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

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Yes. Hiding things and accusing people of stealing them is something that happens quite often in the mid stages of dementia. Very often there is a certain place where the things are hidden. If you can discover the place, you can tell the person that it was probably just lost, then go find it for them. Sometimes the secret hiding place is hard to find. I've heard of cases where people even took things outside to hide them. If you watch secretly, you might be able to figure out where the hoards are. The hiding and accusations are caused by the disease, so I hope you can let them just roll off your back, no matter how much it hurts.
BTW, the hiding is medications is perhaps done because they are paranoid someone will steal them. Then with short-term memory loss, they forget they hid them. So their fear that someone will steal their drugs is realized, even if they stole them from themselves. Retrieving the medications from the hiding place "unsteals" them. They had just been misplaced. Everyone saves face.
Thank you JessieBelle, this is all new to us, what is really happening is she has been for months saying her granddaughter is stealing her pain pills,money, jewelry then it was her granddaughters boyfriend, then it was her daughter and her husband stealing them. She was calling me all hours of the night telling me all kinds of stuff, then she would call back tell me she found the pills in her room, purse and other places. Never saying sorry to anyone. then it all starts over a week later and this is still going on. It is causing problems with everyone, everyone is on edge not knowing what to do or say. So today i called her daughter and told her about our talks and what she is saying. Her daughter talked to her father and they then told her what I said. I guess she started screaming, yelling all kinds of cus words at me for talking to her daughter about it. Said i was lying about all of it. I am wondering when its time to talk to her doctor. She was just diagnosis with dementia this week.
rognet, I don't think the doctor is going to be able to anything about this hiding/accusing behavior, but it is something to add to your journel to inform the doctor of before your next appointment.

What you and your family members need to be talking about is that this behavior is totally in character with the disease your loved one has. This is Not Her Fault. It is also not the fault of her granddaughter, the boyfriend, her daughter, etc. etc. It is the fault of defective processing in her brain.

Then, when everyone is on board that this is a disease feature, you can talk about how to handle it. Generally it is useful to be sympathetic, to difusse the accusations as well as possible, and to find or replace the missing items. "Oh, I am so sorry that your lovely robin's nest broach is missing! I've always liked that pin. You must feel terrible. I'm pretty sure that Granddaughter wouldn't take that from you, because I know she likes you a lot, but let me ask her if she might have seen it and maybe moved it. Then I'll come over tomorrow and help you look for it."

This is a HUGE learning process for all concerned. The more you all can learn about what to expect with dementia the more you'll be able to take these dreadful developments in stride.

Best wishes to you all.

Yep, unfortunately my 93 y.o. mom has mild cognitive impairement - but I've read enoiugh books on the subject to know hiding things is one of the many symptoms of dementia. Then they accuse peope of stealing what they hid.
As jeannegibbs said, learning about the disease so that you understand what is "normal" in that sense will help everyone to deal with it. Unfortunately, it is rare that anything can be fixed, rather learning to live with it and work with it is key. Is there an Alzheimer's Disease (AD) group in your area that you can join? Look online - I'm sure there is something. We have a wonderful group in my area - they offer a caregiver's class periodically that is suitable for every family member and friend who is involved in your loved one's life - additionally, we have support groups and even a social group. Another thing is to never stop questioning. My sister was diagnosed with AD over three years ago and we saw some rather abrupt changes in her recently. We learned the medical community advises that you "never assume it is the dementia" when you see sudden or drastic changes. We revisited her neurologist and some scans have been ordered. We'll see where this leads. (Just FYI because I know if I was reading this I would ask if we've not taken her to the doctor for over three years and the answer is she's seen regularly by the group as well as her MD but hadn't had a neurology workup in a year or so because she was fairly stable.) Try to stay open and flexible and practice some creative thinking! Good luck!
I am guessing that people with dementia are obsessed with their "pills". My Mom takes hers after she drinks her coffee and breakfast bar and when I set it down on her little table "Don't I have some pills to take?" I say "Yes, they are right beside your coffee". Then she will say she doesn't see them. Later, I may find one on the floor in her rocking chair or under it. It is just hard to say where they will show up. I try to let her do some things by herself, but I guess I am going to have to start standing over her when it comes to the medicine. And, the hiding thing, yes that sure does go with it. I am finding simple things of mine are coming up missing. Just things that I use that she knows takes me out of the house for awhile. I guess she figures if I can't find what I need, then I will stay in and not go out. She has gotten to the point of wherever I go, if she thinks it is too long, she will follow me. Grrrrrrrrrrrr! And, yes to the bathroom! LOL! Please let us know how things are going and my best to you.
oh yes...the hiding, hoarding AND has done it all. I can't recall how many purses I've bought her in the last 3 years and they all "disappear"..just like her shoes and other clothing items. I've walked into the NH to find her wearing MEN"S clothes that she would have had to get from a male resident's room. She wanders into all rooms and "takes" things thinking they are hers. She has been wearing somebody's watch for 4 weeks now. I told the nurses and aides that she doesn't own a watch and maybe they could get it back to the rightful owner but she is still wearing it. When I ask her where she got it, she say's she went shopping and bought it. lol Isn't life grand? EVERY day is new and every day brings another problem, arguement, etc....but those very RARE occassions when during one minute, something "positive or good happens" is what I look forward to.
My grandma used to accuse me when I was a young teen of stealing money. Then she would steal things out of my room to punish me for the imaginary crime. She once accused me of stealing her dentures! Mom finally found them stuffed down her bra. When she died, the found thousands of dollars hidden in cushions, drawers, books, etc.-and years old candy bars hidden with them! Very common.

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