I'm losing it. Mom with dementia accusing me of all sorts of things.

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Some more detail...I'm sure this is "normal" in my situation but I'm having a hard time handling it. I moved Mom into a senior community with support. This was about 3 months ago. I visit her several times a week. Today she told me that she wants to move somewhere else. She wants to move near my brother who is several states away. (IF ONLY!) Or into a place of her own. (She was in a place of her own nearby for the past 2 1/2 years and no longer remembers it.) Tonight she's calling me and accusing me of stealing her car. I'm truly ready to cry. I read the notes she writes and leaves all over her apartment about me stealing her money and taking her things. Again, I know this is "normal" for dementia...but it's causing me unbearable stress. I'm near the breaking point. Suggestions...Please!!!


Holly, the only way to deal with this is to find a sense of humor in what Mom is doing.   I know it won't be easy, but it does work.   Next time Mom says you stole her car, just say "I would if it was a Corvette".    Or just along with what she is saying, even if you know it's not correct... that way it would make her feel better and you feel better, too.  As you know, she will forget what she said hours later.

I have watched really good professional caregivers use humor with their clients.   Like for my Dad who didn't want a caregiver to help him with his shower because of his shyness, she said "Mr. Bob, I raised a house full of boys, there isn't anything I haven't seen".   That got my Dad laughing and he got his shower.
Holly you poor thing. I know how you feel because it hurts me to my heart when my mother does the same. Its like I am incapable of seeing that its dementia. But likefreqflyer states it will help a whole lot to find a way to make humor out of it. Or get her to laugh or make a joke of it. Sometimes it is acutally funny the things they say and the ridiculous accusations but being a serious kind of person and being accused and blamed and persecuted takes me to another place when it happens.

There are times when I can honestly laugh and it is funny and it releaves the stress and pain when you can see them as funny and cute and silly.

There will be times when you are in a good place with her and then bang! She demands that you return her money or something out the blue. My mother would threaten me, bang on the door, curse me from my head and arms to my feet. Crazy. I can look bacck an smile. I know there will be more to come and if I have smile and laaughed enough its easier to taken the next labor pains when they come. Cause thats what it is pain but in your heart to be asccuse wrongly but especially of something you would not do and then by someone who knows you better than anyone (Supposedly).

Id say dont take it personnally. There's lots of good advice on this site so keep reaching out and posting your cries and hurt and pain it helps and you may get the answer that show you the light of the way to work it out within yourself. Good luck. My heart is with you.
HollyW I completely agree with the answers already posted. I have gone through the same thing. Finding humor in the things your mom says will help. Under normal circumstances these would be serious accusations. But the dementia causes our situations to be very different. Laughter will do your heart good. While mom is talking smile and go along with what she is saying so not to agitate her. Agitation may make things worse. I live with my mom because my mom and dad both required care and we didn't have the space for both my parents in my home. So I have left my home to care for them, yet still pay mortgage on my own home. My mom tells my sister she doesn't want me here and I didn't ask to move in. She wants to know what happened did I do lose my house or something. BUT she doesn't say this stuff to me, just to my sister. With me she is grateful and smiles. I just laugh about it. Laughing has relieved much stress for me. Hope this helps. Hang in there. Overlooking the accusations gets easier after the first few times but at first, yes, it does sting.
Thank you to the three of you for your answers and, especially, for your support. Just hearing your voices of reason makes me feel better. I admit that I didn't handle it well with my mother last night. But the three of you have given me tools that I can use tomorrow. And the next day. And (sigh) the day after that...etc. I'm so sorry for anyone else who has to go through this but it sure is comforting to know that I'm not alone.
I dealt with the same thing, but it wasn't just me it was nearly everyone that came into the house. Mom even accused her husband. The hardest times were when a twisted sister would call when mom was particularly delusional thinking there were two people in her house and she wanted them to leave due to her fears that we were there to steal from her.

I would dial the phone for her sometimes to call one of the twisteds. Then mom would start whispering that we were to leave. Twisteds.sometimes helped, but other times, get suspicious themselves. They did not understand dementia and were in denial about how sick mom was.

Tell her a therapeutic white lie. The car is in for repair, it will be picked up in a day or two. Maybe she lent it to one of her favorite people. Whatever you think will calm her down.
You're in a difficult stage of the disease especially if you're the sole caregiver
The notes, phone calls, nastiness and yelling are exhausting - I lived with it for quite a long while - that stage seems so long ago now
Do whatever you can to keep your cool - walk outside- go to your happy place - humor and laughter do help a lot
You're a hero for standing by your mom
Dementia is a long tiring journey for everyone
We all know the crazy pains of dementia. I too, have a hard time when my mother acts as though she is the victim, and I am the mean person. She tries to convince my friends that I am mean to her, and they feel so sorry for her. She lives with me, but I need to get her into a senior home. She is sucking the joy from my life. I am so tired of the daily depressing demeanor she has towards me, but when a visitor comes, she perks up and is as charming as a saint. No one understands why I can't be around her ( except for my husband who sees her negativity as well ). I am worn out with her here. I need to find a facility, but in our small town, there is not many options. I will try humor as well, but I doubt she will laugh along, just scowl at me.
This stage will pass & she won't even remember her car etc - my mom sucked the life out of my dad accusing him of stealing her coin collection [later a friend told us that mom sold it to someone at a coin show], stamps etc - we intervened & now 4 1/2 years later they are doing as well as can be expected at 91 & 94

My mom has lost the need to hold onto worldly goods which is mainly an identity process in that they say to themselves 'I am worthy of respect because I have been able to accumulate all these things' - I was amazed when she was finally tested & found to have moderate to severe dementia so your mom may be deeper into this slide than you realize
These posts sound like my life! My mom and dad both live with me. Dad is confused a lot with progressed memory loss, but is annoying more than anything else. I Can deal with that. But, Mom is angry, mean and verbally abusive almost daily to me and my husband. I work full time so my husband and a part-time caregiver is here with them during the day. I take over second and third shift when I get home from work. She is like Jekyll and Hyde. When the caregiver is here she is sweet and compliant.. I really lost it with her yesterday when I was trying to clean her bedroom. I really lost it with her. I feel so bad about that that it was on my mind all night long. My decision this morning is as follows: I will take advice I read on one of these sights: be nice, pleasant and kind as much as possible, smile and ignore as much as I can, take care of her to the best of my ability to assure her safety, view her as if she were not my mother. After 2 years of this, I feel I am at the end of my rope. I get very little help from brother and basically none from sister. They both live within 5 miles of my home. I can so understand HollyW! You are not alone. Many of us out here. You are doing your best...........thoughts and prayers coming your way. Hang in there!
Hi Holly,
I'm another daughter suffering from an angry, confused Alzheimer's mother. As she was going into Stage 5, she became very distrustful of me, accusing me of horrendous things; stealing her money and objects, physical abuse ( I "threw her on the floor then stole her pain medication"), lying, molestation (that I was doing "more" than helping her bathe), she told her doctor that I was out to get her, etc.

I am her only child and have made huge sacrifices to keep her well cared for and safe. I have been investigated by Adult Protective Services because she was telling everyone at the Senior apartments, where she lived, that I was abusing her! These accusations cut to the core. I completely understand how you can't separate what is being said about you from the disease. I couldn't/can't either. How do you "get over" being charged with incest and physical abuse? We have too many emotions; frustration, anger, anxiety, disbelief, justification, confusion, apprehension, to process at the same time.
I think we believe that, even though they no longer have the power of clear thinking, things like THAT would never come to their mind. Where DID those thoughts come from? We really don't understand the disease enough to know. We also would never expect, in ANY mental state, that our parents would think that we would ever do those things. For me, there was no way to add "humor" to this situation. I had to put my mother in an Alzheimer's facility. She physically attacked me the next time I saw her. The nurse had to pull her off me. I was devastated.

I've been very affected by it, causing me to loose sleep, doubt myself, loose my hair, etc. I pray a lot. Occasionally, I would become anxious the day before I was going to see her. My husband would encourage me to cancel the visit, just to calm down. At this phase, I would occasionally take an anti anxiety pill before a visit. That's how upset I was.

The only good thing is that this will pass. Your mom will progress into another phase of this rotten disease. In my case, my mom (now in stage 6) thinks I'm her sister. This is great because she always has lovely things to say to me. I play along. We sometimes talk about her daughter (me) and she tells me how much she hates her. I play along by asking why. She'll come off with some crazy story (her daughter stole her medicine and left for South America) and I just go along with it. She's not accusing "me", the person sitting in front of her. I can deal with that.

Please don't feel bad about not being able to let it go or not being able to have humor make it better. Everyone can only handle what they can handle in a way that works for them. Know that there are many of us like you out here.

Don't force yourself to visit so often. Listen to your body, it's telling you something. Heed its advise. Take extra care of yourself while dealing with your mom. Do anything you can to defuse the stress (yoga, exercize, music, therapy, meditation, warm baths, back or neck rub, reading, etc.) Keep active and keep talking on this forum. May God help you find a solution to your pain.

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