My father has dementia that has progressed to a point between the 2nd and 3rd stages. As such I have been granted conservator/guardianship over him and his affairs. (Conservator/guardianship means that I have control of all his medical, financial, life decisions).39195217
As you know, with dementia, there are periods of seemingly complete lucidity ….and then there are the rest of the times. My father doesn’t understand the implications of the conservator/guardianship. He just knows that I’m “taking care of his things now.”
Like most men, my father is in the habit of carrying a wallet with him containing money, credit cards, health insurance enrollment cards, identification, etc. I have been told by various experts in the field of dementia that he should not carry ANY type of credit or debit card and no more than $20.00 in cash. It was easy to convince him to hand over the health insurance information and identification cards, but I am having difficulty obtaining the credit and debit cards. No….. “difficulty” is not a strong enough term…in fact, he REFUSES to hand them over. My father has always been willful and stubborn. As I am usually at his side when he is out of the house, I felt it was one of those battles that I would choose not to fight. It hasn’t been a problem until recently when he went out of state to visit family and insisted on taking his bank cards with him. Because I thought that he would be spending most of his time in the family home, I wasn’t too concerned, but as it turns out, whenever someone is leaving the house, he asks them to take him to the bank because “he needs some money” or “he wants to check on his money”. Several times, family members have succumbed to his wishes and chauffered him to the local branch of his bank. Because his accounts are now in my name, he cannot “check on his money” but he can use his bank card to make a withdrawal…which he has done.
My concerns are two-fold: that he’ll lose his cards, and that he’ll buy unnecessary items (did I mention that when I was still working, he bought a truck and had it delivered to the house – that was AFTER he lost his driving priviledges)?

I have handled having to take away the driving priviledges, restricting use of power tools, eliminating coffee maker and coffee-pouring activities but taking away the items he has carried with him since becoming “an adult” is something I can’t seem to get past.  It’s like taking away that LAST bit of independence . In our society, we are almost synonymous with the “bartering power” or money that we have.
Can you offer any advise?


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