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Money Missing

Posted by ginnier (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 29, 07 at 14:51

My folks are elderly and are living in an independent living complex. Someone is getting mom's money out of her billfold!! This is the second time. The lst time, we let it slide, chalked it up to , well just this once. But now, what do we do??? My folks don't go anywhere without her purse/money, except down to the dining hall to eat!

First, it makes her feel like SHE is the one going crazy. But she's on top of things pretty well, so I don't support that it might be her fault.

2nd, how do you report to the mgt./police without pointing any fingers?? We don't want to get her gal that cleans the rooms in trouble. We don't have any clues to who is doing this.

It's so maddening!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Money Missing

Fanny pack and put the money in there when not taking purse or

one of those cute little pouches that hang around the neck and put the money in there.

Final alternative, a drawer that locks - put money in there, lock drawer, take key.


RE: Money Missing

Carolyn is right about a lock box of some sort. Important papers, valuables, & extra cash should be kept in one. Your mom could wear the key around her neck, keep it in a pocket, or put it in a secure hiding place. Then she would not need to keep a lot of cash in her purse. She might even consider keeping a special wallet for credit cards only in the lock box and remove it when she wanted to go shopping.

Also, as Carolyn said, using a fanny pack or travel wallet would be a good idea for smaller amounts of cash.

I think you need to start documenting what's happening. You say that it's only happened twice, and you're sure your mother isn't being forgetful. Before you accuse anyone, you really should make sure there is a problem.

RE: Money Missing

Do you suspect the cleaning lady? Did both occurances happen at the same time of day/same day of the week? Did you report it?

But don't be too fast to assume that your mother is all okay. Hiding money (and forgetting where it is) is incredibly common in many older people. It happens. If you report it to the staff at her home (and you should), they will have a hundred stories where this is the norm, and not theft. Not saying that your mother isn't all there, but for every story like this, theft isn't the answer all that often.

Another thing that happens is that stories really go around the dining rooms at retirement homes. My mother would turn very paranoid when someone said that they had been "robbed". And someone was always coming up with an "oops" too, I just forgot that I had hidden it. Mother heard one neighbor tell a story about losing money (which she later admitted to having misplaced), then another neighbor also on the 3rd floor south wing had her car broken into (true) and Mother thought that the 3rd floor south residents were being targeted. She asked the staff for extra locks for her door. Sigh. And there was no way that I could convince her that she would not be the next victim.

OTOH, it's a reminder to not keep too much money at home, to have a lock box, or carry your purse with you, and be sure to lock your door. All that is good advice.

But do have a word with the staff. They may know if there have been other reports. Because if it IS a staff person who has access to keys, then your parents are not the only ones to lose something.

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