My 94-year-old mum is totally convinced that my brother is stealing her things...What can I do?

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Getting worse now after a steady build up over a few years. It's usually every day things of no value.

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You don't mention what your mother's impairments are, and why she needs a caregiver.

Believing that people (or a specific person) are stealing one's thing is a very common phenomenon in dementia. The person misplaces something. The paranoia and confusion that go with dementia make them conclude that it has been stolen. Often the person will react by hiding her things. Then she not only forgets where she hid them, but forgets that she hid them at all. So, there is another item that was "stolen."

If this is dementia, there is no reasoning Mom out of it. "Why would anyone steal a box of tissues and leave your nice watch just sitting there?" means nothing to a person with dementia. She is in her own world. She may agree that stealing a box of Kleenex is dumb, but she will still believe it happened.

Instead of trying to reason with her, try being sympathetic and reassuring. "Oh Mom! Your full box of tissues is missing? That is a real shame. I don't think I moved them but I suppose I could have absent-mindedly. I'll bet they'll show up in some odd place. Brother? Oh, I don't think he'd need to take yours, but maybe he had a drippy nose. In any case I'll buy some more when I shop for you tomorrow."

Don't agree that someone stole the item, but don't argue about it being stolen. Often these people have just a few hiding places and once you discover them you can find the missing item quickly.

Does Mom have other signs of dementia? Has she been diagnosed? A thorough medical check up might be in order now.
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Oh dear.

Does your brother live with your mother at her home?
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