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She says I have taken her money whenever she is with her friends or strangers. I have asked her to not say untrue things, but she even asked a man to contact his attorney for her. How do I deal with this. She loses her purse and credit cards so can't be trusted with them. She was scammed out of $2000 on the phone before coming to live with me as her caretaker. I am feeling not appreciated and depressed as I do everything for her. She is sickly and 88 yrs old and I am her POA. I am afraid to have her out of my sight because of this now.

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I forgot to add, DO NOT let the bank make you a joint account holder. Her debts & credit problems will then become yours too, and you don't want that kind of thing to hurt your credit rating or for anyone to come after your money.
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Get your mom to an old-age specialist (geriatrics) and a neurologist immediately!! Tell the scheduler you're in a crisis situation and it needs to be ASAP.

Regular family doctors/GPs aren't trained on this stuff and can't help you much.
Doctors don't like to talk about or deal with anything they are uncomfortable with, so get her to someone who is trained.

Then you're going to have to educate yourself on dementia and what caretaking will mean. It eventually turns into a 24/7/365 supervised situation, where the person can't be left alone for any amount of time.

Call your area agency on aging. Just google for it and their info will come up. They can connect you to a LOT of help and support.

Time to take mom's money and credit cards away from her to stop the madness. If she *really* has to have "something", go to the bank with your POA papers and have them open a no-minimum checking account with a very low balance and spending limit on the debit card. She will probably have to be with you to do this, but I strongly recommend calling the bank ahead of time to explain what you need to do. Mom does not need to know ALL the details. Tell her the bank has a special account for people her age that protects her money, and she has to go sign something to get that. Whatever it takes.
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It isn't you who's paranoid! I agree that your mother is showing textbook symptoms of dementia. Document, document, document and grow a thicker skin. People who have any responsibilities towards your mother, if they know dementia, will check your records, be satisfied and sympathise with you; people who have no business knowing your family's business can think what they like; so that all you really need to do is "tell the truth and shame the devil."

For the feeling unappreciated and depressed side of things, I send you hugs. It is rough, it is sad, and it is worse because it's coming from your mother. Keep coming back to this forum and share your experiences. There is nothing like genuine fellow-feeling when it comes to moral support, and you will find that there is plenty here.
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Learning about and accepting Confabulating and Confabulations has been essential and not easy to accept.

In psychology, confabulation (verb: confabulate) is a memory disturbance, defined as the production of fabricated, distorted or misinterpreted memories about oneself or the world, without the conscious intention to deceive.

Key factors in confabulations are there is no intent to deceive, second the person being unaware that the information is blatantly false. Confabulating is distinct from lying because there is no intent to deceive, and the person being unaware that the information is blatantly false. Carers challenge: is what they say true?
Confabulations become a far greater concern in the later stages, because confabulations are much more likely to be acted upon.

It is difficult for everyone to accept a mind is damaged by Alzheimer's Disease. Not only is memory damaged their ability to process thoughts and conversations is impaired.

Confabulations are a major annoyance and can be dangerous- when we the take everything in a discussion at face value. Confabulating is very frequently observed in people with Alzheimer's.

We all Confabulate when we make..verbal statements and/or actions that inaccurately describe history, background and present situations unintentionally. We must be aware of information that is blatantly false yet are coherent, internally consistent, and appear relatively normal.

Understand the similarities between confabulation and delusions; e.g., both involve the production of unintentional false statements, both are resistant to contradictory evidence.

Recognize Sunrise Syndrome delusions that are frequently observed in Alzheimer's patients include beliefs about theft, the patient's house not being his home, a spouse, is an impostor, belief an intruder is in the house,abandonment, spousal infidelity, and paranoia. alzcompend/?p=293

It seems that Alzheimer's world is fraught with confabulation speak. The general public doesn't understand Alzheimer's they certainly need to be educated regarding Confabulation.

{Quotingtinyurl./qfutbn4 Nature Reviews Neuroscience }

"Most patients with spontaneous confabulation eventually stop confabulating."

"Confabulators may occasionally act upon their confabulation." ("Occasionally"? Later-stage Alzheimer's patients persistently and repeatedly act upon the belief their childhood memories are relevant to their present circumstances.)

"Confabulations are usually limited in time; they relate to the recent past, the present, and the future."

{End Quoting tinyurl/qfutbn4 Nature Reviews Neuroscience }

An aide/caregiver must understand the individual has Alzheimer's Disease, be aware of the danger, and treat the person with patience. Also, Confabulation is common. Conversing with someone who has Alzheimer's is often like talking with your cat.

Acknowledge, respond, be affectionate, develop boundless patience. Forget about rational responses. Show respect, your therapeutic fictional responses are allowed. ~{quoting}DLMifm}

To cope with spontaneous confabulation, and ease the confusion, frustration, and fear for the loved one, use resources such as:

By far, the most serious danger posed by Alzheimer's disease is when the individual may decide they want to go for a walk, go searching for "home," or maybe just walk outside to get the paper. In a restaurant they may go to a rest-room. When they turn around, the place they expect to see is gone. Their assurance they are Ok and can go on their own ?. may be a example of confabulation.

----

Alzheimer Society of Canada, tinyurl/oujghvy Toronto, Ontario, M4R 1K8

Hallucinations and delusions are symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. With hallucinations or delusions, people do not experience things as they really are.

Delusions are false beliefs. Even if you give evidence about something to the person with dementia, she will not change her belief. Forexample, a person with dementia may have a delusion in which shebelieves someone else is living in her house when she actually lives alone. Delusions can also be experienced in the form of paranoid
beliefs, or accusing others for things that have not happened. For example, the person with dementia may misplace an item and blame others for stealing it. Some people with dementia may have the delusion that others are "out to get them." For example, he may believe that his food is being poisoned.

Hallucinations are incorrect perceptions of objects or events involving the senses. They seem real to the person experiencing them but cannot be verified by anyone else. Hallucinations are a false perception that can result in either positive or negative experiences. Hallucinations experienced by people with dementia can involve any of the senses, but are most often either visual (seeing something that isn't really there) or auditory (hearing noises or voices that do not actually exist). For example, a visual hallucination could be seeing bugs crawling over the bed that aren't actually there. Of course, people also make “visual mistakes,� mistaking a housecoat hanging up for a person, for example, because they can’t see the object clearly. This can happen to anyone, and is not considered a hallucination.

-----

Definition of Alzheimer's Sunrise Syndrome

Internet description: cognitive instability on arising from sleep.

Sunrise Syndrome,(sun?riz) a condition in which a person with Alzheimer's wakes up rising in the morning and their mind is filled with delusions which include include beliefs about theft, the patient's house not being their home, a spouse is an impostor, belief an intruder is in the house, abandonment, spousal and paranoia, people
eavesdropping. Sometimes the person may carry over content of a dream.

One observation is that Sunrise Syndrome is different from Sundowning because the person may wake up in a confabulation mind set. During a Sunrise Syndrome conversation with the content may filled with confabulations; verbal statements and/or actions that inaccurately describe history, background and present situations.

Sundowning in contrast displays as confusion, disorientation, wandering, searching, escape behaviors, tapping or banging, vocalization, combativeness; the demons of anxiety, anger, fear, hallucinations and paranoia come out.

=== When I became a caregiver for my wife with Alzheimer's I had no clue to the tasks ahead. I started to read and search the Internet for information.

Now retired I enjoy blogging and networking. I am an Aggregator to Ishmael's Knowledge Network, I frequently collect content from various Internet sources and consolidate it on Ish's Knowledge Network tinyurl/4qqekc6 Knowledge networking is a pastime / hobby.BTW I have no commercial ties to the linked information.

Suggested reading Jennifer Ghent-Fuller's article, "Understanding the Dementia Experience" tinyurl/pzof7an

============

Sunrise Syndrome,(sun?riz) a condition in which a person with Alzheimer's wakes up rising in the morning and their mind is filled with delusions which include include beliefs about theft, the patient's house not being their home, a spouse is an impostor, belief an intruder is in the house, abandonment, spousal and paranoia, people eavesdropping. Sometimes the person may carry over content of a dream.

One observation is that Sunrise Syndrome is different from Sundowning because the person may wake up in a confabulation mind set. During a Sunrise Syndrome conversation with the content may filled with confabulations; verbal statements and/or actions that inaccurately describe history, background and present situations.

Sundowning in contrast displays as confusion, disorientation, wandering, searching, escape behaviors, tapping or banging, vocalization, combativeness; the demons of anxiety, anger, fear, hallucinations and paranoia come out.


Hallucinations and delusions are symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. With hallucinations or delusions, people do not experience things as they really are.

Delusions are false beliefs. Even if you give evidence about something to the person with dementia, she will not change her belief. For example, a person with dementia may have a delusion in which she believes someone else is living in her house when she actually lives alone. Delusions can also be experienced in the form of paranoid beliefs, or accusing others for things that have not happened. For example, the person with dementia may misplace an item and blame others for stealing it. Some people with dementia may have the delusion that others are "out to get them." For example, he may believe that his food is being poisoned.


Reliable Support by Experts for CareGivers A knowledge network for caregivers' from Organizations and Associations | Government Local, State, Federal, International as well as: Medical Centers, Hospitals, Schools and University's. Knowledge vital to Caregivers Dave Mainwaring's Knowledge-Network dandyfunk2.blogspot
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If you have siblings, keep them in the loop about mom's baseless allegations. This because, if others may inherit from mom, they have a dog in the fight. If it were me, I'd promise (and deliver) a twice-yearly full accounting of mom's finances. Full disclosure is your friend.

If you're an only and thus the only inheritor in mom's estate, I'd just correct her with something like, "Mom, that's not true..."

In either case, I would keep accurate banking records on mom's behalf. Anyone who is familiar with the elderly should understand.
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Blannie is spot on!
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Are you "paranoid" because of unfounded accusations, or because of what you fear might happen to her, especially physically if she's mobility compromised, subject to falls and in poor health?

If the latter, I think that's normal. Older people are so fragile and can have complex health issues. It's understandable that caregivers become anxious about responding to signs of illness or injury.
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Your mom sounds like she has dementia - those are classic, classic signs. Get her to a doctor for a mental health evaluation - preferably a neurologist. Tell her whatever you have to tell her to get her there. If she does have dementia, her brain is broken and she can't think straight, so trying to tell her to stop doing it is going to be frustrating and impossible.

Also go on Youtube and start watching Teepa Snow videos on dementia - I think you'll see your mom. You need to start helping her with an understanding of her mental condition, once you get her diagnosed. Good luck and keep us posted!
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