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my mother has been progressively getting worse, and she has been accusing me of stealing her pills. I've already tried to tell her she's taken them, or sometimes she drops them. I don't know what to do, and I don't know how to convince her I'm not taking them

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All the above plus the unpleasant obvious....learn to ignore. Otherwise, you'll go crazy.
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Ruth 1957 has excellent advice. Validation "therapy" has been shown to be very successful as a means of reassuring someone with Alzheimer's or other dementia.
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I have a somewhat similar problem except that my mother wants to give me her pills. Bless her heart. She thinks they might make me feel better. My mother's cognition is still reasonable, so I tell her that if I take her pills, then there wouldn't be enough for her. I wonder if it would help if someone thinks we're stealing their pills -- if I stole your pills, there wouldn't be enough for you. It says that they are the important ones when it comes to pills.
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The problem here is that most given advises consider cognitive person in mind. How can you reason with someone who's memory is not "there"? Does not matter what you say.... if they are obsessed with some "thought", which is repeating itself in their mind, they will not remember the answer you gave them over and over. Especially telling them to "remember".... They will not, and it might even upset them to hear such words because it reminds them about something they can't do any more.
I DO TAKE couple of pictures of my resident(s) taking pills (once!) and show it to the person if they can't remember (every time they ask)..... of course there is a chance they might not recognize themselves in these photos, but usually in that late stage they do not concern about taking pills either....
Indeed, in the time of mass-communication, I use electronics a lot. I snap shots of my residents through the day trying to catch their best moments. I e-mail or message those to the family members as my daily report. Simple snapshot with your mother smiling and looking happy will make your day better. Most of the time I work with the whole family, not just the resident.... Our memories might fade too.... and, unfortunately, bad memories tend to stay longer. Flipping through wonderful happy moment on your cell phone will help you (as a caregiver or relative) to overcome sadness and depressive thoughts....
I also have Skype. I offer room and board for those who come to visit their relatives from out of sate.
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I strongly agree with a previous post. You must validate her in some way, because in her mind, no matter what you say or do, the belief is true to her. Try not to take this personally. It is hard. "Remember, Mom, we put your pills in a safe place ... let's go check to see if they are there." There are med dispensers that will beep and dispense at only the time they are needed ... if that will help ...
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Sometimes it works with hygiene also "Your doc says it is time to take a shower!" I have found it works better with females than males. Of course the older females always assume it is a male doctor (not so much anymore) so they are more apt to want to please the male figure - go figure....
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Validation. "You believe I've taken your pills." This, alone, may break the cycle in her mind. "I understand that you believe this. It looks like that's making you upset." I find that a firm touch, such as holding her hand or wrist, and looking directly into her eyes, helps this communication. "I'm sorry that you believe I have taken your pills. I know this is upsetting. This is hard, Mom. This is very hard." Then to direct her to something else like tea, or a walk, or something she enjoys, would be my next step. I really think that the validation - re-stating what they have said to show you understand - goes a long way. As another poster said; it's so much like reasoning with an 18 month old. But even THEY feel better when you clearly understand what they're trying to communicate. You think I took your pills, and you're mad!!! Try this one other thing that's worked for me with Dementia clients. "Mom, your doctor ordered me to keep these pills in a very safe place, and make sure you took the right ones at the right time. I am following your doctor's advice, you can be sure of that!" Older patients are such doctor followers. They seem to really respond to the "The doctor said" trick a LOT. I even use it with my reluctant walker. "Your doctor said you should walk every day...." and off we go.
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"Yes, mother, they were yummy, couldn't resist…"

Amuse yourself privately with all the reasons you could have had for nicking her medications, such as the above, or that you thought it would be funny, or that the goldfish asked for them… But in front of her, obviously, it isn't remotely humorous.

I keep all of my mother's medications in one box, and dole them out to her as prescribed. I haven't yet had to stand over her while she takes them but it is getting to that - not confusion, clumsiness, she's starting to drop them, and some of them are so similar to others it can be difficult to identify which one you're picking out of the leftover porridge half an hour later.

If your mother is confused enough to think you're stealing her pills, though, she's definitely too far gone to keep charge of them. Take them over. Then you can explain that you haven't stolen them, you're keeping them safe for her. And in fact you can enjoy explaining that several times a day indefinitely - I'm afraid that all of the good advice above is true, and that there is no approach to reasoning that is likely to work.
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You can't "convince" someone with this stage of dementia of anything. Can you convince an 18 month old of anything? It's about the same stage of reasoning. It's time for either a facility or in-home caregivers and/or hospice. I'm so sorry for this pain.
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She is probably going to accuse you again - it is the dementia. Why do they think we want their pill, glasses and other crap??
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You could fill her pill box up in front of her, explaining that you are putting in the pills that she takes regularly and reassuring her that you aren't taking any but with her dementia she'd likely forget or not understand exactly what you're doing. There might be other solutions that sound perfectly reasonable to us but will not stop your mom from thinking that you are stealing her pills.

My point is that there is probably nothing you can do about your mom accusing you of stealing her pills (or her money or her mail or her clothes or her.....). Someone with dementia does not think rationally. YOU know you're not stealing her pills but trying to convince her of that might be impossible. You may just have to put up with the accusation.
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you might have to lock box them and show that your controlling them carefully to protect yourself. late stage dementia patients MUST have theyre meds distributed to prevent accidental double dosing.
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