Being pro-active before it’s too late

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In his free time, David has been watching my 97 year old mother at her home, while my sister, who is her primary caregiver, runs errands.  It’s very nice of him to do that. My mother is not in good health.  Her chief ailment is dementia, which she has had since age 81.

Both David and I have a family history of dementia.  His father and my mother made some weird transactions at the bank, so weird that in both instances, the bank teller called to tell us what was happening.  David’s father closed all of his accounts at one bank and gave the money to his friend, whom he had met in a bar.

It occurred to me that senile people don’t realize they are senile.  They think it is perfectly normal to do the weird things they do.

It also occurred to me that, given our family history, David or I could become senile, too, and close our accounts and give our money away to the detriment of the other spouse.  How in the world would I pay our bills if David did something like that?

How can we prevent that from happening?

We decided to close our biggest savings account and open two smaller accounts:  One for David and one for me.  If one of us does something foolish with our account, at least the other spouse will have money to pay the bills.

The next thing we plan to do is have a Durable Power of Attorney notarized, so that if one of us becomes incapacitated, we can withdraw money from the incapacitated spouse’s account.  This document would have to be accompanied by a doctor’s note, certifying the spouse’s disability.

Neither David nor I have dementia at this time.  However, it is wise to be pro-active before it is too late.

12 Responses to “Being pro-active before it’s too late”

  1. Olga Says:

    It is very thoughtful of David to help out with your mother. My mother also had dementia and I was a caretaker for many years. Having some respite is extremely important to the mental and physical health of a caregiver. I can say that with complete certainty and I applaud David for pitching in. You are wise to plan ahead something I have not yet done, but I know I must.

  2. DJan Says:

    That is scary to think about. I’m glad you have decided to make a plan so that this sort of thing won’t happen to you! And David is such a good man, he always helps in every way he can, it seems to me. You are very fortunate, Gigi. 🙂

  3. Joanne Says:

    All wise things to put in place. Do you have medical power of attorneys, too, so your spouse can speak to your medical care if you cannot?

  4. Suzanne Says:

    That is very good to do. I know people that say their elderly relatives get calls from people hoping to find such a person and scam them.

  5. Denise Says:

    I think you are very wise planning ahead.

  6. granny annie Says:

    Ron and I had a Trust drawn up and powers of attorney, etc. Those have all been covered since Ron’s death to successor trustees and financial and health powers of attorney. I was a banker too long and saw too many elderly persons scammed by crooks. Some instances would still have happened even if the persons had covered all their bases because crimes toward the elderly are done by well skilled villains.

  7. Christine Says:

    great advice Gigi! We have power of attorneys somewhere. I should look them up.

  8. palolo Says:

    If someone dies what happens to your reverse mortgage?

  9. SchmidleysScribbling Says:

    We both have durable power of attorney documents, and medical directives. Had them for s long time now. Good I think. I had to supply the hospital with copies when I had surgery. Dianne

  10. Linda Reeder Says:

    Now that makes wonderful sense! Dementia takes such a toll on families and relationships. Two of my aunts, my late mother’s sisters, are headed down that dark tunnel.

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