My Mother has dementia and constantly says someone is stealing her belongings. She also says that she was recently raped in her home. Is this normal?

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I agree with ALL of the above. Yes, it's not uncommon but, yes, you should bring it to the attention of your mother's doctor and the staff at the facility. For your own peace of mind ~ and your mother's. When I interviewed other sons & daughters, no one mentioned rape but many talked about their parent believing others were stealing from them. My mom never accused anyone of stealing but after she passed we found money and other things tucked in cushions, pockets of clothing, etc. Again, unfortunately, all part of the disease. I also strongly urge you, as someone did here, to join a support group. Always good to have others who are on this journey (or further along it) to support you ~ so you can support your Mom. Warm hugs !~ p.
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CJM
I know what you are going through. My Father thought the next door neighbour stole all his tools out of his basement. He has known this neighbour since he was 17 years old (40 years ago). He even phoned the police on him and was going to charge him. He screamed, yelled and swore at him to stay off his property. Now he regrets it as he found all the things he thought he had stolen. I found that the dementia sometimes causes them to hide things and make them hostile and hateful. Why, I do not know. As for the rape thing I agree with the others. Sounds like a cry for help and yes please get them to check her medication. I know what you are going through and wish you all the best.
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SUNNY: I completely agree with you. Live in THEIR world, and fix what you can as creatlvely as you can, while keeping a sense of humor. It is difficult to convince others that 'therapeutic lies' are necessary. My siblings didn't want to play along. They thought I was making matters WORSE, and that I was just flat out LYING to Mom! I never looked at it that way, I was just keeping the PEACE!

Even when they would call, they would tell Mom they would "see her soon". They thought this would give Mom "something to look forward to".... BUT... what they really did was get her all excited about them coming to visit that somtimes she would not SLEEP, or EAT.. and was constantly asked ME: "When are they going to be here?"

SO... to stop that I asked my brother to NOT say things like that. His reasoning was that he wanted Mom to know that he would visit as soon as he could. SO... I explained it to him in this way: I said: T... I am going to tell your grand-daughter that YOU are taking her to Disney World 'some day soon'. His response: DON"T YOU DARE... she will be asking me every ten minutes WHEN are we going PopPop? AHHHH... the shoe is ever so tight on the other foot!

I think he FINALLY understood why I didn't want him to say certain things to Mom. I know Mom isn't a child, but her pure and innocent needs were very childlike. How I miss her questions!

So BE creative, be inventive and eliminate any fears and doubts they have about a world around them that is always changing in ways they cannot understand.
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Never, ever say that it isn't so. It's real to them and it needs to be real to you too. You are increasing the anxiety and stress by not believing and disagreeing. Go along. They don't remember from one minute to the next. Tell them you're going to call the police and make out a report to get the thief arrested and then hide their bananas and leave returning with them like you got them at the store. This delusion will probably be replaced and another one started. Relax, have fun with it and get them to laugh too. Tell her you saw a monkey down the hall eating one of her bananas, he escaped from the zoo and was starving. She saved his life. Get the picture?
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My mother-in-law told me yesterday that the girls working at her asst. living place are stealing her bananas. When she first moved in there, it was her clocks, when I kept finding the 'stolen' clocks, now it's her bananas. She's eating more than she remembers, or hiding them whatever, but I have assured her that no one wants her stink'in bananas. She absolutely believes they are being stolen. Oh well....
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I know someone else who claimed she was raped. When I heard about it, I believed it. Then I heard that she had Alzheimer's.
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Hallucinations are all a part of the dementia. Normal for them so go along. This will relieve the anxiety. My Mom had many, many delusions. She was a prude all my life, but in her dementia she emptied the fridge in the middle of the night for her wild parties. We chased many a burgler out of the home in the middle of the night with clubs. It must have been a sight to see. Then both of us laughed and went back to bed. She had a 28 yr. old boyfriend for months. I had to make breakfast for him before he went to work. She was on no medicine. It's just a stage of the disease. Keep repeating, "This too shall pass." I hope this helps.
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Castoff: I COMPLETELY agree with you on the 'power of suggestion' We had to carefully monitor all of Mom's television watching, even the NEWs! I would carefully screen her 'shows' and every so often even "Little house on the Prairie" would upset her! She would talk incessantly about her 'mother' (after watching this show, and how she died, and all the bad things that happened on the prairie! *(My mother was a city girl).

The FOOD channel was a GREAT choice. (Mom was very thin and didn't like to eat too much) Whenever we watched cooking shows it seemed to improve Mom's appetite. That along with a bread machine going every day!! And a chicken or whatever else they were cooking in the oven seemed to help too!

Craft shows were also a hit and anything MUSICAL!! Thank GOD for DVD's and Lawrence Welk!! Mom would have a good night when we watched anything fun and musical! (We tried to do that alot!)

When our loved ones have dementia we think that they no longer 'understand' what they are watching, and that they won't remember what they saw anyway..... NOT TRUE. It seems 'negative images' or 'disturbing images' seem to stick with them even under the most innocent of circumstances!

At the nursing home, one day they had on animal planet, Big cat diaries!! MY GOODNESS... and it was right before dinner!! I said to the nurse that this was a very disturbing thing to watch before dinner and her response was: "they like to watch animals, see how they are rivetted to the set?" My response: "NO... they look like deer caught in headlights!!" And I got up and changed the channel! Geesh!

We tend to ignore just how powerful the mind is, yet even with diminished capacity, there are center areas of the brain that seem to 'hang on'. And that 'fight or flight' response is deeply rooted!

My advise: Listen to music (classical is good, or ragtime), avoid the news, watch humorous programs, avoid dramas, and if they are not eating well watch the FOOD CHANNEL!! Oh.. and bake some bread and bring it to them, or make it for them at home!

God bless!
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Oh you poor dear. This is hard for you I am sure. Everyone has different experiences with dementia. Tragically delusions, paranoia and hallucinations are behaviors some individuals have. This is a time when you really need to see a specialist and have medication management - a neuro psychiatrist would be my first recommendation followed by a neuologist.

Diane
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I agree with all of the above statements. But I would like to add that it might not hurt to actually have her check out to make sure that she is not being raped. To be on the safe side.
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