Can dementia cause a person to hoard medications and then accuse family members of stealing them?

Follow
Share
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
24

Answers

Show:
1 2 3
I took care of my Father for 3 years till he pasted, he had dementia near the end. It inspiered me to become a CNA, (certified Nurse's Aide) and a CDP (Certified Dementia Practitioner). I Now care for others in there homes. Hording is a common symptom of dementia, but the agitation that this all causes the patient can be helped with certain med's. You need to talk to a Geriatric DR. about all the symptoms. They may be able to help.
With one of my clients we found only giving her money just before we left the house to do shopping helped with still giving her the independence to pay for things yet not giving her so much money that she could hid it away. Just enough for that days shopping. Always remember that an outburst now will be forgotten in ten minuets. Also by de-cluttering drawers and closets, or jewelry boxes, (but do it with the help of the patient) will make it easier to find things when they do hid them.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

There was no redirecting Mom when she got on a roll accusing someone of stealing, or carrying on about her version of paranoid politics and paranoid religion....got her tossed of senior bus, got the PD involved, alienated people, pretty ugly.

There were times when she flew into a rage thinking I had stolen one of her glass pan lids---all I did was keep repeating "not THIS lid, Mom."
Then she finally went to her room, rummaged in her hoarded piles, and found HER lid...then a bit later, was in the kitchen again, getting something from her shelves, and muttered "I hate it when that happens"
--NOT an apology, mind you, but it was the closest thing she ever gave to one. ...I merely stated "so do I, Mom." very quietly.
She went to her room, and isolated the rest of the day.
She always knew when she had hurt someone, or behaved badly, and she felt terrible about it--but had a hard time apologizing to whoever she hurt.
She would frequently call on the phone, and tell me she thot she had hurt someone badly by saying something, never telling what she'd said pr done--just needing someone to take confession----It took many years to learn she never wanted me to contact that person to tell them how bad she felt for hurting them, only just hear her confession!
Another time, she was having an epic rage, about stolen money, then about having given me so much money, and hadn't she "given [me] $25,000!?"
I told her, "no, Mom," and proceeded to get the envelope from the drawer, still sealed and signed by her--so she could open it, and see it was only $2500.
She took that to her room, looking confused, but no longer raging.
[[understand, she "disappeared" about $200K in about a year, by taking it out of the distrusted banks, burying it, giving it to strangers, buying junk to hoard, and giving it to my siblings]]
Unfortunately, she got my siblings to believe her accusations that she'd given so much money to me, and she [and my sibs] will probably go to her grave believing I ripped her off----because they had gotten so much, and more, from her, they still seem unable to believe Mom treated me so differently from them.

It happens. I understand why. It doesn't help it feel better.
The poison of her behaviors and accusations do not go away, especially since siblings believe them, megaphone them at me too...then wonder why I do not want to contact them!?
Mom's been a complicated piece of work all her life--even her mother wrung her hands and worried who would take care of Mom when Gma was no longer around to do it.
There's plenty my siblings do not know [or seem not to!] since I am the eldest.
They do not seem to want to know, either.
They will figure out something eventually, since they chose to move her to one of their homes--she can barely manage to appear fairly "normal" [for her], for a couple months or few, then starts devolving into what one sibling calls "her moods".
Mom's dementia symptoms came on early [in her 40's to 50's?] and developed slowly---her mental ills, substance abuse and brain injuries came first, having some characteristics of dementia--so it was very hard to tell when the mental ills and brain injuries left off, and dementia took over.

It is virtually impossible to try to re-orient someone with dementia to reality--it simply does not exist for them.
Redirecting them to some other subject, having them touch plants while talking about them, or anything else that breaks that rant and turns their attention to something else, is also a pretty good tactic.
Arguing with them is almost always a fail.

It can be hard to avoid letting the verbal barbs stab us to the quick.
It is important to take special care of getting the support you need as a caregiver, to prevent being shattered by these kinds of conditions.

Take care!
{{{hugs!}}}


.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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 & a hallmark of dementia. Medication can make things smoother but will not change the terminal nature of this disease.

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. It's never easy no matter how you do it,

Lynmac - Dementia = evil evil demon, love that!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Sure! Or even take them and not remember. Dementia is an evil evil demon.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My dad would think he took his medicine when he didn't and then get upset with me for asking him if he took his meds. What really got me was when I found him pouring robitussin cough syrup on his bread like it was gravy. I had to put the top on so tight so he couldnt get it off any more. He is now in the nursing home where he gets his medicine on time. Dad also had money hid in the house and I am yet to find it, he was also throwing things away and giving things away. There is no telling where it is or if it is even still around. Dementia is a disease that is unpredictable and sad, the people we once knew are not he same. I have learned that arguing or contradicting them only makes things worse. Good luck, and keep us posted.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Are you kidding?! It causes everything, I think! I'm struggling with my mother because she is hiding her used Depends! I just had a very difficult day with her. She hasn't accused me of taking anything, but nothing would surprise me. She's a hoarder and it's mostly paper. If it has any kind of writing on it, she keeps it. She also keeps plastic bags and any kind of container that is aluminum with a plastic top (think coffee cake).

My husband, my brother and a wonderful friend just got my parents moved into assisted living (thank God) and you wouldn't believe all the places I found used panty liners (the kind for incontinence). And she's got the ones she hasn't used everywhere, too!

My parents had been living in a retirement community and my Dad was pretty sharp until he got shingles and then fell and had to go to the ER. I was fortunate that we already had a place for them in assisted living, but NOW I'm discovering how bad things were. I used to get upset with my Dad for not doing a better job with my Mom because I'd meet them for lunch and she would have stains all over the same blouse she'd been wearing the last time I saw them. Now I realize how difficult it was for him. I could go on and on.

I'm kind of dumping here because I'm worn out right now, but I just wanted you to know that anything is possible. If it seems over the top, then it's dementia. I guess it could be medication but by now they are getting all kinds of things to keep them going. Just do your best, try to be reassuring and don't feel guilty. Your family member is fortunate to have someone who cares!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Do you have a way to disconnect/unplug the stove or oven? I finally had to go and pull the breakers in the fuse box to keep Mom from burning the house down.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Dementia will cause all kinds of crazy behavior and decisions. Expect the unexpected! My Mom actually sneaked into my room when I wasn't home and planted money under my bed ($30 in rolled pennies) and then accused me of stealing them!

By the way, Mom *thinks* she has millions of dollars in the bank - when in fact she has no clue how close to disaster and bankruptcy she is, and we can't tell her without starting WW3.

I'm sure we'll be accused of stealing "all her millions" when the truth is she's the one who's been spending what she has like a drunken sailor.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My dad was always losing his wallet, hiding it, etc. We got a chain attached it to the wallet and clipped it to a belt loop. Worked great. Now my mother has Alz but I don't know if she hides things since she lives alone but she does misplace things all the time. She did lose her glasses several months ago, ordered a new pair, then found the others a few months later in the rose bushes, Lol!!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Yes, dementia = odd behaviors and confusion. So, yes, anything is possible!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

1 2 3
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions