Has anyone had a problem with a loved one stealing?

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My mom lives in a Dementia unit in a retirement community. She steals, or I prefer to call it "shops", since that was one of her favorite pasttimes before she got dementia, from the other residents. I find stuff in her room all the time that doesn't belong to her, even men's clothing. She thinks the laundry room, which is unlocked, is her own personal Macy's. I think she knows somehow that these things aren't hers, because she hides them deeper than she hides her own stuff (another dementia behavior she has - hiding things.) She even wears other women's shoes and wears the men's clothes, too, sometimes! I find jewelry in her room that I don't recognize, and I don't know whether she helped herself to it from someone else's room, or whether it's just something of her own that I hadn't seen before. She does the opposite, too. She'll put her things in other people's rooms - her walker, her wheelchair, purse, food, etc. A lot of the residents do this, I think. But she seems to do it the most. She tries to take things of mine when she comes to my house, too. I just check her bag before I take her home, to get my things back. She has no sense of what is hers and what isn't.
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My Husband steals from me..out of my purse...if he ever steals from the stores we go too...I will drive away and leave him there !! Whatever happens after that .....happens...I am not hiring a lawyer, paying his fines...he can stay in jail and deal with it...!!
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DMP1127...an excellent way to describe what is going on with your husband..".the doctors have told him he has dementia and he doesn't remember they told him"....that will need to be your mantra as you move forward on this path. Your husband and my mom sound like twins; I still struggle with the "I already explained this to you a million times" frustration, but it's not going to change.

There were lots of good ideas to help deal with the stealing of items, but I want you to think about his going out alone. I don't know where you live, but I hope you have thought about an emergency plan in case he were to be out and then forget how to get back home. Over the past few years, I've read too many times about elderly people with dementia being lost. I'm so glad you have your faith to help you through this. Peace and good wishes.
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My Dad used to eat his way through the store, to my Moms horror. When they moved here I alerted the store staff at our small town store. They love Dad, and we deal with it.. I love small towns!!
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MY CAREGIVER FOR MY HUSBAND(WHO IS A FAMILY MEMBER,IS TAKING FOOD ITEMS)I DON'T WANT TO STOP HER FROM COMING SINCE SHE'S THE ONLY ONE WHO COMES TO HELP,BUT AM CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT ELSE WILL SHE TAKE,HOW DO I HANDLE THIS??
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The biggest problem I have with my husband is that he still goes out alone. I just became aware of the whole stealing thing about 2 weeks ago. My husband feels there is nothing wrong with him, "just a little memory loss from old age" He is 81. I am 66. The Drs have told him he has dementia but, he doesn't remember they told him. So when I try to tell him, he thinks I am saying he is crazy, and I am the only one. I am going to call the Dr and have him explain it to him again. I don't want to take away his independence, but I am getting afraid that might be the safest way to protect him. He is very high functioning. He takes care of his personnal hygiene, and can prepare some small breakfast food. Even though I find lately he is taking showers much less than before. He was a shower a day man, now he might shower once a week at best. He is good at pretending to be ok around other people, but that is starting to crack. I have gotten calls from people saying they think he is forgetting things. He doesn't want anybody to know his condition. His brother has alzhiemers. He often says how bad his brother is, but he doesn't realize he is heading in that direction. I took care of my grandfather who had dementia along time before he passed, I should be use to it. But it is different in each person, and this is my husband, whom I love dearly. I believe in Jesus, and my faith will bring me through this. Amen.
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My husband went through a phase where he would steal M&Ms at Wal-Mart. This would happen even after he saw that I had a large bag in the shopping cart to take home. He would slip around the corner and then head for the checkouts. He would put a package of M&Ms in his pocket, walk out to the sidewalk, and pour all the candy into his hand and start stuffing his mouth. I alerted the cashiers about the problem and began paying for a king-size bag of M&Ms each time I checked out. Sometimes he would just get the regular size, but I always paid for the larger item, just in case. Sometimes I could catch him, bring him to the checkout with me and he would still try to stuff one in his pocket as I paid the cashier! Only once did a security person stop him and the cashiers told her what was going on and directed her to me. She was all cool about it and thanked me for our business. He went on this spree for about a year. He then started refusing to leave the car and while I shopped, he would find stuff in the car and throw it out the window. I would have to walk around to his side, look around and under the car before driving off. He tossed a book, a camera, receipts, mail, phone cords, gum, cups, etc. sometimes even while I was driving. I longed for the shoplifting days. LOL
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Jessie Belle, I'd give them about 4 hours at the county jail, then they would call me and demand that I come get her. LOL
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Jessiebelle.. thanks for the laugh..... my husband would have said the same thing! Respite!!!!! DMP1127.......... I sure hope he is not still driving. He lacks the ability to make good decisions and the consequences of poor choices.. Often the impulse control area of the brain is affected. I bet he comes out with some doozies! We have found a neuropsycology evaluation very helpful. Because we are not experts on dementia the person we care for is usually much worse than we know. My motherinlaw has had 3 . This is imperative to have dementia staged for proper care. If it were my child, I would have to take them back to store to pay for it, to teach them what is right. Thanks for sharing!
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I would let the stores know of his issues so they hopefully won't press charges if they catch him. But you have to remember dementia is a tough illness and yes there are times when there seems like nothing is wrong and they can "agree" to not do something but then end up doing it anyway. They really just don't know they are doing it sometimes. So even though he says he won't do something 10 min later you may find him doing it. They just don't remember and for us taking care of someone with this issue it is really frustrating. We have a van and my MIL needs a step stool to get into the van. We were going out one day and I told her to get ready and wait for me by the car. Mostly so I could make sure she didn't fall backwards which she does do sometimes. I got a phone call I had to take and in the 5 min I was on the phone she forgot she needed a step stool even though I tell her every time she get in the van she needs it. I get to the car and she is laying on her stomach on the passenger seat trying to pull herself into the van by grabbing the drivers seat. She is only 4' 9" tall (very short) so she was like a turtle with no traction. Got her out and yup I was yelling at her more for the fear like you would have when you find your toddler doing something dangerous and she kept telling me she knew she was supposed to use the step stool (next to the van by the way) but just didn't because she forgot and she though she could make it. So frustrating but she just can't help it and will continue to try to do this even though she has reassured me she will always use the step.

Its so hard to know that even though they seem like they can reason these things out, make promises ect they really can't because the illness is such that they just don't have control over these things. When they say it they really do mean it but 5 min later they just don't remember.
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