Money disagreements when a person has dementia

Readers share advice about family disagreements over a person’s finances when they have dementia.

We asked members of Dementia Support Forum and magazine readers for their advice about dealing with disagreements about the finances of a relative who has dementia. 

Dementia Support Forum is a helpful community that’s free and open 24/7, where anyone who’s affected by dementia can get valuable support online.

jfhn05020 says,

‘I believe that the first thing to prioritise is communication: open and honest communication among family members is incredibly important. 

‘Attempting to understand each other’s perspectives and concerns is crucial, especially for those who are unwell. 

‘Establishing clear channels of communication can help prevent misunderstandings and disagreements.’

NEIL123456789 says,

‘Power of attorney is essential in cases like this so one person has the legal responsibility over the person’s finances. Saves all the arguments.’

MaNaAk says,

‘First of all you should keep each family member updated about your loved one’s condition as well as finances and inform them about the power of attorney. In our situation there were three of us and I lived with Dad, my brother lived locally and our other lived far away.

To avoid the brother living far away feeling left out it was agreed that I would hold the power of attorney and that both of my brothers would be replacement attorneys.

‘Once power of attorney is granted you still need to keep relatives informed of expenditure, finances, property and health to try to limit any disagreements.’

Louise7 says,

‘Family disputes are unfortunately common but I think the best thing to do here is to try to get involved rather than “contest” things. 

‘Bear in mind that the type or standard of care is more important than whether somewhere “looks nice” or not, and the cost of a care home stay is not necessarily related to the standard of care received! (although none of them are cheap).’

Shedrech says,

‘I’ve found that my relationship with my sibling has crashed due to misunderstandings or disagreements over Dad’s care and finances – and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. 

‘Let off steam, then take a deep breath and please find a way to get through the situation. 

‘I wonder if I shouldn’t have said sorry over things I’m not sorry about but maybe didn’t matter THAT much – or just agreed when I stood my ground – simply to keep the peace and some tenuous relationship.’

Anonymous says,

‘Try to have regular meetings. Yes you will almost certainly have differences, but better to give yourselves time and space to air them than allow resentment to set in and fester. 

What I find useful is to set out any concerns in writing, ahead of meetings. I have created an issues log, which I update regularly and send out to the siblings. This also serves as a sort of agenda for the meetings. 

‘Perhaps the other thing you could do is agree some ground rules. For example, setting time limits for discussing certain topics, so as not to get bogged down and lose sight of other important issues. 

‘Also, don’t try to solve every issue at once. Some things might be quite straightforward to agree on, such as the ongoing value of birthday gifts or whether to stop or continue with these. Some issues won’t be solvable until you’ve got more information or advice. 

‘By talking things through, it will help you all identify what more you need to do, ask or find out. And do try to share out the workload.’

Your turn: Hot weather

Do you have any tips about helping a person with dementia to be comfortable in hot weather?

If so, email us at [email protected] by the end of 5 July 2024. 

Dementia Support Forum

Our online community is free and open 24/7. 

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Dementia together magazine

Dementia together magazine is for all Alzheimer’s Society supporters and anyone affected by the condition.
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Dementia together magazine is for all Alzheimer’s Society supporters and anyone affected by the condition.
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