TIP: Make Someone With Dementia Who's Used to Carrying Money Feel Better

Making change and being able to judge appropriate uses of money become more difficult as someone enters moderate dementia. Your loved one may also make purchases that are quickly forgotten, then repeated. (That's how you wind up with 14 bottles of white-wine vinegar in the cupboard.)

So it's wise not to want someone with progressing dementia to carry around large amounts of cash or credit cards. At the same time, adults who have always carried a purse or wallet can be upset to be deprived of this habit, making them more agitated.

Better to stock the wallet with harmless items that reassure and make the person with dementia feel like he or she has the real deal. Include a few dollars, as well as copies of innocuous ID cards such as library cards. You can even include expired credit cards (ideally from closed accounts) that look familiar and important but won't be damaging if lost.


almost 2 years ago, said...

I am finally getting some control over the bank account and not allowing the family friend to be able to drain the account before the bills were paid. Really hard to get the control from, but little by little I am gaining. Very frustrating to look at the bank account and see that it was being drained by a trusted friend...no more of that now.


almost 2 years ago, said...

Some days it's harder than others. Answering the same questions repeatedly, but we try to understand and cope. Uncle seems to be doing a lot more sleeping these days. Not aware at all that we have had Christmas, company etc. It's sad really. His wife passed away a little over 3 months now and he doesn't mention it now. We leave her obituary on his tray to read but now only once in awhile will ask to go see her. He cries but won't get out of the car to go to her grave, then it's forgotten again for awhile.


about 3 years ago, said...

becoming aware of "little" things" that can later skyrocket our ot control. Things I have become aware people do, which are harmful to them, but they dont recognize them as such. NOT to overreact to certain things you may think are harmfu until you've researched a little more


over 3 years ago, said...

My mom always had and spent a lot of money and used a lot of credit cards. Later years, ordered clothes from catalogs just constantly, and had repeats of many items. I saw unopened bills in drawers, bill collector notes, and when a bill that was supposed to be paid in full each month went unpaid a couple months and they sent it to collections, she would always resentfully say "well, I guess I can send them something, but I can't pay it all". Like she was doing them a big favor by paying a little. Her finances were a mess when I took over, and must have spent over $900.00 in late fee payments. I coaxed her into letting me be financial power of attorney. She was very mad about me closing her credit cards, etc. and even to this day wants to get new ones. Even with dementia, money and spending was so important that she NEVER forgets that she had credit cards at certain stores and wants to get them back. Now, things are much better and her credit rating has actually gone up. She has good care in my home and does a lot of positive, interesting activities that she would not have availed herself of before because of her constant spending on clothes, excessive stuff, and restaurants. I take care of all her money, pay her bills, buy her clothes, and give her some to spend, but not much because she will hide it and forget where it is, and think someone took it. Another headache. She still gets very upset and threatens to call banks, etc. all the time, but I can manage to distract her away from that. Believe me if you have to take over finances, do it to save them from themselves. Others hoard money and won't spend any on things they might really need. Dealing with dementia and money is very hard.


almost 4 years ago, said...

Just knowing that someone cared enough to write and share it.


almost 4 years ago, said...

giving her a credit card that didn't work would cause a WHOLE set of new problems. This (so far) has been the toughest part of the AD. The financial problems are a headache!


almost 5 years ago, said...

Hi Folks, Margaret always wore a bunch of rings, all valuable and important to her,,then she lost one and I can't find it anywhere,,So, I had her take off all her rings, except her engagement and wedding ring..then had her ( with my help ) stow them away safely.At the same time, I asked about her gold chains and string of pearls, amazingly, she ferreted for about half an hour and found everything that she valued..We hid the whole shebang, just in case a salesperson comes by to " Buy Gold " etc...We are also bothered with tele-marketeers give them blunt answers and tell them politely to p***s off..We even had a guy come by the house , Margaret answered the door, before I could pounce and the guy said the front of the house needed painting ( he had conveniently kicked a chunk of stucco off to back up his theory..Now I have to do the repair and painting. I am certain that Miss Margaret would of welcomed him to do the job...better watch out...Bless you all...Pink Gin


about 5 years ago, said...

It is too early to implement this in my husband's case, but I will bear it in mind for the future. Thank you.


about 5 years ago, said...

Hello Wyndie, Thank you very much for your question. Here is an Ask & Answer page about protecting loved ones from telemarketing scams that you may find helpful: ( http://www.caring.com/questions/how-can-i-protect-an-older-family-member-from-telemarketing-scams ). I hope that helps! Take care -- Emily | Community Manager


about 5 years ago, said...

Telemarketers and Fundraisers and hitting us with calls left and right. We had them stopped but Mom has answered the phone a few times and give them money and they are back at it again. How do I get these guys to STOP CALLING? They are now asking my Mom to get her credit card and I have stopped them twice but all I have to do is go to the restroom and she will answer the phone again and start it all over. I don't have an old card to give her, what else can I do?


about 5 years ago, said...

Yes it was and I hope many others will read it. My husband had Alzheimer's but I didn't know it until some poor excuse for a man stole his Trapping Supplies old and brand new and also his 50 year old Old Town Wooden Canoe and gave him three one hundred bills! $300 for about $3,000 worth of inventory. I had put a small spade in a hole near the roof to keep out the Birds, he even stole the spade! I wasn't home at the time or I would have called the Police. He couldn't remember why he had this money, it was so sad. So to add to the stress of caring for your loved one is the constant demand of protecting them from such people, it can be family or friends. It is hard to believe there are such people but sorry to say it is true. May God Help you all and bring you peace. FIDENCIA


about 5 years ago, said...

This makes sense to me. As the wife and money spender I have my husband carry the money in his wallet and he always hands it to me to pay for the "dinner or whatever" He wears a fanny pack in front of himself so he knows where it is at all times. For now this works well.


about 5 years ago, said...

i have moderate stages and i can sat that if i was given a bad credit card it would cause major problems


over 5 years ago, said...

Hello Sandysuns, Thank you for your comment. Caring.com offers a wonderful online support group for caregivers like you call Stage Groups! To have access to Stage Groups, all you need to do is sign up for Steps & Stages. It's fast, easy, and it's free! You can check out Steps & Stages here: ( http://www.caring.com/steps-stages/alzheimers ). If you are looking for in person support groups in your area, check out the Alzheimer's Association's website: ( http://www.alz.org/index.asp ). I hope that helps! Take care -- Emily | Community Manager


over 5 years ago, said...

I am sorry for you. My father had AHD and one my husband has something like that.


over 5 years ago, said...

Thank you for your information via email. I am looking for a support group in my area. Is it possi le that you might know of any in the Guilford,Ct area? Thank you again.


over 5 years ago, said...

My beloved dad passed away last year at age 95, and for the last couple of years he suffered from dementia and the lack of a "grasp" of money concepts. He hated not being able to have his wallet at the memory care facility where he lived out his life, and my stepmother refused to even consider letting him have one. It would have enriched the last years of his life to have been able to carry a wallet--and I feel sure that he never would have noticed that the contents were not "real."