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My mother's dementia causes her such stress toward the end of the month and around the 1st when she gets her check. She goes into a frenzy, sorting out all the bills that have ever been sent to her, trying to organize them in some fashion. She'll write out checks for months in advance but doesn't understand the concept of "holding" the payment. Plus, she's blind. So, seeing her checkbook (which she insists on keeping) is a problem. She also obsesses about which checks have cleared the bank. But they're not going to clear if she never mails them! I'm really frustrated.

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We were very lucky when my MIL started having problems with her bill paying & finances. She complained the she was having difficulty making sense of her checkbook. I offered to look at it with her. From that point on she just let me pay all her bills each week when we would go to visit her. (She started to ask for help understanding her Medicare/Medicaid statements first than progressed to checkbook.) When the offer or request is first made take them up on it... Don't put it off.... may not be offered again. If it is their idea it works best. We started with one small thing & progressed from there. Husband ( her son) was listed on accounts & POA so she felt safer because even though I was the one who did everything, I did not have control.
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Based from what you've shared, I think this is the best time to take over paying the bills for your mother. She's suffering from a cognitive problem and letting her handle her bills on her own will surely give her a hard time. You're right this will cause stress and sometimes this can also affect their mood or temperament. You should sit down and talk to your mother. Actually you could have done this earlier if you've thought about long term care planning. It's not yet too late and you can still help your mom plan for her future and receive the proper care she needs.
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Unless you have a Springing POA rather than a Durable POA.
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Shakingdustoff, What Assandache7 said. POA means that you are able to act AS YOUR MOTHER. When you do something as POA it is as if she did it herself. She does not have to be declared incompetent! Just have the POA & be ready to scan/fax/mail it upon request.
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I would nicely tell her you're going to auto pay because that way she doesn't have to worry.. Then just pay the others for her..

Regarding POA I'm my Mom's POA and the bank has it on file.. I didn't need to have her deemed incompetent to handle her accounts..
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I have online access to mom's account. I look. So far so good. As long as she can I prefer she maintain her own finances and be as self sufficient as possible. Mom has some short term memory issues, but not dementia...so far so good
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nursebecky, is there any way you can have all your Mom's mail temporarily re-directed to your house to see what bills are coming in? Then pay those bills from your Mom's account, and change the billing address to your house or where ever. Tell her you have an accountant handling this to make it easier for her or what JessieBelle had mentioned above to have the bills on autopay.
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Your mother is clearly not handling her finances in an business like manner. It is time for you to take over. I assume you are her durable POA.
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Can you get the bills to come to your address? I might even just give mom some checks to a closed account. Of course, you don't want her ever mailing those, that would make things worse. LOL
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I offered to take over my father's finances when he started calling me & asking me for money. It was a mess when I took it over. He was behind on everything, the house was in foreclosure & he had $21K+ in credit card debt. So far I figure I have given him $8k since October. Where does it stop? Every month there is some sort of crises. In January it was the septic system. In February it was car repair. In March it was plumbinmg & car repair. In April he wanted more money for another car repair. (This time I said no.) Dad's total in come is $1519/mo from SS.
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You take it over NOW. Our problem was mom would hide the bills she didn't like. She hated property taxes. She hated water bills. If you let it slide the house can be auctioned right out from under her. Don't let that happen.
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nursebecky, one thing you might want to try is helping her in a way that makes her feel like she is still the one in control. You can tell her that you'll fill out the check, then bring them to her to sign and put in the envelope. Then you can mail them. Something that might be even better is to have them paid automatically either with a credit card or a bank debit. I have all my mother's bills on autopay, so we don't have to worry about them. If your mother is like mine, she won't like the idea of new-fangled ways of paying bills. If you could convince her that it is a good thing, it would make it easier.
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