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.