Crawford Care Management

Failing Judgment and Finances

Question:
Recently I was going over my father’s bank account and noticed that some large withdrawals had been made. When I asked him about it, he didn’t want to talk and implied it was none of my business. I guess he’s right. But still, I worry that he is in trouble or has been giving someone inappropriate monetary gifts. What should I do? How should I approach the subject again?

Answer:
Sometimes as people age, their judgment becomes impaired. Whether they are behaving differently regarding their social life, dietary habits, or financial responsibilities, they may be at some risk. It is not unusual for an individual to be persuaded by telemarketing groups, television ads, or even a manipulative individual to part with financial assets.

Many banks have or are developing systems and procedures to protect older individuals from financial exploitation. If your attempts to discuss significant expenditures or unaccounted-for cash are not effective, the branch manager at your Dad’s bank may be able to help. The manager could establish

procedures to advise you when any transactions are made over a preset limit. Remember, it is important for you to be sensitive to your Dad’s reluctance to discuss his spending habits. Any overt attempt to take away his independence will be resisted. Try to communicate your concern with kindness and support, ensuring that he feels in charge of his finances.