Coping with my aunt (85).


My aunt has dementia and it is getting worse. I am getting burned out. Her big thing is I am stealing her money which is very untrue I try proving it to her but still doesn't believe me. Boy stress is killing me

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Teep, Jeanne's advice was excellent. My mother has only accused two times of stealing something. I simply told her that I would never do that. It was truthful and I think reassuring. This may work with your aunt. There are different things that can work, depending on the personality.

I often have to help find articles that have been misplaced. Fortunately, I don't get accused of stealing them, but I can see how easily that can happen. It is easier to think that someone else is at fault than the faculties are failing. That is a scary thought to a person with dementia.

I am glad you are there for your aunt. It is nice how these things work out. She was there for you and now you're helping her. I do hope it doesn't get too hard. You've come to a good place for advice and talking about things.

She has had dementia about 4 years now. She is like my mom then an aunt. I have lived with her since leaving my exhusband 42 years ago. Things are getting worse. She no longer can cook,shower alone( she has to be told what to do next) and has severe COPD.they have never really told me what kind she has.

Oh Teep, this brings back unhappy memories. I HATED it when my husband went through a paranoia phase and accused me of stealing from him. It might sound crude, but Eddie is right. There is no value in arguing with someone who has dementia or other cognitive impairments. Logic doesn't matter to them.

Try to treat it like other delusions. Acknowledge Aunt's feelings and fears. Be supportive. Try to redirect the conversation. I know perfectly well this isn't easy and sometimes it doesn't work. But it is still the best approach I could come up with.

Is she accusing you of stealing money -- messing with her accounts, etc? When my husband did that I'd say, "Oh I'm so sorry that you are worried about our accounts. I'll get you the last few statements to review. When you find some entries that bother you I'll help you look into them. He would "study" the statements (sometimes with them literally upside down) until he got bored and went on to something else. Might something like that work with your aunt?

If it is things that have gone missing, use the same approach. "Oh Auntie! I am so sorry to hear that your lovely case for your glasses is missing. I know how much you like that. I haven't seen it lately, but let me help you look for it. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can spot something easier. While I'm looking, would you like to see this new magazine that just came?"

I don't predict perfect results. Just do your best. Here are some things that may help you stay a little calmer:

It isn't about you. This is a very common phase in dementia. People with lots of different kinds of dementia go through this. It is not about anything you did or could have done differently. It really isn't personal about you!

It will pass. My husband's accusations lasted several weeks. I honestly don't know how I would have survived it if they had continued indefinitely. Assure yourself that "this too will pass."

People with dementia tend to be a bit suspicious. They can't rely on their own memories of what happened, and that is scary to them. Some hide their valuables so the bad guys won't take them. Then they can't remember where they hid them or even that they did hide them, and that seems to confirm that there is someone bad taking things. Sigh. They tend to use the same hiding places, so once you find the eye-glass-case behind the soup cans, that is where you should look for the silver pen and the best scissors, too!

If you'd like more specific comments, please tell us more about your situation. Do you live with Aunt? How long has she had dementia? Do you have any idea what kind she has? What is your role in her life?

Welcome to the forums.

Please tell us a little more. How did you come to be taking care of your aunt?

Thing might sound a bit crude, but don't argue with crazy. You'll never win.

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