Monday, April 15, 2013

Managing Money

One of the interesting aspects of Alzheimer's is that patients will often have a near obsession with money.  They may worry about their money if they cannot see it.  They may have a delusion and believe that someone has stolen their money.  Accusations of theft are pretty common.  Even if they cannot count the money or understand what the different denominations mean, they still want to know they have it.  Just having money in a wallet or purse is often reassuring.

Each week, Mom swings by the bank and withdraws enough cash to cover Lyn's needs while she's out and about.  Before each trip out, Mom tells Lyn to go get the money she'll need for the day's activities.  Lyn ends up with a dollar or two at the end of each day.  She keeps these in her purse.  It makes her happy to know she has some money at hand anytime she might think of a use for it.

A new pattern has emerged and become routine for Lyn.  Each Saturday evening, as they leave church, Lyn starts making her bid to take Mom out to dinner.  "Now, I have something to say and I don't want you to interrupt.  I have money and I know you're tired and you don't like to cook.  We should go out to eat."  The routine includes Mom telling Lyn to keep her money because they're going home for dinner.

Lyn's not been able to handle money for a very long time.  She used to be better at it.  She used to be able to figure out that she might need two or three bills to cover a tab.  She doesn't have that understanding anymore.

After the most recent offer for going out to eat, Mom decided to check Lyn's purse to see just what she was toting around.  She waited until Lyn was asleep for the night before peeking in her purse.  It only contained six dollars.

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