I simply didn’t know how to deal with the situation. My husband was ordering goods by phone, large items that we most definitely did not need. When they arrived on our doorstep, I showed him that his name was on the outside of each parcel but he had no recollection of their purchase, insisting that they had been delivered in error. A new computer arrived, a heating device that we did not need as we had central heating. Then a computer chair, two really ugly bedside lamps as well as a standing lamp for our living area were delivered to our home. I called the various companies to ask whether I could return them and explained my husband’s condition. The voice on the other end of the line said; “IF you husband is suffering from Alzheimer’s, why does he still hold a credit card?” How right they were, but how could I take it away from him without hurting his feelings? After all, he’d been the main breadwinner in the family. I knew that I should get him to close his bank account as well.
While I was agonizing about how to go about this, more goods arrived – an assortment of towels that did not match our color scheme, bed linen and scatter rugs. Once again my husband insisted that he had not ordered a single item. I pointed out his name printed on each package in large, clear letters. When I added up the amount owing and showed him how much he had spent, he agreed to accompany me to the bank the following morning to close his account, and handed me his credit card, which I immediately cancelled.
When we reached the bank he had no recollection of our discussion the previous evening so I explained it all over again. The banker helped me persuade him to close his account.
Two days later, I received a call from the bank. “Please come as soon as you can.” I did, and was told that my husband had told them he’d lost his credit card and wanted a new one. He also wanted to open a new bank account. I suggested that she do nothing about either of his requests as he would soon forget about it. He did. She did tell me that my request was an unusual one. My reply: “Alzheimer’s Disease is an unusual illness, and you are aware of my husband’s situation. I had remembered to bring a copy of a letter the geriatric doctor had written describing my husband’s illness.”
My husband had always taken care of me, worried about my welfare and handled our financial affairs efficiently. Then, due to illness, our roles changed and it was a strange, upsetting feeling to suddenly be the decision maker. Fortunately, our daughters and sons-in-law stepped in to help whenever and wherever they could.