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I am 47 and came into a transitional point due to various circumststances (house fire) that made it a win win to move in with 80 year old parents with mild physical restrictions and one (Mother) with dementia. I try to treat them with love, respect, and dignity. They respond with bizarre rules, criticisms, and obsessions ....ranging from rude and very unmeritied. I am not helping as i could because they come up with reasons for me not to help ...the "its my house!" thing. They seem to resent me. E#ven irrrational fears.....for no reason my mother has begun to hide her purse and medicine . Is any of this normal? There is no history to merit it. There bank account was electronically hacked from out of state last week. My father insisted on dealing with the bank himself...they feel i am involved. I am becoming depressed and worried for my own mental health.

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Yes! Like they say, put on your oxygen mask first and then assist the person you are taking care of.
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Ricky, the longer you wait to get your life back together the harder it will be. If you need to work to support yourself then there is no time to waste. The longer you are out of the workforce the harder re-entry will be. As many have already said, you are in for a long, hard road. And you don't know how many years your parents still have left. Are you going to put your life on hold indefinitely? Help yourself first, in my opinion.
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Then either get yourself another place to live or know that the symptoms you are describing are typical for ones with dementia. The stealing money and things is very common, so I suggest you read as much as you can about all dementias and prepare yourself for a long, hard road.
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Make sure you have documented proof of their incapablilties! Doctor letters. Medical reports from tests!!! You need as much paperwork & proof that they are not financially & personally responsible for taking care of themselves. I have never been thru as much pain as being accused of stealing from my parents!!! Be prepared for the worst. Sorry.
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Ricky, better that you call the cops and social services APS before they call you. Protect yourself from criminal charges by being the one who calls the authorities first. Let them sort it out, and if they recommend you move out, do so, follow their advice. Caregivers of dementia patients all too often are backed into a corner and have to defend their actions.
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Ricky I lived in my mothers home from 1998 to 2014. I had become ill and my mother and father had me sell my home and move my daughter and myself in with them. When I began feeling better, it became my turn to help care for an aunt, then my father, brother in law and Mom who had dementia and I cared for her 8 years.

I only tell you this to show you how long I lived with my mother. There are "stages" that people with dementia and Alzheimer's go through and "paranoia" is one of them. I had taken care of Mom's finances even prior to my father's death, but when mom's paranoia set in, she accused me of stealing, then all of us were stealing from her, she lost trust in us.

I was very hurt because I had given up my life to care for her and I was doing everything for her, which was no easy task. An older sibling lived there as well but she was angry with me for becoming the DPOA and she wanted to do everything within her power to get me to fail, so not only did I have Mom with paranoia but my sister as well.

Paranoia is a natural progression of your mother's disease. Parents become distrustful of everyone and everything because they are afraid of losing their independence and they start wondering if that is actually why you are there...to keep an eye on them and then perhaps throw them into a nursing home??? They want to show you that they are still perfectly capable of caring for themselves. They also want things done, the way "they have always done it" because that is the correct way in their eyes, they do not like change.

I am sure you have heard the saying that "No good deed goes unpunished," well that is how I felt and probably you do too. I began feeling like I was "damned if I do and damned if I don't."

If you can sit and talk with Dad and he doesn't have a mental issue you need to ask him what you can do to help around the house. Let him know that you appreciate him allowing you to live there until you can get back on your feet and to pay him back you would like to help him around the house wherever he wishes. He may not immediately take you up on the offer but slowly he may come around, or just sit and have a conversation with him to form a "friendship" of sorts to where he feels comfortable in asking for assistance. They just need to feel safe in knowing where you are coming from and that you are there and ready to help when they need or want it.

You living there may be a win win situation, but you have to realize that it is going to come with some difficult issues to deal with. If you do not have a sibling that you can confide in, then you do need someone, perhaps a social worker that can come in periodically and just assess the situation so you know you are "covered" so to speak against any false claims of abuse, theft, etc.

Lastly I hope you or another sibling have Power of Attorney for your parents and that they own a Trust. Most likely your Mom and Dad were POA for each other but if they are very old and both becoming ill, a child or close friend or attorney needs to become their POA so you can make medical and financial decisions for them, when they are no longer able to make them.

Good Luck and God Bless!
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Please forgive my post. I truly hate the auto correct on this thing. I should have proofread my post!!!
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This is very scary. I continue to read on this site about people who are accused of stealing of demented parents. I am amazed at the trouble and expense it causes the children/families of these caregivers.

This has caused me to a moment and reflect upon the terrible relationship I have with my mother. She has lied on more than one occasion that I can. Or be trusted with her money. I would blow right through it according to her and I have asked. Y dad for. Knew in the past (not true). Also she never wanted me on her POA but my brother insisted I be alternate, she did not want to do,that.

After all I have read here, I will not touch my. Other's funds with. Ten foot pole. She does not have dementia at the moment but is aging quickly. Because of the warning I have seen here, her lawyer will take care of her if my brother can not.

Maybe it is time to make other arrangements for care that exclude you and keep you safe from having any suspicions cast your way. I am protecting myself. Good luck
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Even non demented parents become surprisingly irrational as they age. Any illness that makes parents face their own mortality can turn them into unrecognizable little monsters who will try anything and everything to assert their independence. It's very scary and because they don't comprehend the consequences of their irrational accusations, documenting your actions and their behaviors and conditions is extremely important. I agree that your living with your parents is suboptimal. Can you rent a room nearby? Even paying a nominal amount in rent for your own space may help you feel less stressed and give you the much needed space to step back from their problems and focus on your life. You might also check on Craigslist or other local forum to barter some of your help around the house for room and board as a nanny, housesitter or adult caregiver. Take stock of your skills and what you can do - we all have talents to share - and if your parents don't appreciate you, I strongly believe another family will. As parents age establishing healthy boundaries becomes increasingly important. Good luck.
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At some point their behaviors will become very toxic for you and your health with begin to suffer. Even if it means living in a travel trailer or a shelter, have a plan to move out and carry through with it. Then either get family help to relocate them to a facility or call adult protective services on them. They do not have the right to destroy you in the process of their unfortunate decline. And you do not have the responsibility to hold on as they sink in to mental oblivion.
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They actually could call the sheriff and have you removed from the house. Do you have a credit card, that you could use to get an apartment? Will you be getting an insurance check? Myself, I would be spending every minute trying to get my own place.
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Also you should move out ASAP and visit them but living there is not a good idea.
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VERY IMPORTANT, Call the visiting nurses and have them come in for a few hrs every week so they can document things otherwise your parents could cause you legal problems.
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One specific idea, make sure your parents do not use cash (it at all possible). If they write checks then there's a name & date on it, and can be helpful in "remmbering". If they must use cash, have them write it down in a notebook with to whom paid, date, what for.
Best is just to not have much cash around, too easy to forget where it went!
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Ricky, please keep querying about this on this site; so many insightful answers. We've all been through it. Make sure you document these episodes and the outcome (purse was in the closet, medicines found, all money accounted for, etc.) and also talk with their doctors about this.

What I can tell you is that it won't stop....sorry to say, my mom has been accusing me and my brother for 5 yrs now of stealing, hacking, spying on her, etc. This paranoia has even extended to her former best friends consiriing a "terrorist attack on her". There is no reasoning when she gets going on this; she was diagnosed with early dementia and ALZ...so her former dr was aware of these accusations and made a documented diagnosis.

In some cases, when she gets on the rampage, I tell her to call the police...which she has. She has also tried to press charges...but the police dismiss because she has no proof. Recently she accused me of stealing her purse and documents...(I live and work 6 hrs away). I encouraged her to call the police (this would stop the constant calls to me)...and she did and they went over and investigated and she found the purse hidden in her linen closet. She has accused my retired well-off brother (living across the country) of raiding her safety box at the bank. I encouraged her to file a report and have the police ask for security camera video of the bank to "catch my brother in the act"...she didn't but told everyone in town about my brother stealing from her....sad; but funny and everyone knows it is just the dementia paranoia.

You live in the house; and that is a bigger burden. You are young, so I hope you will work to find a job and move out even if it has to be with a roommate to make it work. THis will not get better...parents will never recognize you as an adult. My mom still tries to discipline me and can be very demanding "That I owe it to her to care for her" -- guilt trips me when I visit. I feel like I'm 12 when she is coherent. It is hard to be just her daughter.

Work with their drs or senior center to outline some help strategies, care, therapy, etc. for your parents. You move out and get on with your life. Be there for your parents and if they beg you to come back or you choose to stay -- then sit down and set some boundaries of what you will and won't do. Sadly, you will have to steel yourself for the accusations, mistrust. I don't see that going away or becoming less frequent.
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Just in case someone who does not understand dementia takes them seriously , I would save any and all receipts of expenditures that have been for their care,save all receipts. Keep a journal of what you do for them and their daily behavior. All it take is for some nosy misinformed do-gooder to cause you all kinds of legal problems from false accusations.Elder abuse is a very hot topic button these days. I keep a journal of my mom's daily activities, complaints, when she had a bath, saw the MD(she sees a MD more than me), she doesn't have dementia yet but is a narcissistic personality,also make a daily notation of her skin condition , basically like I am back at my nursing job doing a daily assessment of a patient. Any nick, cut , bruise(she is on a daily aspirin) I keep a note on just in case she decides she is going to threaten me with something I didn't do at least I have some accounting to defend myself.I feel bad for the position you are in.As a caregiver for my mom I always feel I am in a defensive mode.
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Like you, Ricky, I am living with my elderly parents and they, too, accuse me of irrational things. This has been going on for three years and the first two and a half I thought I would lose my mind. The book, "The 36 Hour Day" is a great reference book. I did turn to a therapist and he prescribed medication to help me with the stress (I could not sleep). This site is very helpful. Have you tried a local ALZ support group? What about friends who may know of other local people going through the same thing? What about clergy?

I don't know if this would work for you but once I did take up for myself when my mother had accused me of things that just didn't happen. There were other sane relatives and a friend of mine present. This seems to be when mom is most
"normal" (when people outside the family are present). Mom got angry but began to back down substantially. She was nice to me for days afterward. I think she was afraid I may repeat this. I also told her I was going to move out so she could have her space back. She became very sad about that.

You are probably going to need to take some time for yourself. Get away. Visit friends for a long weekend. I visited a cousin for a long weekend to help her paint some interior walls. What a lovely break!

Take care of yourself. Try to keep telling yourself that they are now the children and you are the rational adult. It's difficult but don't take their insults and accusations personally.
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Ricky, what you are dealing with is all too common with the disease. Lately, my aunt & uncle, both with AZ/dementia, have begun hiding things & suspecting I took jewelry. They forgot that the valuables were put in the safety deposit box. I have no advice...just want you to know you are not alone.
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"delusions that are frequently observed in Alzheimer’s patients include beliefs about theft, the patient’s house not being his home, a spouse, is an impostor, belief an intruder is in the house, abandonment, spousal infidelity, and paranoia." ~ alzcompend.info

www,alzcompend.info is a good source of information
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I hope more experienced folks will put their replies here for you, too. You should have a third party involved who interacts with you at least through documentation, if not 'auditing' in the home, this could get really messy if they call the police or what have you. This surely has been and will be emotionally trying for you! But the more objective you can stay the better; so many people will tell you it's typical. Best of luck!
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Yes, it's normal for someone with dementia to hide their purse and other items. That sounds like typical Alzheimer's.

This doesn't sound like a win-win situation. Your parents need help. Read "The 36 Hour Day". It's about Alzheimer's and will help you understand the disease. Once you understand it better you can start to figure out what you need to do. Are you committed to caring for your parents in their home? Do you need to move out? Your parents need assistance and there's nothing wrong with hiring people to provide it if your parents can afford it.

Figure out what you need, what your parents need, and what it's going to take to provide it. You're in a very difficult situation and need help. Do you have any siblings? Anyone you can talk to?

This website is wonderful and you'll get insightful and sensitive suggestions and observations. We're here for you. You don't have to figure this out by yourself.
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