A Demented Way Of Doing It

| Working | July 4, 2017

(My mother applies for power of attorney over my grandmother’s finances because she is senile. This is so she can sort out all of my grandmother’s bills, shopping, etc. while she is still in her own home. My mother rings various places, asking them to contact her about this stuff, since it’s causing problems with them only contacting my nan. All are fine with it, except for the bank.)

Mother: *ringing the bank* “Hi, I just wanted to call about this letter you’ve sent my mother.”

Agent: “I’m sorry, we can only speak with the account holder.”

Mother: “I’ve got power of attorney, so I’m acting on her behalf.”

Agent: “We can only speak to the account holder. Is she there? Can you put her on the line?”

Mother: “She is here, but she can’t talk to you. She has severe dementia, so she’s not really aware of her surroundings and can’t communicate.”

Agent: “I can only speak to the account holder. Please put her on if she needs to make a request.”

Mother: “But I have power of attorney! I’ve notified the bank about this before. Is there some kind of evidence I need to provide you with now to sort this over the phone?”

Agent: “Please put the account holder on the line to deal with the request.”

Mother: *frustrated* “All right, then. One moment.” *takes the phone over to my nan, who is playing with some stuffed toys. She puts the phone between them so they can both hear*

Agent: “Hello? Hello, is that Mrs. [Grandmother]?”

Nan: “…” *still playing with toys*

Agent: “Hello? Your daughter said you would like to speak with us about changing your contact address over to her? Would you like to do that, Mrs. [Grandmother]?”

Nan: *incoherent mumbling* The… one is… gone… few…”

Agent: “I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear that. Would you like us to change your contact details today, Mrs. [Grandmother]? Also, would you be able to talk to us today about your [savings account]?”

Nan: “…” *oblivious, playing with toys*

(This went on for some time, until the agent finally asked if there was “anything else I can help you with today” and the call was ended. Despite contacting them many times, it never did get sorted. They were still contacting my nan when she was in the dementia unit of a nursing home, cared for by a team of nurses and mostly comatose from the dementia.)

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