Mum's accusing me of stealing her money 😓

Hi I’m a carer for my mum (as of March 2023) and just lately she has been accusing me of taking money on her (and I haven’t). I moved back home living with both elderly parents to be mum’s carer. Both parents are in their 80s and mum suffers with depression and mental health issues (she’s on various medications). I’m aged 51, gave up my house and job and now am beginning to think this was all a bad idea (being mum’s carer) :sweat:

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Make sure you keep detailed records of money in and out (if you don’t already) in case she accuses you in front of others.

I had to explain to Mum a lot about her money for a couple of years, until the dementia reached another stage and she forgot all about the money.

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Mum has threatened to take me to court and she doesn’t want me living in the house. Do you think it’s possible that she could have dementia?. She’s on medication for schizophrenia.

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Yes, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but you moved back to care for your parents which was done with love. I’m going to start by asking a few basic questions. There is a reason behind each one, I’ll explain further later. Who owns the house where they are living? Do you have any brothers and sisters? With regard to your parents money, do you have Power of Attorney, or are you their DWP “Appointee”? If they are both frail, are they both claiming Attendance Allowance? Would you describe mum as having dementia or age related memory problems? Have either of them had a Needs Assessment from Social Services, and you, a Carers Assessment? I’ll be back later.

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Hey @Andrea72, as @Charlesh47 says make a note of any use of money. I would suggest getting in touch with the social worker and mental health for help as they may need to be some where else. Mum does it to me a fair bit and it did lead up to a big argument at one point until it was pointed out to her that she agreed to allow me access along with dad for the money needed to pay bills etc. You might need power of antourney and have both part of it.
Hope this helps.

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I only look after my mum. Mum and Dad own their house outright (it’s in my name) and I only have 1 brother. My dad has power of attorney over mum’s money. Mum gets attendance allowance and I think Dad does as well. I think it’s possible that Mum may have dementia. But it’s getting her tested for it as she doesn’t tell the truth when she has to go for an appointment to see her GP or diabetes nurse. I haven’t received a carers assessment and not sure if both my parents have received one from social services. They did get an assessment from the physiotherapist for adaptations to the house but got turned down due to mum having too much in savings.

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Good that the house is in your name, so cannot be taken into consideration when it comes to care charges. (If your parents were in council property you would be given 4 weeks notice to leave after they were no longer living there!!) If mum has more than £23,000 the Social Services would expect her to pay for her care, at home, or in residential care, herself. It would be within the rules (Charging for care) for mum and or dad to give you a weekly allowance for the care you provide. Do you get much time to yourself?

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If Dad has power of attorney, he’s responsible for the money.

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Yes that’s right, my Dad is Mum’s power of attorney. Yes, I do have time to myself but I mostly spend it in my room.

You are not on your own. My wife got diagnosed 3+ yrs ago with young-onset Alzheimer’s and in the early days she accused me of stealing her money, sleeping with her best friend, and a whole heap of horrible stuff. It was the disease, not her, but it was hard to take. As the disease has progressed, she is well into the advanced stages now, she maybe mentions money once every six weeks and I just tell her I will put £1 in her purse and she is delighted. Still caring for her at home, with Carers in for 7 hours a day. Not easy, not easy at all, but determined to keep on looking after her for as long as I am able.

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A few years ago my uncle who has dementia, but - as so often happens - no one would believe his nearest and dearest when they raised red flags. Elderly GP who had known him for years even refused to acknowledge it.

Eventually he started making comments to carers and friends from church about his children stealing his money and trying to force him to sell up and move into a care home so they could get more money from him. It went on until someone reported it to SS because they too ignored all the signs and ‘we’ve known Ted for many years so he knows what he is talking about’… Then two of his children were subject to an in depth investigation. Thankfully they had every invoice they’d paid and FULL accounts but all their bank accounts were examined and it took months to get the file closed. NOTHING was ever found to be out of order.

The resut was one of my cousins will now have nothing to do with him or his siblings.

All I can recommend is you make sure you have a full audit trail just in case anything similar happens.

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My Mum accused me of hiding her purse or other personal possessions. … I think the key to dealing with such problems is EMPATHY and DEFLECTION. Avoid confrontation and defensiveness. Don’t try to convince her that she’s wrong or that you would NEVER do such a thing, or that she has mislaid the money because she is forgetful. Avoid telling her that she is unable to look after herself. Instead ask her what has happened, how does she feel, agree that you would feel the same if it happened to you, offer to look into it with her, or to get an independent person (someone she trusts) to look into it. Try to turn the conversation to a positive outcome. If it is dementia it is possible that the accusation is the result of a vague feeling of insecurity - as well as not remembering that she hid the money for safe-keeping nor where she hid it. So try to re-affirm her importance to you and your commitment to her. When I said to my Mum “Whatever happens, we’ll deal with it together” she was delighted.

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