For those who care for someone with Parkinson's disease
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By mylove On 2014.04.25 21:28
I need to clarify before I start that this is mostly for those whose spouses are still participating as an equal partner, otherwise it won't make sense.

Now that my husband is retired, some of the benefits of him being at home are that he's able to take care of things that are difficult for me to do from work. I still work full time, and he's still able to do things, as long as he paces himself and doesn't try to achieve too much in one day. He does really well, especially now that he's able to nap and to time out things for when he's on top of his game.

Today he texted me at work to tell me a collection agency called about a medical bill my son had a year ago. They demanded $300 and because it was shortly after he woke up, and he was unable to think straight, he gave them our credit card. When I found out I was livid. I spent the better part of a week about three months ago after a similar incident and between my son and I we contacted and verified that all of his bills were paid in full. My take is that the collectors have my husbands cell phone, they know they can get him to cave by threatening him, and they get money for a bill we no longer owe.

I've dealt with dirty collectors before, and my husband knows that we have the right to have them prove the validity of a debt before we pay it, but they caught him vulnerable and took advantage of him. He feels terrible, we are out $300 that I gave no way of making up, and the collectors underscored that he's an easy target for scam calls.

I told him to give them my number from now on and I'd handle them. We had a tiff (because he just kept saying "they said I owed them money" if they couldn't lie) and now he feels ineffective, I feel like a bully, and we are out money and have a whole ugly mess to sort out.

Here's the kicker. He's very capable of handling things, as long as they're on his own time and he can schedule them around his on time. But the shysters and creeps of the world are beginning to figure out that he has vulnerable times. I can't take over...and there's no need to. But how in the world can I keep this sort of thing from happening?

Where is the line between taking the reins and batting backup?

By jcoff012 On 2014.04.25 23:11
Michelle, I forgot to charge this iPad and I am not home to use the desktop...but, go to and enter "How to Block Telemarketers and Debt Collectors" It gives you step by step how to do it, how to find apps for cell phones, etc...Good luck...more when I am not at 5 percent! Hugs, Jane

By mylove On 2014.04.25 23:55
GENIUS, Jane! Thanks!

By seawench On 2014.04.26 01:34
It's so hard as they want to be involved and relevant and we don't want to take that away any sooner that it has to happen. We created guidelines that helped my PWP such as we changed his phone # and it was only given out to folks we knew and he never answers phone numbers he doesn't know. That way he is in control of who he talks to and isn't blindsided by anyone nefarious when he isn't at his best. Just because the phone rings doesn't mean we have to answer it. These days he can't be understood on the phone and he only skypes, so we no longer have to worry about that anymore.

Unfortunately as this disease progresses they find all kinds of decisions to make that we never thought of that often can have serious risks.


By mylove On 2014.04.26 08:29
Here's another one to watch out for that you can't block. We are the proud owners of at least six bottles of $80 cleaning soaps sold by various door to door salesmen who come by during the day. They, and the seafood/frozen meat salesmen, the house painters, the gutter cleaners, the security system salesmen, etc cruise the neighborhoods trying to find targets. Because my husband spends his days working in his garage with the door open, he's an easy target for approach. While the soap is okay, I didn't need it and couldn't afford it. I could say no if I was home, but it happens before I know about it.

Frankly, he's a soft touch, and I'm wholeheartedly behind the kids with cookies and gift wrap, but the peddlers make my blood boil. They know who they're targeting at home during the normal work day, and some of those people are very vulnerable.

By jaxrock On 2014.04.26 10:34
Well, I hate to say this...but, in our case, I've taken credit cards out of my husband's wallet...and his desk drawer..Told him we are no longer using credit cards...for anything.
And if anyone asks for $$, they have to ask me....for cash...He's also not aware that we have a debit card, which I now use instead of checks for many things.
It's very hard...since before PD he was really a financial whiz....but, very confused and vulnerable at this stage.
He also calls numbers from ads we get in the mail....they call back, and I have to tell them, "sorry, we're not interested"....
Very stressful for all of us, I'm sure...
Good Luck

By McCall On 2014.04.26 10:59
for the door to door salesmen. BIG SIGN NO SOLICITING! Perhaps along with sign beware of vicious dog.

By Poostie On 2014.04.26 12:47
I am surprised to see that many others are battling similar problems to what we've gone through. What makes PWP vulnerable to this sort of thing?

It all started back in the days when my husband was taking the generic brand of Mirapex and I blamed his compulsions with sweepstakes on that When his neurologist heard what he was doing she took him off that medication in a hurry. He has been off of that medication for several years but still has problems to some extent when it comes to judgment in responding to ads etc. He believes sweepstake letters that tell him he's won money, he responds to call in ads on TV etc. He's an easy mark for every charity that wants donations. When I can beat him to the punch I intercept every questionable thing that I can. I sort through the mail and cull out those that he doesn't need to see. We have changed phone numbers because he regularly got calls from scammers. But try as I may a few things slip through here and there. We got the first in a series of Spanish Lessons in the mail not too long ago which he had signed up for and I had to return. He said he couldn't remember ordering it.

I love my man but just wonder where those compulsions come from. They just don't make sense with his pre-parkinsons way of life.

By jcoff012 On 2014.04.26 14:59
Michelle, Hope that worked! It forced me to do the same with the DoNot Call registry...seems there is a three year timeframe, then one needs to re-register...We have been getting daily annoying calls, so I hope this helps.

Carl has had a personal assistant at work for over twenty years, so he is used to not answering the phone it isn't as big a problem for us. Dr. Christine asked if he was having compulsion problems, and I laughed and said, "He has always been a spendthrift and a gift buyer, so how would we know!"

Looks like it is a rather simple thing to stop the calls, but to be honest, it struck me as unethical what this company did...I think I would go online and ask a lawyer....there are a lot of websites and bulletin boards that answer simple questions for free...

Good luck...remember, this is the same man that just took your breath away at the gas station...lolol You both are so funny...Love you, Jane

By mylove On 2014.04.26 15:57
Lol. Right? Exactly why I can't step on his wonderful spirit! :)

It IS unethical, and that's the battle I'm going to have on Monday. Unfortunately, I've dealt with these kinds of people before. He hasn't, so his first impulse when they call is to assume he's guilty and just pay up. Another sample of each of us staying within our skill set, I suppose!

As an aside, though...he is unusually trusting, and hearing others' stories, I wonder if it's part of that "PD personality". It just makes me so mad when someone takes advantage of his sweet nature and I'm not there to bite em like the pit bull I am! ;)

By Pearly4 On 2014.04.27 08:57
I'm curious - have you worked with your credit card company and filed a protest against the charge? I haven't done it under these circumstances, but because of the illegality of the charge, I would think they may be able to help you. They can also send you alerts usually when the card is used so that you'll know your husband has used it in case he forgets to notify you himself!

By mylove On 2014.04.27 09:01
That's an interesting thought and one that hadn't occurred to me! I'll try that, too. Thanks!

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