By Amelia Isaacs on Friday 15 July 2022
Sibstar aims to help the 55 million people living with dementia retain their autonomy with their spending.
A British woman who acts as caregiver to her parents has launched a debit card to help people living with dementia and their families take back control of their spending with Mastercard’s backing.
Both of Jayne Sibley’s parents are living with Alzheimer’s, and after noticing her mother’s condition worsen and seeing her start to mismanage her money, Sibley saw a need to protect both her mother’s everyday money and her independence.
Sibley did not like the lack of autonomy that came from traditional caregiver cards that allow a designated person to spend money on behalf of the person living with dementia.
She wanted to empower her mother to spend her own money, by herself, within safe limits.
So she created Sibstar, a debit card app that allows people living with dementia to access and spend their money while also keeping it safe by managing how and where that money can be used through the app.
“We’re about enabling people with dementia to continue living their lives the way they want to,” Sibley said.
“Many people live well with dementia for many years, and I hope that tools like ours will directly contribute to this.
“So much about dementia ‘takes away,’ but we believe that doesn’t have to be the case when it comes to our everyday money.”
Sibley also wanted to help ease the burder on caregivers when it comes to staying on top of administrative tasks related to spending, whether thats getting refunds and compensation or tracking money spent.
In the UK, the amount of money stolen through fraud increased by 30 per cent in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.
This is something Sibley directly observed with her mother, who fell victim to phone scams that would sometimes cost hundreds of pounds.
There are currently 55 million people living with dementia worldwide, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International, and this number is expected to rise to 78 million by 2030, which means the number of people susceptible to these scams is only growing.
It is also proven that those living with dementia greatly benefit from regular social interaction, something Sibley saw that a manageable debit card would help with.
“What we spend our money on is a big part of who we are — the clothes we buy, the hobbies and activities we take part in, the gifts we buy are all important to our identities and senses of self,” Sibley said.
“Having access to money also allows people living with dementia to remain connected with their community.
“A trip to the grocery store isn't just about stocking up the kitchen — it's also an opportunity to chat with a cashier or bump into a neighbour.”
Sibstar describes itself as a “profit with a purpose business”, and donates 7.5 per cent of its net profit to the Alzheimer’s Society.