My husband and I are planning on limiting the amount of money my mother will be able to take out of her bank account and to limit her credit cards too. What would you say to her so it doesn't come as a complete surprise. I know she will be very very angry with us and will be yelling. How and when is the best time for her to find out? She is a very strong willed lady!!!! I feel so guilty doing this even though I know it is in her best interest. She just wants us to leave her alone and mind our own (gd business). It's always a yelling match and I go home.
You can't do anything without that magic piece of paper called durable power of attorney. One that doesn't say 'this kicks in when . . ." Some have time periods that it covers such as "I am granting power of attorney while I travel out of the country from x date to x date". Other's may say something else.
If you have that wonderful magic paper, then go down to the bank and do it. But make it a reasonable limit so that she may NEVER find out. If you know she usually takes out $200, then make the limit $300.00, etc.
She doesn't have to be told. As far as her credit cards go, make the spending limit something that is the average balance she usually carries on it, many teenagers have a limit of $500.00. If you know she charges monthly expenses that are $750.00 then make it $900 or something like that.
Low enough that you are protected but reasonable to what her lifestyle is -- so that she doesn't get impacted and wouldn't have to know so there's no confrontation.
Diane made a good point. Set your limits and know there are times when she is going to go over. Let that be the bank's problem but you will "fix it" for her. Just remember that telling her up front will only anger her in the moment and she will probably not remember it when she goes to use it. You are probably in the worst of the financial times right now and boy do I understand that strong willed Mom that just wants you to leave her alone!!! I would definitely put a limit on the credit card. I would also set up two checking accounts... both with your name on it as well as hers. You keep the checks for the account with all the money in it and give her the one with only what you want her to spend. Then you will have balances and debits to show her if she overspends. I loved online banking because I could show mom the spread sheet and start explaining what she had done.... and she always already knew that and would walk away Your Mom will spend some wastefully but if you have most of the money under wraps it won't get too out of control. I also limited Mom's opportunities to spend. Soon enough she will forget how to use the ATM, check books will become too complicated, and the credit card just might be lost. I still have the one Mom lost and was fearful of saying so
The best advice I can give is never go at things head on with total honesty. That only leads to confrontation and you will lose. Become a master of the side step and the slide. You learn to be "creative" in explanations and excuses They can't join our reality so we go into theirs!
We have all mastered the dance step, slip and slide and side step, dosey-e-doe, I agree with the not confronting your mom head on, it will only blow up in your face and the war will be on.and to keep your sanity you need to be on good terms with your mom... If your mom questions something tell her that with all the scams going on your and hers banks has suggested that this or that be done to protect her accounts.and wasen't that wonderful of them to be so concerned about you...and only if it become nessecary to explain... silience is golden, and ingnorance is bliss...
My suggestion is: you don't tell her anything. If she calls you to complain that the bank wouldn't let her withdraw the money she wanted, or a credit card was not accepted, put her off. Say, "I'll call them. Don't worry, I will straighten it out.'' Wait and see -- it may be a long time before she thinks of it again. If she repeatedly asks, tell her some other little white lie. "The bank is trying to fix the problem, it may take a month."
Time is on your side. She will forget all about money and what it is for, although she may want a few dollars in her wallet. If her complaints sound like she is feeling "poor", bring a few dollars over ( a large stack of singles), and say "I hope this helps tide you over until the bank problem is solved.''
In Alzheimer care all the rules about total honesty have to go. A lie which makes life easier for THEM is better than the worrisome truth, "you are incompetent to deal with money." Who likes to hear that?
Tomorrow my mother wants me to take her to the bank to get some money and get her bank books updated. She took out $800 the last week of November. I can only put her off by saying you have enough money but she is planning on buying an airline ticket with this money. Every time I go over to her house I'm scared she will keep on asking me. What else can I say to her without her getting angry at me all the time??
Bear... you are not going to keep your Mom from being angry. She's confused, scared, and thinks that it will all go away if she goes somewhere else. You and I know that it not so. She's fighting for her sanity in all the wrong ways. At some point you are going to have to accept that fact that you must do what is right rather than what makes Mom happy. With a parent that is in the mid stages, determined to do what they have set their mind to, has the determination that your mom has.... at some point you are just going to have to do what needs to be done.
My Mom was like that. She was determined to go back home. Even though she had failed miserably to sustain at home alone, run off the caregiver in a fit of combative hysteria, and had no idea how to deal with life... she was determined to go back because it had to be better than where she was. The problem was not with the place... but in her head. She slung enough hysterical southern hissy fits to drive us all nuts but we never caved in once. She was where she was staying. Did she go willingly? NO!! Did she stay willingly? NO! But she was where she needed to be and that's where she stayed, no matter how much she railed against us. Medication is what helped. She has finally calmed down is a actually relatively happy... but it has taken a long while to get her there.
So are you going to accomplish what you want to accomplish and not upset her? NO, you are not. But I would NOT take her to the bank to get money. Don't be scared, be firm in your determination to keep her there. You have to be just as determined as she is. Tell her what you need to but don't be afraid of her railing. You know what is right.... she doesn't!
Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. When I go to my mother's house today I will try to keep in mind what you said in your post. It really helps me to see my situation in another perspective. I'll try to get that inner strength to stand up to her rather than her stand up to me.
Bear, one of the hardest things I had to do was realize that I was the logical thinking adult and my parents were incapable of making decisions for themselves. All of my life, up to the point where Mom was diagnosed, I was blessed with wise wonderful parents that always gave me sound advice and make wonderful decisions. I looked up to them as my mentors and heros. Dad's word was gospel and Mom's wisdom was unquestionable. Then the day came that I realized they could no longer make those wise and wonderful decisions... they could not even take care of themselves. To step up and take control from my parents seemed unbelievably impossible. But standing in that hospital room, with my dad threatening me with all the threats he could think of, trying to rip an IV out of his arm, and my Mom oblivious to the problem.... I knew that I had to become the adult. That is when I started looking at the situation differently. It's not easy but I can tell you it gets easier with practice
PS... have confidence in yourself that you know what you are doing and why... that is the key.... believe in yourself!!!!
Back to square one. Mother was talking again about going to the bank. She says the $800 she took out 1 month ago is almost gone and she has asked me 3 times about taking her to the bank to get money. The money she took out was for groceries, going out for dinner and the rest of it I don't know how much she has left and if I ask, she'll say it is none of my business. She will not let me go to the bank for her to get money or update her bank books. Again, now what do I do???? I can't keep putting her off!!!
Bearcat... do you have power of attorney over her finances or a durable power of attorney? Are you on her checking account? If so you can get her a couple hundred dollars and just give it to her. It's the asking that's the problem. If you have the authority you can update the check book or even set up online banking to keep track of what is there. If she is dependent on you to take her to the bank then you have the upper hand. It's like a child begging for a candy bar at the grocery store check out.
I started by getting the necessary legal papers and having my name put on her checking account. Not because she needed it but "just in case" because you never know what will happen. Then I set up online banking. That way I could check every withdrawal that was made. I knew her bills and watched to be sure the payments were made (most I actually set up as auto drafts). When there was too many cash withdrawals or something strange appeared I knew to check into it. Mom had access to her checking account that just had what was needed for the month in it. Her investements were locked and I had the key. So she just had access to a small amount.
She was not always happy with this arrangement. There was a time when she accused me of stealing but I knew I was protecting it. She whined and fussed but I assured her that her money was safe. My trump card were those b rated insurance guys... I was keeping it safe from them
So if you have to create a situation where you need to protect her money do so. If she whines like the kids in the candy store then let her. What you have to remember is that you have to do what is RIght for her not what she WANTS. Just like when you were a child... she didn't let you play in the road or give you $1,000 to take to the store for a drink.
We have the papers but there is a problem with the bank. They say we need trusteeship and the lawyer says the papers we have are sufficient. After all this time the bank is finally sending the papers to their legal department. Who knows what will be happening next. We have hit a blocked wall. But in the meantime, we are not able to stop her from taking money from her bank account. So back to the drawing board on Wednesday. My mom "I need to go to the bank to get some money for groceries". I can only put her off for so long. She will NOT let me go to the bank for her. She feels she is capable. She is at the very early stages, therefore she can still think for herself to a certain degree.
I have more suggestions than your Mom has answers... why not use her debit card for groceries or just write a check at the grocery store. I wish I remembered all the excuses I gave Mom. The biggest blessing was when she forgot how to use the ATM machine.
We ran into a similar problem with the POA and an insurance company. We just had our lawyer call the insurance company. When he finished with them they called us to ask what they could do for us I drive my sister's nuts with my persistence. If I don't get what I want from the first person I go to the next person and the next... and if necessary get the lawyer involved... or even the State Attorney General or Insurance Commission So many will just "put you off" instead of deal with the request. When I don't get action with a phone call... I show up at the office. I even carried a bad lunch to one office in my little cooler and assured them I was there until they could find me an answer I am just very careful to have all my facts in order and know what can be done before I get that nuts!!
All you can do is the best you can but remember the kids in the candy shop that wants it all.... It's what they need not what they want that is important. Also be careful of thinking that Mom can think for herself. If she is at a point where you are noticing strange behaviors and memory loss then she is past those early stages
I would tell the bank if they don't get their friggin arsk together, you will be bringing a lawsuit against them or taking all your mom's money out of the bank and transfer it to another bank that is better suited to meet the needs of your Mom.
Doing some catching up after a busy week of Christmas and Company..that is here til the 4th...
but, as for the money problem, like Deb, I came up with all kinds of reasons for putting her off. For awhile it helped to jsut give her X amount of dollars every Monday.
Belive me, she fought with us too about wanting to go herself!!!
Then we convinced her to only use her debit card or AMEX card because we don't use cash anymore ..it's too dangerous!
It has taken months but we are finally there. We leave everyday and she stops and says...OH WAIT..do I have any money. I tell her..we don't need it mom. We just sign our names..it's much safer.
She finally has given in to it. We have taken her cards and ID and made copies, laminated them and given them back to her ...with important info blacked out.
We know how hard it is...good luck and keep bobbing and weaving.
My mom's debit card is not hooked up to the bank machine because she doesn't like going to the machine she'd rather go in person. As for her cheques there was a mistake and her cheques are from her savings account and they charge her $5.00 for each cheque which is written. So I don't like her to write cheques. My mom won't let me get her bank card connected to the bank machine. She always wants to do everything herself. She says it's none of my business. I'm not able to get any of her cards. As for the lawyer talking to the bank. Our lawyer phoned them and they still said it has to go to the legal department. I wish this would get resolved very soon. If she wants her bank books updated. She won't give them to me.
Bear... you are still not getting it. My mom wanted to give $250,000 to a fly by night salesman she met at a restaurant. she argued with me, I fixed it, she did it again, I fixed it again, and she wondered why they didn't call her back. It probably had something to do with the threats I made!!! She was convinced it was what she needed to do. She ended up paying capital gains on stocks they managed to sale the first time (I did get the principal back) and I did prevent the penalties that withdrawing her IRA would have resulted in. But for almost a year I fought the battle with Mom. If I had just folded then we would be in a world of hurt today with so much of her money tied up in a life insurance policy that would never return the taxes and penalties it cost to buy it. That is what she wanted... day after day, week after week. She harped on it and fused and wanted the phone numbers to call those guys and tried to find them herself and went on and on. But what she WANTED and what she NEEDED were NOT the same.
I have watched my mom throw temper tantrums that would put any two year old to shame. She has literally laid in the yard screaming that she would rather be dead than to be subjected to the horrible mistreatment when her driving privileges were taken away. She threatened to throw me out of the will, disown me, and told me what a horrible person I was over numerous things. She has yelled, screamed, cried, and locked herself in her bedroom refusing to eat. But when the fight was worth waging I was rock solid in my determination.
All this time she thought she was perfectly find. There was nothing wrong with her at all.... I was the crazy one. She could drive, she could live alone, she could manage her money. During that time she overdosed Dad on anxiety medication, was not paying bills correctly, almost burned down the house twice, was charge with hit and run for hitting a parked car, and so many other things I can't list them.
When it became obvious that she and Dad could no longer live at home she threw some more temper tantrums.... for over 2 years!!! It culminated with her packing repeatedly, moving her furniture out of her room, throwing her things over the fence, and becoming combative with anybody that tried to stop her. I finally had her admitted to the Senior Behavioral Med unit of the hospital and she was under the care of a geriatric psychiatrist for 10 days. She is now on a cocktail of psychiatric medications.
So I know what a head strong Mom is all about. I know how persistent they can be. I know that the determination which served my mom so well most of her life has been a huge detriment in dealing with her disease. But what I also know is that I never gave in. I had to be just a little more head strong than she was I didn't let her throw her money away. I didn't let her drive when she was a danger to herself and others. I didn't let her remain at home or move back home when she could not maintain safely in the house. I took all of her whines, screams, cries, berating, and belittling. I tried to side step and bluff my way through when I could and made it as easy on her as possible.... but sometimes I just had to say the way it was going to be. No asking... just telling!!!
I so understand how difficult it is but for your Mom's well being you need to figure out a way to do this. She will come up with 100 excuses why it has to be the way she thinks it should be and you have to come up with 101 reason why it has to be the way should be.
So get her some check that go to her checking account. Cash this day and age is dangerous. Tell her you will go with her to the ATM to use that check card... or you can use it for her. You can even take her to the bank and limit what she gets. She does NOT need $800. She can get $100.
I didn't ask mom for her cards.... I just took them when the time came that they needed to be out of her reach. I replaced them with an old card that was no longer valid and eventually took that one too. If she won't give you the bank books then they don't get up dated... or you go with her and stand there while she does it so you can control what she does. While you are there you can have her sign signature cards to have your name put on the account. I told Mom that the lawyer said it needed to be done as a precaution in case she ever became sick and couldn't pay her bills. Which was so very true!
You mentioned earlier that "mom is not that bad". But she needs to go have her bank book updated? Obviously she is not keeping her balance adequately. That was a definite sign with mom. Once she had to go to the bank to find out her balance... she was no longer paying bills correctly or keeping up with money. the ability to deal with abstract ideals (subtracting numbers is an abstract idea) was impaired to the point that she could not be trusted to deal with her own finances. So you might want to check and see what bills she has paid, which are over due, which are paid twice, and why she doesn't know what her bank balance is. Does she not get a monthly statement? Mom was but it was too confusing for her to understand. She started going to the bank when she could no longer understand how to use the ATM. So be leary of thinking that Mom can do it on her own
Good luck and know that I understand what you are going through....
Bearcubs, I felt the same way you do when I first joined this board. It was my father who handled the money and his checkbook is his most prized possession.....I take that back, his CAR was - and the freedom to drive. My first AHA moment on here was when I finally got it; I could not keep on allowing my parents to make certain decisions. It was the hardest thing to get into my head, it felt totally unnatural, and even impossible. My Dad was way too aware of what was going on to trick him, and I was way to submissive to want to step in and just take over. In fact I still haven't taken over the checkbook, I was however lucky enought to have had them add me on the account a couple of years ago when they were both hospitalized and in their right mind and could understand that someone needed to be able to pay for things if they were incapacitated.
So now I have set up online banking, I keep an eye on the bills as they come in, on whether he's written the check and put it in the envelop to mail, I look on line to see that it's cleared, and still this isn't enough to keep disconnect notices from coming on bills that were not paid before I realized that he had lost the ability to do this task. For myself, I seem to drag my feet until I have no other choice than to take action.
With the car, I finally realized I couldn't continue to allow them to decide if they were capable of driving when they were lost for 4 hours trying to return to their hotel room after going out for lunch. And then after 4 hours came back home to me to get detailed directions and were still driving around trying to find it for another 2 hours before coming back to me again to ask me to drive them to the hotel. It took something that drastic for me to finally see that I could no longer let them make the decision about driving. It might take something that drastic for me to accept I can no long allow my dad to pay bills.
I think everyone else's way is much better, and I hope for your sake and your mom's you can find in yourself the courage to step in and be proactive in the areas that need your supervision before something drastic opens your eyes and gives you the courage to do what has to be done.