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My husband (who is now retired) has multiple talents. One of them is working on computers, another is sound systems. There is a lady we've known a very long time that runs a karaoke business that he helps out from time to time when she needs to upgrade her system. She came over today and she and my husband went in the workshop for several hours to put things together and work on the system. After she left, my mother, in a belligerant tone, said "I don't know what you're doing in there, if you're doing illegal things in my house, or what" WHAT????????? Where the heck did that come from???? We've always been the most honest people in the world???? That one hurt. Really hurt. And calling it her house hurt, too.

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This is pretty typical of some types of memory impairment or, more correctly, brain change in the elderly. The two issues you describe, being suspicious of things going on around her and not recalling what you told her, are both seen when the part of the brain that stores short-term information is partially impaired. Also has she had a hearing test?, The clues to what's going on in another room that she usually hears, and now doesn't hear may lead her to suspect you are whispering or sneaking around behind her back. It's not rational but it makes its own kind of sense. She probably DID just "build it up in her head" as she said. And she will probably do it again, so try not to feel hurt by it.
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We had a long talk with her last night and told her that we were hurt and insulted that she would ever think we would allow anybody or anything illegal to come under her roof and she burst out crying and said she never meant to hurt any of us, but that it all seemed so private (hours of working trying not to disturb Mom) she just built it up in head that something must be going on.

Basically, I think our trying to be considerate and set up out in the work area so Mom wouldn't be disturbed made her think that something illegal or wrong was going on. Once we explained to her that we did it for her benefit, and gave her some of our friends backstory (she's a VERY good person with a tragic history) , she was fine.

Sometimes we tell Mom things, and we think she's heard us, because she responds in some way, but she hasn't heard us correctly or really, at all. She just knows we were talking. I think that could be part of what was going on also. Mom does have hearing aids, but takes them off when she's watching tv to put on the TV ears. Then she'll ask a question and be unable to hear the answer unless you yell, then get mad that you're yelling at her lol. Love her death, but some days.....

Thanks everyone. This one threw me for a loop.
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Perhaps her comments are also a reflection of the relationship between men and women as she grew up and aged. For years now unrelated men and women can be just friends, work together, socialize together. It doesn't mean there's anything more going on, but for someone who grew up before that ease of friendship, it might be hard to accept that they're just buddies.
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fear and lack of understanding about technology . years ago we tried to get my mom a computer set up to entertain herself. as soon as it was online she started worrying that my son was doing something dangerous or illegal on it . hurt the poRnmeisters ( jakes ) feelings but i explained that the pc was new to mom and shed heard scary things about it . unfortunately her bad vision kept her from ever playing on it but she learned to respect the worldwide reach it had as we began occasionally ordering things she wanted and needed from online .
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And she could have a UTI.
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Time for the Rx pad to come out.... paranoia and delusions CAN be treated.
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