Friday, May 10, 2013

Buying Time

My brother has no sense of money or time.  He doesn't understand abstract concepts and if he has an appointment on Thursday, May 16th....all he understands is Thursday!  He's been telling me his psychiatric appointment is on Thursday for the past two months.  I have to explain NOT this Thursday but Thursday, May 16th.  He obsesses over and over about it and calls the doctor's office daily.  I've used calendars and marked them but it doesn't mean a thing to him.  All he knows is THURSDAY!

The money issue is harder.  I'm not sure how to creatively manage it.  I have control over his money but he also needs to have some independence and freedom.  I'm thinking I will start giving him just enough money for each day.  I'd like to give it to him weekly (because it is just more convenient for me) but I afraid he would spend it all in one day.

He was able to manage pretty well until the last two months.  His cognitive decline has been rapidly progressing and he spent $1,300 last month just on food but we don't know exactly on what.  Going to Subway, Homeland grocery and Walmart are just daily activities for him but he's buying all kinds of weird things.  So we took the debit card away.  Now I have to come up with some clever way for him to have access to a little money at a time.  I wish I could give it to him weekly but he would spend it all in one day.

We are going to arrange to have all his mail sent to me so he won't even see a bill.  He can't remember where he puts his mail and we keep finding it in the strangest places.  I know he will not be able to live alone much longer but right now he would fight us if we tried to change that.  I'm just trying to buy time. 

We are looking at the possibility of building a small guest house in our backyard.  If the city will approve it that is.  They were impossible to deal with when we enlarged our driveway so I can only imagine how picky they would be about a guest house.

We don't want to live in the same house with Mike if we can help it because he can consume you.  He consumed our parents and I just don't want that to happen to me.  He already is a full-time job without living with him.


Olga said...

This brought back that feeling of helpless exhaustion! My mother kept old statements and bills forever. At one point she started pulling out ten year old bills and having meltdowns about not having enough money to pay everything. When I tried to throw away all the old bills, she started screaming. I feel for you.

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Deb said...

Could you buy VISA gift cards for the daily allowance for Mike? You could buy a pack of them, and it's not like having money to keep track of.

How much room does he need? I am in love with the "Tiny House Movement". You can buy wee houses on wheels, google "tiny houses on wheels" and look through some of the results. They are designed to be low energy use (some are even off the grid entirely) but it's easier just to run an extension cord and plug into an electrical outlet. If he can shower in your place you could install a marine composting toilet. Google "Airhead Dry Toilet". That way you need not install a water line. This is an option we are considering once we can't be fully independent, parked in our son's back yard. One with a downstairs bedroom, not a loft. Close but private. But it's not permanent like a house on a foundation. And it doesn't have to meet building codes for a house because it's technically a trailer.

oklhdan said...

Deb...I'm familiar with tiny houses I am going to check out that idea! And the Visa cards! Thanks for the suggestions!!!!!!

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