Getting through to parent that saving money is pointless

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
After reviewing Dad (83) finances again it seems his savings are still increasing. I've told him and told him that there is no need to save money, to spend it on himself because in the event he has to go into a home it'll get taken off him anyway.

But he sticks to the old thing of "we were poor when I was young so I don't like wasting it" and "I don't like getting ripped off". Problem is half the stuff he thinks is a rip-off is just the normal price and he hasn't got a clue.

Its getting to the point where hes living in squalor and doing without because he just won't spend any money.

I don't want the money, don't need it. Brother maybe does. In the past, brothers car has packed up and he couldnt get to work. (Yes, undoubtedly someone in their 40s needs to be a bit more sensible to not get into the situation where they cant afford car repairs but thats a different subject.) Dad offered to buy him a new car - good idea said I, go for it. £300 he gave him - Dad honestly thought that was fine.

What bothers me is if dad does eventually need to go into a home - all that money will be gone. He doesn't even realise how much is there its like monopoly money to him but he seems to get a warm glow knowing its there. If it go taken away for social care then it would kill him - it'd be 100 times worse than "wasting money" on new carpets for the house.

I've tried and tried to explain to him that the money is there for him to make himself comfortable as he gets older and there is no real need to save more and more but it falls on deaf years.

Sometimes I just hope he goes before he ever gets too old and has to go into a home because I know how catastrophic that will be for him.

Any hints on getting through??
Can you tell him the taxman will take half of it after his death if he doesn't spent it now?

I do feel for you and your frustration - my MIL is now spending a hundred pounds a day to sit in a wheelchair and stare vacantly into the room, not speaking, not standing, and doubly-incontinent.

I burn with irritation that she could have spent that same amount of money - pre-dementia - on having a FANTASTIC time, such as going on round the world cruises, fab holidays, lovely clothes, etc etc.

Now it just goes to pay poor care-workers to change her nappies. Ghastly ghastly ghastly.
You may never be able to change his mind. It's become his security blanket. Spending it on anything may increase his feelings of fear and insecurity. Sad though it is, waste though it is, it may be better (not necessarily easy!) to put it out of your mind.

My father's money lies in a current account that doesn't give any interest. I could change that, but it's the way he understands. It comforts him. He feels he has control over that, when his control over his life has been lost in so many other concerns..
jenny lucas wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:09 am
Can you tell him the taxman will take half of it after his death if he doesn't spent it now?

I do feel for you and your frustration - my MIL is now spending a hundred pounds a day to sit in a wheelchair and stare vacantly into the room, not speaking, not standing, and doubly-incontinent.

I burn with irritation that she could have spent that same amount of money - pre-dementia - on having a FANTASTIC time, such as going on round the world cruises, fab holidays, lovely clothes, etc etc.

Now it just goes to pay poor care-workers to change her nappies. Ghastly ghastly ghastly.
Yes exactly. Perfect example.... I've tried all ways, he just won;t part with it. Its as if he feels pain actually spending it. Totally blanks the idea that it will be taken off him if it happens.
hamsterwheel wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:37 am
You may never be able to change his mind. It's become his security blanket. Spending it on anything may increase his feelings of fear and insecurity. Sad though it is, waste though it is, it may be better (not necessarily easy!) to put it out of your mind.

My father's money lies in a current account that doesn't give any interest. I could change that, but it's the way he understands. It comforts him. He feels he has control over that, when his control over his life has been lost in so many other concerns..
Think you're right. He gets more joy out of knowing its there and gets joy out of "not spending" it seems. He is absolutely obsessed with "not getting caught" which is his favourite phrase. Problem is he has no idea how much things cost in the real world (see my other thread) so, in his head, everything is con.

Taking him away for the weekend is a nightmare. Remember once driving 4 hours to get to our destination. Went straight to the cricket match. I was starving. Little hut selling sandwiches for £2. He refused because he said £2 for a sandwich is daylight robbery. When we eat out in the evening, he wont go anywhere other than wetherspoons because its cheap and always has the cheapest thing on the menu - ham, egg and chips.

His house is borderline unfit for human habitation its so run down. Half the furniture you couldnt give away. A lot of the stuff hes got free when friends or people he knows die which I find well weird.
paul_1607 wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:21 pm
Taking him away for the weekend is a nightmare. Remember once driving 4 hours to get to our destination. Went straight to the cricket match. I was starving. Little hut selling sandwiches for £2. He refused because he said £2 for a sandwich is daylight robbery. When we eat out in the evening, he wont go anywhere other than wetherspoons because its cheap and always has the cheapest thing on the menu - ham, egg and chips.

His house is borderline unfit for human habitation its so run down. Half the furniture you couldnt give away. A lot of the stuff hes got free when friends or people he knows die which I find well weird.
He probably doesn't even see it being run down. Have you ever viewed a house for sale after probate? They usually need work! I'd go along with the other comments; you'd upset him more getting him to spend it even if it's the right thing to do. Time & again when I dealt with my mum, with all kinds of issues, the right think to do & what she wanted didn't correlate. Her vice was insurance! Sunlife Over 50s policy (don't even start me), accident insurance for falling over (when she couldn't even walk), the number of times I told her off, and yet she'd never listen. That was her security blanket - in the end I had to accede to her wishes and deal with the fallout later. All you can do is keep them happy; as sensible as it is, doing the right thing won't always achieve that. Sometimes you just have to hold your nose to keep the peace, sadly.
Lars - when I say rundown I mean it not just a bit dated.

Talking threadbare carpet, filthy conditions etc. But know what you mean.

I'd leave him alone if there were no consequences. If you don;t want to spend then put up with it. Yes it does upset him to spend money but, not exagerating it would be 100x worse if, in effect, it got taken off him. It would finish him off I know.
I agree very much with Lars, you just have to let it go if it is their wish. However heartbroken he might be if he has to pay for care, it will be taken out of his hands if it comes to that. And hopefully he won't know too much about it if the time comes (and it might not).

However, on the topic of a run down home. My sister and I did "bully" our Mum into having the house totally overhauled when my Dad was taken into care as it WAS a genuine health hazard. Carpets and floors caked with cat and human excrement health hazard! Kitchen and bathroom filthy and not refitted in parts for over 40 years. We were pretty blunt/bordering on cruel about this. I said I wouldn't bring the children over any more and because it would be unfit for a care worker to come in she would have to end up in a home. However it was the only way it was going to get done and was completely necessary to avoid her ending up in a care home before her time.

Once all the work got going, surprise surprise she really liked it! And is now talking about having some other bits done! I feel happy the work is enough for her to live there safely and have help in for now whilst her condition isn't too bad.

Good luck, it is hard tho!
Sally_17031 wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:39 am
I agree very much with Lars, you just have to let it go if it is their wish. However heartbroken he might be if he has to pay for care, it will be taken out of his hands if it comes to that. And hopefully he won't know too much about it if the time comes (and it might not).

However, on the topic of a run down home. My sister and I did "bully" our Mum into having the house totally overhauled when my Dad was taken into care as it WAS a genuine health hazard. Carpets and floors caked with cat and human excrement health hazard! Kitchen and bathroom filthy and not refitted in parts for over 40 years. We were pretty blunt/bordering on cruel about this. I said I wouldn't bring the children over any more and because it would be unfit for a care worker to come in she would have to end up in a home. However it was the only way it was going to get done and was completely necessary to avoid her ending up in a care home before her time.

Once all the work got going, surprise surprise she really liked it! And is now talking about having some other bits done! I feel happy the work is enough for her to live there safely and have help in for now whilst her condition isn't too bad.

Good luck, it is hard tho!
Sally - Yep in parts my Dads is like that. His answer - well its just me that lives her so it doesnt matter, does it? He does not give a monkeys to be honest.

His idea seems to be for all thing is spend money once and its fit for life. His carpet was bought 30 years ago and is well past its use now (it was the cheapest you get at the time - £3.99/yd or similar) but his idea is it'll last forever.

I'm just glad when he moved into his house years ago it was brand new. He wrecked it now because its so filthy.
Sounds familiar, although not quite to the same extent. My grandparents are of a 'make do and mend' mentality, where frugality was a way of life growing up. To give one example, my nan will suck on a toffee for a bit and then place it back on its wrapper where it will sit a while - sometimes hours or overnight - because it's what she did as a child when sweets were rationed. Never mind that she could buy a sweet shop or that she's supposed to be minimising her exposure to risks while she recovers from a very serious infection.

We've only just convinced them to refurbish their bathroom facilities to be more accessible and to spend some time in a care home for a couple of weeks whilst the work is being done. They won't speak up, ask for help or appreciate they've got the resources to enjoy from years of hard work and sensible living. Perhaps the most infuriating aspect of it all is the attitude of not wanting to trouble anyone - so they'll wait until the situation has become far worse, requires far more effort and resource to put right, and has made everybody worried sick.