How do you handle dementia related accusations?

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My mother is 90 and has recently had a stroke, which left her with very poor speech skills and vascular dementia. In rehab, she became suspicious and paranoid, pointing out aides and saying 'don't trust him', thought people were talking about her, thinks she's being given the wrong medication or no medication. We know these things to be untrue. In general, I know that you're supposed to play along with folks with dementia, but I can't agree with her about this stuff, or should I?

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We have been talking about the accusations our LO makes; the loved one being the person with dementia but my is a double-edged experience. Sister, who I assume was not demented at the time, accused me of taking mom's money merely because she saw mom and me in a bank....we weren't even withdrawing money or signing papers or writing checks...mom merely wanted ot ask the staff how to close her account.
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I also provided mom with real starbucks gift cards (that I had loaded with money) to keep in her wallet. They had different themes/pictures. That seemed to help her feel more control of her $$.
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Mom was most concerned with her money so she felt more reassurred when I handed her her checkbook. Of course, I had all the other checks to pay bills with etc (she tried using a pencil to fill out a check) . She wanted to go to the bank alot so I took her and she felt better again when I helped her with the ATM and she had a statement of her balance; which of course reassured her that her XXX thousand was still there (which it was because I was not taking anything). So the physical act of having ownership of the item might be helpful.
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Kashia60--Im right there with ya, my feelings exactly concerning my husband. I thought I was taking care of him out of love but do not know anymore. My husband is unbearable. We just live in the same house.
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well I see it a bit differently than everyone else as my mother and father are being forced to stay in a Nursing home by the courts and protective elder services. these people have made up all kinds of lies about me and keep sending their neuro psych into the nursing home to do testing on them. well this last time she was suppose to be testing my mother and come to find out she was also questioning my father and that woman clearly makes him nervous as he has bad nerves and has dealt with years of stress. my mother had a head injury and automatically they were saying she has vascular dementia and can not handle any of her finances or any decisions so instead of having me take care of my parents and their finances and assets they hand it over to a guardian and conservator a stranger whom as I have seen so far is screwing everything up. the home is in pre forclosure, he messed up the auto loan and the only thing he can say is that my parents are so far in debt and the house is in no shape for them to live in so we have to sell the house and your vehicle so that I end up on the streets and every part of the estate that is suppose to go to me when my parents are gone goes to a stranger. how right is this. my mother does not talk nonsense nor is she paranoid yet the lighting is no good in that place and they have not even gotten her the reading glasses she needs. not all that long ago she ended up in the hospital with Pnemonia and if I had not gotten a bad feeling and gone down there I never would have known cause they said it was not there procedure to call me. I mean come on now, there is no one to ask questions for my mother or even find out what is going on when I am the only family member besides my father. I can;t even defend myself or my parents in court against these people. I can;t get a lawyer. I am doing everything I can to try and get them home and find the way out of everything on top of the fact my father is a WWII vet and instead of getting him the aid and attendance and a non service connected pension they are trying to force him onto Mass Health .. now if anyone wants to say these people actually protect and that it is your family member that actually has this diagnosis. I would say don;t be so certain that they are paranoid and talking nonsense cause I am seeing the nonsense first hand coming from the ones that are suppose to be protecting them. they don;t protect you , they destroy you
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Me too, Raven. My mom keeps referring to the Retirement Living facility as "prison". She has been there 6 months, has improved remarkably mentally, and physically. She got so depressed before arriving she didn't even remember us moving her there. Anyway, she refuses to acknowledge that she is in a good place. My latest decision is to totally ignore any comment about "prison".
So far, one time I have said "since I've never been in a prison, I don't know what you mean". She ignored me that time. Oh the joys of caregiving.:-)
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I am so going out on the fringe here. Forgive me, I majored in Art History, not geriatrics or psychology. I can't help but wonder if these accusations might be about 80 years of distilled concerns, caring for family, worrying about job warfare, about the Depression they spent their childhoods in. These are huge concerns they could never resolve. They saw their life pass, and now deeply, deeply realize they were impotent, in spite of their best efforts. Things did not turn out as their own parents wished for them. As they wished for humanity as they wrote their donation checks, as they selflessly put their own needs aside for something else, thinking it would make everything ok. Suicide is not about crazy people. It is about sacrifice because there is no longer any rational conversation in their minds. I know souls with Alzheimers are somewhere else. They are taking their Custer's Last Stand. If Custer had a child, she would have been mowed over by charging bayonets. Alzheimers is perhaps (I don't know) our God-given brain's last stand.
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Raven, I love your ideas!
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Lots of good suggestions. I think you have to find what works for your loved one and use it. Everyone is unique and responds differently at any given time of day or night. That is why this disease is so frustrating for us who are caring for our loved one(s). We repeat, repeat, and repeat some more, but when the disease progresses, then there is silence, literally. So enjoy your loved one's talking now because it disappears in later stages of this disease. Give yourself a hug if you have lasted another day!
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Raven, such good ideas! I love handling the suspicion thing with a pleasant chat.
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