Many of us have been seeing a parent struggle with their memory and ability to manage their own affairs long before there is ever a diagnosis.
It took time for my Mom to adapt to having me pay the bills and help her. She felt that she was managing just fine. My Dad recognized she was having trouble and asked me to help. When I started I had trouble learning how to assist without offending my Mom. My Mom never recognized that the stroke she had impacted her memory or her ability to manage. She would tell me her “brain is bad today” but that wasn’t impacting her ability to manage her life (in her own mind). When I reminded her that she did have a stroke, she would accuse me of making it up.
I slowly worked to gain her trust by doing things in tandem that she asked for help on. I found the less I pushed, the more opportunity to help I was given.
When it came to the mail and the bills, I would take the piles of mail that were lying around and triage issues as I uncovered them. Thankfully, my parents added me to the bank account so I could reverse engineer many of their household finances. I visited with a large purse that allowed me to easily drop in piles that were dispersed around their home.
One day I walked in to visit, and my Mom had created a mail pile for me that included a bill and a check. She even put a label on the pile for me. Earned.
3 thoughts on “Gaining Mom’s trust.”
Excellent! Well earned trust.
Do you have any suggestions about mail forwarding? I worry that I will miss an important notice (I’ve already had all bills set up for autopay or sent directly to me). Is there a point where you’d recommend having your parent’s mail forwarded to your address instead?
Thank you for your excellent blog!
Thank you. It all depends on the person. I would always tell my parents once what I was doing and why. I’d listen. Managing mail and finances is purpose and meaning. Is there a way to still “deliver” mail so things feel normal? The best
option is to help balance dignity with safety. Is there a way to manage both without them feeling a loss?