Real Life MMD: Should we keep paying for son's extras?

edited 17 May 2011 at 8:15PM in Money Saving Polls
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Former_MSE_LeeFormer_MSE_Lee
343 Posts
edited 17 May 2011 at 8:15PM in Money Saving Polls
Should we keep paying for son's extras?


My husband's 28-year-old son had a breakdown and is currently in a mental health ward. Daily visits cost £50/week in petrol as the round trip's 40 miles. On request, we get him special treats (eg, CDs, slippers), which he often loses due to his illness, then asks for more. He has some money in the bank but will need that when he gets out, and isn't eligible for benefits until discharged. We're struggling and now using savings to pay for the extras, and I think we should stop, but my husband's adamant we must keep paying up. What should I do?
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  • TBagpussTBagpuss Forumite
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    Is it possible to reduce the amount you spend?

    It's natural for you, and particularly your husband, to want to make his son's stay in hospital as pleasant as possible, and your husband may feel he is failing his son if he doesn't keep paying.

    How aware is your husband of how much it is all costing? have the two of you sat down together to discuss this, how long you can continue for?

    Would it be possible to compromise - perhaps sacrifice one visit a week, and use the money saved to buy other things? Or set a budget and stick to it, so you don't eat into your savings, but don't have to stop completely.
    How much does your stepson have in savings? Perhaps this could be used for his day to day 'treats' - when he comes out, and you and your husband no longer have the high pertol costs you may be able to afford to help him a little if he needs it, without eating into your savings.

    |finally, On a non financial note - do you and your husband have someone (counsellor / support worker) who you can talk to? This must be a very difficult time for you both, and you need to take care of yourselves, and each other, as well as of your son.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • sresrasresra Forumite
    12 Posts
    Hi i think yes pay for the extras but i would try to buy them as economically as possible and maybe label them if possible so hopefully less likely to go missing. Must be v hard situation, hope he gets better soon.
  • geri1965_2geri1965_2 Forumite
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    How does he manage to lose them in hospital?
  • evespikeyevespikey Forumite
    106 Posts
    honestly, what is more important than the health of your family? seriously.

    Especially your children, who haven't had as much time as you have to be financially secure.

    Obviously you have a say on what you buy him. I would Want to buy people things who were in hospital for whatever reason- especially my family. They would be bored sitting there all day. It's so easy to lend them books to read, pick up a few from a charity shop or solitaire or an old cd player. I would just buy everything economically- there is no point buying expensive things like ipods etc. if they are going to be lost- although shouldn't he have someone looking after his things if he is in a mental health ward? I assume he's not going around loosing his passport, wallet and credit cards etc. and that someone is looking after those for him, whether it be a nurse or yourself.
    Wins: my987wardrobe dress, Look show tickets! Seamus Heaney poetry collection, 9bar sample pack, palmolive large bottle, La Dolche Vita show tickets, Dorset cereals, 2xTim Minchin tickets, etsy necklace
  • dpscs1dpscs1 Forumite
    1 Post
    Hi,

    Sounds rough on you all. Your poor husband has alot to deal with, and driving all that way every day must be hard. Saying that, I drive that to work every day.

    Is there a local volunteer car scheme that could provide low cost transport? Is their a direct bus?

    Also I am dubious about him 'losing' his items. I have a little insight into mental health hospitals and there are ogf course thefts. Are you sure that the staff or other patients are not taking his things? Maybe a word with a (senior) practicitioner. Maybe they are aware that other people 'lose' items? It might be a genuine one of loss though.

    I wouldn't have thought slippers would count as a special treat? Do the normal day to day things go missing or just the expensive things?

    I'll stop banging on about that now.

    I would keep going. Savings are there for just these reasons and I think it shows how much his dad cares for him that he wants to see him every day. It he was my son I would want to be with him every minute of every day to help him though it.

    Be supportive and have faith that it will work out ok.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    For CDs, surely the sensible thing is to keep the originals at home, and burn copies to be lost every so often, then replaced with another copy?
  • AldahbraAldahbra Forumite
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    Do you have a son? If this was your son/daughter what would you want to do? I don't think it would be to stop the gifts.

    Talk to your husband, make a budget and stick to it. Gifts don't have to be expensive, try charity shops, freecycle, car boot sales, etc.

    Can you take action to ensure the safety of the gifts, surely someone on the ward should take responsibility? Could you label them and catalogue them in some way?
    "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence."
    ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
    Weight loss challenge:j: week 1 :(
    target 8lbs in 4 weeks
    Grocery Challenge June: £100/£500
    left to spend £400
    Declutter June: 0/100
    NSD 6 June/6 July: 0/2
  • AldahbraAldahbra Forumite
    317 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
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    For CDs, surely the sensible thing is to keep the originals at home, and burn copies to be lost every so often, then replaced with another copy?

    excellent idea
    "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence."
    ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
    Weight loss challenge:j: week 1 :(
    target 8lbs in 4 weeks
    Grocery Challenge June: £100/£500
    left to spend £400
    Declutter June: 0/100
    NSD 6 June/6 July: 0/2
  • SuzySFSuzySF Forumite
    118 Posts
    suggest you clearly label everything, inc his initialls on the bottom of slippers tho i would count these as necessity not treats/special items, my friend is a senior nurse on a mental health secure unit, and says theft is rife, and they cannot stop it, so label everything as clearly as possible, and make sure the staff are aware. good idea is the burning of a copy CD, so that means the original is kept at home, a copy is only a few pence in cost....try to cut the visits to alternate days, and see if there is a local volunteer scheme for car pooling visits to the hospital....if not, set one up ??
    What goes around - comes around
    give lots and you will always recieve lots
  • Everyone's advice on continuing the visits and "treats" is good and sound. I wonder are there any other family members and friends that could take it in turns with you to visit and relieve the strain on time and finances as well as increase the interest for the patient. Is recovery likely to be weeks, months or years? If it's comparitively short term then go for it do all you possibly can, if it's longer term then you do need to consider your needs as well, but family is family even if it's indirect as in this case.
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