Follow
Share
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Lenebob, I'm not sure how much this will help, but the accusations of stealing are VERY common in some kinds of dementia. As the world makes less and less sense the person with dementia tends to become paranoid. They misplace something and then conclude that someone has stolen it. So they start hiding things to keep them safe, and forget not only where they've hidden them but even that they hid them at all. The whole thing becomes a dreadful cycle. This paranoia phase doesn't last forever -- it eventually moves on to something else.

I know that this accusation phase is very, very hurtful. For me it was the worst stage of my husband's dementia. He wasn't deliberately "abusing" me, but, gosh it felt awful just the same.

Trying to convince your mom that she hid the items is futile. She has dementia. Her brain is broken. Reasoning with her just isn't going to work. Something along these lines is often more helpful, and at least doesn't escalate the problem: "Your casserole dish with the brown stripes is missing? I'm so sorry to hear that -- it is a great dish! I don't think I've used it for a long time, but you know my memory isn't perfect. Maybe I misplaced it. Let me have a look around and see if I can locate it."

When my husband would accuse me of stealing his money, I'd say I certainly hadn't deliberately taken money, but maybe I screwed up with the bookkeeping. Here is our bank statement -- see if you can find where the problem is. He'd look it over (sometimes upside down) until he got bored and drop the subject for a while.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Just got to learn to egnore it. Redirecting might work on some for a while but they almost always come back to it, they might even get Mader to the point of exhaustion. I have two husband and wife if you redirect one, the other is sure to remind them. Some times it is a cry for attention, it gives them something to talk to others about who might come, it might go on till they get what they want if possible, or days if they don't. Company helps sometimes for me. But one thing I think onething most caregivers have learned is that what works great for one doesn't work for you. Every case is different. Try what you can to calm them, find there lost object if you can, even set it up with a friend or relative and if there complaint is about someone, doctor, relative .or other and you know for sure it is unfounded, tell your charge you will call them and complain then call your helper and give them all there complaints and tell them not to do it anymore. That works sometimes. Caregivers are almost always on the verge of burn out so you have to do what you have to or the pent up emotions, will come out on your cared for one,your family, are even members of this forum or others. But sometimes verbal abuse just has to be let in one ear and out the other easer said then done I know. Physical abuse should never be tolerated at all and changes should be made immediately.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My moms dementia is getting worse. Every day I get her accusing me of stealing. Little things casserole dishes her iPad. She hides things. Also I'm dealing with my Dad on hospice hesca quad after a stroke. I have 4 other siblings that do nothing. So hard to have to deal with your own mom accusing you. Then shecyellsxwhen I say no mom your hiding them. When I find them she says I hid them.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

What type of abuse are you dealing with? I dealt with emotional abuse with my mom. It was incredibly difficult at first. Learn about the disease, take some classes or join a support group - that was incredibly helpful for me.

A support group will be very beneficial - they will help you on how to deal with difficult behaviors. It was a life saver for me.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Personally, as much as possible, ignore these tantrums. If it gets really bad, consider either hiring a caretaker so you don't have contact or place them somewhere. You, as the caretaker, and being kind to do this, should NEVER, EVER be subjected to abuse of any kind, physical or mental, regardless of WHY they are acting out. It will eventually destroy YOU and you cannot let that happen to you.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Good answers. I find that they show frustration when they want your attention now..& your not giving it to them w a smile. I know we think they should know we can't come to every Beck & call but their brain doesn't allow them to think that way. I find giving the moment to them makes our lives much calmer. It's a whole new world for both of us. We have to step into their world. Theirs will never being able to learn but we step into our world where we constantly are learning. May God guide you.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

doxiegirl is right on. Also In the later stages with good medical people medication can be tailored to help them. It's an art to medicate so they are mellow but not overly sedated. Good hospice people seem to have a handle on this but even they have to keep tweaking to find the sweet spot between non-combative and sleeping all the time. It is often a roller-coaster process but you don't want a caregiver or another person to get hurt.

There is verbal abuse too. Being criticized for every thing you do for them or being belittled and criticized for who you are or who you aren't is hard to take. Tuning it out works sometimes. Remembering this is not the fully functioning person you once knew can help. The biggest help is to limit the amount of time you are exposed to such behavior. This is why respite care is so important. Constant bombardment with abuse wares on the soul so please take time for you so you are in a good mental and physical condition.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Physical abuse is probably the one that you are speaking of? My father is in a memory care. He gets very agitated if he doesn't want to do something they want him to do. He might start to throw his arms and hands at the caregiver because sadly they just cannot speak and can't tell you what they are feeling so they act out in a physical way, much like a toddler that is throwing a fit. Always remember they are regressing so you will need to go back to the days of you child rearing. When this happens try not to force them to do anything but use a lot of redirecting. Nothing in very quick and you have to have a lot of patience. My dad does not like his diaper changed and gets very angry and he doesn't like to shower. I assume it's because of feeling vulnerable. When he was younger he was the type of person that wanted to be in control of the situation so if your parent was very strong headed, they will "morph" back into that memory they had. Just remember, redirecting is the main thing to do with Alzheimer's patients.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Dear Cthorman,

I'm so sorry, I know its not easy. Whether its emotional, physical or verbal abuse, I would try and see out as many resources as possible in the community. There are so many support groups that could help you understand what options are available. Depending on your situation maybe moving your parent into a nursing home that specializes in patients with dementia might be an option to consider.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.