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My elderly mother is in assisted living and suffers from dementia, delusions, and paranoia and other ailments.
Last night my mom called yelling at me about me conspiring against her to have her killed. I called her today- she asked me what I wanted and hung up on me.

Last week she accused me of stealing her checks and money.

She thinks my dad put rattlesnakes under her bed to have her killed.

She thinks my dad is having an affair with a 90 year old woman in assisted living.

Little men are hiding under her bed and in the closet and bathroom...

She seems to be getting worse and it's very depressing. Any advise for getting her to be kind and loving to me?

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Linda, you may get more response if you start yourown thread. This thread is about a year and a half old and many people have probably stopped following it by now. See the box on the right side of this screen that says "ask other caregivers your question?" Type your question in that box and submit it.
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my mom has dementia alzeimers. My poor dad is the one on the end of her downright cruelty, At times she accuses him of cheating, she's suspicious, mean & paranoid all directed to her caregivers and my dad. She thinks her caregivers want to kill her. Also she can't distinguish her dreams (really bad ones usually) from reality. Any way Any way I can help from a distance? She may live 10 hrs away but Im the one she wants when she wants me and I want to be there. My blood pressure is severely high and i just dont know how to handle this. I talk to her but she goes off on the most bizzare things. Says she can trust me. Should I agree with her, tell her she knows its not true and risk her anger? Its breaking my heart for her and my dad. I miss them terribly. Until recently they lived 5 miles from me. She hated her home so she had to get out of there. longer story then I care to get into. She's happy iit's sold. Some days not often she has love in her voice and sounds normal. She says she has to stop being so my to your father but she keeps doing it. She's so hard to understand when she talks these days. My thoughts are rambling and I apologize Im very tired. thank you for listening!
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my mom has dementia alzeimers. My poor dad is the one on the end of her downright cruelty, At times she accuses him of cheating, she's suspicious, mean & paranoid all directed to her caregivers and my dad. She thinks her caregivers want to kill her. Also she can't distinguish her dreams (really bad ones usually) from reality. Any way Any way I can help from a distance? She may live 10 hrs away but Im the one she wants when she wants me and I want to be there. My blood pressure is severely high and i just dont know how to handle this. I talk to her but she goes off on the most bizzare things. Says she can trust me. Should I agree with her, tell her she knows its not true and risk her anger? Its breaking my heart for her and my dad. I miss them terribly. Until recently they lived 5 miles from me. She hated her home so she had to get out of there. longer story then I care to get into. She's happy iit's sold. Some days not often she has love in her voice and sounds normal. She says she has to stop being so my to your father but she keeps doing it. She's so hard to understand when she talks these days. My thoughts are rambling and I apologize Im very tired. thank you for listening!
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I think your mum needs medication for the paranoia and delusions. I have been through a couple of months of this getting worse and worse. Sugar levels certainly will affect mood. My mother's paranoia seems to be age related. I don't think reassurance, though a good thing in itself, will halt what is happening. Your mother is suffering from some illnesses and may not get back to be the same loving person she once was. Her doctor needs to know what s happening and he may prescribe something to calm her down.

lynne - I am so glad that you are feeling better. I am since the phone calls have stopped. It makes a big difference. Don't visit unless or until you are feeling up to it. Geriatric hillbilly lol! Go for it. I have agreed to be involved in decisions, at arm's length, but cannot see her right now.
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So many similar stories on this site. My mother, 88, is in a NH with Parkinsons, stroke, dementia and delusions. The dementia is pretty much full blown now. A narcissist, she's always had delusions of grandeur - a bigger fancier house, a new expensive car and so on, all just out of reach but if she kept on dreaming and harping on about whatever it was she'd get it. Of course when/if she got those things they wouldn't be quite good enough and she'd be obsessed with getting something grander. With the dementia it's become 100+ times worse and I don't visit very often. She insists I go get "it all" for her and gets really nasty. She can no longer sit up, walk or stand alone so of course ever living alone again is impossible.

Fortunately I take after my father (RIP) who grew up the eldest of 6 during the great depression, honest, hard working and frugal. These days I live in a tiny cottage on 2 acres with my dogs/cats, starting to grow some of my own food and living a simple lifestyle. I refer to myself as a geriatric hillbilly lol

The NH is lovely, wonderful caring staff, some been there 30 years, and there's a hospital 4km away. Due to having a TIA from years of stress a couple of weeks ago I've had no choice but to back away - even changed my phone number to get peace from the daily screaming tantrums. With lots of rest and sleep I'm starting to feel better.
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is your mom a diabetic? my mom has vascular dementia and type II diabetes. she is just beginning to have paranoid episodes. we check her for UTI each time, but that hasn't been it. her sugar was high this last time and meds needed to be adjusted. i am beginning to see a link between brain and sugar. hang in there. a lot of good suggestions above - especially about helping your mom get back in the driver's seat. i've read that there is an underlying emotion that sets off the episodes, usually insecurity or fear.
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Soo sorry to hear this and I know exactly how your feeling since I thought you were talking about my own mother. I can say that the best way to treat them is as if they are a child. Play games tell her lets take a walk. Let her tell you stories of the past if she remembers them. If she gets upset, DISTRACT her, mom I need your help with something. Tell her her accusations are not true and she means the world to you and change subject quick to "Is it raining?, Did I see a cardinal, lets have ice cream. Do Not remind her of any mistakes she makes if something sets her off put it on a list. My mom loves to look in magazines over and over, I dont know what she gets from it even though she used to be an avid reader. Her good days are your good days.
I will pray for you too.
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Check under her bed. Secure her that there is nothing under her bed. Follow along with what she says is bothering her and reassure her that everything is alright. Have her do a check-up at a Mental Health Institution. Your mother is having a reaction to one or a combination of the medicines prescribed to her. Have her physician spread her medicines apart, but do not stop the prescription for she will begin having withdrawals and show bad side-affects from the medicine stoppage.
You will need to talk to mom's physician and learn of her daily needs against her daily habits. Mom should become better if she is comforted and feels loved by her children.
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There should be someone in charge of her care, her DPOA? If its you, talk to her neurologist. I agree with everyone else, a urinary infection causes this also but I would talk to the Dr. My Mom went through this and was put on depakote sprinkles, you might want to ask the doctor about this medication as an alternative to antipsychotics, which arent very safe for some. Its a stage, they dont want to act like they are, its the disease , not them. They dont want to feel this way either, you will be amazed how good they will feel once calmed down on a small dose of medication. Dont take anything personally, its not them talking.
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Yeah they always hurt the ones they love. Reminds me of how some women will be so nice to men who abuse them but treat the decent men like crap. I can always become verbally abusive and indifferent - then she would probably treat me better. So weird - but it is not in me to be abusive or mean and that is why I am here instead of one of the other children.
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You need to speak to her doctor about first checking to see if she has a UTI or any type of infection and get her meds to help her. If that is not the case, then you need a change in her medication to tone this down. I am currently going through the same thing with my Mom.

Lastly let me just tell you this, the more you are around and the more you are the person helping them, the more you become the brunt of their anger. I personally care for my mother 24/7 and have for 8 years, giving up my life and livelihood. I have two sisters and one lives with us but they do nothing, I am not kidding, nothing. She treats them as though they were royalty and I am Cinderella lying in the ashes. It really hurts!!!
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thank you for all the replies it does help to know that we have our own experiences yet knowing they can all be different
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My mom has told people in diners that I take her money . She has threatened to sue me, turn me in for child abuse ( my ONLY child is 28 and lives 2 hrs away) Has told me I am horrible..I just have to stop an think back to the MOM she used to be an try like hell to over look the mom she is now.
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I've read many accounts here of families that went through a period of intense negativity at a certain stage in their parent's illness, but that time has passed now. From my own experience, I know my dad is very different when he's taking his medications than when he isn't. (We went through a period where he was so furious with me that he wouldn't even meet my eyes when we were within a few feet of each other. And he had always been a very loving father. Scary time, but it did pass, with proper medication and time.)

It's important to recognize what's still there in your mom that is positive, even if it's only a glimmer, and express your love for her, even when she can't express hers for you. It's still in there, and while it's likely she won't get her memory back, her formerly loving self may yet emerge, even if it's only in brief flashes.
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Welcome to the world of dementia. If you expect your kind, loving mother back, forget it. What you are seeing and hearing is what it will be like until she has no more voice. Just realize she is going through hell with this disease, and you are not to blame, so stop expecting her to come back to "normal".
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Read "The 36 hr day" (johns Hopkins medical community) and you will learn that this is very universal behavior as part of dementia. I've been through everything you stated, delusions, accusations, stealing, lying, trying to make mom think she is crazy. I used to be angry, hurt, and finally realized from others posts and reading more about the disease realized it was "normal" .

I'm hear to tell you, don't take it personally, don't try to set the record straight...you know the truth, keep good records, etc. I was more hurt by relatives who would call and repeat the misinformation as if I was suspect. I would set the story straight and was more hurt that they would believe such stories--finally, I would reply " well, uncle Ted, when you visit mom or if you call mom, you'll understand what I'm dealing with..." ....well they never call, visit, send a card, so I don't take their calls anymore.

Just re-direct your parent as best you can, or let them go off on you, take a deep breath and just reply "mom, I love you, I would never steal from you...let me help you find X, let's look together". It doesn't always work, and my mom might accuse me of the same infraction for several weeks or months and then we move on. She once got so bad, she called the police but wasn't coherent enough so they couldn't get her to press charges.

They lose or misplace things, they only remember you being with them and they accuse whoever is nearest or most recent.

Know you and the accusatory person is not alone.
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I agree with the geriatric psychiatrist. My mother does not have dementia but has worsening paranoia. In the past an antipsychotic helped quite a bit then she stopped taking them. She is in psychiatric hospital and they are trying them again. With paranoia they live with so much fear. If something calms them it is better to use it. She will not comply and is certified now so they are looking at ways to get them into her. Good luck. I know the accusations are horrible.
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If you can, find a geriatric psychiatrist for your mom. This is probably causing her to suffer as well, and it's not necessary. Antidepressants and antipsychotic meds can help a lot, as long as she will comply with when she needs to take them. Good luck, and take care of yourself.
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hadenough and Kevin, the suspicions and anger are unfortunately part of the disease. And, too often other family member will jump on the bandwagon when false accusations are made by the declining parent. One of my sibs calls on occasion when mom is in the throes of sundowning and will spout off her suspicions and accusations of me. Then sis will ask if she is alone and can you talk, well if they are there go somewhere you can be alone to talk. Mom would do all these things and sis, not understanding the disease would believe everything she was told. Ignorance I suppose is preferable to her rather than acknowledgement that her mother is quite I'll. Denial is a wonderful tool and used often by siblings unwilling to assist. Educating themselves would be wonderful, but then they would have to substitute the denial tool with something much more useful. Many just prefer to staying their denial, it is a safer place for them where they do not need to experience the emotion and grief that comes with acknowledgment of the disease. And by putting off the reality of it all it will only become more difficult as the disease progresses, as we all know, and sometimes more quickly than others.
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It is so very hard but it does give comfort to know that you are not alone. Personality changes, usually for the worse, happens with dementia. The hardest part for me was to get the family all on the same page because they would believe the nonsense that my Mother was spouting. She would call them in the middle of the night saying that I was not home (I was sleeping in the room next to her) and they would believe her. Now it has been almost 3 long years since I have been my Mothers caregiver and my sibs now know the score. They do not want to do this job so they pretty much leave me alone - I feel very isolated and alone most of the time. Because of this site I have found that it is not unique to me as a caregiver and that gives me a little bit of serenity. When my mums gets crazy I just go into the role of caregiver and not daughter. I lost my Mom about 5 years ago due to dementia so it does get easier with time. I just miss having a Mom.
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Kevin11, one comfort that eventually will sink in, I believe, is that you are not alone in this experience of accusation, suspicion and insult from your elderly loved ones. I tell my mom that she cannot help how she is, because of the disease of her brain, I sometimes mention the word she detests. And as she is proud that she is a Christian I would tell her, That spirit is not of Christ. After three months she seems to have been healed of that horrible manner of expressing her distrust and other horrible verbal manifestations of Alzheimer's. She gets angry yet for no cause, but not in a destructive fury. Often kisses and hugs make her mellow. I have noticed that she feels strengthened in her animosity against me when others are around. I just have to accept that. She is not to be isolated for my comfort. Just make sure you have something to keep your mind healthy and uplifted.
I have a huge yard that grows weed so fast, my mind quickly shifts to doing something about it. I am learning to love God as He does love me, even though my mother does not. She cannot help it. I believe with this horrible disease and using brain-nourishing foods, training her like training a young child can still have effect.
My mother has always practiced natural lifestyle, and I respect that. Even though she now cannot decide for herself, I will maintain her lifestyle and not administer chemicals to her. I am happy that she is responsive to how with prayer I approach her.God bless you with strength. And I hug you for you need to know that you are not alone.
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More than likely this is just a part of the disease process and unless the doctor is willing to try some anti-psychotics on your mom, there is little that can be done for her. Try (I know this is hard) not to take any of this personally. It is your mom's face and body, but not her mind that you knew and loved. Dementia has taken over and there is nothing that you can do except try to understand the course this disease takes...it's not your mom.
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this is extremely difficult. I have joined a support group as I have now reached point that I know my Mom is fading. It is important to check meds and other issues such as UTI and keep your Doctor aware. for me my Mom seems to be filled with anger.
I think it is also important to really understand the disease and keep your own personal balance and well being as we all have families and spouses that still need us, it is so easy to become consumed with the disappointment and our own sorry and pain, wondering what more can we do. the worse is making decisions when money is running out and knowing that soon the beautiful state of the art ALF is no longer in the budget and care will have to transferred to the state. I am single and only sibling available still working full time and where has my retirement gone.. thanks for listening
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Definitely get her doctor involved. .to try meds or change them. Try to remember it is the disease talking..your parents have no control..so You are the parent now. Check out Teepa Snow online. She has some very helpful ideas and info. Understanding the disease will give you strength.
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Definitely check out the UTI and consult in detail with the medical doctor caring for your mother. Research her medications carefully - your pharmacist can often provide a more accurate picture of any possible interactions than anyone on the team. Doctors just don't always know the interactions so a double check with the pharmacist would be good
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This is a horrible disease as it robs everyone involved of valuable time, and causes resentment in some cases. You have to remember and I know it is extremely hard at times but they didn't choose to have this disease. There are a couple of things that you may want to look into. One have her meds re-accessed as they may need to be changed, the other is have her checked for a UTI as this can alter their behavior as well. Keep in mind that they do have episodes especially in the evenings as this is referred to as sundowning. But I seriously would get her Dr. involved asap. I hope that this will help you. Best of luck to you.
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get her under the care of a good phsyc. this behavior is common but there are meds to tone it down. in my moms case in late stage dementia she was suspected of having a schitz disorder and given haldol. it worked pretty well. if she hasnt been in AL long she may just be suffering agitation from the lack of control. time may help but restoring control of her surroundings would help the agitation. sorry to ramble but years ago my sis lived with mom and actually tried to seize control. i went out, got mom a vision aid machine and proceeded to unf**k every irritant in her life. put notches in washer / dryer knobs to make em vision impared friendly and such.
get mom back in the drivers seat.
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My best suggestion is to develop thick skin and let it all roll off when words are thrown at you. As long as you are keeping good records on what you spend, then you can defend yourself. I've been there, I know.
As for the delusions, my mother was like that. She called us (4 siblings) every name in the book and I was accused of taking her money and giving it away too.
Mother is at a stage now that she has forgotten all that gloom and doom - maybe her meds helped with that, but she isn't angry and yelling any longer.
Good luck - and great patience.
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UTI check is a good idea plus check out meds they are on-my mom gets delusional when on Vicodin or Tramadol, but sometimes other meds can also do that-added to the dementia....
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Have your mother checked pronto for a uti. I expect that she has and is being treated for dementia as well? Educate yourself about dementia so that you come understand that it's the disease not your parent talking. I'm so sorry for your pain and loss.
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