Real Life Financial Support for Parents: Meet Kirsten and her mum Myra
How did you hear about GuardianCard?
I was catching up with a friend of mine shortly after my mum’s diagnosis and after hearing about my concerns and worries, she recommended GuardianCard to me.
What were you hoping to get from having an account with GuardianCard?
My mum is fiercely independent and we didn’t ever want to take that away from her, so to find a solution that would give her that freedom to shop and spend her money, whilst also ensuring that her main account is protected and that we have an overview gave my brother and I a real peace of mind.
What made you decide to get a GuardianCard?
When my mum was diagnosed, it was a huge shock for us all and we knew that we would have good days and bad days ahead of us. We wanted to ensure she could still be her happy outgoing self. I remember she told me about receiving what were actually phishing calls and people saying they were from her bank. She was close to giving out her details and that worried her and me. There were also times where she would get money out and forget why she’d done it or often at the supermarket she would ask others to do her chip and PIN, often shouting out her PIN for all to hear. This was a huge panic for us, as we know the risks involved. It was actually one of the key things that attracted us to GuardianCard, the ability to change the PIN in the app, to instantly freeze a card should it get lost, and limit the amount of money on the account. There is great comfort knowing that we can quickly and easily see what is happening in the account and respond.
How long have you had the card for?
As a family we have been using our cards for a little over two months, my mum has her own card and my brother and I also have our own. This is great because it means it is easy to see who has spent what and where.
What do you use the card for?
My brother and I are both involved in her care. He very much manages the finances, so ensures that the account is topped up on a monthly basis and I do the shopping. We use this card for all transactions; it is really convenient for me and for my brother as all parties have an overview and we know that her money is safe.
Has it provided your family member/loved one with peace of mind?
Hugely, just knowing that my mum can go to the shops and spend her money without any worries is wonderful! I am very glad that we found this solution so soon after her diagnosis as it meant we could have an important conversation about money and finances.
Has it made managing the finances of your family member/loved one easier?
What used to happen is that often we would do her shopping and use our own money – a lot of little things can quickly add up and it is often hard to ask for that money upfront. Having this account means that the whole process is now very easy and a lot less hassle for all parties involved.
How has your experience with GuardianCard been?
It has been very simple and very easy. On the few occasions that we have reached out to the GuardianCard support team they have been beyond helpful and I really like that the support is available 7 days a week. £7.95 is a small price to pay for my mum’s financial security and our peace of mind.
What is your favourite aspect of having a GuardianCard?
It has to be that I have my own card with my name and I have my own login to the app. When we used to shop, I would use her card and she would often stage whisper her PIN so half the shop could hear. Whereas now, I have my card and I can make the payments, check the app and have a full overview of what is being spent, by who, and where.
I also love how easy the app is to use, I am not a digital native, but even I can use it! If she does give her PIN or lose her card, I can quickly hop onto the app and secure her account.
In a percentage form, how much stress has been lifted from your loved one/family member after getting an account with GuardianCard?
About 85%, not only does it give us an overview but it has allowed us to better understand her spending and see regular patterns, so we can continue to support and ensure she keeps her independence and her smile.
Because we can watch spending, we know about withdrawals. We are able to have conversations with her about money and this is refreshing to openly discuss something so important.
Would you recommend the card to others?
I recommend this card to everyone I come across, it has been a real game-changer for us and I think it is great not just for people whose parents have dementia, but for anyone who wants to support their family.
Whether a neighbour is doing the shopping or they have a regular carer, I can really see the value.
Find out more at guardiancard.co.uk/