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I don't normally climb up on my soap box and preach, but this week I have 1,000 times been poked just hard enough to make that climb! Here goes... My 74 year old mother began accusing me of stealing her money. She is constantly hiding her purse, and goes into a raging fit when she can't find it. She then thinks that I am stealing her money. This goes on from the time we wake up until we go to bed! No amount or line of reasoning will convince her that I am not stealing anything of hers. She has even threatened to hit me! This non stop searching for her purse is driving me insane! She made no mention of having accused me, once I have found her purse. Perhaps she didn't remember she'd accused me. This is only a tip of the iceberg example of what I deal with, day in and day out. It was her keys last week... Just wonder what it will be next week??


Also, my mother has been so delusional for the past two weeks. She told me today that she could smell the food cooking on the stove, which of course, it was nothing cooking... A couple of days ago, she went into her bedroom to check on "her babies" sleeping... She see's people that isn't here on a daily basis.


My life in a nutshell... & the only thing I have to say about it is... screw you gently with a chainsaw alzheimer's/dementia disease!!! I hate you!!! *screaming this out loud*... I am sure I will get a lot of hacked off readers for this, but the beauty of it all is I really don't care. Being mature isn't always easy with being a caregiver, but it makes you feel better to just let it all out :)

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SandraLynn - I would never give my mother anything to harm her... My mother smoked cigarettes for over 40 years. She stopped smoking 10 years ago. I can't believe she didn't develop COPD from all those years that she did smoke. My dad was a heavy smoker and he did have COPD, as well as lung cancer. He had to be on oxygen to breathe, up until he passed away 5 years ago.
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I can't help but I can tell you I experience same with my mom and her dementia. She has accused all those close to her of stealing, etc when she has simply misplaced. Her paranoia and hallucinations continue to increase. She's been on meds but they didn't really help just made her groggy which added to her complaints.

I used to get angry and frustrated when I couldn't set her straight or make her see reality. My saving grace was to just go with it. If she asks about things untrue....my being married to the mayor, my new babies, my sons babies, etc..I just make up a reply and she moves on. If she accuses me of stealing I ignore, if I'm there visiting I may suggest places for her to look or help her look, but I no longer get worked up over it. She seems to move on when I change the subject. When she tells me about her hallucinations (her dr boyfriend), neighbors being terrorists, national guard protecting her house, I just play along, let her tell me details (she has a vivid imagination and surprisingly, I now find the stories entertaining whereby I used to be shocked and alarmed).

So just ignore as much as you can, remember it isn't you it's the disease talking. Take a walk or find someone you can talk to, or just vent here. You'll always find someone who has walked in your shoes.

This site always makes me feel better and more confident.
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My opinion on the marijuana: Im not a pot smoker. Im in my mid 40's...I smoked as a teen. If I thought it would have calmed my gram down...I may have thought about it...BUT wouldn't have followed through with the thought, because dying from inhaled smoke...is one of the WORST ways to die. Inhaling smoke causes COPD...yes, we are all going to die..but dying from drowning in your own saliva...is NOT the way to go...it's a slow, long death...Dying of lung issues means you cant swallow in the end...you slowly dehydrate, slowly die of starvation, you choke on your own phlem..slowly drown in your own phlem...and on top of all that, you CANT catch a breath...it lasts a long time. pain, we can take pills for....when dying in pain...but when you cant breath and have all the above listed..caused by smoking....IS NO FUN... Gram smoked and quit when she was 80.... she had dementia/Alzheimer's...and she died in the end of COPD...I always saw that she breathed fast...she couldn't breath laying flat...so she slept in a recliner....but when I asked her "how is your breathing?" she would smile and say "fine"...doctors took extras...didn't see much...never was a concern...up until about two months before she died...then all of a sudden...full blown COPD....pills hurt the liver...my dad died of cirrhosis of the liver...he didn't suffer half as much as my gram did in death. My grandfather died from cancer..he didn't suffer half as much as my gram did in death...my other grandmother died from stroke...she didn't suffer half as much as my gram did from COPD....marijuana is inhaled smoke....burning the linings of your lungs....Id advise against it....just my opinion...
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Really appreciate everyones reply to my questions!! It has been very helpful!!
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captain - I have seen my mother high on marijuana once, and it wasn't a pretty sight. It was back in the early 80's, and to this day, I can still recall every word and every action my mom made. She experience paranoia like I had never seen in my life... from that day on, Mary Jane had become her worst enemy. I could only amagine her having just one toke off a joint now... geesh, that would for sure finish us both off with a quickness!!
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... and to be sure... I'd never stolen a thing from my mother, or anyone else for that matter... and never would. I honestly think my mother wanted the pistol so she could attempt to take her own life, so she was mad about not having access to it! I hate guns, and she knew that.
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My mother was that way before she became in need of a caregiver. She once hid a gold serpentine necklace underneath the drawer liner in her dresser. Then proceeded to insist ( to me, not them, thank goodness) that my mother in law or sister in law had stolen it. I assured her that they would not. A year later, she found it. More recently, she was accusing me of taking her keys and her handgun. When something like this comes up, I have to just call big brother over and he has to settle it and have the say... till then, she's not satisfied. He did come over, was determined I'd not taken anything, and no she could not have the keys and access to the gun... end result: Keys put in a drawer in chest of drawers and pistol hidden some place she would not be able to get a hold of. Not heard one single peep since then. And it was the 2nd time, we'd had the conversation, the 2nd time he'd been over. My brother thought he'd call her bluff and suggested if I'd done that, that we should call the police. He thought she'd back down, instead she said go ahead, call them! Lol! ... but wasn't so funny at the time. The last time he came over, and we moved the gun, that was the last we heard about it.. If there is anyone who can be there, when you are, to show her that you've not taken anything, that would be great. Maybe it will shut her up.
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SandraLynn -
You say it so well about medication. They SUFFER from that anxiety. I have known people who would have had a much better life if they had been medicated 40 years ago!
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Went through that with our grandmother. I was her sole caretaker, until the end when we took advantage of an insurance Gram had taken out 20 years before hand for In Home Care. They came in for enough hours for me to go home and sleep.

Gram never accused me, I was the only one she trusted. But she would accuse the caretakers, but they didnt take anything. Gram didnt have anything in home to really take. She had a bank account. She would hide her wallet and then get so nervouse and anxious about losing it. I searched all day long for her purse with her sitting in her walker (walker had a seat) following me around in hopes I would be her savior and find it. It was so frustrating. But I tried to do it with joy. When I finally found it, I told Gram and she was so happy and right away said "oh! now I have to find a place to hide it!" ..... my heart dropped....joy lost.... "Please gram, dont ever do that again!".

We finally realized Gram was FULL of anxiety. You and I would be too, if we REALLY BELIEVED, people were stealing from us, mean strangers were in our home, family members cant be trusted, losing independence, forgetting everything....we too would be so full of anxiety, we would have obsessive thoughts of how to hide our belongings..

My personal belief is that if they are suffering from anxiety, medicate...Im not saying overmedicate.. but use the smallest amount until you find what works. Find a doctor who will work with you. And we dont tell them what we are giving them (our loved ones)...we say, this is your heart pill, potassium....whatever....we finally learned that seroquel helped a lot...celexa for crying...and xanax...or ativan....cut pills in half or quarters (ativan)...start with lowest dose and work the way up. Xanax is so short acting....but it was helpful....
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Unrelated? I don't think so!!
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on an unrelated note: the new blades for my leaf chipper should be here today..
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you havent lived until you see your ( then ) 75 yr old mother shakily fire up a joint. mom only tried it twice when she was just dying with bipolar despondancy but both times it did calm her right down. she started grooving on colorful or interesting things in the room. my mom was a sunday school teacher for 40 yrs thats what made it even more chuckleworthy.
also i think ive figured out another reason for the endless caregiver guilt we feel. we have an actual need to contemplate our life post - caregiver. to do that it feels like were wishing the elder would get sucked into a leaf chipper. then that visual makes you think you were being a bit harsh or callous .. well you werent, its a thought ever carer has - most of the time..
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Marijuana, did someone say MARIJUANA?!?... I do appreciate the info, but NO way, NO how would I ever give my mother garbage that the government sells... "Home grown", maybe? My opinion, home grown marijuana is what medical marijuana weed wishes it could be. But, in all seriousness, I would never give my mother neither.
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It is also important to find the right doctor to see for medical marijuana and the best place to buy. Research on Internet as much as possible before hand. Well worth the effort. Will definitely improve quality of life for your loved one. Also pay attention to needs such as vitamin b12 , vit D , melatonin ( I think I read on the Internet that the medical marijuana suppliesthe brain with huge amounts of melatonin. Question the purity of your source..try to find the best possible source. Protect the stomach.
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Research Lewie Body dementia. Symptoms resolved when consistency and proper dosages given on time ( reference to use of medical marijuana and valerian root extract. Nuts and seeds can be ground to meal using a coffee grinder then purée with distillers or purified water in Vita Mix blender or other blender. You can also make nut or seed milk(recipes available on the Internet. Once you discover what works with your mom, you will be able to relate conversationally and enjoy each other which will make the caregiving more rewarding. Your mom's "brain needs" can be met. It takes research and effort but will bring good results. Please research coconut oil and good fats for the brain why they are so important for dementia/Alzheimer's.
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I personally know of similar situation resolved with use of medical marijuana(indica nectar to restore mental clarity and memory) and valerian root extractv(to control anxiety and agitation). It took research and learning to adjust to needs. Also proper attention to nutrition and good fats which feed the brain such as raw unrefined coconut oil, avocados and bananas, walnuts, cashews, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds (all organic). In other words seek natural solutions to supply the brain with what it needs. Organic healthy vegetables and fruits,etc/proper nutritious food is medicine. Also, Tranquinol, a dietary supplement for healthy mood relaxation, if need, is available from the Premier Center in Santa Monica,CA or Dr Bob Marshall I n Texas (these sources also have specials on coconut oil ....buy in quantities when on special pricing). You have to research for healthy natural solutions that help.
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Krazy~When my mom was still living at home, she accused us also of stealing from her. I live about 5 minute drive from her house but I would not help her look for her keys, purse, etc. I would just tell her you probably moved it, I do that all time too, just keep looking and you will find it. Everyday it was something that was lost, then she got where she started hiding coffee, laundry soap, dog food...everything she was hiding in the master bedroom that way she could guard it especially at night. When mom moved into AL, sis and I found $1300 she had hidden in a metal box, we had to have a locksmith come out to open the box because we couldn't find a key for it, LOL!! I had my husband remove her ladder from her house so she would try to climb it and she accused him of stealing it, "That man you run around with took my ladder, I want it back or I will call the police." My poor husband was a busy man in my mom's mind because not only was he the man I run around with, he was also my sister's boyfriend, LOL!! Mom told her lady friends and the bank that sis and I were trying to steal her money, but no one paid attention to her because they knew what was going on with her.It is hard to get through this phase of the disease with her but you will.
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" disease " is simply the absense of health, so yes, aging is a disease in itself..
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screw maturity with a carbide, concrete cutting chainsaw. read up about the capgras effect. pretty soon youll be trying to kill her and youll be an imposter too. it would pay you to make a call to your local police and tell them youve got a certified nut case in your home and not to be sending any swat teams out. they will understand exactly what you mean as there are similar cases in many households per jurisdiction. her delusional drivel could get you shot in your sleep if the cops arent given a heads up.
sadly as we try to deal with this disease of aging we are constantly mired in guilt and feelings of inadequacy. thats frustrating and if i ever figure out why ill gladly share the reasoning. i cant make an ill crazy persons life meaningful or make them happy. its a fridge too freaking far..
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Dear Krazy:
You are not Krazy or alone, so many of us have the same exact problem that you have. I had to take Mom's checkbook away because she would hide it and accuse me of spending her money and then SCREAM at me when she couldn't find where she had hidden it! I finally took it away and gave her a copy of it minus the actual checks.

Just like you this is only one instance, she wants to feed the dog incessantly and I have had to begin hand feeding the dog and making sure she has eaten all her food or Mom will try to feed her 20 times a day.....because she is sure the dog is still hungry!!!

Then by 1pm she wants to know what is for dinner and when am I going to get it going and I have to remind her that dinner is not until 5pm (which she set and it has to be strictly adhered to or the world will fall apart!)

Is it possible to always remind your Mom...."Oh Mom don't forget your purse"....every time she gets up and moves....like it's part of her outfit or does it have a shoulder strap so she can carry it around all day? We have a specific place for my Mom's purse and it is there ALL the time.

These are only a few of the many things my Mom picks on and does every single day and it drives me NUTS. I have heard that this OCD type behavior is normal for a dementia patient, but it doesn't make it any easier to handle.

My Uncle and others on this site have mentioned that there are medications that help with stopping this behavior. My Mom is not taking anything, but she is becoming worse and we are trying to find a doctor who may be able to help us find something to help her. I am just afraid it will dope her up and we will lose what small bit of her that is still remaining, in there somewhere.

I feel for you as I go this same thing every single day! I hope your day tomorrow is better and less stressful!
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I think that the only way to deal with this behavior is to ignore and deflect it. My mom is in an assisted living facility, and she still accuses me of taking her socks out of her drawer (she moved them to a different drawer), cancelling her subscription to the hometown newspaper that she gets through the mail (the mail hadn't been delivered yet that day), taking her cell phone charger (she put it in her nightstand drawer), etc. My point is that even if you can solve the missing purse issue, your mom will just move on to something else. Many people with dementia spend a lot of time going through drawers and cabinets and rearranging their possessions. Paring down their possessions and reducing clutter reduces the number of things to "lose", and makes it easier for you find things that have been relocated. After making a couple of trips to mom's apartment to help her find things that she had misplaced, I now just tell her not to worry, whatever it is will turn up, and if not, I will look for it the next time I visit. Since her short term memory is gone, she forgets about whatever is missing in seconds, and I just change the subject. I doubt that she remembers that she accused me of taking anything.
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