They are overspending

My parents are 90 and 93, both in their own home of 40 years. Mother has some mental capacity and memory and so on, but is very physically incapacitated and can only walk with the assistance of a frame for very short distances in the home. Father is physically in good shape but has some form of dementia - lots of memory loss, can’t really distinguish between £50 £500 0r £5000. Brother and I work together to help them. We have joint and several powers of attorney. I have registered the POA with their bank and regularly check parents’ bank accounts and credit cards and I pay their 3 hours per day carer from their funds.

Both parents are v difficult and v proud. They cannot bear to think of themselves as old and father point blank refuses to go to the doctor. He was always very dominant and any suggestion that he is not fully in charge makes him furious. I think he doesn’t want to get a dementia diagnosis.

Lately my mother is so bored she is spending a lot of money (several hundred pounds a month) on clothes from catalogues. She obviously now and again needs some new kit but this is excessive and not how she used to be when she could knit and sew her clothes. It’s also draining their funds that I think they will need for care.

My father is taking out huge amounts of money (thousands) per month in cash and we have no idea where it’s all going because he pays for supermarket food with a credit card. They have 2 cleaners from an agency who are supposed to be there 2 hours per week each and be paid £30 each. Our carer tells me they are in for half an hour at most, butter up my father, get their £30 each and scarper. Last week he gave details of his credit card on the phone and over the weekend all sorts of transactions were attempted, some declined, but some got through. So I’ve reported this to the Bank and they’ve stopped the cards.

I think it’s time to step in more even though it will lead to HUGE rows but my brother is so scared of my parents being cross and difficult that he just wants to leave it.

Last week we had the credit card fraud, my mother falling and father having to get the neighbour in to help her up and on Friday evening v late my mother called the carer to say she’d had no food and father had forgotten how to put the cooker on. Carer kindly went round and found them both drunk. My father likes a dram and he’d obviously been giving mother too much alcohol and no food. So she made some food and changed my mother for bed (she’d wet herself as she does frequently) and waited till she could get my mother to go to bed.

They absolutely refuse to think of going into a residential place though it would be better for mother.

I want to take more control of the money, to order a daily hot meal in and to get an evening carer but parents will undoubted go berserk at all these suggestions.

Any opinions, thoughts, experiences very welcome.

I just think you need to bite the bullet and do it…yes they will go mad but the sad thing about Dementia is will they actually remember in a few weeks time when things have settled down.

My mum (and I have to admit me as well) really resented the thought of carers etc but now have such a good friendly relationship with them that one of them actually came to my brothers wedding.

I remember my mum having a massive hissy fit in a jewellers once as she wanted to buy a £4000 bracelet which I flatly refused to let her do…she threw a big strop in the shopping centre, putting her hands on the wheels of the wheelchair so we couldn’t move etc…I just took a seat nearby and let her get over it and calm down. By the time we got back to the car she couldn’t remember.

It takes a lot of strength to take over being the parent of a parent but you need to do it now before it gets out of hand my duck.

Good luck and thinking of you x x x

My lovely husband forgot how to manage money. Over 3 years down the line I am picking up the pieces with his credit card, in hand now. Best to get things sorted asap, tantrums or not, because it can become another problem that’s definitely not needed.