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Care & carers

how much should I interfere?

(17 Posts)
suzieq Sun 13-Dec-15 19:07:44

DM is 90 years old, living independently 120 miles from me and 25 miles from my DS. She has very poor memory and finds it difficult to keep a handle on her affairs. So I have registered her Lasting Power of Attorney and am trying to help. What I find really frustrating is that, although she may need every penny she has for future care needs, she keeps giving money away to every charity that manages to get an appeal through her door. It would seem really disempowering to remove her cheque book, but as I am required always to make decisions in her best interests would it be the best way to keep her finances safe? She does have a number of direct debits set up for her favourite charities so is still making a difference.

Liz46 Sun 13-Dec-15 19:15:00

It's a difficult one. I would remove the cheque book.

I do not say this lightly. My mother had Alzheimers and I looked after her for years. At one stage we had to get her cooker disconnected after she had a couple of minor fires. The only help we had was from an EMI (elderly mentally ill) nurse, sent by the GP, who advised us to do this. Every time there was a crisis I would phone him and he would tell me what to do. I do not envy you.

Eventually we found a kind home which took good care of my mother but looking after her took its toll on my OH and me. We had deliberately bought a house very close to her knowing that we would probably have to look after her.

Elrel Sun 13-Dec-15 19:23:02

Perhaps consulting her bank might help.
If you can contact the charities who mail her you could ask them to stop. A sad situation for you.

annsixty Sun 13-Dec-15 19:36:38

I have POA for my husband and the cheque book is now in my name as is the bank card. Check with her bank. My DH would not now know how to write cheques.

suzieq Sun 13-Dec-15 20:02:41

Thanks everyone for your understanding and experiences. I've come away this weekend with lists of businesses to contact, including the bank, to say I now have PoA.
I've been in touch with 17 charities so far, and my sister 2 more, to say please do not contact our DM any more. All of them have been understanding. Sadly, many appeals come with her copy of The Oldie, which she loves - charities know that older people are likely to give and this must be a lucrative source of funds.
The cheque book will probably have to be removed from her.
At least, so far, she seems to be looking after herself in terms of food and cooking.

annsixty Sun 13-Dec-15 20:11:34

If you have not shown the bank your POA they will need to see it and will photocopy every page which will then be sent to head office and you will be asked just what you require in terms of cheque books , cards etc. The statements should have been sent to me in my name and this hadn't happened but as I open all mail this is not a problem. Good luck, my DH was happy with all this, your mum may not be so amenable.

suzieq Sun 13-Dec-15 20:17:17

Thanks, Annsixty - something to add to the to-do list. Mum will be cross - but so be it. Amenable-ness has never been attributed to her. hmm

annsixty Sun 13-Dec-15 20:52:41

I have thought further and after registering with the court of protection which you have done, I think the next stop is called invoking it ( I first thought revoking but that isn't right) and and anywhere your mum has investments, banks, building societies etc need to see and register the POA.

Anya Sun 13-Dec-15 21:01:51

Yes, that's my understanding. We registered our own as soon as they were drawn up, to save delay and our attorneys having to pay.

We have written it clearly into our LPS's that they can only be invoked when our GP agrees we have lost mental competence. This may not have been the criterion set up by your mother though.

This is to stop bossy or grabbing relatives from being given the power of attorney while their relative still has a grasp of and a wish to manage their own affairs.

Anya Sun 13-Dec-15 21:05:05

Incidently that wasn't aimed at you suzieq but if your mother is still competent to look after her self and cook for herself you may not be able to invoke it.

Anya Sun 13-Dec-15 21:17:03

"Property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney
Use this LPA to give an attorney the power to make decisions about money and property for you, for example:

managing a bank or building society account
paying bills
collecting benefits or a pension
selling your home

*It can be used as soon as it’s registered, with your permission.*"

Right, found the relevant bit on the government website. You can only use POA for property and finances with your mother's permission (see above)
unless she has been diagnosed as incompetent to manage her own affairs. At least that's my understanding based on the quote from that website.

suzieq Sun 13-Dec-15 21:45:02

It's all very tricky. Mum can manage things that she has always done - buying food and cooking, for instance. There are other instances, outside her routine, when she cannot hold onto information for two minutes.
It's a very good point that Anya has made - will follow it up.

ninathenana Sun 13-Dec-15 21:54:48

We solved this and other problems by having a lockable post box attached to the outside wall next to the front door and blocking the letter box. We gave mum the post she needed to see and told her we would deal with it.

suzieq Sun 13-Dec-15 22:04:16

I've now looked up the code of practice concerning mental capacity and skim read some relevant bits - but it's bit late now to be reading such stuff - thanks again to all who have posted and researched.

Leticia Mon 14-Dec-15 07:24:47

It is very difficult and I get so cross with charities targeting the elderly- they shouldn't do it. My mother is over 90yrs and she only gives to chosen ones but she gets so upset about the ones she can't give to. I keep telling her that she must just throw them away unopened and that she can't save the world single handedly. She still opens them. She gets a lot, far more than we get.
Charities need to address the problem and take some responsibility.

kittylester Mon 14-Dec-15 07:49:42

Luckily, my mum agreed to me being a signatory on her account before she got too bad. She also gave permission for all the 'agencies' to talk to me so, although we have LPA in place, we have not needed to invoke it yet. It is very difficult isn't it? My mum seemed to sign a new DD every time she went into town and was approached by a chugged. Luckily, I was able to cancel them on line after one payment.

mrsmopp Mon 14-Dec-15 14:21:39

Oh this is a difficult situation. My dad had early onset dementia and I discovered he was spending vast amounts on lottery tickets. He was convinced that if he bought enough tickets his numbers would come up. That was the point we realised how much his dementia had deteriorated and we got professional help. Very sad indeed.