What do I do with a situation where my husband who has Alzheimer's believes and continues to talk with scammers on the phone who call and tell him he has won millions of dollars? They require money up front and he has given them a lot of money. Once I found out what he was doing I couldn't believe how much he had given to them, I called local authorities and FBI to get some direction. My husband will not listen to me, is combative and doesn't want to be told what to do.

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Wow! For one, we definitely need to find these terrible people who keep scamming him. But, on the dementia caregiving end, I first have questions: what phone is he using? Who is calling? Can you disable the home phone or whatever he is using to get calls? Someone clearly has him marked as a target- this doesn’t sound random. If he has a cellphone, I think you need to get it away from him, disable it, and return it to him. Suggest that it’s “broken” and “needs to be fixed” – and then never actually replace it. You can also block certain numbers with your phone carrier. If it’s a house phone, get rid of it. The police definitely need to find out who is calling. If he sent money it should be traceable.

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Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

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