How to Block Online Payments for a Loved One with Dementia

Have you ever wondered how to protect your loved one with dementia from making unwanted online payments? It can be a challenging task, but with a few simple steps, you can ensure their financial safety and peace of mind. In this blog, I’ll guide you through the process of blocking online payments to keep your dear one secure. Let’s get started.

Getting the Right Legal Authority

First things first, when we’re dealing with someone who has dementia, it’s important to ensure their financial matters are properly handled. This starts with getting the right legal authority.

1. Power of Attorney

What is power of attorney

The easiest way to do this is by obtaining Power of Attorney for your loved one. What this means is that you can officially manage their financial affairs on their behalf. This gives you the legal right to deal with banks, utilities, credit cards, and more. It might sound complicated, but it’s like having a permission slip to take care of their finances.

For example, let’s say your neighbor, Mrs. Smith, has dementia, and you have Power of Attorney for her. You can now talk to her bank about her accounts, pay her bills, and even block online payments if necessary.

Managing Payment Methods

1. The Simplest Approach

Now, let’s talk about the simplest way to block online payments for a person with dementia – managing the payment methods.

For instance, imagine you’re helping your uncle, Mr. Johnson. He loves shopping online, but his dementia makes it risky. To keep him safe, you can log into his favorite shopping websites and delete his credit card information. Without the card details, he won’t be able to make online payments anymore.

2. The Best Approach – Removing Access

But here’s the golden rule when it comes to protecting our loved ones – the best approach is to remove their access to online payments altogether.

Consider your aunt, Ms. Davis. She sometimes gets carried away with online purchases, and you’re worried about her finances. To protect her, you should take away her ability to make online payments. This means canceling her credit card and not sharing her debit card PIN with her. It might upset her at first, but remember, our purpose is to keep her safe, even if it makes her a little upset.

Working with Banks for Enhanced Security

The second best approach, which strikes a balance between safety and independence, involves working with the related bank to set up a “hold until deactivate” scenario. This is quite similar to how we manage credit cards through a mobile app.

Imagine your friend, Mr. Adams, who enjoys managing his finances. You can contact his bank and ask if they can provide an option to temporarily lock and unlock his online payments. So, if there’s a week when he’s more forgetful or prone to overspending, you can log into his app and toggle his account to “inactive.” When he needs it again, a simple switch will make it active once more.

This way, Mr. Adams can still have control over his finances while you ensure he doesn’t run into any trouble.

Using Software for Online Blocking

Now, let’s learn a tech-savvy way to block online payments – using software that is designed to manage children’s access to the internet. These can be a great help in monitoring and restricting online financial activities.

For example, let’s talk about your cousin, Jenny. She enjoys shopping online, but her memory lapses are causing problems. In such a case, you can install parental control software on her computer or smartphone. These tools allow you to set up restrictions, like blocking specific websites or online payment methods. You can use this to create a safe online environment for Jenny.

Taking Away Credit Cards

Sometimes, it’s essential to be straightforward. If your loved one’s dementia is advanced, it might be necessary to take away their credit cards.

Think about your sister, Sarah. She’s been making impulsive purchases online, and you’re concerned about her financial security. In this situation, you need to have an honest conversation with her. Explain the risks and tell her that you’ll be taking her credit cards for her safety. It’s not easy, and she might get upset, but it’s crucial to protect her from any harm.

Taking Away Credit Cards - what to say

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why should I block online payments for someone with dementia?

Dementia can impair financial judgment, making your loved one susceptible to scams, overspending, or making inappropriate purchases. Blocking online payments can help protect their financial well-being.

How can I restrict online payments without their consent?

If you have legal authority, you can do this through a power of attorney or guardianship. If not, you may need to work with them, explaining the reasons and gaining their consent.

Is it legal to block someone’s online payments without their permission?

Legality depends on your jurisdiction and the person’s mental capacity. It’s often advised to obtain legal authority through a conservatorship or guardianship to ensure compliance with the law.

How do I approach the conversation with my loved one about blocking payments?

Be empathetic and explain the potential risks due to their condition. Involve them in the decision-making process, so they feel more in control.

Are there support groups or organizations that can guide on this issue?

Yes, organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association and AARP often offer resources and support for caregivers dealing with financial challenges related to dementia. They can provide valuable guidance.


Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging, but it’s also an act of love and kindness. When it comes to online payments, we have several options to ensure their financial security while respecting their independence.

Remember to start by obtaining Power of Attorney to manage their financial affairs legally. From there, the simplest approach is to manage their payment methods by removing credit card details from online accounts. The best approach is to remove access altogether, which can involve taking away credit cards or using bank features that allow for temporary deactivation.

Using parental control software designed for children can also be a tech-savvy way to restrict online payments. And when necessary, be direct and have an open conversation about taking away credit cards.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. Have you had to tackle this issue with a loved one? What approach did you find most effective? Do you have any other tips or questions about dealing with dementia and online payments? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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