My DH recently received formal diagnosis from his primary neurologist that he has Alzheimer's. (Based on earlier brain mri, and developing symptoms and behaviors). We had an evaluation/assessment done by the clinic's cognitive neurologist. it was determined that it is stage 1, mild. All our finances are in both of our names. Our end of life documents currently include that I am his POA...and he is my POA. I handle paying bills, managing the checkbook and monitoring our online banking. DH is totally in the manipulative, stubborn, angry, controlling, unreasonable part of dementia. His hackles are raised and anger button pushed when I mention paying for services (of nearly any kind...home repair, in home care services, home maintenence etc.) He will never agree to voluntarily turn over all financial control to me. I am reaching the point where I know I will have to engage these services....even over his objections. My financial institutions have policies and procedures that allow for them to 'monitor' unusual account activity when it may be initiated by just one of the account holders? If so, does anyone have experience with how I might inform our bank? I somehow feel it is needed just because of my husband's unpredictable behavior. I don't know (or trust?) That he wouldn't figure a way to drain our accounts. I'm not even sure I'm asking the right question. Suggestions shared experiences...advice?

Find Care & Housing
My father was dx with Alzheimer’s a few months ago. He has a trust and I am his POA. I live in NY and he is is CA. He too is VERY difficult and will never willingly give up control. Even though in his trust documents he very clearly laid out the terms under which I would assume responsibility for his assets and his care (2 letters of dx stating he was not competent to handle his affairs, which I now have). Even with that, it’s not so easy if I want to maintain his trust and keep the peace so I can help him and not alienate him. So I am doing everything behind the scenes without him even knowing. I put alerts on his accounts, which thankfully I was on at the time of his dx. If any check or debit transaction over $250 tries to clear, I get a text alert from the bank. I can see what that transaction is and who it is for and put a stop on it if need be. I called the bank where he has his main account and told the manager. She said they were already aware. That he has come in from time to time quite confused. The other day he apparently took his property tax bill to the teller to try to pay it. They are aware so they monitor the account pretty closely. She said they would not allow him to take out any large sums of money should he try. She also said that they monitor all of their senior citizens accounts more closely so the bank may be more aware than you know. I set up bills on auto pay and have the bills sent to me electronically. Out of sight out of mind with ALZ. If the bills don’t come then he doesn’t know they exist. I leave just enough small bills coming to his house that he doesn’t wonder what happened. His girlfriend monitors those and makes sure they get paid. I also froze his credit so he can’t get into trouble that way. Do as much as you can behind the scenes until he is too advanced to be aware of any of it.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Caregiverstress

Secure the account legally.

Keep very little in a joint account with anyone who is cognitively challenged.

Have all of your separate money in only your name.

Keep excellent records.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Sendhelp

Change your POA now.
any other documents that will need his input, change.
If he is beneficiary to any of your accounts (IRA, Insurance...) I would talk to your attorney and set up a Special Needs Trust so that if something were to happen to you the money is secure for his future needs. That could be Memory Care other arrangement.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Grandma1954

I would not discuss it with him if he is in an angry, controlling stage of dementia, but it's time to activate his POAs and to notify financial accounts and his medical providers. It should be possible with his neurologist's diagnosis. You may need his doctor to sign additional forms. If possible, set up all of your financial accounts, credit card account and bill accounts online with paperless delivery so that he won't see the bills. Hopefully he'll just forget about them. Put a low limit on his credit card. Does he go personally to the bank? Talk to them about how to limit his withdrawals to a small amount. Sometimes people with advanced dementia open new bank accounts (my mother did in early stages of dementia). Chances are that if he does this his statements will be mailed to your address. You'll be able to see what has happened and close the account. Are you on file with Medicare and Social Security to speak on his behalf? If not, you can probably do this with a phone call, with him sitting next to you to agree (if he will). These accounts can also be set up online and paperless. Now that he is no longer able to be your POA, make sure that you change your POA, or at least have a second and possibly third in line to be your POA. You will probably need an attorney to assist. Make a Plan B for his care, if it gets to be too much for you to be his caregiver. His mental and physical health is likely to decline with dementia. My mother lived for 6 years with dementia, and at its worst she could no longer walk or feed herself. A woman in my aunt's senior facility had to move her husband to a memory care facility when he became violent. You may need in-home caregivers who are skilled at dealing with clients who have dementia or to seek memory care for him at a later stage. Try to find a facility close to you where you can visit often that also handles skilled nursing (in case his condition deteriorates to the point where he needs further care), if you decide on a senior facility. All the best to you both!
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to NancyIS

I think it depends on the bank. Small town banks that are small in size might be willing to make note that an account holder now has a diagnosis of dementia and that any large withdrawals should be flagged. I don't think large banks want this responsibility, and there's too many clients to keep track of (it's a liability issue).

If you are currently joint on a checking account, I would create online access. Put all bills on automatical BillPay. Keep an absolute minimum of cash in that account. Put the rest in a savings account where it is much more difficult for him to access. You can get him a refillable debit card in order to control his spending and prevent fraud. Don't tell him what you're doing if he gets worked up over it. Just do it.

Set up online access to all assets and investments you are able to. Make sure you use a password keeper app that he doesn't have access to. Use the pw keeper to store important and sensitive information, like his SSN, scan of passport, driver's license, scans of house deed, car titles, insurance policies, etc.

If your husband uses the internet he is prime for phishing and scamming. You may want to consider limiting his access and subscribing to something like LifeLock identity protection.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Geaton777
Judycares Aug 3, 2022
Another great point about limiting his Internet access. On "good" days he still can manage to log on. Thanks.
The best thing to do is talk to the bank manager.

My folks had their money with a small bank, and they were wonderful every step of the way, because they actually knew my folks. We didn't have the issue you have because my mom (the one dementia) had stopped dealing with the finances when her vision went.

The main thing to remember is that either one of you could drain the accounts, so you could certainly set up another account only in your name and put the funds in there.

Also, get your POA updated to take your husband off.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to MJ1929

Thanks all for validating my concerns and the suggestions, advice, and things I hadn't thought of. As usual, I have work to do.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Judycares

Open your own checking and savings accounts and transfer MOST of the money into your accounts. Leave enough for him to not be able to do “ damage” with. Talk to an elder attorney and get your “ ducks in a row. If he’s your beneficiary, change it to say “ my estate”, in the event that you die first, he would not qualify for Medicaid due to too muck $$$ in his name. Prepare now for his future care. Good luck
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Katefalc

My husband has advanced dementia. In the last few months, I notified our financial institutions of my husband's dementia. There were specific forms to be filled out by me and our physician. A copy of the POA had to be submitted to each. I also went to our bank and submitted a copy of the POA. It was a relatively easy process, but it's better if you do it sooner than later. All of the individuals contacted were very helpful and did everything to make the process easy for me. Dementia is overwhelming and sometimes very frustrating. Take care of yourself. ((((Hugs to you))))
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Grannie9

Judycares: Update YOUR POA now while your DH is still competent enough to do so. Since he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, he will no longer have the mental capacity to be anyone's agent (POA). You may indeed have to set up/create new bank accounts.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Llamalover47

See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter