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my mom is sure that we are stealing her money, not giving her meds, and rearranging her room, nothing I say helps, makes me frustrated

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Has anyone tried using the covers of older magazine or copies to stimulate the mind of someone with dementia? I'm thinking about taking these copies of covers( i.e. Saturday Evening Post) when visiting patients with dementia?
Moore2Come
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Thanks for the response. I do agree that i need to stay away from the flash points with mom.
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My daughter steals my sticky notes all the time and goes through my box of things I like. I went to my memaws home far away and brought home a rock and she just threw it out. I remember by looking at notes, objects and thigs. If I see a featrher and pick it up and bring it home she throws it away- worry about bird flu. I do not hoard. Hoarding is different. It is a neurosis pattern. My memories are in my box. I do not bring home trash. I take one thing from the beach-maybe a shell and write the date and it helps me to remember that day. I can understand your problem muddpa. Hoarding is a problem that needs to be addressed by a psychologist or a Psychiatrist. I think she had 50 cent pieces and I think someone stole them unless she hid them and forgot but I bet you they were stolen or they are there among her hoarded stuff. People with dementia may forget things and then days or years later something triggers their memory. It happens to me all the time. I forget from one day to the next and then sometimes I can remember things from long ago and sometimes I remember something from not long ago. Don't we all do that? It is called mis-placing something. Dementia manifests paranoia and all sorts of neurosis'-I am on a roll today my daughter said. But I am serious. Listen to your mother in law. She is not a liar she may be confused but be nice to her. Take a deep breath and don't get all neurotic about her hoarding let your daughter talk to her if you and her always end up arguing about her house-HER HOUSE! You seem to be a flash point with her. I have books over a hundred years old-who throws away books? Build or buy her a book shelf-be her friend. Tooth brushes are good for cleaning between grout and mud out of shoes where the leather meets the sole. I bet you are a handy man-build her a tooth brush tree. Ask her what she wants with those old wooden spoons and damaged bowls- You wrote: Anything I decide she would not miss, she takes back out of the trash when I am gone-See-that tells me she knows you moved her stuff and she doesn't like that0I don't like anyone in my box. What if she did that to you? What if she went to your house and took things she thought you might not miss and threw them in the trash? You would hller and call her crazy! You would say she stole my stuff! You want to be a good son in law and I believe your intentions are good but she needs counseling or un-biased intervention. You are on her S list so cool it. Don't try to argue with someone who may be sick. Help her in other ways to regain her trust in you or has it always been cross-ways with her? Fix her basement so it doesn't flood anymore-Mold is poison--that your wife must address as a health issue. If you want to stay on her S list don't throw her trash in her trash take it to the dump and suffer the wrath later. I understand your point but I just remembered something The Road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Let your wife be the heavy-be nice to MIL-gain her trust and play good cop bad cop only you be the good cop. Reverse your roles. Old Clothes? People make money seling Olde clothes. I just remembered my daughter sold boxes of my wifes old clothes-I forgot-she owes me a dinner for that but since I cannot eat I wil make her buy something. I want a wind chime on my wifes grave. Thank you
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My mother continues to tell me about how the home care people took her fifty cent pieces, the stock of toothbrushes; the garden hose etc. This is years after these people were actually in her home. She is a hoarder of sorts - she keeps books; clothing from whenever and even damaged bowls. Anything i might decide she would not miss, she takes back out of the trash when i am gone. The direct approach just makes her angry and more stubborn about doing whatever i propose. Because I tend to get into an argument easily with her, my wife helps me out - telling me to stop whatever and/or taking over in the discussion. Even then, its usually a futile thing. She has had flooding in her basement several times and refused to throw out items that are moldy -"i can dry them out".
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my mom 74 years old and she lives alone she has nurses, and caregivers coming my husband and i comes over so every often i call her she has 2 and my brother but my brother dont even call her or myself to see how she doing she had a car accident and she had to get rehabilation she wasnt suppose to stay that long she stayed 2 years in the nursing home my brother was in the same city ll he did was go and see did she have money and didnt bother to go see her no more and my mother always had an anger toward me even though i went through all the abuse and child molestation during 10-12 years of age she was an achoholic and left me i the care of anyone but i didnt tend to beangry and be resentful i forgave my mom my brother always try and bring that up because i had a abusive childhood my husbabd and i got my mom out that nusing home got her back on her feet with income and an apartment to cal her own we take her to whatever she wants to go and she accuse me, my husband nurses caregiver landlord maintence man friend of stealing also she tend to say she see someone in her home and gives away money to her soo called friends landllod says she tends to give away money but she being dispiteful and lot of hatred and talks to me lot im the eemy of the world after all i been through i still tend to think to talk to her of all the things she took me through but give all that up to jesus to pray to look over
i silence myself i keep away maybe 2 weeks she call my mother never in my life never been a forgiven person she never says shes sorry shes also prejudice
imnot to happy abouth that we go into the rummage sale he goes ionto another isle
we go to pawn shops and get movies and she tells me get me a colored movie i dispies of her telling me that we are black she wants black ll black movies what evershe been through picking cotton ect hey thats the past i love all people regardless of race my mom is a racist hateful disrespectful unkind never smile
she wonder why my kids which all grown 5 of them never come around my mom has done so much dirt called dfs workers on me and my husband and they closed the case they never forgetten that they say i not going around her the way she hurt youmom she need help tried and did that she says she dont need help
and my brother he dont want to be bothred with her he topld me he dont want her coming down where she came east st louis he still there and he dont want her to come back and she wants to go back i applied for every apartment for her to be back ther shes not happy here in peoria il and she takes her anger on me and me and my husbad help her to where she is right now today im not angry at all
but she want me to stoop to her level jump when she ay heyyyyy im42 years old
i did all i can im a mother of 5 ggrown children 3 grandchildren they apprecite me and there dad more than she do i got my life to live i lived my life started as early as 13 a mother at that age and she wasnt there for me my brother,and father was she leftme in thier care to go with a man and his daughter i cannot go on i have tears in myeyes and it makes me sick of all the attitde she has toward her own neighbors some has told me your mother mean ect im a very people person love all creed god put us all here to love he sent the right one i raised myself i becamewoman at age 13 never been in trouble with the law non smoker nondrinker i raised 5 children and she has never in there life babysitted them becauseshe was an alcohlic untll 66 years old me and my hasband raised all my children we have 4 together she dont like myhusband but she always ask to take her everywhe she want to go we been married 26 years he keeps me toghther when im stressed and down
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In my grandfather's case, he said someone was stealing from him and we found that several relatives actually were. They hoped no one would believe him but I did and caught the guilty parties in a trap. Often people will take advantage of just such a situation.
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My mom has done all these things. I do know my husband and I cannot leave things on the table anymore or they do come up missing and I find them in her purse. They struggle so hard to just try and understand where they are. Their minds are living in the past. Very sad.
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sumlerc and vhope - a zipped lip is very useful. I have had to detach emotionally (hence I have some peace) from mother, as she has Borderline Personlity Disorder. That doesn't mean I love her any less, but that her "craziness" (which in her case has been life long) hurts me less, I do have to limit my time with her, to stay detached. it is what works best for both of us.

Oh, quakerite - that is funny!!!!! Thanks for the laugh!
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vhope: I may put an outline of my aunt on the toilet so she might sit where she's supposed to and not make a mess all over the floor!
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Menos--an outline...I might try that in some areas. What a great idea.
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Sumlerc--totally familiar. Have you had that experience where you hear yourself responding to the personal accusations and KNOW you need to close your mouth but yet you just keep going? AHHH. LOL. I agree, I think our loved ones know on some level it's there memory and just can't accept it. I just cannot imagine how that feels and my heart breaks for my mom (after I've calmed down). Emjo--I am going to try to channel your peacefulness...
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Mother has never been diagnosed with dementia, but her paranoia is increasing very slowly. She has resisted being tested,and I am not sure, at 100, that it is worth it, as long as she is managing in her ALF. Certainly it is nothing that is progressing very quickly. She has not, to date, accused me of taking anything, but regularly tells me that some one has stolen this or that. I ignore it, and yes, they forget, until the bext time. You may be able to find some humour in it. She was convinced that someone stole her best nightie, and a week or so later told me that who ever stole it brought it back, and they had mended the sleeve "and said to me "Wasn't that funny?" When she found a necklace under the sink, she thought someone stole it and then put it there. I just listen and don't say anything. At one point she was wanting me to talk to the ALF staff about it. I did not respond to that, Now she seems to be more content, and just accepts it as something that is "happening", and she doesn't want new jewellery, in case it is stolen. Her latest is that she thinks her niece has done something to her computer, so that our cousin can see her computer information on his computer. The time may be coming to talk to her doctor about it. I don't think he has a clue. She is very bright and very verbal. He is 80 himself, but she really likes him, and had left many doctors, As long as it is not causing her or others any major problems, it may be best to let sleeping dogs lie. Some years ago, she accused me of trying to force her into a nursing home -with absolutely no basis in fact. I didn't get defensive, but simply and calmly told her the truth about the situation that she had misinterpreted. She has seemed to trust me since then. I just accept it as a symptom of her condition, and try to manage it with as little stress as possible for all .
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One of my Moms many jobs in her working years included working in a Nursing Homes Laundromat, and now that she lives in a NH she gives the Laudry room people pure HECK! Accusing them of stealing her clothes, ( I go right to her closet and find them...she has very low vision) or she's speaking of clothes that she owned 30 yrs ago that are long gone. She misplaces items, then either call me to ask where did I put it or most times accuses someone of taking her items.

The hardest part for me is to not take her accusations personal and trying to reason with her; that's where I find myself in sinking sand...trying to reason with her! I think in my Moms case, she knows she has misplaced an item but it feels better to blame someone else than to admit or accept her declining memory.
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Menos daughter, I too like the idea of a mat with outlines! I'm not to that point with my mom, but she is a hoarder supreme and when a friend and I tried to help her clean house she kept saying that she worried he had thrown out magazines, etc. that she wanted. I told her that I hoped that he wouldn't do that, but said the truth that I hadn't seen him do it and that I didn't do it. It may be my perception of things, but I believe that she's afraid to say that she includes me in the accusations. But, when I asked her she said 'no,' and I want to give her the benefit of the doubt that she truly finds me innocent. Although, I admit to wanting to throw a lot of magazines, old paperwork, etc. away I don't feel right in doing such without asking how she would feel if I did.
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My mom thought i was spending her money esp when something came from j.c. penny like i closed the account, i can't remember. Or, i bought her something and used her jcp charge card; she also thought that my sister, who my mom was living with at the time, was taking her money; accused sister of taking her silver and some other things in storage and the list goes on. that phase did pass. i showed my mom her bankrecords every month and what was spent.
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Menos daughter! The mat with outlines -- brilliant!
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menos daughter. Hoarding, stealing, hiding, accusations, suspicions, paranoia are all symptoms of this dreadful disease. I believe every professional caregiver could share a story that they have been accused of taking things...It does happen. but not combs or shampoo. lOL. Meno has his treasure box I allow him to take for his studies every 3rd week and I made him a matt for his dresser with an outline for his comb his brush his cologne, his circle and he knows if something is missing-just a thought.
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How timely. I posed a similar question awhile ago and sadly the accusatory behavior has returned in force! My mom lives in Assisted Living and I see her every Sat. She calls me during the week to tell me about random things that have been taken from her, I try to reassure her we will get to the bottom of it when I come over. At one point she was very irate, and seems focused on one particular person (at this time) and I became very worried that she would confront this person of taking her cough drops (sigh) and bottle of water. My mother has been known to call the police about things being "stolen" in the past and was actually close to being evicted from her last apt. because of the accusatory behavior. So when she started telling me she would go "talk" to the woman I became panicked and me and mom got into an argument. The only thing accomplished was we were both hurt and upset with each other. My mother finally decided she could trust me to talk to the lady. I don't know, some days it's easier to ignore the blame game (I am now on the recieving end) and at times I just have to choose how long my visits with my mother will last depending on my patience and tolerance levels. I try to take a lot of deep breaths and breaks (Oh, I forgot something in my car) or I will try to distract her (seldom works with her but I try). I try to remind myself that it will pass and I try (if possible) to obtain the items she has lost or hidden.
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this is part of the off shoots of the disease-suspicion and paranoia and they can be quite convincing. Menos daughter.
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I have the opposite problem most of the time: my aunt does actually take other peoples' things, then gets furious if someone tries to 'steal' them from her. (I slip them away when she's not paying attention and return them to the owner. My aunt never remembers having them at all). But as for people taking her stuff - yes, she does believe that from time to time. She even remembers a man who came in her room and took her candy or glasses or whatever. I tell her not to worry, I'll get them back as soon as I have a chance. I say it soothingly, then tell her it's time for Gunsmoke or Wheel of Fortune -- and she forgets. You have that on your side, you know. They forget.
For a time, my aunt was going through my desk, taking any envelope that had her name on it. A lot of bills didn't get paid or got paid with penalties! So I got a small safe to keep her bills in --- and she stole the safe! I found it one day under her bed, with a butter knife next to it.
I guess my advice is not to get offended, not to get defensive. You've already learned that doesn't work. Reasoning, arguing, explaining don't work. The deeply forget simply can't follow that kind of thinking. Just promise to take care of it. "Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not get bent out of shape."
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I suggested that maybe someone just "borrowed" whatever the item is...she seemed to be ok with that
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"Oh, Mom, I'm so sorry that your pretty reading glasses aren't where you think they should be. That is so frustating, isn't it? I don't think I've moved them, but if I did it was an accident. Let me help you search for them. If we can't find them today, I hope you can get by with this older pair until we can go shopping for a nice replacement."

That's what I'd say, when I could get past my own frustration.

Paula's experience is worth listening to. It doesn't help to get defensive, and the focus should be on solving the problem and ignoring the blame part of Mother's message.

This may become a little bit easier once you learn your mother's favorie hiding places. If small objects ususally migrate to the vegetable drawer in the fridge, that saves a lot of search time! :-D

This loss-and-accusation behavior is so very common among persons with dementia, Alzeheimer's particualrly, that much advice has been written for dealing with it. You might get some good ideas from a book by Jolene Brackey called "Creating Moments of Joy."

Good luck!
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My mother has accused others of taking things off-and-on for as long as I can remember. It's escalated now that she's in her 80's and her memory is slipping, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating.

I've found that the one thing I must not do is to try to defend myself or others. That only seems to prove guilt in her eyes. With that option eliminated, there only seems to be two left... either to ignore her, or to try and figure out where she's put the things she says have disappeared. It's difficult to say nothing when you're being accused of something you know you didn't do, but sometimes it's best to remain silent since anything you say can and will be used against you. :)

The other choice is to try to figure out what's she's doing with the things she claims are missing. I've found her checkbook hidden in an end table drawer and her pills in the Kleenex box. Of course you can't locate things that may have not been there to begin with—my mother is constantly thinking she's missing things she never had, or got rid of years ago. Basically you just have to play detective and try not to take the accusations to heart, if you can. I wish you luck!
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