Reply
Newbie

Introduction

Hello, my name is Anne. For 17 years, off and on, I've cared for my husband through two rounds of cancer, heart surgeries, and most recently a stroke he had in January. In addition to being his sole caregiver, I've had to take over all household responsibilities. I pay our bills online. When I opened the account page today I was stunned to find the balance about 1k down. Then I looked at the transactions. In the last few days my husband has made purchases on the internet and the phone - mostly scams. I lost control. I won't give him access to the online account but he's constantly playing on the computer and cell phone. I've told him to buy nothing, to pay no bills, not to click oon any links in emails. He doesn't understand or forgets, I don't know what, but he doesn't do what I ask, and the consequences are dire. I don't know how I can hide the checks and cell phone from him, and there's still the house phone. I want to scream and cry and most of all I want to run away from home.

 

In six months I've been unable to find a support group for caregivers. I am desperate. I hope this virtual group can help. I know you're all in this most challenging place.

 

Anne

0
Kudos
7918
Views
0
Replies
0 Kudos
1,076 Views
1
Report
AARP Expert


@as47924893 wrote:

Hello, my name is Anne. For 17 years, off and on, I've cared for my husband through two rounds of cancer, heart surgeries, and most recently a stroke he had in January. In addition to being his sole caregiver, I've had to take over all household responsibilities. I pay our bills online. When I opened the account page today I was stunned to find the balance about 1k down. Then I looked at the transactions. In the last few days my husband has made purchases on the internet and the phone - mostly scams. I lost control. I won't give him access to the online account but he's constantly playing on the computer and cell phone. I've told him to buy nothing, to pay no bills, not to click oon any links in emails. He doesn't understand or forgets, I don't know what, but he doesn't do what I ask, and the consequences are dire. I don't know how I can hide the checks and cell phone from him, and there's still the house phone. I want to scream and cry and most of all I want to run away from home.

 

In six months I've been unable to find a support group for caregivers. I am desperate. I hope this virtual group can help. I know you're all in this most challenging place.

 

Anne


Oh Anne, what a nightmare. 

 

Can you go to the bank and move things around so there's no or little money in that account? if he can't use it or use paypal to use it, then he'll be frustrated but also unable to spend money on scams. Cancel credit cards, just call and cancel them. I know it is a huge hassle, since you may have set up auto payments out of accounts or cards, but as you know, you'd rather block him than use up the money.

 

Do you have a family attorney? You can also go a more formal route and have him declared incompetent to manage money, but my guess is he'd be humiliated by that process. Do you have a financial advisor? Perhaps your husband can have an "allowance" to essentially " waste", but only if you can afford it.

 

My guess is that the financial irresponsibility was the last straw after years of frustration and one-way-street caregiving for him. I've been a caregiver and will be one again soon (as my partner's illness progresses), and i've been a social worker helping caregivers, including folks with dementia. What i seem to ask over and over is, how can you enlarge the caregiver's circle?  Friends, family members, other members of your faith community, old friends or coworkers of his? Come over and visit, watch a favorite movie of his with him, give you a break? My dad had a huge stroke and lived in a nursing home for 7 years before he died. His second wife and me and my sister watched a bazillion times his favorite movie, Patton. Oh lord. We survived. 

 

Some places fund respite care to give you a break, in counties such as Montgomery County in MD where i used to work. Is he a Veteran? There may be some benefits there that he is entitled to. Www.eldercare.gov will give you local resources. Have you reached out to any of those?

 

It is hard to find support groups in the community, since no one wants to pay to belong to them, and someone needs to run them. One idea is that you could organize your own although admittedly that's more work for you. I know a guy who put an ad in the paper (this was pre internet) for people dealing with diabetic neuropathy and before he knew it, he had 15 people meeting at a library sharing tips. Some churches start support groups: mine had one called "Caring for Aging Loved Ones" and it met in people's homes. 

 

Write more, how do you survive each week, what helps nurture you, keep you sane? What do you and he still enjoy together?

 

Thank you for writing, we are indeed here...

 

Jane, 

who's partner has MS

and lives in rural Oregon

cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Users
Announcements

Ask the Expert: Social Security

Discuss your thoughts about the 2022 Social Security cost-of-living adjustment with AARP experts - and ask a question to earn 50 AARP Rewards points. Join the discussion now.


AARP Make Your Move Contest 2021

Enter Today! Ends 10/22/2021. See Official Rules

Test Your Knowledge, Score Big. New Game Each Day!

AARP's new Right Again! Trivia game - part trivia, part puzzle, all fun! Special opportunities for AARP Members and Rewards participants. Play Now.

AARP Right Again! Trivia

AARP Rewards

Activate AARP Rewards to earn points for games, quizzes and videos. Redeem for deals and discounts. Get started with AARP Rewards now!

AARP Rewards Badge

Music and Brain Health

From soft jazz to hard rock - discover music's mental, social and physical benefits. Learn more.

Music and Brain Health