important suggestion, I think, loop his kids in. If you can enlist their help somehow even better but maybe share the basic finances each month with them somehow, even if it's just sending them a list of the expenditures. Since your husband can't be fully included anymore for his own good offering some transparency to them helps everyone & might protect you too by making them back up should he catch on. Take blame focus off you as much as possible, like driving make sure he knows the doctor made that decision or legalities once he was diagnosed. Keep venting!
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Lymie61
Report

You will have to be the sole money manager in the family. Since he is not responsible. Cancel all credit cards - keep one for yourself. Tell him they were all cancelled. As funds (direct deposits) are sent to your joint account - move them out into your own account. Leave him only $100 to spend. Sounds tough, but being on the street would be tougher.
You would not let a child manage their own funds (much less yours). You cannot give him access as he is not responsible.
Tell him the transfers (going to your account) are creditors getting payment for overdue accounts. That as soon as they are paid off - money will stay in his account. (Not)
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to desert192
Report
She1934 Jul 27, 2018
I tried to cancel cards, but his was the primary, so they would not do it without his permission. I finally tool them one by one and turned the others over to a low % rate credit counseling group. I have so far paid off three and soon wil have another done.
(2)
Report
How is hubby able to access money to pay for items now? Can you get his debit/credit card number changed and simply do not give him the new card?
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to surprise
Report

Dealing with the changes in a spouse is so hard. I kept reminding myself I was dealing with the disease, not the loving person I had been married to all those years. I did enlist the help of his doctor, as he wouldn't listen to me about the finances or his driving. She told him he couldn't manage the finances anymore and that he had to let me have the credit cards, check book, and that I needed to take him immediately to the DMV to get a photo i.d. and turn in his license, which I did. I changed the credit card nos., because he remembered the nos., and hid the new cards and the checkbook where he couldn't find it. Whenever he got upset, I reminded him that I was simply following doctor's orders, and that seemed to dilute some of the anger. You have to protect yourself, and him, by taking total charge of the finances right away. It doesn't get better, only worse. HettaK9607
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to HettaK96
Report
She1934 Jul 27, 2018
The only thing I have not done is to get his DMV ID. I have put it off because he insists that he will be getting a new driver's license. But he insists on seeing the online bank statements and for four days he's been asking several questions over and over and over because of course he just does not understand what is there. I have made notes for him, but it is still very confusing and I plan not to do that again. It was suggested that I do a fake mock-up statement showing our income and basic bills. But the big thing is that he cannot understand why I am on his account.
(0)
Report
Don’t worry about venting, She. We’re in the same situation. Overwhelming credit card debt, poor money handling. It was partly him and partly me. But the end result is the same.

He has Alzheimer’s but he still goes out and spends money? Oh, dear. That’s not good. You may want to speak with the kids again to see how they think you could get him to stop. Maybe hand the finances over to one of them. Get it out of the house, more or less.

I don’t sleep at night worrying about money. Hubby lays in bed, immobile from not applying himself during many courses of physical therapy and rehab stints, and binges on 50 year old reruns.

I know how you feel. I’m there with you.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report

See All Answers