somebody just shoot me

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by muttmeister, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Where can I run away to? For years, I dealt with my 2 difficult children. Now they are grown. The older one is doing fairly well; the younger one not so much but at least he is grown and no longer totally my responsibility. I have a 6 year old granddaughter living with me most of the time but that is not too bad. She's not a difficult child and we get along most of the time.

    My new problem is my mother. She's 96 and in great shape for her age. She has no major health problems and lives alone with no problems but she is beginning to get a little vague about some things. She asked me about a year ago to help her take care of her finances. She forgets to write down checks that she spent, doesn't remember whether she paid bills, etc. I give her one check at a time (at her request) so we can keep an accurate balance. Today I found out she told the bank she was out of checks so they sent her 10 unnumbered ones to use. She doesn't remember asking for them but I'm sure she did. Now I suppose they'll order her another box besides. I've been trying to get her to make an appointment to get her taxes done. She still hasn't called and everytime I mention it she acts like I'm from another planet. My younger difficult child and his wife go to her for money frequently and she just hands them over whatever they ask for. She has spent what I was going to use in my old age (that's OK; it's her money and I have an OK retirement) and now I'm worried that she's going to go broke before she dies. I don't think she's bad enough to have her declared incompetent and I really don't want to go through all of that anyway (lawyer's fees, etc.) but she is driving me nuts (and I don't have far to go as it is)!!!
  2. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    I don't have any advice, but I do offer sympathy. We just moved my 93 yr old Grandma into my parents house. She's still got most of her mind. But she really couldn't live alone anymore. It is NOT easy or any fun. And my Mom is going nuts with Grandma in the house and it's only been 2 weeks.

    I'm sorry that I can't give you any words of wisdom.
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I don't envy you your task. You don't suppose there is anyway you could talk to the bank manager and get put on as a guardian or something? So that this won't happen again? I'm not sure what the verbage is - maybe you can Pm Suz?
  4. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Actually, my name is on her account as a co-owner and this is a small town so I talked to the woman at the bank (I went to high school with her) and she said she would call me if anything unusual comes up with the account. Of course, she also asked for my cell phone number and I never did remember what it is so maybe it's me that needs help instead of my mother.:crazy2:
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Maybe it is time to make the account one that requires both your and her signatures instead of just one of them? If she is giving all her $$ away and is not aware of it then it IS time to take some kind of action to prevent this. Esp if your children are taking advantage of her. It is one thing to respect her right to do as she wishes with her possessions and another to let her put herself in the poorhouse with her generosity. ESPECIALLY if the generosity is something she doesn't even remember doing.

    What may come next is that she finds she is destitute and starts to blame you for stealing or wasting her money. I have seen relatives do this - they truly do not remember giving or spending the money, have nothing to show for it, are scared and confused and then accuse whomever is helping them of stealing. If she is taken in by your youngest child or another relative and this person convinces her that you have stolen her money, she could turn control over to them and come after YOU for the missing/wasted money. A friend of our family had their son and daughter in law manipulate one of the grandparents this way - and the parents were sued for a large sum of money, plus damages and penalties for emotional stress. The money had been given to the son and daughter in law but the judge still held the parent of the elder accountable because they 'should' have seen she was being taken advantage of. (I hope that was clear)

    I also know that husband's great gma got most of a city in a land grant - her name is a big one here in OK. She was very very wealthy because her property was very desirable. The family did not intervene when she showed signs of problems and seh died totally destitute and homeless. She gave it away to anyone who asked and didn't realize that she was giving ALL of it away until it was gone. It seems to run in his family as his mother has made many similarly awful financial decisions that have let acquaintances profit into almost the $100,000 range. She is still working at almost 80 because she has given so much away. We cannot interfere as she doesn't even speak to us (who knows why - literally she has given no reason except that she already had a grandchild when Wiz was born - she is nuts) but husband's sister has put many limits on her assets after the last debacle.

    First discuss this with her. See if she is willing to have you either give her an amount of cash to have on hand and no checks/debit cards/credit cards. Or see if she will allow you to change the account to "and" instead of "or" (the names would read Mrs Muttmeister and Mrs Muttmeister's Mother) so that you both have to approve every check. If the family cannot convince her of this you may NEED to take legal steps to protect her. Allowing her to give her money to your children to the point that she is destitute is not good for her or anyone else.

    I am so sorry that this is an issue. Will the bank agree to notify you if she orders checks, etc....?? Of course you kids could "help" her order them from walmart or wherever and the bank would never know. That is why the "and" is a good option.
  6. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    mutt, my mom and I share her account. I do all her banking on line. She gets a cash allowance each month. I live in another state and she is forgetful and doesn't always understand what she should do or has done. It also gives me a paper trail in the event she questions where her money has gone. She has one check book in the event she needs groceries although I have most of her needs covered by someone trustworthy.
    Ex) it took 3 yrs to get all her credit card debt paid off. She was shocked because she hasn't bought anything for over 3 yrs. Mostly because I allowed her credit cards to expire. LOL. She swore that she didn't have that much debt. I can show her on line what was paid and what wasn't. She is actually going to have a cushion to get through her insurance donut hole that happens in Sept. instead of me subsidizing her.
    Anyhow, the elderly are easily preyed upon even if it isn't the family members intent to take what is theirs, they need protected. I do not have my mother listed as incompetant. She isn't, she is just old.
    It's a big job to get our parents set up in a way that allows them dignity and independence but helping with what they struggle with.
  7. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I guess one of the things that scares me the most is that longevity for women runs in my family. I may get her through this but what is going to happen to me when I am 96 and senile? I certainly wouldn't trust difficult child 2 and I really don't want difficult child 1 taking care of me either.
    Just when you make it through one set of problems, it seems like a new, bigger set starts looming on the horizon.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ohhh, Mutt, can I sympathize!!!!

    Go to the bank and have her balance reduced to something like $100 a month.
    Or, go to the bank and tell them she can only withdraw $100 cash in person and to flag her file.
    We did that with-my dad for a long time ... he loved to go to the bank and get cash. Loved it, loved it. He'd go home and put some in his wallet, some in his shoe, some in the bathroom drawer, some in the TV Guide ... you get the idea. My sister would gather it up, redeposit it, and start all over again. We really only "lost" $10 a wk or so that way.

    Also, make your mom a dr appointment for a physical. Have him put her on Aricept or Namenda and if she is against the idea that she may be losing her marbles, have the dr tell her it's for arthritis or something. Someone will have to go to her house/apt every day to make sure she takes it.

    The is the beginning of a very long road, I'm afraid. At least she's healthy, and you're still getting along ...
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Muttmeister, you can appoint a friend or atty to take care of you. Best scenario: a friend who IS an atty. ;)
  10. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    The elderly is an aspect of my new life I am becoming more and more familiar with - at this point I just want to send hugs and I have no good advice.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ahhh Mutt...the whole bank thing is where I started. Since you do live in such a small town, I would ask them to just flag her account and not let her withdraw funds if you arent with her or maybe say not let her withdraw funds if anyone but you is with her. That way she could go alone but not in the presence of unwanted company trying to prey on her. biggest fear is who is gonna end up with me if something happens to I think Billy would forget I was alive because he would either be at work or playing on the computer. Jamie and his wife would drive me batty in 2.2 seconds...and I really want to end up with Cory? LOL. I think Im hanging on for Keyana. I told her the other weekend that she had to grow up, go to college, get a really good job and get married so she could take care of me when I get old. She said...ewww...I dont wanna get married! LMAO.
  12. 4timmy

    4timmy New Member

    Maybe we should all start saving so we can build a retirement home for parents of difficult child's.... Seriously. Interesting point about who's going to take care of some of us.