It has always bothered me, that her family has basically lied to her. Telling her, "You can do anything." when in reality, she is unable. I understand the positive encouragement but for those who are intellectually impaired, it gives them a false sense of assurance and sets them up for more failure. Char, cannot do everything. Yes, she can do some things and those are what we encourage in her. I believe in telling her the truth. No sugar coating it.
I have been her social security payee - since she has been here in California. While in Washington, she was not on any assistance for her disability. I helped to plug her in, here in California and she has blossomed. She now is not under any delusions that she can be a teacher or a veterinarian. Last month, I turned over the payee reins to a 3rd party agency through our county. The Social Security is deposited in a joint account where they are the administrators. They dole out the funds to her. Meanwhile, they turned us on to another agency, that comes twice a week, after she gets off work, to help her with learning the computer, filing her records, getting organized and other life skills. Once a week, there is another agency that drops off a free meal for her to cook - the box includes the recipe, the ingredients and she does the cooking. She is learning to follow a simple recipe.
At age 36, people assume she is like them. Recently she went to the dentist and they told her she had the beginnings of gum disease. She scares easily and can be intimidated. Instead of doing what she was told (she forgot) she got all flustered and paid for the service, using a credit card. Over $2000. Her caseworker called me and also told me, she used a credit card to pay for over $700 worth of car repair. No one was mad at her. Just concerned, and so much so, that the agency contacted the dental clinic (for more information) It was good to know that others have her back as well.
She has a job that is well under what she can legally make without losing necessary services. She works at a Thrift Store that employs the disabled. She loves her job. But now, she is in debt. She also has an apartment. She is trying...
I don't know if I should trust her with a credit card - she is supposed to run these BIG money decisions by the 3rd party money people or me. Like her caseworker told me, "she wants so much to be independent and make her own decisions." Unfortunately, that won't ever happen as her memory continues to decline. That is why I turned everything over to an agency because I'm getting older and it was hard to get her to understand. It was frustrating to me. Plus, we're not always going to be around.
It's hard dealing with someone who is as mentally impaired as she is. I don't want to get mad at her - but I do show frustration and she sees that in me.
Bless her heart. She is a dear. Sweet as can be, but gullible, too trusting and believes everyone is her "best" friend.