Email and Bills


Email and Bills

international-debit-card-388996_640I was reading an article that contained the familiar advice: "Don't try to convince a dementia patient that you're right and they're wrong." But the author talked about the special heartbreak of dementia when a loved one begins to change into someone very different from the person we love, and that the arguing and convincing is an understandable attempt to bring the person back into the reality we share. I appreciated that compassionate view. It made me feel a little less guilty for the arguing and persuading I find myself doing way more often than I mean to. It's like I'm trying to hang on to her and pull her back.

Today's issue was an email notification about a credit card bill. She always pays the bill (through online banking) when it comes in the mail, but she tried to respond to the notification and then couldn't figure out how to get to the bill pay section of her online bank account. I filter her snail mail now so that she no longer sees the junk, but I don't filter her email. She worried that she was overdue to pay the bill, but also felt pretty sure that her bank was paying her credit card bill automatically. Neither of those things was true.

I check on her bill paying each month--sometimes I do it for her or sometimes I just check to see that it was done correctly. She was so sure about the automatic payment, though, and a bit angry or frustrated with me for opposing her. We left it that when her two bills (credit card and a landline) come in the mail, we'll pay them together. The new interface gives me a reason for asking that we do it together next time.

She doesn't want to give up control of her finances, though I've offered and offered. Her bill this month was twice what it was last month (according to the email notification), so I'm a little worried about what's on it. I do most of her shopping and occasionally get cash from her checking account from the ATM to reimburse myself. So her credit card should not be getting a lot of use these days.

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I've thought of getting a post office box and cell phone that I carry on my person to keep hubby from sending back \"junk\" postcards and answering and making all those annoying 800-calls. But it does make him feel some sense of independence by getting the mail and answering the phone. Guess I'll have to let him hang on to those pleasures as long as I can too. Maybe he'll tire of his little games eventually--I hope. *sigh*


Insightful words — \"when a loved one begins to change into someone very different from the person we love, and that the arguing and convincing is an understandable attempt to bring the person back into the reality we share. I'm glad that article helped decrease your guilt. \r\nIt's to deal with all the sadness and challenges that go alone with each new decline in function. Even though it may not feel like it, I thing you are doing a good job.


I'm glad to \"see\" you again. I've been thinking of you. I'm sorry your mother's finances are a source of worry for you, but I think your solution is a very good compromise.


Oh boy. My mom never used the computer for finances, but part of my living with her required I taker over bill paying by doing it electronically. There have been many many little steps and big along the path; I don't know if I should be grateful or terribly sad that we don't argue about any of it any more. It seemed quite painful at the time when we did. \r\nI check my mom's credit card every single day. In the two years she's had it, it's been hacked twice, which seems to me to be a bit much. When the card was hacked, the bank didn't even notify us; I just got declined when using it. So as far as I'm concerned, you can't EVER be too careful with that.\r\nYou are smart and attentive and caring. You will figure out what works for you both and learn from successes and failures, and then learn a new and better way to approach it next time.


Hi LM--These situations are so difficult. It's hard to know what to say and how to say it. It's also tough because you want to keep your mom and her finances in a good place. \r\n\r\nI like the agreement you reached--that you'll pay the bills together. She still keeps some independence and you gain some peace of mind that you know what's going on. \r\n\r\nYou're doing good, LM. :)