My Mom is 85 and she thinks "someone" is taking things from her. How do I handle this? - AgingCare.com

My Mom is 85 and she thinks "someone" is taking things from her. How do I handle this?

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Sometimes replacing them with items that don't work

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We go through the same thing with grandma (she lives with us). She has a REALLY bad habit of moving things, sometimes more than once, then forget where she moved it to. I have to let her know "It is around here somewhere, its probably just in a different drawer than you remember" then look for it. One time she "misplaced" (to be kind) over $500. Needless to say after the third time of this happening in 4 months, we bought a safe and now only give her $20 at a time, telling her the rest is in the safe WHEN she needs it.

She usually will "hide" her things in the top drawer of her dresser, and upon moving it, it ends up in the second or third. The sooner you learn her 'hiding spots' the quicker you will be able to find it.


Desiree
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This is so sad, and so common. Paranoia is often a part of dementia. LO (loved one) is worried that someone will take her precious possessions, so she hides them. Memory loss is part of dementia. LO forgets where she hid them or even that she hid them. See! I was right! Someone IS taking my things! And so the cycle goes on.

Dang! Frustrating for all concerned!

It just adds to the frustration to try to reason with LO. She sees it as you not believing her. She is losing the ability to reason, and when your reasoning conflicts with what she "knows," it can make her mad or sad.

As Aishamama suggests, validate her feelings. "Oh, how irritating that your lady bug bracelet has gone missing! I don't blame you for being upset--I always loved that silly bracelet! Just in case it got misplaced I'll look for it this afternoon -- let's hope it is still in the house somewhere. But before that, I'd like a little dish of ice cream with that new chocolate sauce over it. How about you?"

Validate and then distract. That doesn't always work but it has a higher success rate than reasoning or arguing.

Look for the missing possession as if it had been hidden, for often that is exactly what started this. Some LOs use the same odd places over and over, somewhat simplifying the task. Once you discover that she hides things in the freezer and in bag of kitty litter, it is easier to find things quickly!
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Watch Teepa Snow's videos on Youtube. If they take out the link, go to search for Teepa Snow - Making Visits Valuable - Part 6. Good luck.
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If this is a big change in her behavior, make sure she gets checked for a uti, for electrolyte imbalance and the like. Chart her behaviors for her doctor so that the progression can be tracked and treated.
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I'm very sorry about your Mom. I am constantly changing the subject sometimes it works but most of the time it doesn't , but I will keep trying, Thank you very much.
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I don't try to reason with my grandma because I know it won't go anywhere. I'm sorry that you are seeing your mom like this when you were so close before. I am not close to my grandma so it's very easy to detach. My grandma is constantly convinced that her things are missing. Sometimes I just tell her that it's in the garage or storage so that it will be protected from damage, or I'll tell her that I saw it around and I'll bring it to her room when it turns up. Then I change the topic :)

I was very close to my mom though and when she was on hospice and having delusions from the medication, I would just try to distract her from the things that are upsetting. I would try to keep things very positive for her. Many times I would just go along with what my mom was seeing, or at least validate her feelings.
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Thank you, I try to do just that, she isn't always like this, she was really good for a whole week, but today was bad, she thinks someone is steeling or trading things , everything from money to underwear. I don't know if I should try to reason with her or just go along with whatever she says. I just don't know what to do, I have always been so close to my Mom and it is so hard to see her like this. :(
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Distraction. I handle stuff like this from my 86 year old grandma in the same way I handle my toddler. I just have to keep my voice pleasant and distract her, or I will say that I'll look for her missing item and hope she forgets about it.
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