At a loss as to how to support and protect my parents without hurting them

My siblings and I have recently been made power of attorney over my father's affairs. We instigated this after discovering he had made some very irrational financial decisions that had quite far reaching consequences. We are now finding however that dad is accepting numerous sales calls and having sales people over constantly. Only last week he called to check if I was happy he invested in some roof insulation that he openly admitted he hadn't originally needed prior to the salesmans visit. The problem we're having is how to actually use the power of attorney effectively to actually protect my parents. Their vulnerability really frightens me, but also the balance between not feeling like we're treating them as children. Does anyone else have experience of this scenario? My dad was diagnosed last Autumn and his main symptoms to date are significant personality changes, slurred speech, regular choking and frequent eyelid closing which is currently treated via Botox injections. Any help would be really appreciated. Thank-you x

14 Replies

  • hi

    i do not think there is a lot more u can do for your dad having got LPA ` for him

    have you go tit for his health too ``````/

    cos you will have2 make decisions in the future re `peg `feeding etc

    (i have mine on an a4 sheet of paper i.e. no peg feeding' no resuscitation if my heart stops etc etc0

    sorry i canot eb of more help 2 u; keep in touch and stay on the site



  • Hello Jill, many thanks for your reply. I have yet to approach my Dad re peg feeding etc as he is currently very much in denial. I desperately want to talk to him about these issues so that I myself will know his wishes but currently he doesn't even think he has anything wrong with him. Such a tricky balancing act. I'm trying to take one day at a time. I so wish I could get my parents to join this community as it is so helpful but I think it's too early for them yet. I find your posts so insightful and admire your perseverance. I was away last weekend but hoped you enjoyed your online party! Keep well and thank-you again for taking the time to reply x

  • hi dialju

    no problems

    please stay on the site and fi you COUDL persuade your parents to join it i am sure it would benefit them

    lol Jill


  • Hi Didalju

    My mother was diagnosed 18 months ago with PSP but had probably had it for many years before that. She did make some irrational financial decisions, fortunately mostly on a small scale, however she was very determined and fought our efforts to curb her spending. I also think she was taken advantage of by a contractor having paid £1500 for a few small fence panels. That said, we persevered and often found that we were able to delay spending or decision making until the urge had subsided or come up with less expensive alternatives. It does feel a bit like negotiating with a child and I am very aware that I don't want to make her feel as if she has no say at all. I guess it is as you suggest, finding that balance between allowing them to make their own decisions, against the possible impact of those decisions. Where the impact is high perhaps you will need to intervene even if this is difficult, where the impact is less, even if it is totally irrational perhaps let them get on with it. Sorry I can't be more help but I have seen this mentioned on the forum before about irrational decision making particular in relation to finances so you have very much done the right thing to get the LPA.

    Coyle 51

  • Hello Coyle51, I am sorry to hear you have had similar experiences with your mother, but am very grateful to you for sharing your experiences. Knowing that others have come through the other side or at least have learnt to manage it does help me a lot. I hope your mother's progression is not rapid and that you are able to spend some quality time together x

  • Hello Didalju,

    Yes I have had a very similar experience. My relative was making very impulsive purchases for people he hardly knew and who were somewhat aware of his illness. Computers, electrical goods, cash etc.

    Trying to explain to him that he was being taken advantage of was impossible.

    However ,this phase has now passed and I never mention it. Trying to protect him is extremely difficult as I could not reason with him .

    This awful disease attacks in so many different ways not only physically but with huge personality changes and thought patterns.

    All your father's symptoms were echoed here but this was 2 years ago and things have settled down.I do hope it is the same for you all.

    Love pollyannajo

  • Hello Pollyannajo, thank you for your reply it means a lot. Especially that this time has passed for you, I really do hope that this time period has an end point for us too. I think I just need to remain constantly vigilant. My thoughts are with you and your relative x

  • Hi Didalju,

    Sorry I can't help, my husband, fortunately has never had this particular symptom! But my Mother, has just been diagnosed with Dementia, her husband is not well either, probably the same, are on their own, not letting me help. I dread to think what decisions they are making, but I'm not allowed any where near their finances or anything else, so I will be waiting for some words of wisdom from everyone!

    Lots of love


  • Hi , I have a small suggestion which may or may not help, How would your dad react if you drew up a legal document stating that all purchases have to be authorized by his power of attorney Guardians and payment will only be made on their agreement due to cognitive problems due to his illness. You would have to place this document in full view of any potential sales people and get them to sign to say they Acknowledge . But as i am aware most contracts have a 24 hour clause and if you decline to pay i doubt they would pursue the contracts as to your fathers condition it is hard for them to enforce. Good luck

  • Thank-you mummybear for your advice, I am seeing my parents this weekend so will definitely talk to them about your suggestions, they make a lot of sense. Only struggle will be my dad's continued denial of his condition. All the best to you x

  • That sounds very difficult for you. Sometimes you cannot protect them from the reality of their situation. It is hard to take a parental role. Talk to your lawyer about what you can do to protect your family and how to use the power of attorney. But it really is OK to talk with your father about the money situation. What I did was to take most of the money and "invest it" in something "really great". I took my father's money and bought land with it explaining how "I was going to "triple his investment and this way HE wouldn't have to worry about all the paperwork". Also tell him to "collect all the information about his investments or purchases so all of you can talk and decide." But I think a lawyer is the best plan.

    My husband PSP, was no problem because he was too confused to do any spending. I took his credit card, took the money out of our joint account and gave him some to carry around. Good luck in a difficult situation...but just like a good parent has to do things to protect their children we now have to do some unpleasant things to protect them that they are not going to like. It is a difficult change of roles.

  • Hello zjillian you are so right it is such a difficult change of roles but just knowing there are people on this site willing to offer their advice is so comforting. Take care of yourself and thank-you again x

  • Power of Attorney is fine but plan ahead because I just found out (in the USA) that the P of A ENDS at the persons death. So managing his assets now a P of A works but I'd also be looking at how assets will be managed after he passes on. The issue you describe is a real one and difficult to manage. My first wife had CJD another rare brain disease. I remember her pressing me to buy a pontoon boat at one point. Something we didn't need and both never wanted before. You might want to post "No Solicitations" on the front door to head off any salespeople that drop by. For bank accounts, assuming you are on the accounts, you could ask the bank to notify you of any transactions over a certain amount. They wouldn't stop the transaction but I think they would let you know when one occurs. Same for the credit card accounts. Submit your P of A forms and ask they let you know of any purchased over a specific amount. You can resend transactions if caught within a certain period of time. If the purchases aren't hurting anything and are small I'd not worry about them. Jimbo

  • Good evening Jimbo, thank-you so much for your reply. I plan to discuss further with my Dad's bank next week and will bear your points in mind. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply to me especially as you have so recently lost Sharyn. I think of you often and please rest assured you are frequently in my thoughts and prayers. I hope your friends and family are supporting you and that this site continues to provide some comfort. Please take care, love Nicky x

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