My mom is 88 and other than her short term memory failing, she has all of her faculties. She hates having a live in aid and me and my siblings cannot tell is she is forgetting where she puts things, deliberately, hiding things so she can accuse the aide (to coerce us into letting her live alone), or if the aide is really stealing. Mostly the accusations revolve around jewelry but most are cheap costume and some items have been really trivial like Tupperware tops.

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Few people would jeopardize their job and their reputation by stealing costume jewelry and Tupperware lids.

Paranoia is very common in dementia. The loved one is afraid of having things stolen so she hides them, then can't remember hiding them. This "proves" that she was right ... someone is stealing from her. Sigh. This seems to me the most likely scenario here.

It is also possible that Mom is deliberately trying to get the aide in trouble. If this is the case, I would say it is evidence that your mother doesn't quite have all her faculties. A truly rational approach to getting the aide in trouble would not be accusing her of taking trivial items.

Anyway you slice it, this seems like the dementia in play. I would, however, be on the lookout for other reasons your mom doesn't like the aide. If it is simply a matter of not wanting any aide and resenting the loss of independence, that is understandable and probably can't be improved much, except by the passing of time. If you can detect other things about this particular aide that Mom doesn't like, you might be able to address those by speaking to the aide. If Mom hates being called "dear" or thinks the aide's voice is too loud, and that the aide starts speaking to her before she has her attention ... these kinds of things could be worked out.

I assume that really valuable items are locked up or have been removed from the home for safe keeping.

(PS, if that aide is really stealing Tupperware lids, she must have a colleague at work in this area. I can't begin to count the number of TW and Rubbermaid lids that have disappeared from this house ... only to show up after the container has been thrown out. :( Whoever is doing this dastardly deed all over the country should certainly face prosecution! Let us know how this works out at your house.)
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My guess is she is moving things and forgetting. Who the heck steals Tupperware tops?
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