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My 88 year old Mom has dementia. Lately the paranoia has gotten worse. She hides money all the time. Has done so for many years. 4 sibs are taking turns staying with her 24/7 in her 1 BR apartment , sleeping on an air mattress on the floor in the living room. She is delusional and hallucinates about strangers coming in and out all day, every day. I think she's confused because it's us caring for her who are coming and going. Shes been been all over the apartment today looking for something. Found out she's looking for the money she hid. Says she's tired of these people living here, not paying rent and eating her food, not to mention stealing from her. I said Mom, no one would ever take anything from you. That got me nowhere. It's like shoving a stake through my heart. Btw, she ALWAYS. finds what she's looking for. Have you dealt with this with any success?

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My Nana came to live with us from Wales, when I was about 12, she was in her 70's. A few years later, dementia was setting in, and she began taking little things from around the house, and hiding them in her room, but not before she would wrap them up in tissue paper and rubber bands, or string first. She also cut up all of her old family photos, and hid these too. Soon she was accusing us of stealing her jewelry, glasses, and any old thing. When she finally had a psychotic breakdown of sorts, and went to the hospital, it was decided that my Mother could no longer manage her at home due to the stress of her behavior, so the steps towards nursing home placement began, and she never returned to our home. She was in her 80's by this time and had lived with my folks for greater than 10 years. We began the process of packing her belongings and cleaning out her bedroom, and found tons of things she had hidden away, all wrapped up, so we had to unwrap them, so as not to toss anything of importance. Things like bottle tops, babies pacifiers, childrens gum machine toys, her jewelry, and nasty things, bloody tissue, dirty undies, and so many things hidden in the luggage in her closets, money, lots of money! Plus, she had been going to the toilet in the garbage bin in her bedroom, gross! It sounds like this paranoia is the nature of the beast with some dementia patients. Interestingly enough, it turns out, in the testing done at the hospital, she had a latent case of Syphilis, apparently many women got Syphilis and never were treated vack in the 30' and 40's, but we know now, can cause brain deteriation, and she was treated at the hospital with a big ole shot of Penicillin, albeit a bit too late! She ended up a complete blank tape, not knowing or remembering anything or any of us. She lived to be 92 in the nursing home, as other than her brain, she was as healthy as a horse! Unfortunately, we will never know the true cause of her dementia. Such a Sad Sad disease!
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Does it help to know that what you are experiencing is extremely common? It is a part of some kinds of dementia. Generally it doesn't last forever (it just seems like it) so hang in there!

Be sympathetic without actually agreeing that things have been stolen. "Oh, it must feel so bad that your money/glasses/paper towels are missing now. I wonder if I misplaced them by mistake. Let me help you look for it."

I wonder if Mom would like to have a simple fire-proof box with a lock? She could put her money in it, and keep the key on a chain or keyring. This is a "logical" solution and logic may no longer appeal to her, but it might be worth a suggestion. At least it will help her feel you are on her side.

Paranoia and delusions are both hard to treat, but all symptoms should be discussed with her doctor as they come up.
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You can expect at some point she will call 911 and complain about theft. The police will remove you and charge you. Don't let it come to that. Get mom's dementia thoroughly documented with a Neurologist or Psychiatrist, because those are the only two professions the court will recognize. They can also medicate her anxiety and obsessive behavior.
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It's so hard. I just deal with each new situation as it comes up. I have no good advice for you. I know I'm in trouble when mom whispers I need to ask you something. It's always something "serious" like the time she announced that she only had the underpants that she had on and no others. They must have gotten thrown away (maybe she had some accidents). I filled her drawer with new ones so we won't have that problem again for a while. We also contribute to her paper towel, toilet paper hoard so she doesn't run out. She keeps rolls EVERWHERE!
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Last night it was her curler bag and a roll of paper towels from the bathroom. I was on a wild goose chase. And of course we found them both hidden in her closet! She will let me look for things and used to let me look for her money. When she was well I used to say mom you shouldn't keep moving it around. She said I know but now a whole new level of paranoia has set in and she's worried we know all of her hiding places so I think she found new ones and can't remember where thay are.

Oh, but she claims she never "hides" anything. And when she finds it claims someone else put it there.
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My mom occasionally thinks things have been stolen from her too. Little things like paper towels, bed room slippers, socks and recently her bra. She also thought someone snuck in and left a tea kettle on the stove. When she misplaces something she assumes it's been stolen. I have had success (so far) with saying that no one would bother to steal these items (money might be different) and that we simply have to find them. Then I have to go on a hunt. Bed room slippers in with the pantry, socks stuffed behind the books on the shelves and her bra stuffed under her hoard of deodorant in the bathroom. She keeps buying the deodorant in case they stop selling it. I was able to reassure her that the person who kept coming in to use her shower was probably something she dreamed. I don't use the word hallucination. Best of luck to you!
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Btw, we do her laundry, cook her meals with the food we bring. . Felt like I had to add that. Maybe the paranoia is contagious. (Joke)
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