Gang, I'm in a quandry. My mom, 83, moved into assisted living this past February. We've had a care manager for the past year or so to take my mom to appointments and generally check up on her.

My mom has always been paranoid. She is so adamant now, that she has caught someone sneaking around her room, that I'm finding myself considering that possibility, in spite of her history. I'm not sure what to do. I can't move her and change care managers every time she decides they're stealing from her. But what if? What if one of them IS dishonest? What if just one of the twenty crazy things she told me tonight is true?

Mom lives in Arizona and I live in NYC. I cannot move, because the job prospects where my mom is are terrible, and at age 51, I cannot afford to risk my income and jeopardize my retirement.

So part of me thinks, what could it hurt, asking the police if they've had any complaints about people stealing at my mother's facility? But then I wonder if I'm just getting sucked in, because it's my mother's voice saying these outrageous things.

I welcome your thoughts on this, knowledge of statistics around criminal activity in assisted living, and especially your own experiences caring from afar for a demented parent.

Thank you all for sharing yourselves here. Jenni

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I would let her facility deal with the supposed offense. That's their job. It's unlikely she has anything of value in her room or that she is a target. More likely her broken brain cannot find a reason for something it incorrectly processed, so it comes up with a "logical" explaination- except, because the brain is broken, it's not logical.

Let it go.
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I have a story to share around this topic. This was when my Mom was still living in her apartment and having Home Health care visit. We had scheduled the cable company to come over and reinstall her cable. I asked my sister to be there as I was not able to come. The cable people were scheduled to arrive at 9am. My sister called me around 10am and said they had not arrived. My Mom had kept insisting to her that they had already been. So I phoned the cable company and sure enough they had already been before my sister had arrived. We didn't believe our Mom when she had said they had already been there simply cause we had stopped believing a lot of what she said cause most of the time it turned out to be false.

So, I sympathize with your problem Jenni. If part of the time there is truth to your loved ones statements what to do. You can't waste your time disproving every story so maybe there is some kind of pattern to when the stories are true. Could you investigate the situations that don't involve accusing someone of something false just to see how often Mother is telling the truth and then go from there. If none of them prove to be true then you could take that as a sign to just not go there with her when she starts accusing people falsely.
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you posted under alz & dementia forum I think? so she has dementia correct? you should get lots of responses. But, I will just say for my mom, she started in on paranoid stories last November. and im probably forgetting some...

talking about strangers walking the halls at AL. and someone let a child come in her room and steal her journal. which my mom claimed held all her SS# and bank account #'s (NOT)

she insisted (and its hard to listen to craziness - cause my mom was a NORMAL person!!) I needed to call all the banks. and call Soc. Sec.  - to report her journal was stolen. Then the phone calls to me and my sister. to tell us the same story multiple times..."ive been robbed!"

then just recently she obsessed with someone is taking her newspaper. she even wrote a note and taped it to her AL door. "NOTE TO PAPER TAKER! please do no take my paper. I haven't had a paper for 4 days - and I pay for it!!"

(I kept the note) ~~I remove all notes from her room. ~~

her geriatric dr put her on a low dose anti-depressant and it seems to help.

whenever she cant find must be that someone took it.
but its usually she hid it somewhere or just dreaming up stuff.

edit we do NOT keep anything of value in my moms room - so if someone wanted to take something theres no big loss
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Jennifer this is very common for our loved ones to think people are stealing. Sounds like mom is in a facility. What about having a chat with them about mom's accusations? Perhaps talk with her doc about anti-anxiety meds.
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