How do you handle paranoid delusions?

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My mother is having delusions that a member of our family has come into the house and taken her things. This is getting worse every day. For example, she looks in the closet and thinks all her clothes are gone. When I try to show her everything is there, she says it's not what was there before. She also sees things that aren't there. I try really hard not to try to reason with her or show my frustration, but I'm not doing it very well. How have others coped with this behavior?

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My mom’s last months were one long delusion. A lot of them were about stealing, too. One time she was convinced during the night the nursing home had been taken over by Russians. Another, she was a famous stage actress and living in an apartment in Chicago. On and on. Depending on the subject, the staff and I played along. A lot of her delusions were about sex, and I drew the line there. I admonished her once, “Ladies don’t talk like that. Be a lady “, and I repeated it each time.

I did very little arguing, explaining or correcting her. At her stage, those proved nothing. You are human..ALL of us face what you are facing. It’s very hard to find a line between being “the good daughter” and the Caregiver. It’s human nature to want to set them straight and say “No, mom. No one stole your clothes “ one thing I learned is that they will argue or give you a blank look.

If Mom is on no meds or her meds don’t seem to be working, by all means contact her doctor.
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I think it is difficult to handle. I'd discuss it with her doctor and even ask for a geriatric psychiatrist as Barb suggest above. It sounds like she has a lot of mental distress. That can be as painful as physical pain. I'd inquire about medication to help with her anxiety. That worked quite well for my LO. I wouldn't just ignore it, because the delusions and/or hallucinations may cause her to harm herself. We had a family friend who believed someone was in his house and he ran and hurt himself. It was quite tragic.
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You can't reason with her. She is unable to be reasoned with. This is her reality and it will only frustrate her more if you insist that what she's seeing and believing is not real. Instead of trying to convince her that her clothes have been there the whole time tell her that you did the laundry and took most of them to be washed and that's why she didn't see them. If she believes that all of her clothes were gone she'll believe you when you tell her you were washing them.

Same with the dead relative whom she believes is coming into the house and taking her stuff. Is this someone she loves? Instead of trying to convince your mom that the dead relative isn't coming into the house ask your mom what this dead relative wants and then try to appease your mom. Don't jump into the delusion with her but don't contradict her either. It's a fine line to walk, I know. But if you try to reason with someone who can't be reasoned with the only thing you'll accomplish is driving yourself up the wall and agitating your mother and we never want to agitate someone who has dementia.

I know how frustrating it is and becoming impatient is normal. Remove yourself from the situation if you can. Take a few minutes to calm down. Remind yourself that your mom isn't doing this on purpose, that her brain that isn't functioning normally and she can't help it.
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Who is managing her dementia?

Have you considered having her seen by a geriatric psychiatrist who may be able to prescribe meds that will help with her agitation?
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