In my last Dementia post I looked at some of the medical info on the disease(Picks Disease) my mother has so now I will go back to our personal journey.
The other day I received the publishers clearing house (You Could Be A Winner) envelope in the mail and this annoying piece of mail got me thinking about a “Mom event” that had everything to do with her dementia.
My mom called me one evening all excited about something. She would not tell me what it was other than she was about to make me very happy. I was to meet her for breakfast the next day to go with her to a meeting so when I get to the breakfast place and proceed to get some information from her. She is grinning from ear to ear as she tells me she “WON” publishers clearing house. I of corse am very excited for her and for my little family because she now wants to give us lots of money too. After some more talking I find out she found out she had won from a phone call in which she was instructed to send money for the “taxes” on the winnings, oh and that she had already met one of these gentlemen who had called her at a ATM to give them some money. She was just unbelievably excited to have me with her when she gave them the rest of the money! I was floored! Scared! and incredibly angry. I just knew that this was not true!
While she was telling more and more of this scary tale I looked into how the publishers clearing house presented winnings and if they ever charged anyone money for the taxes. I even called and talked to them while we were having breakfast. My mom was so mad at me for not believing her and for thinking she was being taken advantage of but, By now I knew she was being lied to and that she had no idea what was happening to her, I asked her if I could call these people for myself and ask them a few questions. She did not want me making the call so she dialed their number while we sat in her car in the restaurants parking lot. They started telling her to not listen to me and that she needed to leave me behind when she came to meet them. I took the phone from her and they actually argued with me and told me some complete lies about how this was a legitimate prize that my mother had won and that I was so awful for messing this up for my mother. I tried to get them to meet us at the police station or the lawyers office to show me that it is a real prize. It was almost comical how it played out. They of course refused to meet us anywhere but at their (hotel office). I left them thinking that we would be there within the hour after we picked up the money. I NEVER intended to go anywhere near these people. I called my husband for the 10th time during this whole mess and he suggested playing along and getting my mother to the bank to ask them some questions and hopefully get a police officer to join us at the bank if necessary.
We went to the bank because mom intended to get more money to give them and I intended to have someone talk some sense into her. The bank manager came out and talked to us and finally got through to my mother by explaining how this con works and that these people pray on older people who have just lost a loved one. I got her into her car and pointed to home saying that we would do more research and then make a decision. She is one stubborn woman! She was so mad at me because I had somehow ruined everything for her, like because I got involved it became a crime and not because she was gullible and an easy mark for these men.
Once we got home I called the police in my moms town and one of the state troopers came to the house to take our report. It was not until then that my mom started to understand that she had been conned and that she had put herself into a very dangerous situation. What is really funny is that the guy called my mom again while the trooper was with us and proceeded to argue with the trooper for some time even threatening the trooper saying that he was going to lodge a complaint against him. The trooper and I were taking turns on the phone basically telling these guys off and laughing at their stupidity!
I ended up having to block their number on all of my mom’s phones so they could not call her again and then proceeded to spend the night with her to make sure no one showed up at her door. Thank goodness I carry a gun at all times. I was scared that night and don’t think I slept at all. To think that my mom drove into town the night before and met one of these criminals and gave them about 600.00 dollars and would have given them much much more.
Early stages of dementia does more than steal a persons memory, it steals their commonsense. They no longer have the ability to see the dark scary dangerous forrest for the pretty trees. I had never been so scared and concerned for her safety before in my life. My mother who would never go anywhere strange or different without a friend or family had now started to make risky decisions. I now know poor reasoning skills are just one of the many early symptoms of dementia….