My mother in law has recently told my husband that someone is coming into her home when she is not there and taking things. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

My mother in law has recently told my husband that someone is coming into her home when she is not there and taking things. Any advice?

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She accused my step son of taking her car for a joy ride. He has his own car and would not be interested in her car for any reason. Yesterday she told my husband that when she came home the other day she could see the outline of someone who came in a took a nap in her bed. She said her TV was moved slightly and her alarm on the clock was changed. She gave him details......could see where someone's head was on the pillow and the outline of the arms. Nothing was taken from the home. She is a very active and independent 75 year old woman. My father in law passed away about a year ago. He had Alzheimer's. They were not close so I don't think his passing has effected her much. We are not sure how to talk to her when this happens. How many time does something like this happen before we take her to the doctor. She will think we are crazy!

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Thank you so much for the responses! She told my husband the story about someone taking a nap in her bed yesterday at church around 11am. Not sure what time a day she had told him the other stories.
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Reply to LK3388
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LK3388, I forgot to mention about what to say to Mom-in-law when she talks about these things. Best to just agree with her. And it is ok to use what are called "therapeutic fibs" to help calm her down.

Oh, just wondering if Mom-in-law are telling you these "stories" in the late afternoons or evenings. If so, she might be having the start of "sundowners" type dementia. My Dad had that, he would start to live back in the 1940's after 3pm.
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Reply to freqflyer
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I agree about getting her checked out to rule out any medical problems like UTI or medication issues. I'd do that without delay, because regardless of what is causing these delusions or hallucinations, they seem to really bother her. She may grow frightened, confused and harm herself or others as a result. I might also have someone visit with her for a day or so to observe things and see if other things may be going on., like cooking issues, bill paying, hygiene care, etc. Sometimes seniors say things are fine, but, when you really examine things, it's not.

We had a family friend who thought that children were playing in his house, making noise, etc. and he ran outside to get away, fell and fractured his hip.  He was not able to recover, so, I'd try to ensure that she's not too frightened.  
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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LK3388, this could be an Urinary Tract Infection as such an infection in an older person can create an array of strange symptoms such as seeing things that aren't there. Take Mom-in-law to her primary doctor or even to an urgent care to have Mom tested for a UTI. This can be corrected with antibiotics.

Now, if the UTI doesn't clear up the hallucinations, then this could be a memory issue.
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