Mum has asked a couple of times about money. She's aware that I'm holding her Debit Card and chequebook. I really don't feel it's safe to leave them under her control. Anyway, everything in the complex is either included in the fees or will be added to the bill that comes to me by Direct Debit. The Finance Officer had recommended that I leave some cash in Mum's purse purely to reassure her. And, of course, the staff might take Mum out to the local shops to buy sweets or something occasionally.
So, the day after Christmas, when I took Mum back to the Home, I stopped at an ATM and withdrew £100 from her spending account. When I had Mum settled in back in her room, I showed her that I was putting the money inside her purse. Then I announced that I was leaving. Mum walked down the corridor with me to the Kitchen. As we shuffled along, I suggested to her that she should keep the money in her handbag a secret from everyone for safety's sake. She turned to me and said, rather loudly, "But I haven't GOT any money!" She was still carrying the handbag, so I opened it up again to show her.
This morning, Mum telephoned. "Now.. you have my card... don't you?"
"Yes, as I told you.... er.... I.. I need some money."
"Have you used up all your money already, Mum?"
"I haven't GOT any money!"
I asked her to look in her handbag. She told me that she had £10. I asked her to look again and she eventually realised that it was all still there.
Strangely I'm reassured by things like this: by the times I hear that she needed help to shower, or to dress, or that she woke in the middle of the night and pressed the nurse call button as if it was 'room service'. They're all indications that (1) I did the right thing placing her somewhere like this and (2) she seems to have quickly got the hang of asking for help.