I understand we should validate my Mum's reality but it is causing a huge rift in the family.

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"Olanzapine is an antipsychotic medication that affects chemicals in the brain.
It is used to treat the symptoms of psychotic conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (manic depression).
Olanzapine is not approved for use in psychotic conditions related to dementia. It may increase the risk of death in older adults with dementia-related conditions.
Long-term use of olanzapine can cause a serious movement disorder that may not be reversible. Symptoms include uncontrollable muscle movements of your lips, tongue, eyes, face, arms, or legs. The longer you take olanzapine, the more likely you are to develop this movement disorder. The risk of this side effect is higher in women and older adults."
I'm assuming her doctor has diagnosed her with one of the two psychotic conditions above and has ruled out dementia (meaning he doesn't think she has dementia). In his opinion, the benefits of this drug outweigh the possible side effects.

You should have received a written summary of this medicine when you picked it up at the pharmacy. I hope that you had a consultation with the pharmacist also because it was a new medication for her.

Please review website (or any other drug information website) for an extensive list of side effects that have been reported using this drug. I'm not trying to scare you but there are signs that you should watch out for that could be serious and permanent. If you have questions, talk to her doctor. Do NOT take her off of it without a doctor's order.
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Thanks everyone very much. Mum is still living independently and has not been diagnosed with dementia/alzheimers.

She went through a period in 2005 of doing the same thing but it stopped and now it has started again. I think it may be because her younger brother has been diagnosed with dementia and she is scared of the same so instead of losing her memory she is blaming my sister.
We took her to the doctor and he has prescribed Olanzapine so I hope this help.

Thanks again for your thoughts.
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You got good advice about what to do with the demented mom.

Regarding the family rift, call a FAMILY MEETING, either in person or via phone. Everyone in the family HAVE be told clearly, openly and in front of each other that the accusations are UNTRUE. And that this is one of the symptoms of dementia / Alzheimer's.. Mom loses her memory and loses tracks of her things. Search on this website or on the web for an article about dementia /Alzheimer's patients often accuse others, especially the caregivers of stealing. Give everyone a link to that article or a copy of it.

It is so UNFAIR to the accused since most of the time that person is the main caregiver who is already under a lot of stress taking care of the parent, and now being called a thief AND being abandoned by other family members. SO UNFAIR.
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Sunflo, how long did this accusation period last for your mother?
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My mom accused me and brother of the worst things, including stealing money, jewelry etc. all unfounded. I was really hurt and felt I had to defend myself at first -- until I read this blog and other books/references which explained this is a very common behavior.

I learned (thru folks here!) to go along with it. I would acknowledge mom's "reality" and say, "lets take a look around for it" -- and we would look in common places together and maybe her hidey holes and locate the object.

When it got so bad and my mom accused my brother of stealing her money out of the bank - I'd let her rant and rave and then ask "what should we do about it" and she wouldn't really know sometimes -- otherwise she'd want to call police and I'd offer to do so -- sometimes pretend to call and have conversation with police on the phone and go over all the details -- then report to mom that police were investigating and would come over "next week" to see her. This settled it for her and made her happy.

They forget easily and just want it to "be acknowledged" mostly.

I know its frustrating and painful for your daughter, but those family members who know your daughter and you and others would never believe these things.

I have to admit that my mom did accuse both my brother and I of stealing things, coming to her house, (etc.) and calling my aunts and uncles and reporting. Luckily, they understood mom's behavior and dementia as time went on -- (they would have short phone calls with her and think "how great she was and with it") not understanding that elders can "showstop"" and be normal for short periods.
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First, everyone in the family should know this is VERY COMMON in dementia. It does not mean anything in terms of which person is accused. It is the dementia.

Then, validate her feelings, but not the accusation. She needs acknowledgement that you've heard her complaint and reassurance that you are on her side. "Oh, Mom! Your nice embroidery scissors is missing?! I don't blame you for being upset about that. I know that Joyce wouldn't deliberately take them, but any one of us might have misplaced them. I will help you look for them. If they don't show up by tomorrow let's go shopping for a new pair."

Diversion is great if it works, but try not to seem dismissive, as if you don't believe her concerns.

While they are in this stage persons with dementia hide their things to keep them safe, and then forget that that did that! Often they use the same hiding places repeatedly, which makes the job of finding them a little easier.
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When you say, validate your mother's reality...

There is a difference between not forcing the issue and confirming her mistaken belief, you know.

What is the rift about? - what is the difference of opinion?
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I'm assuming your mom has dementia?

No, don't validate your mom's accusations precisely because it will cause family rifts and it doesn't help your mom either.

When mom accuses someone in the family of stealing divert her attention to something else. An article in the local paper, an interesting show on tv, ask her about a memory, "Hey mom, remember that one time when we....." Divert her attention away from the accusation. I know it's difficult to do and takes a lot of energy but it is very unfair to the daughter who is being accused.

If the diversion doesn't work try another one until your mom gives up on her accusations.
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