My question relates to my elderly father may he live long and enjoy good health. He is 89 years old bli ayin hara and lives with my mother who is almost 20 years younger and in his current state is functioning as a full time carer.
He has been diagnosed by his doctor as suffering from dementia and a variety of physical complaints. He is however still able to get most weeks to shul and is very grateful to Hashem for his blessings.
My parents subside from their life savings and a very low income from my mothers private teaching and their low pensions. They do not have insurance cover for any care assistance.
My mother says that, all in all, their careful subsistence allows them not to deplete their modest capital.
Recently my father has begun asking me to donate in his name increasingly larger amounts of money to charity in hodaya for the days when he feels relatively ok or a stranger reaches out to help him when in need (as when he fell over the in the street and someone brought him home).
The amounts began (per time) at around nis 20 shekels and recently reached nis 500. The frequency is around once a week/a few times a month.
My mother feels that he is donating money which they absolutely need themselves to support themselves at a modest level and that his mental state is too diminished to understand that they can’t afford to give large amounts.
She does not want to prevent him giving tzedaka at all, of course.
I want to respect both my parents and would appreciate your advice.
Can I ask my mother to confirm the amount of tzedaka they can afford each time while telling my father that I am complying with his wishes?
From what you are describing it sounds like your father does not have the mental capabilities to understand the ramifications of his tzedakah giving, and its effect on the finances of the house. Furthermore, if he would have his mind about him he wouldn’t give such large amounts. Therefore regarding this it would be considered as if he doesn’t have daas. Therefore when he asks you to give his money to tzedakah, you can tell him OK, and should give a little bit to tzedakah. You can ask your mother what she feels is a correct amount.