Taylor asks: My dad has Alzheimer’s, we took away his credit cards to avoid any unplanned charges but now he gets upset every time he opens his wallet and doesn’t see the cards. He gets angry at us kids for not trusting him with his own money. What can I say to get him to understand that it’s not a good idea for him to have them?
Losing independence is a very emotional time for anyone that is aging or suffering from a disease. Parents especially feel resentment to their children when they are told they cannot do certain things. When it comes to adapting to changing needs, it is best to take the time to try to understand how they feel. It is the same way you’d feel if your child claimed they knew better than you. A lot of patience is key.
Throwing Alzheimer’s into the mix complicates things because your dad may not remember that you have already had the conversation about the credit cards or may not have the ability to process the emotions. It is not his fault he cannot remember and it is best not to continually remind him that this conversation has already happened. A suggestion would be to leave the credit cards in his wallet, but cancel them. This way your dad won’t be triggered every time he opens his wallet. If he does try to use the card, and it then gets declined you can offer to look into it for him. This plan would be best if your dad doesn’t regularly use the cards, but just likes to know they’re there for emergencies. This may not work for everyone but when it comes to adapting to Alzheimer’s, trial and error is key.
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*All information is meant as advice based on personal experience and should not be referred to as medical data.