My 92 yo husband, in early dementia stage, no longer recognizes me as his wife of 27 years, and accuses me and others of taking his money. I've started trying to hide anything with both our names on it so it. Our accounts are separate-- and as he refuses to pay any of his bills since he thinks he has no money, I'm now covering everything. But---- US income tax is coming up and we file jointly. He signed a durable POA years ago; I haven't yet activated it as he's sometimes aware enough that he might bring up income tax. Any ideas?
By the way, Sertraline has made all the difference in his general mood; the last couple of months have been incredibly peaceful after two years of aggression and anger and accusations.
Thanks for all of you,
PS WHAT does "DH" stand for..... so many of you use this to refer, I think, to your husbands!?
Yes, it's Dear Husband .. even if they are times not being so very ''dear!"
Money seems to be a recurring problem in Alzheimer patients. My brother's mother in law used to hide her social security checks under the rugs, then accuse her daughter, son in law, and upstairs tenants of stealing them. Time and time again they had to call the SS administration and have another check issued. She refused to sigh up for direct deposit. Later she accused them of stealing her house. My Mom never accused anyone of stealing, but she 'lost' or gave away money and valuables.
You should probably use your POA to sign your joint returns and have the overpayment if any sent to your bank account. At least you could use it to pay some bills. You can also use it to access his bank account. It is a terrible feeling to be accused falsely, but remember it is the disease speaking, not the real him.
I would activate the power of attorney straight away. My mother set one up many years ago and I wish I had acted much earlier to intervene financially than I did.
She became very secetive about financial matters which she had previously always discussed with me and trusted me. At this stage she was not diagnosed with dementia but her personality definitely changed.
She basically put a lot of distance between us and we had little to do with each other. She was aggro and annoyed with me and resented my 'interference'.
She told people I could not be trusted and made them promise they would not tell me things. I am still angry and confused that people belived her as I had always been the one to help her. I am still finding out things that happened in those years. She lied to me, hid things from me and told lies about me.
In the following 3 years she lost her entire life savings, signed her house & inheritance away to my two brothers, was swindled by a con woman who stole her identity and ran up 10s of thousands of dollars in bills. she also invited a peadophile into her home to live. She was borrowing money from people she knew. All this was kept secret from me.
eventually things came to a head, she was diagnosed with dementia and i enacted the POA.
I had to declare bankruptcy and it has now cost me thousands of dollars I don't have to clean up this mess.
I am sharing this in the hope that somone else can be saved the same heartache. I had only to go and enact the power of attorney years earlier and I could have prevented a lot of this. I didn't because I did not realise she had dementia.
yes she would have been very very angry at me. But the reason people give us POA is that they DO trust us to act on thier behalf if they lose that capacity to make decsions.
Please just do it now.
Do it now before it gets worse. Remember the man he used to be before this awful disease affected him and do it for him. That man trusted you the same way my mum trusted me before she got sick.
It is the disease that we are dealing with now.
I wish you all the best with this. I understand how hard it is.
Before my mom was diagnosed, we noticed that she wasn't caring for herself properly; eating, laundry, etc. I visited twice a week to pay her bills, check her mail and run errands.
When one of her great-grandsons moved in, the whole family was relived she would have someone with her for most of the day. This kid was only 17 years old.
When she stopped receiving bank statements and began to receive past-due notices, I went to the bank to check on her account.
In 3 months time, he had called and received pin numbers for all her credit cards, activated a debit card on her checking, purchased a brand new car with her as co-signer, stole approx $30,000 ..........without Mom knowing a thing about it. And, once we found out, we couldn't convince her he'd done it. (Even with video from the banks showing him using her cards to make cash withdrawals)
Only a very small percentage of this money was reimbursed by the bank, as he had put her on the phone to approve his requests. She had no idea what he was doing.
Now, with all the cards cancelled, her money is still paying off outrageous debt from this fiasco + the "group home" where she lives. Yet, she accuses me of stealing her money, or hiding it from her, allowing others to live in her home (which has been empty for a year). I think whoever the caregiver is, they take the blunt of the blame. She has no memory at all of this great-grandchild that was "her favorite" at one time.
Missing money, misplaced money, and mis-used money seems to be a factor for all of us in the early stages, before we realized what was happening.
For me, it was very difficult to see her as a child, and take responsibility for her soon enough. I wish I had, but can't change that now.
I agree use your POA and do what you need to. Just don't let him know. Not letting him know will just keep him from getting upset. After all you are just doing what he would have done a few years ago. Which is why you have the POA in the first place.
Good Luck and don't feel quilty!!!!