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Healthcare workers, lawn men, visitors.y She is moving alot of things around and then forgetting wear she moved them, thus she thinks people are stealing. This takes up about 80 percent of of time. Is this common and what do you do? I cannot reason with her that people do not want to steal her pencils, Bible, vases, etc. This all started about 4 months ago and it's getting worse.

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My 92year old mother watches tv but thinks people are talking directly to her. She smiles and talks back at the tv. Not sure how to respond to this behavior. Any suggestions?
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My 92 year old mother watches tv but thinks the people on tv are talking directly to her. Not sure how to relate to this.
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At 90 you can pretty well say that she has dementia. She could also have a nasty UTI which makes things worse. Are there any gerontologists that she can go to see to be evaluated as to what type of dementia and where she might be on the scale?I've found that most MD's are trained and focused on curing and that for them dementia is just so opposite to deal with as it doesn't get better after 10 days of antibiotics. The stealing accusations are super common - these are "false beliefs" and totally real to them and no amount of talking to them is going to change their belief. You just have to figure out what works for you and also if it is to the point that it is a safety and security issue for mom such that she need to be in a facility or other more supervised situation.

On retrospect my mom had dementia related paranoia, issues with language and difficulty with familiar tasks since 2005. To this very day on a good day, she appears lucid, knows who people are, can carry on conversations, can get dressed and potty on her own most of the time, she is ambulatory with a free standing walker. She’s in her 90’s too. But if you talk with her past the 2 – 3 minute conversation most people do with the elderly, it is totally scary……animals who appear in the corner, gypsy children who live in the building, amputee roommate stole her TV, poison in the rice, and she is always being robbed. It is all real to her

With my mom, who probably has Lewy Body Dementia, misplacing things was/is a big issue. When she was in IL, she would hide stuff in flashlights, then go into a fury that she had been robbed and would call the police and file reports. Her paranoia got to the point where she called a nephew to take her to the bank so she could withdraw all her money as “they were trying to become her”. She would cut off the tops of empty Kleenex boxes and nest them within each other BUT she would hide “important” stuff within the layers. Then when she couldn’t find the $, travelers checks or family picture, she would call the police. When she went to lunch or an activity, “they” would go to her apt (when she was in IL) or to her room (at the LTC she is in now) and would use it as an office or hold meetings there because her room has the “special light”. Spooky!

Mom totally believes this is happening. There is no way to convince her that it is a “false belief”. This is so common. What is a real problem is if people fall for what she says - at the SNF she is in now they are used to it so not so much of an issue. Imho how to deal with it really needs to be what works best for you. They aren’t going to change their perception.How I handle it, is to say “You know mom, that isn’t happening” and then talk about her clothes and hand her an article of clothing or talk about a plant and have her touch it, if we are outside in the patio; about ½ the time she moves on. (Having her touch something helps break from the belief) But if she doesn’t and she is just fixed on harping on & on about “what they stole”, then I say “I’m not going to talk about that as it isn’t happening and if you bring it up again, I’m going to need to leave” and if she does, then I leave. I know that doesn’t sound very kum-ba-ya, but if she is just fixated on it, there won’t be any other conversation and all it does it get her super agitated and anxious. The next time I go, she doesn’t even remember anyway. Good luck.
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Thanks for your information.
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Yes, this is very common in dementia, and no, you cannot reason with her. This is her new reality, and she has lost/is losing the reasoning power to deal with it.

Sympathize with her, and help her solve her problem. "Oh my, your nice gold pen is missing? I'm so sorry to hear that. Perhaps it has been misplaced instead of stolen. Let me have a thorough look around." Once you discover her favorite hiding places this may not be as hard as it sounds. "Oh I am so sorry that things keep going missing here. I'm going to report this to the police department, in case they have other households experiencing this." (Dial the recorded weather message.) The idea is to let her know that you care about her being upset, and that you will try to help her.

While you are calming her down during these paranoid episodes, it is also important to get to the source of the problem. It does sound like dementia. What doctors has she seen so far? Is she seeing a dementia specialist?
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