What do you do when you are repeatedly accused of stealing money by your MIL?

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I have had enough and I need to know how to handle this. MIL gets fixated on going to see Drs for supposed pain or peeing too much. None are valid complaints we watch her carefully and give her Aleve for pain from arthritis. She is 87 and has dementia from strokes. Her other fixation is that my husband and I are stealing from her. These issues cycle through the weeks and she gets Very Agitated and out of control! I'm sick of it and other than walking out the door and never returning I wonder if anyone has any ideas on a recourse? So sick of all of this shit!! No more patience so so wish she would just Die already!!!

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Is your MIL taking any medications for her dementia/alz? I ask because we kept my mother off all medications for about 7 years for her dementia. At that time her behavior had become SO HORRENDOUS that I was ready to throw her into a nursing home and walk away! Now if you knew me you would know it had to be really bad because I have always said, "I will fight to the death to keep her out of a nursing home!" I had reached my breaking point and I could stand it no longer!

She was hospitalized for gall bladder surgery and would begin the sundowning behavior with agitation and saying "she was getting out of bed and walking home!" The staff began trying to give her meds for the sundowning and it spiraled into a HUGE nightmare of hallucinations and staying awake for 40 hours or more...EVERYTHING THEY USED ON HER ACTED JUST THE REVERSE OF WHAT IT SHOULD!

I WAS READY TO KILL MYSELF JUST TO BE ABLE TO ESCAPE!

Two weeks back home she was not sleeping at night but roaming the house, turning on our bedroom lights, yelling, screaming, wanting to feed the sleeping dog, etc. I took her to a Gerontologist who put her on Remeron and Celexa and Oh my God, I could have kissed this man after the first day of her being on it! I difference was staggering!!! I no longer had to kill myself or throw her into a nursing home!

I have to tell you that being accused of stealing or wanting to steal everything from them is normal with dementia. I think it has happened to everyone. I took over my mother finances years ago but became her POA about two years ago because she was giving away her money to everyone that called on the phone! I therefore have her checkbook and this is a constant sore spot. She has accused my sister and I of stealing from her or says, "You can't wait til I die so you can get your hands on MY MONEY!" I can assure you what you are experiencing is all part of her disease!

Saying all of that I have to say the scary part for me in this was that I was afraid that someone was going to hear these accusations and believe them. I do keep records of everything spent for her and for my family. I do have a sibling that tried to accuse me of stealing my mothers money and tried to round up my other sibling to come after me for it. I simply told them that I kept records of everything and if any of them wanted to pay for an accountant to go over her records, be my guest, I have NOTHING to hide. The sibling to started this was mad because I was POA and by becoming such had stopped HER from paying HER bills out of my mother's accounts! So she was ticked at me.

You do need a break however, you can hear it in what you write. Sometimes just getting the right medication can make a world of difference but a break or vacation is needed as well. I also have a therapist come to my home once a week so I can "vent" if needed. I makes a world of difference.

Remember accusations of theft are normal. Keep good records and leave the room when she begins to rant.... and do a happy dance or whatever can lift your spirits for a few minutes!

Good Luck and God Bless!
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THIS is what hurts...my mom did this to me ...without dementia...I stopped going to see her 3 years ago...I don't want anything she has, I don't steal..and I have worked all my life since I was 16 years old.....I am a GOD fearing woman..I honor my mother..and I ask GOD to give her wisdom, knowledge and understanding..to Give her every good and wonderful blessing in her life..from his heart and hand to her life...I pray for her every day.....I cannot be in her life..but I still wish the best for her......every gift from HEAVEN to her ....54 years of hurt and pain and trying to earn her love..never happened..she favored my brothers...many of her life long friends never knew she had a daughter......Every lie she ever told about...I proved her wrong...Now at age 57 it has been 3 years since I have seen her...she has no lies to spread now.....and no daughter....you cannot break someone with 54 years of lies and torment there life from childhood on ...and then expect them to come take care of you when you are old...NO...you are on your own...I don't steal..I don't lie..I don't cheat, ...but this is the best I can do to HONOR my mother...is to ask GOD to do what I can't...
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It is time for a facility. You are at your breaking point. She is in need of full time care. Once she is in a facility, keep in mind that her habits will not change, but, you will get the break you deserve. She will accuse the staff of stealing from her, but, they are equipped to handle that. She will still complain and need dr. care, but, she will provided with those resources. Look into a facility today. You need it.
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Try again :) My mother has had NPD life long and everyone was after HER MONEY. Every boyfriend I ever had was only after her money so I always felt worthless. She's been in a NH for over a year, mostly bed ridden (Parkinsons, dementia & stroke) and these days obsesses about stuff being stolen, mostly clothes and chocolates. A recent obsession has been a pink jacket that was "stolen". The one I bought her a few months ago is still there and on trying to get to the bottom of it yesterday I discovered she was obsessing about a jacket she had when she first went there and I don't recall it at all, so it's probably imaginary.

Thankfully she doesn't obsess about money any more and I have POA. I made sure she had no access to cheques some time ago and destroyed those in my possession. The only thing going to her bank account is her pension. I withdraw that and pay for her keep & needs out of my own resources. These days her speech is poor and she's not even able to write her own name. I'm no doctor but I wonder if the accusations of stealing that seem to come with dementia are in fact the fear caused by losing control.
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Ask the MD if it is time for a memory care facility. Her dementia will continue to get worse.
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Well I am trying to drug my mom, if that helps any. I learned that first I need some help (mentally stressed out to the max), which thankfully now is much better and to understand the process that my mom is going through. I also have hospice that helps with her anxiety. My mom is in the home with me, and has been for 10years, so I can tell you I have gone through soooo many cycles. But had I just come to grips with the fact that I can not make my mom better along time ago, things would have been alot better for me and my kids.
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mcs - well she is being robbed……of her cognitive ability from dementia. Somehow they feel this and how they come to grips with it, is to find someone to blame, and you my dear are it! It likely isn't going to change but there are medications that can help them balance out their day. Now I'm interested in the fact that your MIL issues seem to cycle in & out……as mom did this.

Listen I know your situation as do many many others on this site - so vent as need be. My mom has been robbed now for probably a decade or so. She is now in a NH for 3 years and since June has been totally bedfast due to shattered hip…..and she still gets robbed. They love taking her shoes too…yeah old lady shoes, now that's primo item to steal. She isn't going to change her perception but I have changed my attitude about it. It isn't easy to do either, lol!

Now if MIL is not being seen by a gerontologist, I would highly suggest that you get her scheduled for an appointment and take a list of all her many medications (both prescription and OTC) and then do a list of her fixations. My mom's had like 10 different meds from 4 different MD's and her gerontolgist got her weaned off of all of them and then down to 3 that she prescribed. You kinda need to find out which type of dementia she has as some medications really do make a difference for certain dementia's. Some dementia's tend to have cycles. I mention this as my mom has Lewy Body Dementia and for her she would have episodes in which there would be something intense…..like a vivid hallucination of an animal; or that they were stealing something pretty specific & she would call the police; or that "they" had come into her apt when she was in IL and were using her apt for a business meeting as her apt had the bright special light. Or as my now 16 year old said ages ago when it happened….grannies Men In Black moment. What her gerontologist told me was that Lewy tends to have an episode and then weeks in which all is fine. Just what triggers it isn't exactly know but the theory is that it is a brain plaque that does the trigger. Now Lewy takes a decade or more to get to the final stages, so if your MIL has Lewy, she could easily have another decade for this to play out if she is basically healthy. Yeah really another decade…..

For my mom with Lewy, the Exelon patch was great and she is on Remeron (an old school anxiety drug) which really helps balance out her day and also good for appetite. For my mom when the episodes started coming in almost daily, it was time for her to move into a NH. Maybe about 7 years to get to this point.

Also there could be some visual issues with her if she has Lewy. For my mom, she would see things as if she was looking through a "cookie" so lights & shadows were there for her but not for real. She would see the flat narrow hallway floor at her IL as if it was made of cobblestones and uneven. The carpeting in her apt looked uneven to her too. One thing that did help was to go in and change all the lighting for her. We put torch lights on timers so that this would get her on a cycle in the AM and less anxiety sundowning at night. For whatever reason, mom would not mess with the torch lights and their timers like she would with a table lamp. Also I got rid of a couple of pieces of dark and deep furniture as there were shadows there and replaced them with light and very shallow & lower stuff from Ikea, so she could easily see what was on them & in them.

You know @ 87, she could live another decade so you really want to think hard about what you need your future & your sanity to be. If she need to move into a facility, them start looking now. You will need to start getting her medical file done so that she shows the need for skilled nursing care too if you will need for Medicaid to pay for the NH too. Her doc is going to be super important to work with you to do this, so again a gerotologist will be invaluable for this.

So where is your hubby in all this?
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God Bless all of you caregivers suffering from being accused. I have been right there with you. I tried this and tried that and my mother DOES NOT have ALZ, but has had silent strokes and several life changes that cause anxiety. She is a brilliant woman. but every day it was "Something of mine has been replaced with something else." We finally got her to a neurophyscologist (sp) who figured it out through MRI and then therapy. When Mom got her report telling her what was wrong, she still talks about things being replaced, but I just say "ok" and in minutes it is gone from her mind. I feel SOOO BAD for each of you because I know my brothers STILL are not totally sure all the time, but my precious SIL has experienced it and knows I am not doing anything wrong. This is hard work. I thank God for each one of you and pray He keeps you sane through the process. What a battle you have. You DO need vacation time and you DO need to be sure your siblings make time for your precious person so they can see what you see. Go out of town and insist one of them keep them. They will find out real soon! I don't have all the answers. I am in a period of peace right now, but I know tomorrow is another day. Stay prayed up and don't allow ANYONE to tell you, you aren't doing a great job. PLEASE find someone you can vent and cry to. NOT your spouse. They will get defensive towards the person. You need someone to talk to. PLEASE, PLEASE find someone.
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mcs175 I am going throught this too. In fact my mother went so far as to call her attorney. Who in turn called me. After the attorney got the facts from me and I told her about the records I keep (She was welcome to conduct an audit at her expence!) The attorney informed me that my mother was totally incompitant, and that I needed to keep her on a short leash! Well, she is on that short leash now. My sister and I just didn't see what she was doing because she was keeping us at odds with each other. I'm sure she still is going to go back into the stories again at some point. I continue to protect myself and my wonderful hubby from her lies by keeping accurate records. I also do not allow her to try to start anything with my sister. We refuse to give her back her narcisistic control. We are all in a better place for taking control away from this narcisistic woman. Getting a helper to come in to give me a break has really helped. I have 3 days a week she isn't even on my radar! You need to take care of yourself the best you can. Good luck we will all be there if you need to vent. Lord knows we all need to vent to others that have been there and done that.
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mcs175, Accusations of stealing from elder dementia patience seems to be a common thread I read on this site. I too was accused of stealing by my parents who both suffer from dementia, we all suffer from dementia face it! Memory care unit is next if you can't handle it, I couldn't it's a horrible time very difficult on everyone involved. Sorry I know this hurts and is frustrating for you. The Aleve I was told my by fathers doctor not to give my father only Tylenol you may want to ask your elders doctor about that. Again so sorry I feel your pain!
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