The Safeguarding Team; My tale of woe – may help others prt2

I spoke to a family friend who use to work for the NHS. The person said - try the Safeguarding Team. Anything to do with my mam’s day to day living, they will direct back to Social Services. But anything to do with her finances - they should deal with.

So the following is the email/letter I sent, with the names redacted:

Dear Safeguarding Team,

My mother, has been experiencing a rapid deterioration in her mental health. This has been ongoing since the spring of 2018. She’s had a diagnosis of Schizophrenia for a long time; however, as her son who has lived with her for years, I feel that since 2018, her mental health has reached a critical point. To me she is displaying what I can only call the symptoms of Dementia. I am not a doctor, but many people I’ve spoken to who have dealt with their Parents who had Dementia – seems to support my conclusions.

June 6th 2019; my mam caused an upset in Lloyds bank, by insulting a staff member and then storming out. Apparently an old lady waiting in line – was nearly knocked over by my mam’s rapid exit from the premises. The customers were shocked; so the manager rang us to let my mam know that her behaviour was unacceptable and that they were about to close her account down. She denied the incident had taken place and that she didn’t care what they did with her account.

Fortunately I was at hand to explain to the manager that her mental health is unstable at the moment and that allowance for her behaviour would be appreciated. The manager was reasonable and realized that her behaviour was not deliberate, and so he did not close her bank account.

The reason for my mam’s angry outburst was that she was expecting a payment of £1 000 000 from a person buying her stamp collection. The same stamp collection I took with mam to a stamp specialist. The assessor said the collection was very good – but not worth a lot of money. There is nothing in the collection that is of real interest to collectors. My mum does not believe the assessors opinion and so has got it in her mind that someone – somewhere will be happy to pay a large sum for her collection. Hence, she was prompting the casher in Lloyds that day to check for the payment for the stamps coming through.

She constantly checks and rechecks her banking balance. She makes calculations on paper that are way off-scale; making her feel she is very rich to say the least. She accused me once of having taken £1 000 000 from her bank account. The proof being that “the Bank said so.” She believes she has millions of pounds stashed in various accounts and Trusts. Therefore, since this behaviour has surfaced, I have been very concerned about her ability to control her finances.

The first example of her behaviour that I can find (since I keep a diary of her worse behaviour) was on 31 July 2018: she asked me to transfer £10, 000 to an overseas recipient. We don’t have that kind of money, so I obviously ignored the request. Still, I noted the abnormal request. But ever since then, her obsession with money has just got worse. Neighbours have even reported seeing her give away money to total strangers on the streets. She gives money away, spends it like she has plenty, yet she hoards it in cash form in her home.

So it came as a total shock to me when my mam’s Mental Health Care Coordinator –came on Friday 21st of June 2019 with a representative from the DWP to give me astounding news of their decision. The DWP was revoking my Appointee Status over my mam’s finances.

Prior to this, all my mam’s allowances, her State Pension, Pension Credit and Disability Living Allowance, were sent to my Bank account. The DWP had made the decision to make me an Appointee without me asking; roughly before 2008. I was in charge of her benefits. I did however, did not interfere with any of her moneys. I created Standing Orders that automatically transferred all her benefits to her own Current account. She however, had also decided at some point to change the same current account into a joint account with me. This was prior to her current state of deterioration; prior to 2018.

In addition to this news, the DWP had sent me a letter confirming that my Appointee status over my mam’s benefits ended on the same 21st of June. This was a huge cause of fear for me, not because I no longer had access to my mam’s benefits, but because of the reasoning behind the decision. The Care Coordinator had assessed my mam as “better in her capacity to manage her finances” than when I was first appointed by the DWP to manage her funds. This is clearly not based on factual evidence – as I’ve mentioned above.

It’s ironic that when the DWP made me an Appointee, my mam could manage her finances relatively well. I had little to say on how she managed her household spending and had even benefited from her generosity. I was her Carer since 2006 – and she trusted me with shopping-money and buying items for her off the Internet. However, now that her health has deteriorated and her money-hoarding has set-in, she has been given full control of her finances once more. The main reason for which is the Care Coordinator acquiescing to her request for more financial control.

Evidence of her failing ability to manage her funds came on Tuesday - July 2nd 2019: I received a Lloyds Bank overdrawn warning text - from our joint account. Had I not injected some funds into that account, she would have been overdrawn. She didn’t even thank me for doing so. As it is, I no longer use that account for anything. I should really close it down, as she has migrated all her direct debits to a new solo account that I have no access to; which I don’t really mind. A psychiatrist had warned me to not interfere with any of her finances – least I get accused of fraud or abuse.

To bring it all up-to-date: I no longer live with mum and I no longer Care for her fulltime. I have no financial interest or accounts linked to her, apart from the moribund joint account that neither of us uses. She is on her own, in her bungalow. She has two Dale Carers coming in; one in the morning and one at night; 15 mins only; just to remind her to take her medication. No full time Carers sees to mum.

I must interject that on Thursday 8th of August, my mam did ask for a new Mental Health Team to take over; the Care Coordinator dismissed the request. Mum has also expressed her dissatisfaction with the Care Coordinator’s lack of contact - directly.

On Monday 30th of September 2019, I received a call from Lloyds Bank. Mum had come into the bank, as she regularly does, to ask to withdraw £2000 in cash. The reason she gave Lloyds was that she had just had an operation and was needing to go on holiday to recuperate. She wanted the money to buy plane tickets. I told Lloyds that she is not going on holiday, since no one will go with her, not even me. And that she only had a Colonoscopy the day before and not an operation as she was making out. I ended the call on that note. Lloyds feels strongly that she must not have that amount of cash on her possession. So they tried to persuade her to use her Debit card instead of withdrawing cash, as they have made it “unlimited”.

Afterwards, Mam argued that she will hold them to their words, since she believes “unlimited” means exactly that. I pointed out that they meant “within the boundaries of what she has in the bank; not “unlimited” as in she can take as much money out as wishes.” She became very angry at me for saying that. She accused me of siding with the Bank!

So this is the current situation with my mum. Lloyds Bank is acting like a safeguard to her finances. I don’t know how long they can keep thwarting her attempts at getting all her money out in one go – and all in cash. When she succeeds, she will hoard all such money in her bungalow - which is to me shows many signs of being a fire hazard. She is still of the delusion that she can sell her Stamp Collection. Now she has developed a delusion of a fictional man. He is supposed to be buying her stamps. He is also the wealthy man who had given me £1 000 000.

I was told that the Safeguarding Team is separate from the Mental Health teams. I hope you can act before my mam does something really serious with her finances. The Care Coordinator is in my opinion - oblivious to the reality of my mam’s behaviour. Lloyds bank, the Police and even Taxis – are very much concerned for her welfare. For example, she is spending a lot of money booking Taxis to pursue this fictitious man in order to make a sale of her stamps.

Can you please help – if not for me – purely for her? She is not receiving proper professional care from the Psychosis Team. The Care Coordinator is acting as if she is a Social Worker – when I’ve not seen evidence in her conduct that she’s fully qualified. They have no full time Carer coming in to see to my mam’s needs. I feel she should be in sheltered accommodation or in some nursing home.

I also feel she is in danger from fraudsters as she made an attempt to make money through a phone called made to a Lottery managing company - end of 2018. I only found out when the bills for Lottery entries appeared on her credit card. She denied ever making a contract with the company. We stopped it, at a cost of £85.

I hope you can help.

Yours faithfully

I recommend you remove your association from the joint account, too many carers of carees with mental health related conditions end up paying off large debts incurred by their carers.

Have you already sent the letter? If not, a friend of ours, a senior, retired and old school social worker always advised me to try and fit all the info onto one side A4. This ensures they read what you have put properly - they can get further details when they contact you.


Uh - sorry - it’s been sent. Signed-for. :frowning:

Hi Victor,
It seems to me, and this is only my personal opinion with no expertise, that it all depends on whether your Mum is diagnosed/considered as having mental capacity or not.
If she is, then you must protect yourself by making sure you have no links with her finances whatsoever. You do not want to be held liable for her debts.
If your mother is so considered then if she will sign for you to have POA when needed, then that would be something to hold in reserve for the future and might give you some ‘clout’ with banks etc.
If your mother is considered not to have mental capacity then your path is through the court of protection. Longwinded and expensive I believe. (No experience).
In the meantime if the ‘powers that be’ decide she is OK then she will have to be allowed to do what she wants with her own money. Hoard it, give it away, whatever. It’s her choice. BUT you must NOT bail her out when she gets into a fix. It is not your responsibility.
To be brutal, the sooner she gets herself into a real fix, the sooner she will be assessed and helped. If she has no money left and needs care, then her local LA, SS etc will have to sort it out. You have alerted the bank and others as to your assessment as to her state of mind. You have done your best. If the ‘authorities’ won’t listen and your mother won’t listen then either you will be proved right in the end or she will happily manage on her own. Either way don’t feel that it is your job to ‘fix things’.
You might have to let it get worse in order for it to get better which is a terrible thing to have to consider.
Let us know what happens.

Yesterday - she went into Lloyd’s again; this time with a cheque for £1, 000, 000; she was trying to cash it. I know cus Lloyd’s alerted me.

I realize she is being set up for the fall now. I’ve passed the info to the Safeguarding team. I’ll just have to let the worse come to worse. But my insistence is that she is still being treated as merely Schizophrenic, when she’s showing signs of Dementia. If she is Schizophrenic - why not get the medication right. If it’s dementia - why not sort the diagnosis?