My 87 yr old mom swears someone is watching/listening via hidden cameras in her home. Help. - AgingCare.com

My 87 yr old mom swears someone is watching/listening via hidden cameras in her home. Help.

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She still lives alone, I thought she was just tired. Recently accussed me of taking money out of a safe ...help. What can I do?

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I would always investigate the claims of a peeping Tom, or lurker, could just be true. Sometimes dementia is a blend of the truth and lies.
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It does sound like paranoia which those with dementia will suffer from. One night my Mom walked her dog out our back sliding glass door to go potty and she saw a man (peeping Tom) at my sisters window and he ran off. We did not see the man ourselves but she was insistent on what she saw so I purchased motion sensor lights for the yard and fake cameras for around the house. This issue just kept building....she wanted real cameras and signs and then she hit big time, she wanted guns! That is when we had to really stop ever referring to what had happened and assure her that everything was fine, all doors and windows were locked, etc. They forget, but some things they hold on to and they can run with it and build on it.

Perhaps you should ask your Mom where the cameras are. Have her point them out and then open cupboards etc and show her there is nothing there. It might help and then again might not, all you can do is try.

As far as the safe goes, does she really have one? Have you or anyone else ever gone into it to see what if anything is in it? With Mom we went through her little one and we counted what she had and I had her write it on a paper and we closed it up with the total inside, so if anyone is ever accused we can open it up and at least count it to see if anything is indeed missing. Honestly she doesn't even remember it is there anymore or how to get into it. She is now more afraid that her checkbook is being used....it is always something!!!

God Bless You!
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I guess this is very common. Eight years ago, my mother, too, accused me of taking her money. She thought the smoke alarms were watching her. I wish I knew then what I know now. Here meds weren't working at all. . .They just sat there in the bottle unused. Without us to put them in her mouth, she wasn't going to take them. She's much better now that she's in AL and someone is giving her the meds. Please keep an eye on things, there is hope for an improvement. . .well, an improvement in her attitude, not an improvement in the mental state.
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If you are not paranoid, then you should be. Anyone in this sophisticated age of technology can WATCH you without your consent.
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Just to post a not so seriuos answer she might be right with the Govt collecting all this data on everyone and monitoring emails etc
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I get accused of stealing my mother's 'lotion', which she says she 'took' out of a store that has been closed for 15 years, in addition to other things here in her home, which I moved into 9 months ago to care for her. None of it is factual, of course, but dementia/alzheimer's varies among individuals. She also has other paranoia problems, such as locking all doors, turning off all lights, not TV or radio, but I do it anyway, while I am downstairs preparing her meals,etc. Sometimes in the middle of the night, she will burst into my bedroom saying that a man tried to 'rape' her, steal her purse and take her chihuahua dog, or ask me how she got home from a restaurant and where was her car? We sold her car months ago...so with this condition, you never know what to expect, I don't.

I do plan to try to contact my mother's Dr., as I think she does need to be seen by a gerontologist and possibly neurologist for RX help. She uses much profanity toward me every day and is very hard to deal with. Even my not so nice ex-husband ever spoke to me this way. Very, very hard to deal with, 24/7 and not having a life of your own. I just keep trying.

Please try to get her some help in. Call local council on aging for guidance.
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Start with an anxiety medication. Anxiety episodes can trigger pain, increase paranoia, lead to insomnia. Your MD may add an antidepressant later. Videotape and timestamp any outburst, share that with the MD.
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She starting to have dementia . You need to seek medical attention .
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As others have said, she needs to be seen by a gerontologist - not her regular family doc - and they in turn will have her further evaluated by a neurologist. What is good about all this is that the tests done for demenita are most excellent in determining what type of dementia she has (it is NOT all Alzheimers either) and then where she is on the spectrum of decline and get her on medications that can keep her more even in her ability and eventual decline into late stage dementia.
Some med's are better for some types of dementia while others not so. Also some med's are totally bad for those with Lewy Body Dementia.

My bet - if you mom is still pretty able to do for herself...like eat, get dressed, clean up, go to the store, etc. - she has Lewy Body Dementia. For my mom with LBD, it would be episodic. She could go for weeks & weeks and then there would be an incident like the garbage guys were stopping in the service alley to steal from the garage, or the postman was taking her mail or that they put poison in her lunch at the senior center. But by & large, she seemed competent and cognitive to the world. Her neighbors were horrified when I "forced" her to move into IL too.

For your mom this is big problem if she starts to contact the police as it can snowball into a APS inquiry. If you think this is going to happen, you need to do an end run with the police. Most have a community based policing department, contact them and let them know the situation with your mom. They may require that you have a DPOA to do this. They can then notate you mom's address for eldelry with dementia so that her calls are handled appropriately.

When my mom was in IL, the last few months there, she went on a tear on being robbed in her apartment. Called the police, they came and had to file a report. First time was OK. Then the second time she got insistent that they arrest another resident who stole from her. Now none of this is happening either. What the police did was contact me about this when they were there the 2nd time and the social worker was with them too and I as her DPOA could sign off for a non-response to her calls otherwise she would be charged a fee for the police visit. This is kinda like the false fire alarm charge that fire departments can do. Really for my mom, this started happening every month or so and it was totally tied into her NOT taking her med's. After about 5 months of this type of behavior, I got her medically needing skilled nursing and into a NH. Once you get your mom tested, you can realistically look at what level of decline she is at and then plan based on that. Good luck, none of this is easy & try to keep a sense of humor.
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As a nurse, get her evaluated. It could be dementia, it could be schizophrenia with hallucinations. No one will know unless you get her seen ASAP. Get a gerontologist, a neurologist or a psychiatrist to get answers. Do not take her behaviors personally. If I counted how many times my husband (87 yrs) accused me of stealing his money, I'd be a millionairess.
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