Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Home Sweet Home - the Mom part

I'm back from my trip and happy to be back in my own bed :) I got to my mom's early enough in the day (1pm-ish) to miss the afternoon rush traffic. I went to my mom's the first couple of days. We just visited all afternoon and went out and had some dinner (fish and chips). Thursday morning we dropped my car off at the tire store and left it there. We then went to Starbucks and sat inside and had coffee and shared a lemon loaf. Then we went to Home Depot, just for something to do. I just wanted to look around at all their stuff for homes - lighting, flooring, etc. Picked up a few samples. The tire store gave me a $100 credit on for my old tires, so better than nothing. The new tires are 70k mile tires and will hopefully last us better than 25k miles.

When we got back to her house we worked on me getting all her info. That was a bit of a chore, just because she's kind of forgetful about what's what and it was too many questions for her to deal with at one time. But first we had to work on her computer that she got back from Best Buy. She had figured out how to plug it back in, but her favorite's toolbar was missing. I got that back showing, but for some reason her log in and passwords for her bank, investment company and health insurance were gone. (email and Facebook were ok). She had no idea what the log ins and passwords were and of course her 20 slips of paper in her desk were of absolutely no help. So, we started with her bank to do the "forgot user name and password". It wanted her account # and social security #.  I know she was putting her acct# in right (I even typed it once) but we could not get in. Finally I said are you sure you are putting in the correct ss#? Then she got confused a bit and wasn't sure. I said, well, lets look at your tax return and get it off of there. Sure enough she was off a number in the first 3 numbers. She had to pick a new password (which of course I wrote down!).

Then we moved on to her investment bank log in. They did not have it where you could forget both. If you forgot your user name you need to know your password and vice versa. There was a number on the log in screen to call and I told her to call that # and tell them she forgot both. No, she calls the actual office of her investment guy. Usually his assistant lady will answer but some other lady answered and of course she told my mom to call the # I gave her.

The we decided take a lunch break, which helped. Then it was time to call the investment bank help#...what does she do? she calls her direct office again! This time though, her guy's assistant answered and she was able to help her by emailing her a temporary password and telling her what her user name is. The health insurance was like the bank and we were able to do a reset.  I think if we hadn't had to deal with all that, the getting the rest of the info probably wouldn't have seemed so hard. Most of her bills she has set up to come out of her checking automatically, which is good, but also takes it out of her mind on what's what, since she's not writing out checks each month to them. Her only real confusion was with her garbage bill (billed every 2 months). She knew right off who the company was, but as she was pulling out some bills from her file cabinet she pulled out this kind of half sheet of paper that looked like a receipt with the name of the nearby landfill. She started to tell me it was for her yard waste bin. I know the yard waste bin is part of garbage company service. I said well, this looks like receipt from the dump - did you take some stuff to the dump at some time? oh yes, I guess I did. Not sure why she felt the need to save that, but then she remembered the yard waste can is billed on her garbage bill.

I had started writing down on a piece of paper her user names and passwords for the 3 companies. She doesn't know her email or Facebook passwords, so we're just going to have to hope they stay saved in her computer or we'll have to do a reset on them at some other time. We then addressed all those little slips of paper with supposed user names and passwords. There was  not one single slip that she even knew what it was for, because in trying to make sure no one else would know (ie burglar) she didn't write down what they were for. Plus half the slips either had only the user name or only the password, or two or three different things written down. They were all worthless and she did finally realiz she should just throw them away (but I can just see her digging them out after I left, haha!). I told her if she is so worried about this piece of paper I gave her with the 3 user names/passwords being found/stolen then put it in her locked safe box, where at least she can get to it if she needs to. The one and only slip of paper that actually knew what the user name and password was for was when Comcast set up her internet and a Comcast email that also gets her into her account online. She didn't even know she has it, doesn't use it for her email and doesn't need to get online to see her account (it's an auto pay) so I didn't even bother putting that down on her list. BUT, I did write it down on mine.....and when I was reviewing her bill to make sure she wasn't paying for services she didn't need/use I see she has Starz as part of her package. I know she didn't quite get what I was asking, but I still have Xfinity streaming saved on my ipad (from when I had Comcast tv) and logged in with her account info and now I get to watch Outlander!! I'm excited :)

I also added Team Viewer to her computer and we will have to test that out, now that I am home, and see if I can get it to work. That will probably save me lots of headaches in the future, if it does.

So, I have 3 pages of notes on all her info. I didn't realize/remember when she re-did her will a couple of years ago she also did up a document to give me power of attorney. She has a rolling file cabinet next to her desk that locks the top part and inside the top part is a small safe box that locks. Good thing she told me where the keys are hidden. I probably would never have found it. She also showed me where she has some other stuff hidden. Who would have known the breathe right strips box in her medicine cabinet doesn't have breathe right strips in it ! No, it has several $100 dollar bills and 3 rings. I also wrote down her medicines (which probably explains the "scatterbraindness" I have noticed that past 10 years or so.

I also now have a set of house keys and the code to her alarm system. I think I should be good to handle all her stuff, should anything happen to her. Overall I think she is doing good. She is still reading and doing her crossword puzzles and taking care of her house. I think if she gets frazzled about something is when the forgetfulness is worse. Thankfully, for the most part her life is very easy (especially since she's financially well off) and routine. She talks to her BF on the phone at 8pm each night that they aren't together and the two nights I was there I noticed she did kind of repeat herself to him the same story she told him (about my tires for my car) the night before, but that seems to be pretty common in older age for a lot of folks.

She has an old antique set of "berry dishes" that she has been going to give me for the past year and I was able to take those home with me. I also got her antique iron. That little thing weighs a ton!

I left her house Friday morning about 10am, filled up with gas, went to the bank and then stopped at my in-laws for a very quick visit before I drove up to visit my work office and my boss. The rest of my trip in the next post :)


  1. WOW! There is so much to take care of isn't there? Sounds like you are on top of it though. You are such a good daughter. Not everyone has kids who take care of them when they get older.

    1. I feel much better now that I have all the info, keys, etc.

  2. I feel she is more secure now. She may not get so frazzled since she knows you are in on everything. I think when older people get tired or upset, the frazzled forgetfulness sets in. I am only 71, but I know getting overly tired or upset about something makes me feel frazzled and forgetful. That is probably more just my perception since I don't need help getting passwords if I do forget one. I was once like her, thinking someone would rob me and get passwords. Finally, I thought, so what? Who wants these passwords? Certainly not anyone who breaks in. So, all is here for me when I get sick and forget a password. Plus, all passwords are one number or letter off. I am glad you straightened it all out for her and came away with a way to help her from a distance.

    1. I just talked to her again tonight and she said she does feel good that I have all the info to take care of stuff. That's what I told her about if someone broke in, they wouldn't be looking for passwords. That kind of thing will get stolen by hacking, not thieves breaking in so they can steal stuff to buy drugs.