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My Father recently died and my Mother has become very paranoid, she is accusing people of stealing things and breaking into her home. Then when things are found she says that someone brought things back to make it seem like she is losing her mind. Now she is says that someone is trying to kill her. We had a security system installed but it seems to be making things worse instead of better. Any suggestions.

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Sounds as though your mom has some degree of dementia. It could be that your dad's death put her over the edge . . . or it could be that your dad hid her fears from you while he was able to do so.

Has she had any medication changes? Meds can cause the symptoms you describe. Could she possibly have a urinary tract infection? With the elderly, UTIs can cause those symptoms as well.

Tell her doctor about these symptoms. It's very possible he can prescribe something that will help calm her.
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I am a grief counselor - among other hats that I wear. I studied under Dr. Raymond Moody the preeminent "Father of the Near Death Experience" if that means anything in this case. We had a 16 week intensive course on grief and how to handle it. That being said, I will give you some clues about what I have learned about grief. Everybody's process is different. Sometimes people recover in a few months. Sometimes they never fully recover, even with counseling. The first question is how long were the married? The second is what was their relationship? (In my own parent's case, my father traveled all the time so his absence was not so unfamiliar to my mother). Does she live alone in the home that they shared? There are lots of other blanks that need to be filled in as well.
The paranoia may be a part of her grief, but it sounds more like dementia with the little bit of information that we have here. My mother went through a phase where she thought that her jewelry was missing, then her gun, then other things. Unfortunately this paranoia was supported by the fact that a "caregiver" stole from us - clothing, a lamp, some flower bulbs and we don't even know what else. It seems that this has settled down now and she is content although nothing has changed. Also check her meds. I like the idea of adult day care. My mother's garden keeps her occupied and not dwelling on her "stuff".
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It's part of the process..her process. GEt her into adult day care, divert her attention.]
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When my 89 year old Mother broke her hip my husband had to put a tall comode seat in the bathroom. He placed the old seat in the garage. My Dad with dememtia beleived that my husband stole the old seat until he found it in the garage...Then he said we came in the middle of the night to give it back. I do think that this is part of the aging process when parents get older.
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My best friend was able to get her mother into assisted living, when symptoms like you describe began. Her mom felt safer, there.
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Please accept my condolences on the death of your father.

When did he die?

The loss of a life partner can have serious and sometimes strange impacts. I felt a little crazy for several months after my husband died. So SOME of this may be the result of grief.

Your profile says your mother suffers depression. Was this diagnosed long before your father's death? Is she being treated for it? This may be a very good time to get back in touch with her doctor, and to see about dose adjustments and/or talk therapy.

Another possibility is that paranoia of this type is associated with several kinds of dementia. That is not the only explanation, but it is a possibility.

I think I'd start with the doctor who is treating her depression, especially if he or she is a geriatrician or a psychiatrist. If she doesn't currently have a doctor treating depression and doesn't have a close tie to her primary care physician, I'd consider connecting up with a geriatrician. In any case, a complete physical exam and evaluation is in order.

She has a medical problem, and she needs medical treatment.

Meanwhile, try the very challenging balancing act of acknowledging her feelings without buying into her theories. "Oh Mom, I am so sorry that your watch is missing! I remember when you got that. You must be feeling really bad that it isn't here. Let me help you look for it more thoroughly. Maybe together we can find it."

Best wishes to you in finding good treatment.
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