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Alzheimer's Society Innovation Hub

Worries around telephone banking

by Natasha Howard | 5 months ago | in Banking and dementia

This challenge is based on experiences we have heard:


My mum who is 64 was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease last year and now lives alone since dad passed away recently. I’ve seen how mum has found it difficult taking over the finances, which is something dad always looked after. Mum still understands money and that bills need paying, but she worries and struggles with doing her banking over the telephone. The security questions the bank ask her make her anxious and worried, as it can take her time to recall or work out the information. 


At times she also needs help understanding her statements and some of the letters her bank sends. I help her when I can, but I want her to be able to still have some independence and not step in too soon as mums is a proud lady and likes to be independent where she can.  It would be great if there were some ways to make it less stressful and easier for her to do her banking while she’s able to.

Natasha Howard

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Elizabeth Hewison 5 months ago

I have this problem. your mother should approach the bank at a time when it will be less busy- probably when it first opens and around tea time. First she needs to feel relaxed, maybe with a cup of tea or a biscuit to nibble. Her letters from the bank should be within reach for her to refer to , and her passwords and other personal details should be there too. When she rings the bank, she may find that at the end of the list it says any other enquiries if there is no place in the list for cutomer service which is what she requires. When she gets an answer, she could say that she has dementia or if she doesn't want to say dementia, she can say she gets a little confused with the questions she will be asked. The adviser then knows to take things slowly, and allow your mother the time to answer the questions slowly at her own pace, Your mother can say what she doesn't understand in the letter, and the adviser will be able to look at the letter on screen and explain it to her.
The adviser may give a telephone number for your mother to ring in future so that she will have the help at hand. I think most banks and utility companies are now aware that a lot of their older customers need this special attention, and it is in their interests to provide it.

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Jennifer Bute 4 months ago

I agree with you I also have EOD and I have changed my telephone banking to voice recognition and it has made life so much easier for me

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hammock 4 months ago

Yes,voice recognition has helped me as well,but an option 'for those with additional needs' when you 1st phone the bank would be amazing(and would help a lot more people than just us)

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Kate Taylor 4 months ago

My Mum has dementia and they bank with the Nat West. My Dad deals with the bank and he uses an Apple Mac computer. They also have a tablet which they have always used but this is no longer working so my Dad is going to be forced to buy a new tablet/ipad with an up to date Microsoft operating system to continue to use Internet banking or go in to the bank in person. KateTaylor29/11/2020

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