How can I deal with my mother's constant accusations of theft?

90 answers | Last updated: Sep 12, 2016
Christina d asked...

About 8 months ago 84 yo mother began accusing me of stealing lots of her household items, such as towels, Christmas ornaments, dishes, flatwear, knick-knacks, electric knives, power cords, etc. She has told me that she "knows" that I'm stealing these items to make her look crazy so I can become her guardian and take control of her money. She has been very nasty, calling me terrible names to my face, and calling me terrible names to my young children. It has only become increasingly worse as the months pass, especially after my father died 3 months ago. No amount or line of reasoning will convince her that I am not stealing anything of hers. She has threatened legal action if she keeps finding that her things are being "stolen." She does not drive so I take her places. Since she believes that I steal from her she doesn't want me going into her house (which is fine with me, because every time I go in her house she thinks I have stolen something that she can't find), and she does hire a driver occasionally to take her out. She lives in her own home and is handling her own money, but will call to ask questions and I can tell that she's having some major problems handling it, yet I can do nothing much to help her as she doesn't trust me. Just last week she accused me of taking her sprinklers out of her garage one morning. That afternoon she asked if my husband could go over to hook up some soaker hoses to water some of her grass and he goes in the garage. Guess what he finds in there? Yes, the sprinklers! She made no mention of having accused me of stealing them. Perhaps she didn't remember she'd accused me. This is only a tip of the iceberg example of what we deal with on a daily basis.

Taking her to a doctor for any kind of dementia diagnosis is out of the question as she would never go willingly. Tricking her into going is not an option either! It sure sounds like she does have dementia based on alot of research on the web.

If anyone has any good ideas on how to handle this horrible situation I sure would appreciate it! It has been helpful reading here. thanks!


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Community Answers

L.owings answered...

Hi Christina D, I have this problem with my parents and although there is no perfect solution, this did help some. I bought three disposable cameras and took pictures of everything in their condo, then walked around with my mother and wrote an inventory of er important items. I put the pictures and list in a binder and wrote the date under the pictures. Now when the accusations start I open the binder and walk around with them, showing them the photos so they can see nothing is missing. It works about 75% of the time. It took a few hours to put everything together but I think it was worth it. Of course they still accuse me of stealing money out of their checking accounts, but what can you do?


Londaf answered...

my dad is the same way. he threatend to burn my house down with me in it. most of the time he is really good, but since my mom died he just knows everyone is stealing from him. he calls the cop all the time, he even threatens them. he is so good with the great grand kids, and loves to see them and spend time with them every day. it's this paronia that is making everyone's life crazy. I have no answers, just a lot of concerns. He will never go to the resthome without a fight, let alone stay there. he won't stay with me, as I am the one who takes his money (he thinks) If he were a child I would put him in time out for a week..


Christina d answered...

londaf, Your father sounds just like my mother-she would never, never go to the rest home without a fight either!! that's so sad about your father threatening to burn your house down!!! I've had similar threats from my mother as well.

Yes, the paranioa is what is driving all of us crazy as well! it's so bizarre. whatever stories she tells me now I'm not sure if they are true or not.

L.Owings, that's a good idea about using the camera to take pics of your parents' stuff. trouble is if I tried that with my mother she'd think I was taking pics of her stuff so I could steal it later!! LOL

I do feel like I have another child, but it's worse, you can't punish them to make them behave better.

With all of this nastiness and paranoia, we've had to back off having so much contact with her, esp. for our young children, as she keeps talking trash about how horrible I am to them.

there's no good answer to this, is there?? :-)


Billiedglover answered...

among other things, my 94 mother is accusing me stealing a part of her garbage disposal - the problem is the part does not exist - I have never seen it in her house - I saw one like she is talking about when I was growing up, but not in 2010 - the electricity to her disposal does not work and she thinks she needs this part - I can not change the subject because every time she goes in the kitchen she is reminded - she called me today, irate, demanding that i bring this part back - I can not bring something back that I did not take - we have not been speaking lately - my stomach is in knots - she has always been mean to me, and having to be her caregiver is killing me - The picture idea sounds good, but would not work for me - I do not know what to do anymore - The patience I have and have had for 57 years is wearing thin - I don't want to help my mother anymore - She can drive and get her own food - I wish there was a good answer for all of us with this problem - The doctor said 2 years ago to take it a month at a time - Last year he repeated that she was dying and take it a month at a time - I asked him if he could pinpoint the month this would all be over - I sometimes want to kill myself to get out from under the stress of my mother - I have had to start taking 2 nexiums a day - now my aunt is showing the same signs and wants me to help her when something happens to my mother - my aunt and her have not talked for two years - all I can say is , please God, give us all strength -


Smrtblnd8185 answered...

Thank you to everyone who shared their situations. As I read them all I could think is that I could have written them myself. Reading your posts at least lets me know that I am not alone in this situation and that I am not overreacting either. My mother also lives by herself in her own house in a very rural area and has become increasingly paranoid about people, especially me, stealing from her or trying to steal her money. It is so painful to be accused of something you did not do, especially when you are going out of your way to be kind to them. I moved myself and my daughters closer to my mom 5 years ago thinking that she would be glad to have us nearby to help her and spend time with her. It was a very difficult 4 years for many reasons, but she made me miserable. It went from not giving me a key to her house even when she locked herself out to not inviting me over to not allowing me in the house. She was constantly calling to accuse me of taking things - first books, some that I'd never even heard of and then valuables, like silver. I was in such denial that I'd offer to get her another copy of the book on Amazon or try to help her figure out where something was. All the while she thinks I'm insincere to say the least and criminal at times. The straw that broke the camel's back is that when we finally moved away, far away :) she seemed to be a little nicer. I commented about that and she said that she thought that the only reason I moved closer was to be able to steal from her! Meanwhile, she raves about how wonderful my brother and sister are. They live several states away and NEVER visit (smart). I think I'm doing something nice, going out of my way to be nice to her, while my brother and sister do nothing, and she thinks they are wonderful because they clearly don't want her stuff!

It's quite likely that she has dementia and has probably always had a personality disorder. She chose to not get help, so she chose to be mean and hurtful. I just talked to her on the phone for the last time. It was the second conversation this week and the first one left me crying and with knots in my stomach for days. I honestly don't have any sympathy for her. It's like being co-dependent with an alcoholic. I'm done trying to help her or convince her that I am not a thief or horrible person. She is "toxic" = poisonous = deadly to me. I'm done. I only wish I had cut myself off from her sooner. .


Christina d answered...

Dear Smrtbind8185, Oh, how I feel your pain, sadness, anger, grief over this situation! The pain of false accusations is horrible! I wrote my original post over a year and a half ago and things have not gotten any better with my mother. I'm an only child so I don't have siblings to be compared to! Since I'm an only, we were really close, which has made this even more painful for me. This has affected my whole family-husband has been accused of stealing from her also-in fact she told me one time that I wasn't smart enough to have thought of stealing from her, that he was the "mastermind" behind it and he was a bad influence on me! Ha! She should know what a kind, patient man he is to have put up with all of this! My daughters hear repeatedly how horrible their parents are, etc. and they will never really know the person she really was. We don't let our daughters stay overnight there and every time my mom asks, and is told no, she goes ballistic. But we have to do what is right for our daughters also.

This dementia robs the person of who they are and robs the family of their loved one. it truly is the "long good-bye." It is a disease of the emotions also as well as the brain as there's not much control of the emotions, that's for sure. It takes all the personality quirks of the person, shuffles them up and spits them out in some unrecognizable way. I look at my mom, especially when she's the bad twin, and I want to shake her and ask her who she is and what have you done with my mother????

Acceptance. This is my buzz word for 2010 and going into 2011. There's been much healing that God has done after I have accepted that my mother as I always knew her is now gone, that that part of my life is over with, and it's never coming back. I've grieved losing both my dad and my mom at the same time.

I've come to realize that this stealing paranoia is a fixed delusion. NOTHING will ever change that, at all, ever, no amount of reasoning, facts, hard evidence, NOTHING will change it. And her facts and stories will keep changing to fit her delusion. She's told me or accused me of stealing something, I'll point out just how impossible that could be and list some reasons, then she'll change her story to fit the delusion. If it weren't so so it would be comical to see how she can change her stories to fit the delusion.

I, too, do not have a key to her house. she had the locks changed about 2 years ago. I am not invited inside, and the few times she's wanted me to come in to help her look for something I've refused to do it, telling her it just opens me up to more false accusations. She gets very mad, but at least she won't accuse me of stealing whatever when I'm inside. She does think we still get inside her house even thought we don't have a key. maybe she thinks we go thru the walls like a ghost or something.

My daughters will go inside (as she doesn't think they are stealing) to help put her groceries away when we go out shopping. They've been my little spies telling me what they see. and it's to be expected, they've seen things in oddball places: drinking glasses under chairs, roasting pan and a basket under her kitchen table, electric hedge trimmers under a bench in the hallway (previously had always been kept in the garage), pans for the stove stacked up in one of her ovens, etc. things she thinks would be stolen she hides in these strange places, then she can't remember doing it, then goes to look for them in their normal places, doesn't see them there and thinks they've been stolen!

She's threatened legal action so many times and has yet to call the police that it's empty threats at this point. besides anyone that talks to her for awhile would be able to see what the problem is.

We've had to distance ourselves from her somewhat for our sanity's sake. I know it's the disease talking but there's only so much that you can stand without losing it yourself. I have a husband and kids to do for also, so there's always a balancing act going on.

Hang in there! it's not an easy road!!


Smrtblnd8185 answered...

Thank you so much for sharing so much of your situation with me and everyone. You certainly seem to have a good understanding of what is going on with your mother and are able to not react emotionally when she is hurtful. I admire that and your ability to continue to have contact with her. It took me a long time to acknowledge that it is the disease talking. I kept trying to rationalize with her or convince myself that she doesn't know what she's saying. It's true that at times she can be pleasant, but I've learned not to let my defenses down. You're so right in describing the paranoia as one big delusion that she changes to keep the finger pointed at me. It is so sad that she cannot appreciate or enjoy anything that I do. I deserve better. My children deserve better. But, life is not fair and we do not always get what we deserve. Took me a long time, but I have vowed to myself to take care of myself and not let anyone make me feel undeserving of love and kindness. I hope you and everyone else in this situation can do the same. Love and Hugs. Anna


Christina d answered...

Not reacting so emotionally towards my mother hasn't come easy (and I have banged my head on the wall innumerable times and cried and screamed!!) and it's only been through the Lord's help that I've been able to do so. I still have my moments! The acceptance of the situation not ever changing has been a big help in that. There is no rationalizing with her and it's because of the disease. She's incapable of thinking logically and rationally anymore; it's not her fault. But I know how hard it is to separate the person from the disease, especially when it's a parent. They've always been there, and now they are rejecting you, calling you all sorts of name, telling you and your children how horrible and evil you are. I think this has been one of the most painful things I've ever had to deal with in my life.

Yes, we all deserve better but we don't always get it. Most of all, our mothers don't deserve this. Here is my mother, now almost 86, her husband gone, alone in the house and she believes that her only child, this long awaited child they waited almost 10 years for and had a good relationship with, is stealing from her and out to get her. How sad is THAT?

We have to take care of ourselves; otherwise we will be and do no good to others. I thank God every day for my husband and children; it would be so hard to go through this alone! Thank God for them!

Hang in there! Take care of yourself!


A fellow caregiver answered...

This conversation is a breath of fresh air! It is so great to know that I am not alone. I'll be praying for you!

Unfortunately my Mom has always been mean, bitter angry and accusatory, so when I'm ask if her current accusations are out of character, no not really, just a bit stronger. In the past couple of years, I've been accused of stealing and now, as of last week, I was accused of "abusing" her. I finally had to tell her I couldn't see her until we sit down with a Dr. and a Therapist. I know it won't happen, and I wish I had this much earlier. It took my son facing a bully to realize that I was allowing a bully in my house too! Without God I'm not sure I would have made it this far and I feel really sad that my Mom is so anxious, sad, angry etc. And now she has made it impossible for me to help her. And I'm the only one left!

So for those of you who are determining what to do, please don't take the abuse (My Mom is really truly mean) for as long as I did. It is not good for you, nor your children to allow someone to attack. Don't feel guilty for protecting your family. Remember, it is often the caregivers who die first, of all the stress. Take care of yourself, I am beginning to.


Lilyday answered...

Just reading these stories brings me some comfort. I moved across country to help my aging parents and for the past seven months my mom has accused me of stealing everything from her bras to her measuring cups. The first accusation came at 6:45 am on a Monday morning while I was driving in my car...all she said was, "you know what you've done and it has to stop"..I had no idea what she was talking about. It has escalated into full blown showdowns and now she has convinced my dad that I am doing it as well....which is completely devastating! After the last confrontation (3 hours long) it left me crumpled on the floor, numb from so much crying and not really knowing what to do or where to go from here. I am single and feel not only overwhelmed but sometimes unsafe when she threatens to call the police and have me arrested. Thank you all for sharing your stories, it helps me to feel not so alone.


Christina d answered...

Oh, Lilyday!! I feel your pain!! It is emotionally devasting to hear all these accusations day in and day out! I understand about the mind and emotion numbing confrontations, the roller coaster, the grieving for the person she used to be.

For me the accusations started when my father was dying of cancer and the doctors said there was nothing else to do. (he's been gone over 2 years now) She said he believed it also but I don't think he did. His actions towards me said different. I think he was too weak to put up a fight about it and after all, she was his wife and there's a strong tie with that. He may not believe it at all but it may be easier for him to just go along with it, after all he has to live with her.

Anything that you can think of to be accused of that is what I've been accused of, from stealing everything to me being the cause of problems between my parents! Ha!! that had nothing to do with me! everything that is wrong or hard in her life now is my fault!

It was real fun when my father was in ICU the last time in a coma that I heard every day how horrible I was and how I'd stolen all this stuff and if I just brought everything back it would be all forgiven. I heard that all through our funeral planning and and the funeral and afterwards. How could I bring "it all back" if I hadn't stolen it in the first place. it makes no sense.

As far as her calling the police, been there, done that with my mother. (at first I was afraid they would believe her and actually arrest me!) so far we've had 2 visits from the police. Let's just say that her name is now on their list of people with "obvious dementia" now. She called the day after Christmas to report that while she was at our house having dinner with us I left our house and went to her house and stole some of her clothes. The police officer stopped by our house after to tell me what was going on, and he recognized it as demential. Apparently she'd called several times previously because he said he'd looked her name up before coming and saw she was on it. Early March she calls them again saying we'd stolen a small rug from her house. (MIND you we do not have a key to her house and yet she thinks we get in!) when the police officer came over to our house after that visit, the first thing he said to me was, "Bet you can't guess where I just came from!!" he told me what was going on with her. They now have my phone numbers and call me first before going over there. sigh...

I have cried so much over all of this. It is very devastating! I have grieved the loss of both my mother and father. I feel like I've been to hell and back. I feel sad about my mother. I feel beyond tears about it now, even though I do get sad about it.

This is my mother's reality that she lives in. same with your mother. they really, truly believe that we steal from them, just like we believe that the sun rises and sets everyday. NOTHING at all I ever said has EVER convinced her otherwise, no amout of logic, denials, explanations, NOTHING has convinced her. And it's not because I haven't tried, believe me I'm pretty determined and kept at it but NOTHING works!!!! And that's because she and others with dementia have lost their reasoning abilty. they can't reason and see logic. it is gone, gone with the wind, never to return. My acceptance of this fact, accepting this new reality, accepting that my mother, the mother I knew and loved, is now GONE, and is never coming back, accepting that it is this wretched disease that is causing all of this has gone a long way in coming to terms with this and being more peaceful about it. Honestly I don't think I can get through this without my faith in God, either. It helps knowing that others are going through or have gone through similar situations helps also.

I've heard the "you know what you've done and it has to stop" phrase also-too many times!! (there must be some dementia playbook around that your mom and my mom must have read that we don't know about!! LOL!!) more recently, it's been her false teeth that have disappeared!! the first time I heard how terrible it was for somebody to come in her house and STEAL her teeth, something so personal and now she was going to have to go to the dentist and get new ones and what a pain that was, blah blah blah! Thank God she found them a few days later. The next time was Easter when they disappeared. She wasn't wearing them but she didn't say anything about them at all. Our dentist called me up telling me my mom had made an appointment to get fitted for new ones, so I knew to expect this again. well, a couple of days before the appointment my mom finally told me about the appointment and acted like I knew all about it, even though she'd never told me. I said I didn't know about it, she'd never told me and she said that she must have. any way, I pushed her to look for them, reminding her that she'd lost them before but found them in the house. I kept pushing her on and off to look for them (in a calm and nice way), which she finally did and she found them in a crazy place-in a glass of water UNDER her bed!! the first time she'd lost them they were under the mattress of her bed....My impression was that she hadn't really looked hard for them the second time and wasn't going to until I kept pushing her to.

That's the other thing about this-these people think others are stealing from them so they go and hid their stuff in oddball places to hide it from the "thiefs," then can't remember where they put it, then they think someone has come in and stolen their stuff they hid. my mother has hedge trimmers under a bench in her foyer, a roasting pan under her kitchen table, keeps rolls of paper towels in her dishwasher, keeps a double boiler in her oven , etc. you get the idea. maybe your father can look around the house to see if he can find these missing items in the house. Maybe you can get your father away from her for a bit to talk to him in private about your concerns, telling him these are big signs of dementia.

Don't expect other people to approach you at first and ask about your mother and ask why she's acting this way. I've found that many people just don't want to get involved or bring it up. Since she's gotten worse, some people have been asking about her and are concerned. I now bring it up to people also. I've asked many friends to pray for her and us in dealing with it. I recently talked to one of my mom's next door neighbors, thanked her for being so nice to her and mentioned that we were dealing with dementia. She'd recognized that.

I urge you to find some supportive friends that you can talk with and about the situation. It's helped me tremendously just to be able to vent to my husband about all of this. You may want to try to find a dementia support group also. I don't have time to go to one myself, but I have my husband to discuss it with and don't feel the need so much to like I would if I were single. Please don't try to do this all on your own. you really do need others to help and support.

You are a good daughter to move all the way across the country to help your aging parents. I know you didn't bargain on THIS happening! Hang in there. sorry this is so long, but I wanted you to know that you are NOT alone, that your feelings are perfectly normal, and that you are a good daughter!!!


Lilyday answered...

Thank you SOOOO much Christina...your words are very kind. It really does help knowing others have experienced this and that I'm not crazy (for a split second I did find myself trying to convince others that I'm okay...lol

I will look for a support group and think that will be very helpful.

Thanks again!


Christina d answered...

Hi, Lillyday, you are welcome! it helps to write about our experiences also. that's some good that comes out of all of this, being able to help others. I have 2 friends whose mothers are showing signs of dementia and I've been able to help them some.

Crazy?? I sure know that feeling also! I, too, at first thought that perhaps I was the one going crazy, thinking that maybe I blacked out and really did steal something when I was out of it!! LOL

you are probably not at this point yet, but finding the humor in the situation helps. We have a saying at our home-we've had a good day today, no police stopped by or called!! LOL

one day while in the depths of despair over this, I bemoaned to my husband that it would be easier to take this dementia if my mother totally forgot who I was. He looked at me and said, "She already doesn't know who you are if she believes that you would steal from here!" That really hit me, yes, indeed, she DID NOT know me if she thinks that I would ever even consider stealing from her. Likewise your mother doesn't know who you are now if she thinks you would steal from her.

Good luck finding a support group in your area!!


Lulubanana answered...

Hello Christina. I'm just getting into the thick of it with my elderly mother and it's becoming very tough. I will try and keep your friend's words 'She already doesn't know who you are..' in mind when the accusations escalate, as I anticipate they will. Who knows how it will all work out. The sadness of it all is just dreadful and I work really hard at keeping an emotional distance. Thank you for your post.


Lilyday answered...

Hi all~ It's been a while since I came to the site....I so appreciate being able to read the story's of everyones experiences...things have progressively deteriorated as my dad seems to be exhibiting even more of the telltale signs of dementia than mom (she just accuses me of stealing)...he picks at his skin, sleeps most of the day and when I called their apartment last week asked who i was...when i replied, "your daughter" he asked what i wanted....by far having my dad deteriorate so quickly is much more emotional than my mom as he and i were always so close. I took them out to lunch last weekend and on the way out of the restaurant my mom walked next to me and said they needed to come over and get some of their "things" back...i met them at the house and she walked through the house with me and searched the kitchen, garage, my car, glovebox, wallet and keys. Now she is convinced that I am selling everything and is threatening to call DHS and report me for elder abuse. They no longer hug me or call and seem to have no interest in seeing me. When I went to hug my dad he said, "no more midnight visits and if you want something just ask"...I don't know if he really believes I am stealing or he is just going along with her...they won't allow me to see each of them individually. I was wondering how you all handle guilt...I feel like I should see them at least once a week and feel guilty if I dont. I know logically that it is the disease...but it doesn't stop it from hurting. If given the choice, I'm not sure I would stay in this city without them and a recent visit to my previous hometown and friends has me feeling like I am living someone elses life...then I feel guilty for feeling that way. Neither will even discuss going to the doctor about this and neither have been diagnosed so as a result, they are not receiving any kind of treatment for dementia. Thanks for your help.


Leesha answered...

I also can relate to all your stories. My mom lives alone , exactly 13doors away from me on my street. She has lived here for 6yrs and I thought how nice it would be to have her near and to spend time with my daughter who was only 7 yrs at the time. I have never been really close to my mother as she has always been judgmental . But have tried the best I could to be forgiving and loving towards her. She also has suffered for yrs with fears, paranoidia, etc. She has always accused people of stealing from her only to find the things and laugh it off. The past few months my mother has accused me of stealing money, jewelry, shopping bags, sewing machine, and putting gum on her car to name a few. When I tried to tell her that was impossible, especially since I have no way to get into her house. She says she just knows I did these things. She even called the police two weeks ago. This has really upset me so much. I understand this is a disease , but after my whole life dealing with this women it us just so hard to deal with. Ihavethree sisters one who is in denial herself thinking this is just normal aging and I must have done something for my mother to single me out. Although this sister also believes that I would never do these things. She lives in Chicago , we live in new jersey! My two other sisters would like to find out what is wrong with her but are not really sure how to get her to the doctors.I have gotten some advice from a friend who is a doctor and a neighbor who knows my mom and who has worked with elderly people who had developed dementia. She tells me " it is always the person who lives closest " that becomes the first victim . I also have suffered from my own "hormonal" depression for yrs with PMS and now starting the change so this is very difficult on me. I am a believer in Jesus and try to rest this upon him but it is still emotionally upsetting. Prayers and suggestions welcomed. And I get all of what you all are going through and for you who say just let it go, you are not on the end of this horrible situation.


Christina d answered...

Hi, Lilyday! I'm so sorry about your parents. Their words to you about your presumed midnight visits sound sooooo familiar as I've heard them many times from my mother. She thinks my husband comes over and steals her things in the middle of the night also! ugh! I know what you mean about the guilt and the hurt. It is VERY hurtful as daughters to hear these terrible things, something that has taken me a long while to deal with! I have to keep telling myself it's the disease. This terrible dementia robs them of who they really are and makes them extremely selfish indeed. It's all about them now and NOBODY else, not much love for others, thinking of others, etc. Kind of like a young child is so selfish but at least you can teach and train a child to think of others.

Don't worry about them reporting you to DHS-they've heard it all before and will know what's going on. Adult Protective Services was called by the police about my mother this summer after she'd called the police and acted very bizarrely, even more than usual and they did an investigation on her.

Guilt-do the best you can for them and don't worry about the rest. Are they getting their physical needs met-food, medicines, shelter, etc? then don't worry about it. I've had to tell my mom no many times when she's demanded that I take her someplace to get something and I can't go, as long as it's not a life-threatening emergency. She pitches a huge fit but I just won't talk to her on the phone when she does that regardless of the number of nastygram messages she leaves on my voicemail. Remember, it's not really your parents now so that changes the whole relationship. I know you still want to care for them but if you are an emotional wreck yourself how can you care for them and others that may depend on you? I have a husband and children and have to balance everyone's needs. I have to take care of myself also and you need to do that also. If there are a few good friends that you can talk to about them that would help also!

Another thing I won't tolerate when on the phone with her-as soon as she starts in on the stealing thing, I tell her that I won't listen to it and that I have to go and I hang up on her. then if she calls me back I won't answer the phone. the whole thing can get me really angry so I just remove myself from the situation. It's a little harder to do that when she's in the car and going off on that subject but I still tell her that I won't discuss it or talk about it. at some level she knows that I won't listen to it.

Thick skin, I had to grow a thick skin regarding all of this and it's still hard. I understand about not seeing your parents so much, I can't see my mom either. I've found that the more often I see her during the week the worse she behaves so limiting contact has helped somewhat, sometimes.

My mother thinks there's nothing wrong with her so she won't go see a doctor either-and she's too smart for me to try and trick into going to see the dr. she'd think I was in cahoots with the doctor to get her committed and steal her money!!

Hang in there!


Christina d answered...

Hi, Lulubana, You are welcome! that was helpful to me realizing that she already doesn't know who you are. I sure understand about the sadness of the whole situation-you go through a grieving process as if the person died.


Leesha answered...

Really need some prayer. I am so upset with my sister who insist that my mother is just aging. One day she sounds supportive the next she seems unconvinced. She is on her way from Chicago to visit my mom for A few days and then she is taking her back to Chicago for a week where she has a party set up for my moms birthday and hair appointments, shows, yoga classes, etc. Then she plans to put my mom on a plane by herself and send her home to new jersey. Not sure if mom should fly alone but this is her plan , because after all there is nothing really wrong with mom , except, well let's see she thinks I'm stealing from her, she forgets what shesjust told you, she is constantly hitting her car on garage walls, forgets to retrieve mail,etc. I know this sounds awful but I pray that mom has some kind of episode so my sister will finally be able to see for herself what's going on. It's bad enough that my mom won't believe me but when my sister acts so wishy, washy about stuff that is really painful. As I said before I live 13 doors away from my mom and have been here to help her the past 5 yrs. She will not return my calls or speak to me. She has said she disowns me and hates me. It is so hard because I have never done anything for her to think these things. This is really taking a toll on my lfe and my own health. I really can not take much more!


A fellow caregiver answered...

hello to all. i read most of the replies and i feel so close to all. i am new to the situation since it is just some months that is taking pplace with my mother. she lives alone since my father passed away one and half years ago - i visit her at weekends and all the holidays - since i teach in a high school in public education not in our place.

she accuses me that i steal her money. not things (at least by now) and once threatened to call the police.

i feel really sad when she says that i changed, i spend money on cards and other lottery :))) and the worst is that i am an only child and i m afraid what will happen. i hope it wont deteriorate.

from what i read in the posts it can continue this way for years.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I can totally empathize with each and Everyone on this site! Oh my Word it's like being in He-- on earth! My mom was at the hospital because of chest pain - it was actually due to her hiatal hernia) anyway when we were at the E.R. and i saw Exactly what she was wearing- well it ends up she accused one of the nurses stoled her sweater- ( She was Never wearing one at all! ) :( she swears she knows a lady there did- it's soooo embarassing! and when we got home she accused me of stealing her key to her room that she locks out of her purse) that of course never lets out of her sight! she constantly has words with me or my kids 12 and 14 its a constant up and down scenario No peace no tranquility at all- wish for peace and just a "normal" life without so many issues or "walking on egg shells" type of situation everyday something new comes up it is a very sad situation for all families that go through this sometimes i just wish she would just forget who we were and maybe stop accusations and stop insulting and calling us horrible words and calling us evil " and were going to He## etc. I also stayed with her at the hosp. over nite and she ends up kicking me out at 4:30 am becasue she was accusing me of talking bad about her to a nurse that told me where the bathroom i was to use was" Geesh it's like a "no-win situation- it doesn't let up no peace ever- she's always had some mental issue but i'd say this has got to be the one that tops it off from the rest of the silly stuff. She even wants to kick my girls and i out of our apt. ( We pay for rent and utilities) she says she pays with babysitting??? my girls are not small enough 12 and 14- Its just really a day-today basis thing you never know what is going to happen the next day- I wonder should i muster the money and just leave and go away from my mother and make her dreams come true??? How could she survive? No clue- anyway Im just happy im not crazy in knowing all this same stuff is happening to all of you guys too, it's a relief to know there's support! I hope God has a plan and takes her with Him to Heaven someday soon, I know i'll misss her but it HURTS so much all the things she says to me as a daughter and the ugliness that i can't seem to understand where did this come from? After years the stress has accumalated and my thyroid is bad and i have Graves disease resulting in the stress with my mom she's caused me- i have to take care of myself and my poor girls who dnt deserve this in their young lives- but they are noticing something is very wrong with Grandma".....


M.b answered...

My 87 years old mother was diagnosed with dimentia 8 years ago, she was doing same thing, accusing people of stealing her staff and money for many years before she was diagnised, i gave up my job to take care of her since then, 7 and a half years, one thing i was lucky she didnt accuse me of stealling anything, somehow she trusted in me and let me to do everything for her. but my problem is not that, when i was stated as mums power of atternie, my sister didnt like it at all, she accused me of having an affair with her ex husband, then she accused me of stealling my mums money, checking every cent i spend on mum for food and bills, and in 7 years she took me to court 6 time so she can take over mums account becose she dosnt trust me, now mum is in age care, been there for a year, she has this dimond earrings on her and gold bracelets, few days ago when i went to visit her as usual, i found her bracelets and earrings on the floor, so i decided to take them before they get lost, and i let the age care know that i took them. mind you when i was selling mums house my sister asked me she wants mums earrings and she was after them since mum had dimentia, mum tald me long before she was diognised that the earrings are for my sisters kids after she dies, so i tald my sister that i will give them to her, in wrighting by the way.' She goes to see mum same day and nottices that i replaced the earrings so she sending me msg after msg how she wants the earrrings now and she dosnt trust me and if i dont give them to her she will take action, as far as i can see she has same proplem as my mum, early stages of dimentia, she is paranoid and blaming me for stealling all the time and i had enough of this, i tald her to get tested, but she thinks she dosnt have a problem. i forgot to mantion that we havent spock to each other for 10 years now, becose she has problem with controll , she needs to be in controll, i call her controll freak. The funny thing is my mum with dimentia didnt give me as much stress as my sister did, and i still beleave she is getting early stages of dementia,shes 57 years old.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I totally relate to all of you, only one thing is slightly different. Yes, she thinks people stealing her stuff, accusing people stealing her stuff, money, ect... At the same time, she wants me to get her money, and stuff back. Those money and stuff could be her delusion, not real or she hide them away herself. She don't remember where she put it or she really think people stealing everything from her... Her Old clothing, money, benefit, jewelry..... Even worse, she thought you are not helping her to get her stuff back, letting people get away from it and not helping her.
I found comfort and distraction totally not working. Whenever she can, she goes back to the Same Topics. Her mind is not there, her logic is not there. All she is talking is herself, she becomes very selfish. She never appreciate what you get or buy to her. There is this sense of YOU OWE ME. You will feel guilty, low self esteem, never good enough and self-hated. You feel really bad. You friend may start to accuse you not caring enough when you share your story with your mom. People don't understand even your best friend. :( What you can do? Cry, keep hating yourself? Controlled by her every single thought of you NOT A GOOD DAUGHTER. .?..

Responsible to your own life.. Being healthy in mind and body..

You can only do so much .. Let go...

May you find strength, peace and self precious love in you


Michiemead answered...

I am in a very awkward position. Several months after I moved into a new apartment (my husband died, and I lost my home), I started cat sitting for an elderly woman in my new apartment bulding. We became friends, cooking for each other, visiting, even grocery shopping together.

Suddenly, she has made claims that jewelry and other items of value are missing from her home, and I am the one who robbed her, since I have the keys to her apartment.

I have been to the police, offered to take a lie detector test, and even said they could have the keys to my apartment, car, and safe deposit box. The police think that she is a sad, confused old woman, and don't take her seriously. They have interviewed her, and her story has changed several times.

Unfortunately, her neighbor, also an elderly woman, has taken her side, and we are now tip toeing around each other, suspicious and afraid. I'm terrified of leaving my apartment. The battle lines have been drawn between the people who believe me, and the people who believe her.

I live in a small town where gossip is rife. Many people love to believe the worst of each other because they are bored and lonely. I am at the point where I am considering leaving town, being driven out by this sad old woman. My mother is also elderly, and suffering from health problems, and I don't want to judge my neighbor too harshly. I have finally spoken with her minister, hoping that he can comfort her and also talk some sense into her. If all else fails, I am afraid that I will have to take legal action, which will probably result in her going into a nursing home. So very, very sad!


Maxbarnes answered...

Thank you to all of you for sharing. My mom is 71 and has been accusing me of stealing from her. It's very painful. The last time she accused me, which was 8 years ago and my dad was still alive, I went into their home and located all of the items. My dad passed last year and now she's accusing me again. My dad knew I never would steal anything from them, but mom is lashing out at me. This is so painful... At least I know now, I'm not alone.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I know what you are going through as I am in the same situation. There has been an endless list of things being stolen from my Mothers this week but according to her by her carers. When I pointed out no one would take an old comb she said they would it was a special one that doesnt scratch your head!! She even thinks carers are eating any left over food in the kitchen but says if they are that desperate they are welcome!! Trying to talk any sense into her is impossibel. Even the concept you have to eat and wash is alien to her and results in agro as does the fact she doesnt take her medications which she lies about even when I say I can see them in the loo !! She complains about everything even though we are running about like headless chickens trying to pander to her every whim. What I dont like though is the fact she wont allow me to write any cheques (gets my daughter to do this) but recently when she had a tree surgeon out (the tree was fine and didnt need doing and cost $$$$) she apparently gave her cheque book to this man a total stranger to write his own cheque out !!! Not to mention a huge tip. Shes is always giving money away (not to me though we even have to ask her for money for parking when we take her to the hospital). I get annoyed that every who goes to the house gets money and yet we are expected to pay for things to subsidise that !! Not least the money she is giving away is her bill money. She messes herself and leaves it for us to clean up and the same with vomit, hers and the cats. This has gone on for so many years and trying to get help and a diagnosis has been dreadful, no one wanted to know. As much as I try to tell myself its her illness I am a logical person and try to reason in my head with whats been said or shes done and of course I cant. When you spend an afternoon doing her food shopping knowing its all going to go in the bin but you have to go through the motions its hard. She actually said that despite loosing around 4 stone in weight that she wanted to lose more weight !! Hopeless. But despite all this she can still when cornered can come up with a miriad of excuses. As well as her dementia she is terminally ill with cancer and she wont do the right thing or take advice. Its just a constant battle which we are loosing as she thinks she knows best.


Beaten down answered...

I have been dealing with a similar situation for months. What's hard is that my mother is very intelligent, and sincere in her beliefs, and therefore very convincing. Like others here, I have even questioned myself and my motives, and I know I've never taken anything from my mother. The thing that struck me most comes Christina D's husband, about how my mother has already forgotten who I am if she thinks I'm stealing from her. It brought good tears to my eyes, the kind that comes from shared pain. I'm so glad I'm not the only one.

Unfortunately because my mother is so certain that I'm a terrible evil daughter, she refuses to see me. She's happy to see my brother, however, who tells her everything an Alzheimer's patient wants to hear--"of course you are fine, Mom. Of course you should be in complete charge of you money. Of course you should sell you house." And give him part of the proceeds. . .but yup, I'm the one she accuses of trying to steal from her.

My stepfather, too, believed my mother for a long time, or at least he decided that I was evil and wouldn't let me talk to my mother on the phone or come and see her. I think it was more blaming me, though, for taking her to a doc and having her diagnosed. He wanted me to at the time, but when the diagnosis came in and finally hit him, the messenger got blamed.

I miss my Mom. I miss seeing her, and I miss the her that she used to be. The mother who loved and trusted me, and wouldn't have dreamed of rejecting me.


Msr63 answered...

I don't have an answer but I wanted to add to this thread. I feel so empty. My mother suspects me all the time. I'm almost 50 years old, not married and have changed my life to something she would be proud of. I know she must be ill but to constantly take a beating drains me - makes me just want to give up.

In the early 90s I did drugs, bad - even to the point of being homeless and living in a shelter. All of us kids did something to disappoint her but I'm the one that stuck in her mind.

I felt we were once closer than the other kids because I had cancer and she was with me most of the time (I was 10) she tried to make my Dr. Appt a fun day out and not just an appt. When I was 17 I became a Christian and we were all into church, then when I moved - I explored life, much different fromt he sheltered life I came from and unfortunatley got into drugs after a while.

I got homesick last year, wanted to visit my parents and the town i grew up in and my Mother freaked, she made my father call me while at work and say that my mother doesn't want me to be in her house -- all this came out of the blue--then I found out she's been thinking I've stolen from her the past 15 years or so. Never told me anything before but when she finally got around to emailing me I found out she's thought i've taken from her all this time.

Over 20 years ago I changed my life, cleaned up, got a degree, I've worked for 3 global companies, bought my own house etc....

Now three times in the past year I've been on her hit list. They live in 6 months in one state and 6 months in the same state i live in however I'm 3 hours away -- she lives down the road from my sister. We talked them into moving nearer to us b/c we are the kids that will take are of them.

I'm just so devasted - I feel alone and empty. If I talk to my siblings about this anymore and for some reason they do not correspond with my mother at the "normal" time they normally do -- then my mother is upset with me b/c she thinks I've been turning them against her. Which is the case today and why i'm writing. I avoid going into her house, walk on eggshells and I can't talk to anyone -- no husband, I don't want to get anyone else under suspecion -- I'm just done!!!

The first time this past year I was hurt, cried, angry and then prayed. 2nd time - angry then did research on maybe she is ill. This time I just don't know what to do.............this is killing me and I just can't take any more.

I send my parents money each month, directo deposit, bought/paid for their internet and iPhones -- I finally sent a letter to them, asking them to change their phones and IE into their names (But I'd still pay for them), change all their online passwords (my mother thought I hacked her Facebook and pout photos etcc...) I asked them next time they have a computer problem (I'm in IT) that I would help remotely but that my sister had to be there to watch everything I do.Over 20 years ago I changed my life, cleaned up, got a degree, I've worked for 3 global companies, bought my own house etc.... and my sister tells me that everytime I visit my mother (for the past 15 years or so) she thinks I took something...even if it's just a small item. I'd break my back to help her

I'm ready to tell them to take me off the Will and forget they ever had me.

I am seriously considering having my job transfer me to another country.


Christina d answered...

Dear msr63,

My heart aches for you! I know what you are going through. It is a very sad thing to have happen to you. I was so very angry at first-how dare she accuse me, her only child, who has been so close to her all my life? Then I went through a grieving process-I've lost my mother, even though her body is still here.

Believe me, no matter what logic you try to use to dissuade her it won't work. Even having your sister there won't help-your mom will still think you did something. Even if a police officer was in her house when you visited and followed you around the entire time you were there, she would still think that you had stolen something from her. It will never, never change! But you have to realize that it is a disease with her-she is NOT in her right mind. I had to come to that realization, that it would NEVER change and learn to just accept it. Acceptance became my buzz word 2 years ago. My Christian faith has helped me through all of this very painful journey. I understand about that emptiness you are feeling. For a long while I felt dead inside as well, cold, no energy. I had nothing left over to give anyone else-not my husband or my children. God has been working in my life to heal me and I feel much better now.

What to do now you ask yourself? Live your life so you have no regrets. Ask yourself, if I take this action, will I regret it later after she's gone? Ask yourself, what is the honorable thing to do for your mother? Also you do need to take care of yourself! I have heard many cases of adult children dying before the parent that they are caring for dies, so don't let that happen to you.

I had to distance myself somewhat from my mother. I wouldn't always answer the phone when she called, even if she got really mad at me. I didn't always do everything she asked me to do, which really made her mad also, but I couldn't do it all. I'd asked her about hiring someone to come in part time to help her do stuff. NO, she didn't want to do that. You just have to let some of it go. Find a good friend to vent to, or look for some sort of elder care support group in your area. Perhaps you can find out where your local office of the aging is and go there to get information and help on support groups. Believe me, it helps to be able to vent to a few people. If I didn't have that I would just explode! :-)

Sadly, at some point, your mother's dementia will all be hanging out for all to see.

My mother has been getting weaker and weaker, and been falling alot more. She fell last month in her house and couldn't get up. I had to call 911 and they took her to the ER. She'd been down for awhile and was confused. When the paramedics asked her who was president she said Bill Clinton! I knew then that we were both going to get the help that we desperately needed. Sure enough, she was diagnosed with dementia, probably caused by her cardio-vascular disease (vascular dementia). She was deemed unfit to take care of herself, handle her affairs etc. I found a good nursing home for her. You know, I felt relieved in so many ways that she's getting the good care and I don't have to worry about her falling, or not eating or not taking her meds or anything about her care.

I've been cleaning up her house-she was incontinent, especially with the feces. what a mess! I've found soiled clothing on the floor of her closet, under couch cushions, shower stalls, etc. Found a bucket of urine in her bedroom by her bed. one bathroom covered in feces. I've been finding things hidden in strange places-a lot of the stuff she accused me of stealing like knick-knacks, clothes, towels, sheets, trash bags, rags, etc I have found hidden all around-shower stalls, linen closets, under beds, under mattresses, under rugs, bottom of closets in the corners, silverware behind books on bookshelves and wrapped up in bags hidden in urns with lids, in draperies, scissors under rugs, paring knives in dresser drawers, under beds, under chairs, under mattresses, and on and on it goes. I suspect some of the stuff she thought I'd stolen she actually threw out. there's one purse that went missing last summer that I have yet to find, which included her car keys!! That was a blessing in disguise-after she lost those car keys she couldn't drive and thankfully couldn't get her act together enough to get a new set of car keys either!

Hang in there and keep praying!

Christina D


A fellow caregiver answered...

My 86 year old father with moderate/severe dementia has started accusing me of stealing things. Let me make a warning first, this response is dark, if you are looking for hope, it is not there. First it was his luggage, according to my brother who used to live with him but finally fled to save his marriage, some thirty year old pieces of luggage that are worthless and he cannot even remember when my Dad had them. Now it is my Dad's computer that I have stolen, of course it is right there and he plays a game on it, but because I never bother hooking up the internet during his last move, from a rental house to another, he thinks I have replaced his good computer with a bad one. The reason that I did not hook up the internet was that he can no longer operate the internet/mail and was constantly messing it up. He has plenty of money to last him the next 4-5 years (his expected life span with dementia at his age) but he guards it zealously and will not abide by suggestions on how he can spend it and make his life more pleasant and easy. When he lost his car keys and wallet he accused his dry cleaner of theft for several months until they turned up at home. He had a movie that he broke the DVD, I replaced it for him, but he constantly accuses a former old friend of stealing it. My father has always exhibited the worst kind of behavior and always presumed that he needed to do unto others before they did unto him. Now that he has dementia his paranoia is eating away at him. In his case, well, if you live long enough, the worm will turn. He now says he is making a list of all the things I am stealing from him and he is going to get me. I am the only person doing for him and he goes from affection when I am doing something he wants done, but the second I disagree with him I am the devil. I write out his checks, I drive him to the store/dry cleaner twice a week, I manage his rent...but he has chosen that he is going to fight me at every opportunity. He occassionally raised his fist at me but I stand my ground and he thinks better of it. He is now accusing me of mismanaging his medication....the problem is that he is having a harder time taking his daily medication although I lay it out for him in a pill dosage box. Frankly, my father is not a loved one, never was, I successfully avoided him for 44 years until my brother, who always liked my father, dumped him and I stepped in to help my brother escape because my Dad had aged him about ten years. I am in the process of letting my father go. I have found out you cannot get social service help if you do it all yourself. I have to give my father every opportunity to live independently. If he can, fine, if he can't, well then the State needs to help. I don't want to have a guardianship over him in any way, why should I put myself through that aggravation when I am struggling to help my children and just get by (my father has never helped any of his children)....my father has only been pain to me in my life. What has he done to deserve my servitude? My mother yes, my father....never. The term caregiver refers to giving care, not necessarily caring. The term "loved one" never has applied in my case. Once I feared him, I was always intimidated by him, but no more. My father would run anyone into the ground in order to stay on top and he would enjoy it. There is zero self sacrifice in him. The dementia has only increased his "evil", it has always been there.


Christina d answered...

Dear Anonymous, how painful all this is for you!! I know some of what you are going through. much of what you are going through sounds so familiar.

Seriously, if you feel you can't do it all, don't try to. You have to take care of yourself and family. Call Adult Protective Services and tell them your situation. The only reason APS left my mom for so long in her house was because I lived about 2 blocks away and I said that I wanted to keep her as long as possible and kept in contact with her. Once she got to the hospital and I told the social workers there that I was at the end of the road for trying to keep her in the house they were great in helping me find a place for her and getting good information.

If you or your brother won't be his guardian, then he will become a ward of the state, with a court-appointed guardian and conservator picked from a list the court has. It's a long & messy process to become a guardian & conservator. Just think long and hard if that's what you both really want. There's no turning back once you make that decision. Neither one of you will have any say over what care he gets, whether to have a DNR, where he lives, etc.

Hang in there!! It will get better some day! Blessings, Diane


Gardie answered...

I have been going through this hell for over 15 months with my husband's aunt. Her accusations are on a daily basis. We have stolen everything from furniture which she thinks we hide behind walls to golf clubs, to money, to pills, appliances, you name it. She is a very mean woman. No, she will Never get her's back either and I try to think that way, but you all know some days are very difficult! The comment about the caregiver dying before the patient is true I believe.


Robchewig answered...

Hello everyone... I've been reading your stories about your loved ones and I know how all of you are feeling. Recently back in 2008 my mom suffered a stroke, and then a year later to the exact date her medication, prozac, that she took for as long as I could remember wore off, she had gotten immune to it , and she suffered a mental break down , and i had to take her to the hospital via ambulance because she threatened that she wanted to just die. While the paramedics were there , my mom became delusional andthought one of them was her husband, but she has forgot that he passed away in 2002. All the years of being married to my dad and all the crap that he did, like drugs and abuse and being in and out of jail constantly took a toll on her mind and thats why I remember her getting prozac. Now bear in mind I was just a kid when all the stuff started happening with my dad so , all I remember is what he had done was not his fault...my dad got ahold of drugs while in the army and since then couldn't stop his addiction, although almost towards the end, he did try he was clean for about year and a half. But anyways...all that happened with him and my mom...took major stress on her..but she was such a strong person that she held it in for decades too long and it came to a boil in 2008...and ever since the dr. tried to switch her to a new med, xanax, she was doing good for about 3 years...and now her delusions are back, her blackouts are back, and all the accusations of stealing her paper work and her keys, and other non important things are being thrown against me. Just this past friday, august 17,2012 I was preparing to go attend my best friends' sister's wedding...I went there and then went straight to the reception...then halfway thru the party i had this feeling that something was wrong..i got news that my boyfriend of 11 years was taking to the hospital...because he passed out so I immediately left the party and while on the way to the hospital I called my mom to let her know about it and she said to let her know how he's doing and what's the diagnosis....so she seemed to be acting fine...then about day or two later ...she calls and starts accusing me of coming over friday evening with a flashlight and using my key for her place and going into her bedroom and taking her paperwork. Well that upset me so bad I almost landed in the hospital myself. How could I have been at her place while I had just left a wedding party to go to the emergency room? I thought at first well maybe me calling her and telling her about the emergency may have triggered her delusions again because I had woken her up and she was still probably dreaming at that time...so you ca kinda say she thought her dreams were reality. So now when i tried to explain to her that I was no where near her place that night... she wouldn't let me talk she told me that I'm out of her life and hung up....and then about two to three days letter I get a letter from her in the mail still accusing me of coming over there and taking stuff, so I do believe that she might have dementia. Back in 2008 when she had her mental break...and while i was there visiting her in the hospital she told me that she imagined holding a gun to my head and killing me...that scared the "crap" out of me, but as I talked to her Dr. and the county social behavioral worker that day, in 2008, they evaluated her and send her to a mental hospital for only 3 days to be further examined...and after the 3 days...they released her and said nothing was wrong. so I took 3 months off, suggested by her dr., to stay at home with her while her she took her new med...be/c he told me it would take at least 3 to 4 months to kick in and someone needs to be there 24/7 to make sure she dont get combative or hurts herself or others. During those three months, every day there was a new accusation - whether it was hiding stuff, stealing stuff, taking her inhalers, abusing her...etc. it was so stressful and miserable, but I toughed it out and was glad I took the time off from work...b/c there would be no way that I could concentrate at work. When the Xanax finally kicked in ...she had kicked out my boyfriend, who was the original person she blamed all the stealing on... and I secluded myself in my bedroom about 98% of the time. And when the time came that my boyfriend was approved for his Social Security benefits...I quickly moved out and we got a place together, this was at beginning of 2009. and since I did that, is when I thought she started to become her " old self" once again...even though she still had trouble with where she was going when she drove, and what she needed to do or buy, and finally her dr. took away her driver's license and so she sold her car so she wouldn't get into an accident or worse. And then as time went by I kept my distance from her only saw her once a month and that was just to take her shopping and pay her bills and rent, and we would have a good time. But ever since August17, 2012..the accusations and delusions have come back...so it's in my opinion that either she stopped taking her meds and/or forgot to reorder them or they are starting to wear off. And for over the past week... I couldn't sleep well or barely eat..had to force myself to eat , and forced myself to go back to work. I pray to God almost every night now that he helps her the best way he can...but I really want It all to end, even if that means her passing away...I don't want her to suffer no more plus i'm tired of the unnecessary stress that it has caused me to be under. I've been talking to my friends and other family to get advice on what can I do...and basically there Really is Nothing I can do! So if it means losing my mom or her getting angrier because I won't admit to something I never did, then so be it. She even went to say in her letter that I should make changes in my life when it comes to my boyfriend b/c she has this delusion that he is controlling me and abusing me and that I'll do almost anything for him, even if that means stealing from her; just more delusions that need to stop...I'm not abandoning the guy that I love, because I have been with him over 11 years now and he's never once raised a hand to me, never hurt me, never controlled what i did or where I went, He's always stood by and supported my relationship with my mom as I tried to rebuild it..but to only have it torn down again.

I wish all of you the best of luck out there with your parents and loved ones that are suffering and hang in there, it will come to an end one day...and it will be when we most un expect it to. Take care and God Bless. Robin.


Christina d answered...

oh, my, Robin!! I'm so sorry you have been going through this! so many of those accusations sound so familiar, even to the one about your mom accusing your boyfriend of controlling you and making you steal for him!! My mom said the same thing-that my husband was putting me up to stealing from her and that I was fine before I married him! ha! he's the most honest man I know and would be very angry at me if I ever did really steal from her or anyone else. Besides, she forgot who I really was and knew at one time that no one was going to control me!!

Hang in there, Robin! keep trying to remind yourself that it's the disease and not really your mom. I know how HARD that is to do especially being so emotionally wrapped up with your mom, but it truly IS the disease.

Blessings, Diane


Dyanelovesyou answered...

Bless your hearts! Hugs to all of you! I can so relate to your hurt, because you love your parents. My mom and I were always super close. At about 75 my mother began to just act like she hted my sister in law. She lost her ability to reason.
Dad passed, they were married almost 61 Yrs. and we began to see our wonderful unselfish mother begin to change. She had moods of anger, she fussed with my older sister, who developed a paranid personality disorder in mid life. So now I have two with mental issues to deal with. Mother at 81: Walked in her house, and a complete stranger is living there. Mom had invited her alcoholic 45 Yr. old grandson to live with her and she invited this strange girl to live there too. My brother and siter and I were devastated! We could not get her to make the girl leave or the alcoholic nephew, her grandson who verbaly abused her and she would not put him out. They took her money, sold her things and brainwashed her and didn't work most of the time. This could not be happening to our good and respectable famiy. Mother finally made her own decision to go in a nursing home. For 10 yrs. shenalways knew us and always thought my brother and I stole 1,000.00. It was the money we had to take from her account to get her in the N. home. We could never convince her differently. I loved my mother and held my patience with her for the most part. It's HARD!!!! You hear, you took my money like a broken record until you just get sick at your stomach. We took her to a nuerologist, and he diagnosed her with organic brain syndrome and mild dementia, which she never knew anything was wrong with her, and we would never tell her. My mom passes away this Feb.
she told me when off the meds before she died that she knew I didn't take her money. God is Good! I had a great last year with her. still stressful. She just didn't trust me. PLEASE know, this deamon called dementia is not your mother or father. Over 18 years the roller coaster ride progressivey became worse, and I alepways went often to see her. It took me awhile to learn to deal with this disease. It's hard because they seem like themselves and aren't. Symptoms in my words: Loose ability to reason, or admit they are wrong. Will lie sometimes when they never would have before. They lay real guilt trips, because this is part of their control. They attack children and can hide it from grandchildren. They praise not the one taking care of them, but the alcoholic living in her house for years, selling her thingswhile we paid the taxes. You cannot get a squatter out. We couldn't get him out of her home without declaring hier mentaly incompetant through the courts. land and hm. was in our names, in a life estate, still it was hers until she passed away. Our nephew did over 25,000.00 worth of damage to our mom's home, and she would not make him leave. We ive near the golf course, and he payed loud music, and had every drunk and drug head in her home near us, not to mention women. He lived on her land near us! I had to forgive over and over and we just let it go and let him live there to keep from stressing mom, and to keep down famiy trouble. He wouldn't even go to see mom when she was dieng but about twice over 4 Mos. Honey, if I can do this with ?god's help and a drunk threatening mine and my brothers life, when we never seen him or did anything, you can. It's not your parents fault that they have brain cells dieng and cannot think or reason like they used to. Their little faults become magnified and you just have to cry when you need to cry and LOVE them, and LOVE YOU, and know God will give you strength and he will never leave you or forsake them or your dear parent. I would give anything to see my dear mother. Let me say, that I have no regrets and I refuse to let satan, our enemy make me feel guilty over anything! I missed it, I lost my patience in the beginning, I didn't knowmwhat she had, and can't say I didn't a few tinpmes in the N. home. You will not be perfect! I did learn after about the first 6 Mos. to just hug her and tell her I loved her and walk away. Try to hide your emotions. They can still pick up on them and it hurts them, because to them, it isyou. They loose the ability to see they are wrong. That is what causes the rollercoaster ride. Acdept the fact that your mother still loves you, but in a different way and things are not going to change. I do thank God that my mother could always carry on conversations with us and she always knew all of us. When she praised my nephew, I said good things about him or I said he is doing good, and left it at that. Don't stress them if you can keep from it. Remember to treat them with respect, try to let things become their decision, and sweet people I could write you a book, and there were lots and lots of good times too. Blessings to all of you and prayers for strength. After mom passed it was a nightmare getting her grandson out of her house! Don't ever let anyone live in your house, they become a squatter, and the mess he left us to deal with was awful. It's over now, and life is good. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Don't let yourself have a nervous breakdown. Take some time away. You are no good to them if you are sick or dead! And...DO NOT feel guilty! Please! No guilt. Just do the best you can, and that is all you can do! Talk to someone and read your bible and pray to get the stress off you. Shopping, even if I didn't buy anything wou,d get the stress off me, and get my mind on something else. They love you, and they need you...give them lots of love as they gave you growing up.


A fellow caregiver answered...

Boy, I sure feel assured now that I have read all these posts. I have been going through all the same things, thinking I was alone. I am a christian man that believes we are to honor our parents, however there is a need to be freed from condemnation when we get attacked by our parent's verbal abuse towards those of us who love them, but at times do not like them. I am seeking God's help in this matter. Thanks everyone.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I have the same issue with my father who is 94. I did manage to get him and my 87 year old mother into assisted living. Neither believes they need to be there. It has been a real challenge dealing with my father, who has also accused me of stealing. and has threaten to shoot me! He hides things, can't find them and accuses people of stealing them. If you find it for him, he accuses you of putting it there. He's always been hot tempered, the whole house walking on egg shells, but now it's coupled with paranoia sometimes hallucinations. Everyone is out to get him. He refuses to be tested for dementia. It is to the point where I don't want to talk to him. And I'm not sure what things to take seriously when I do talk to him. It's very hard to not to take this personally. And my mother, 87, recently fell and broke her hip. She too is a mess, has been ordered by a doctor to see a behavior health therapist, but refuses to go. So,I just give up. I let the assist living staff deal with them. I see why many elderly are left alone.


A fellow caregiver answered...

From everything that I have read, I feel for all of you. I am seeing signs in my own mother and she is only 66. My dad 70, never could handle a crisis and has issues of his own. Moved back home because of a physical illness which leaves me bedridden most of the time. Not to mention a younger sister who is bedridden mentally and physically with cerebral palsy from birth. So it leave me to bear he brunt of everything. I have been accused of things , called a chronic lier and thief have my words twisted around, when all have done was help. I am not perfect by any means, but I am not a bad person. It's worse when, I say no. I can't take it any more, I am in between a rock and a hard place financially, I am trying to find a means of earning income besides selling off what few possessions I have and move away. I guess what I am getting at and it's not easy to say, for those of you, look into your local and state laws, if you have legal power of attorney or not, many of our loved ones need help that you can't possibly give them they may need institutionalized for their own protection. Some of you have said that the police are aware and contact you first. Obviously , waiting it out is no longer an option. You have your own health and family to think about. You are not being a bad daughter or son. Sometimes our best i s not good enough even for the strongest people. As for those who have siblings that refuse to get involved give them an ultimatum. I have seen adults with full blown Alzheimer's disease and dementia is just a milder form but no less burdensome on all involved don't feel guilty, step away if you ave to, even if that means putting mom /dad in special living facility for their own protection. If they are a danger o themselves or other, whether they like it or not getting a court order maybe your only recourse. I wish everyone well and will keep you in my prayers that you find the solution and ask you to do the same for me and my family. God Bless.


Angm answered...

No answer, but keep calm and distract them when chatting about same old accussations. My father accuses me of stealing his clothes and soap dishes - he is rude and nasty to me despite me caring for him - cleaning, using my money to buy food even though he has money. He has cut me out of his will and is leaving his property to my siblings who he rarely sees. He was making me so ill I felt demented myself that i now have nothing to do with him. Four months on i have got over the guilt and feel fine. He is still accusing me of theft daily to relatives, though I am over 200miles away. Good luck people my patience and kindness ranout


Julieellen answered...

i moved my children, fiance and two children in with my mom when i realized she quit payin bills or buying food. lettin the house go to crap. since then, i get accusations that im stealing from her. she gives things away, pawns things and loses them and hides things. when i find things she has.hidden she says, well i didnt put that there. she thinks some of her delusions or dreams are real. she sleepa in her clothes sittin on the couch day and night. sleepin and wake just whenever. she is now accusing my fiance of 5 years that she witness him touchin my daughter in front of her and no amount of reasoning will change her mind. she remembers thinga that happened in thr past, that i was there for, completely different. i rry to correct her only to get attitude. she keepa a pistol in her pocket nd has threatenes to use it. she uses curse words she never has and says im tryin to convince her she is crazy so i can put her in a home. this isjust the usual stuff. she refuses to see a dr. wont do it. told her family, sisters, that im stealin, lying and tryin to make her think she is crazy. no one else knows except what she tells them. my own brother threatened me over her accusations! they think she is fine and im the problem but i live with her. my 11 yr old daughter and 17 yr old son even see what i do but when they try to tell her, she says ive brainwashed them. im at the end of my rope as well. she acts like she hates me. tellin me what a horrible mom i am. how im such a bad influence. how my fiance is probably just running around on me. and that everyone in my kids life she has accused as "probably a pedophile" and i dont watxh my kids well enough. what do i do?????


Catpreen answered...

Julieellen, you or she needs to move out! My partners mother lived with us for 5 months before I found her a flat. She still accuses us of everything and turns up at our house and work. Some people believe what she says about us. the GP has referred her to the community mental health team but we have been waiting a long time for a diagnosis so that we can defend ourselves and it doesn't seem to be happening. We feel sick, drained, tired, hopeless. Our children don't want to visit her and she has never really been anything but jealous of me and the girls. The only thing that seems to help is to leave her alone, don't ripple the pond. She then starts to blame someone else. We are also worried she might burn down the house as she threatened to trash our house when we were away. I think there is no answer to all this apart from getting away from them which of course we feel too guilty about to actually do. I live in the UK it's seems it's the same the world over.


A fellow caregiver answered...

Yup, being accused of stealing is the worst. In my case I'm being accused of stealing $50,000 to $100,000 by my father who has dementia. AND my demented father has convinced my sister, my only sibling, that it's true. My sister called my step-sister, who said she felt like she no longer knows me because of a misinterpreted conversation we had a year ago, and now my sister feels this backs up the accusation. So now I'm facing total character assassination. Talk about losing your best friend! How about two of them?

I try and help my dad figure out what money he's missing and where it might be. I've dug into records and come up with some information he may have forgotten. He won't accept any explanation. AND the story and the amount of money changes all the time.

I have asked my sister to prove that I've stolen money. She says she can tell from my attitude that I'm a thief.

My life has not been an easy one. I've been strong and have fought to make a seemingly normal life. And it's a challenge to do it. Keep a positive attitude, right? Meditate, pray, be kind, do good deeds. (Not saying I'm perfect) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt every day.

Every heard the phrase "No good deed goes unpunished"?

Well, this situation has broken me completely. It's like a Jerry Springer nightmare. Never thought I could be thought of with so little regard. Never thought this could happen to me. Wow, I thought I was a nice girl and had good relationships with people who loved me.


Catpreen answered...

I know it's terrible especially when family join in. However there may be light at the end of the tunnel. Since my last comment we have had my mother inlaw trying her best to smash our windows and pull up all the plants in our front garden. This was because she feels she is getting us back for all the breaking in to her flat we are doing. It also prompted a call to the police and ambulance who contacted mental health team and we spoke to the G.P. who is very concerned. She now has a psychiatrist but will not take the anti psychotic drugs she was prescribed. Family partly believed her until last weekend she attended a wedding without us and let rip to every relative in sight! Now they believe us, they are definately convinced now that she is suffering mental illness. The worse she gets as time goes on, the more difficult it is to hide. Hang in there, I a sure your sister will understand when she herself gets accused which is probably just around the corner.


Erina answered...

Christina,

You said that your mom was deemed unfit and that's how you were able to get her into a nursing home finally, but did you ever become her guardian? Or was someone else appointed guardian? Or did she just go willingly?

My dad is so frail and suffers from Parkinson's and has dementia. He will not leave his home. He is incredibly stubborn and belligerent and has started turning on me. I'm the only child. I'm a single mom working full time and have always battled chronic mild depression. I do NOT want a guardianship, I know that responsibility would push me past my limitations, but I don't know what to do.

He's actually been to the hospital three times in the past year - admitted twice. During the second stay he was evaluated by a social worker who deemed him competent - absolutely unbelievable. The nurses actually witnessed his confusion and hallucinations and bizarre behavior. He was then discharged to a rehab facility. I talked with the social worker and other staff there. They initially recommended a guardianship, but I hesitated to pursue that. When it was nearing time for him to complete the rehab program, everyone was talking about just sending him home. All of my anxiety returned right then. I really thought that in his condition, no one in their right mind would just send him back home. Well, at least they did a home visit and helped with a few things to make it easier for him to get around his house. But they were supposed to continue the rehab sessions for a couple more weeks, and they were recommending 24 hr home care, at least at first, and they were going to help coordinate that. Well, none of that happened. My dad refused the rehab visits and insisted he'd arrange a home health aid himself.

That was a few months ago. For a while, he did better with his medication, but now he's back to just taking it whenever he feels like it. He neglects his health and doesn't care. He refuses help and he's been very nasty to everyone lately.

Anyway, funny how you posted here looking for support, and you ended up offering it to so many people :) It really helps to hear from others going through the same thing.


Leonidas z answered...

hello everybody. i had sometime since i posted a reply.

i just wanted to tell you that i finally after one year persuaded my 75 yrs old mother to visit a neurologist.

after this, we had 10 months to persuade her take the pills... before she denied to do so...

however, because i work to other place than home city, in mid-weeks she doesnt take them often, on frida-saturday-sunday i have to give them personally...

wanna say pills worked! she has lots of improvements even i d say 80%. very few accusations, and not much to an extend. and she doesnt accuses me of taking her money...

it is so much a relief... i dont know if it s advertisement to mention the pill so i dont mention.

he told me in the period she refused to take them, that they r and in liquid forms, and they have no taste. you can put it and into water.

Regards from Greece to all, and hope things are going better to all. it really hurts this situation....


Ssteague answered...

Thanks for helping me know that I just made the right decision. My parents just closed down their bank account, because they claimed I was stealing from them. My brother and sister-in-law checked them out of assisted living, against my wishes (both have dementia). They are supposed to be caring for them, but they are getting maybe a couple hours per day at best. These two are only after their money, as they have done this before. My hands seem to be tied, short of having them declared incompetent and I'd rather not go there. So I just decided to try to save my sanity and possibly my life (down to 100 lbs now) and just tell my Mom I'm done. Hard to do , but if she wants them to take all the money , nothing I can do at this point.


Christina d answered...

Erina, Yes, I was declared my mom's guardian and conservator. I had to get a lawyer, file a petition, appear in court, the whole 9 yards. she did not go willingly to the nursing home but the hospital was very helpful in getting her there. they told her she was going to the nursing home to get rehab since she was too weak to go home. she was still with it enough to figure out that was a lie, but at least they got her to the nursing home where she could get help and medications.

I'm sorry about your dad. it's so hard to see them like that! ugh!! that belligerence is tough to deal with, especially as an only child. it got all directed at me. for me as an only child it wasn't too hard to get the guardianship. I was already acting as her guardian anyway. The medical professionals would listen to what I wanted since there was no one else to challenge me. They let me sign a DNR for her even before I had the guardianship.

It has been a year since she passed away now and I feel like I'm just beginning to heal from all of that horror! for quite a while I just had no emotional energy to do much other than take care of my family. By God's grace, I am beginning to heal and feel better.

It has been a blessing to me to be able to help others going through something similar-it's some of the good that has come out of all the bad.

It's a rough road to walk with a parent. Hang in there! Blessings, Diane


Prayingforcompassion answered...

to Jullian. if your confused parent has a gun in their pocket, get away! it is so UNSAFE. they don't knoiw what they're doing and it's very dangerous. if necessary see if the police can help but if not, just leave. my friends uncle had a stroke, got released from the hospital and shot and killed his wife. he thought she was having an affair. thank you for this site, i'll write about my own demented parent later.


Christina d answered...

Dear Satyrical , perhaps some of us seem to be whining or bemoaning the fact that we get falsely accused but for me this website was very helpful in knowing that I was not alone, that others were struggling with how to handle the exact thing, and it certainly helped to be able to vent to others who were/are going through the same thing. Yes, it is our parent who is ill and believes all these false things, suffering because they believe their loved one is out to get them, and yes, they did give us life and put up with us, so it is our turn now, but we, as the victim's family, suffer as much as they do in different ways. so if someone wants to just vent, I'm happy to listen and be a sympathetic ear for them, knowing how much it helps. being able to help others going through something similar is some of the good that has come out of the whole horrible situation.


Satyrical answered...

Christina D..Hello and a good reply...I do understand your empathy...and its not that I don't feel sorry for a lot of the people here,but its all about the one's who have this illness for me ,and looking for solutions to counter it...and so far there are very few solutions... I Know about the accusations...and how hard they are to handle..So do we all...So how about more positive things than whining...One little thing that helps my mom..She adores cats..The moment that she starts I play a DVD with cats and kittens in it...I revert her sometimes to the places we have lived and open Google earth...Encourage her to retrace her steps to her school or another family member's home...I walk those streets with her...I replay the music of the fifties for her....There ARE tools....Those are tools...and it may be a struggle to keep her occupied but she's still worth it... After all she's the only mother that Ive got....and her remaining time is limited...


Catpreen answered...

Just under a year ago my Mother in law pushed us a bit too far.

In revenge for what she said we were doing to her flat she came to the house in the evening about 10pm and tried very hard in a 'the shining' type way to smash all our windows on the front of the house and pull up all our plants in the front garden. The attack lasted for about 20 minutes during which time we stayed indoors and phoned an ambulance.

We have two young children one of which woke up and was terrified that her granny was doing this. The other has recently told children at school that her granny is a burglar who wants to break in and kill her and her sister.

The mental health team have been monitoring her since then and although they didn't section her they have instructed us not to have any contact and for her not to come to our house at all.

We still get strange phone messages asking us things like why are we getting in through holes in the back of her dressing table, but we are unable to help her apart from keeping in touch with the mental health nurse and the sheltered housing warden.

For the sake of our children and our own nerves we are keeping out of it for now, even though she only lives 5 minutes walk away. It's very sad for everyone involved but her neighbours tell us she is ok, going to bingo and dominos at the flats community room. We continue to keep an eye on things from a distance and hope in some ways that we continue to be the scapegoat that saves her neighbours from the abuse as they are mostly old and vulnerable.

To satyrical I would say enjoy your mother while you can, there was a time two years ago when I used to take my mother in law for days out with the children and visit her at least twice a week. I enjoyed looking after her and making her many meals and her favourite pancakes etc. but sadly that time has gone, her rages are too dangerous for us and our family and her constant slanderous words too hurtful.


Feeling lighter answered...

I cannot tell ya'll how relieved I am after reading these stories! My mother has been accusing my brothers and I of stealing from her and at first I thought they may have been, now I feel ashamed. They are just as innocent as I and we are all living in her delusional world. I have recently gotten to a place where I can hear her accuse me and not feel physically sick. Thank you Jesus! Although I love her dearly, I plan to keep me distance and stay out of her house...best advise I've read, because you CANNOT reason with them when they have it in their mind that you are a thief!


Christina d answered...

Feeling Lighter, it is a relief to know that others have and are experiencing the same kinds of things!! I sure know how hurtful all the accusations are. There is no way to reason with them because the logical function of the brain is all messed up-sadly there is nothing left with which to reason.

Loving someone and taking care of them doesn't mean you have to be the one to do it 24/7. Loving someone means making sure that they are safe and well-taken care of, regardless of who is doing it. Hang in there!!


Luvmyhusband answered...

My heart aches for each person posting here. I thought I was alone. Many days I'm angry at G-d because I woke up again. I'm dealing with a paranoid husband and sometimes I wonder why I even keep trying to keep him happy - it's impossible. He calls me names, throws things at me, accuses me of lying to him and taking his "stuff". It's crazy. Almost each person posting said just that - the person with dementia is making me crazy. I wish there was a solution. I have some help from the VNA and a paid companion service so I can get away - but I also worry about what's being said to the stand-in caregiver when I'm away for a couple of hours...people are quick to call in social workers without knowing "shinola" about what's really going on in someone's life.


Catpreen answered...

Don't worry about the accusations to carers who don't know you, the person with dementia is unfortunately not going to get better so in the end everyone will know it wasn't you. You are doing your best, it's very hard.


Bobdigi216 answered...

Sorry about my spelling and punctuation but I'm kind of in the same boat but this has got to the point these people and their family wrongfully accused my wife of taking 100$ she thought the old man was joking cause he jokes a lot so she kept work till it got to the point he was saying she has a problem and her grandparents would be ashamed of her that's who raised her so she said she quits cause she not about to be the next Vanessa the female who had worked there before her fired and accused of stealing pills who I believe did not especially now well cops were called they showed up at my in laws looking for her we wake to detective at our house in the morning he says that the people that she worked for accused her of breaking into a safe magically and stealing 3000$ so the deceive admit you did it cause if you don't it's gonna be way worse for you in the future she says I'm not admitting to something I didn't do he says last chance to admit you did or I'm gonna have you prosecuted to the fullest she said I didn't do it well to shorten this long screwed up situation now I have their family calling making threat your gonna meet got imperative police trying to get my address and leaving voice mails say in we know where you are were coming and the funny thing is that most the threats and stuff are coming from another worker and her husband with no relation so I run her name in clerk of court she's been sued 9 times and is being sued now and the old man had said in past that that girl steals pills 2 that I believe so we got lawyer and the deceive now calls with his harassment saying are you ready to admit that you stole money so we've called cops on these people tried get to protection order tried filing harassment and the cops won't help and no one believes us besides the people who know us the detective filed for war rent 2 days ago for her arrest of hearsay no circumstantial evidence and my wife and her lawyer turned herself in today cause didn't want matters to escalate any further well out lawyer believes she didn't do it either he's even put his own money in for when he gets her bonded out we have 3 kids 8 month old baby boy 4 year old girl 9 year old girl and these people are trying to destroy us for what Did nothing but help them


A fellow caregiver answered...

I was so blessed by reading everyone's comments above. My Dad passed two years ago and my Mom's false accusations have really begun to escalate in the last year. I lost my job after my Mom going through repeated illnesses and I had to work remote from home for almost 6 months so I think they finally had it with me. Yet even after I lost my job I am expected to pay half her expenses on unemployment, which does not even cover my medical insurance and car payment let alone anything else. Even my broker said this is wrong that I am paying her to live with her to assist her, but as some of you know once a parent dies the talons and fangs can come out of seemingly loving siblings. I'd rather pay her support and live there with her caring for her then have a lawsuit afterwards.

It really has escalated in craziness when the stealing accusations started coming more frequently I've just about had it. This has been the worst time in my career to lose my job in my mid 50's I have interviewed for months and no one wants to hire me. I have no family support as I am alone with Mom. Like one of the ladies mentioned above I did a full photo inventory of her jewelry because of the stealing accusations. We have found everything except 4 items.

A friend of mine who is a RN suggested also saying to her "well that is an interesting point of view" that does not always work successfully, but like one of the other ladies mentioned above, today I just started walking out on her. I am not going to take the abuse any more verbally.

This morning she put the coffee pot together and then forgot to put the water in it. All of a sudden I saw smoke coming out and I yelled mom you forgot the water and yanked the plug out of the wall. She promptly said no I didn't. I literally put the coffee maker under her nose and said, look there is no water in it, her comeback was it spilled out on the counter then, but by golly she didn't do anything wrong. I added water to it and it became evident she had fried the machine. I finally said to her you need to accept responsibility for your actions. Then her come back was you are accusing me of deliberating doing this. Then she said "see the machine is not plugged in" that 's the problem, when I unplugged it stop the thing from burning down to he counter. Needless to say after breakfast I left and went to the gym. I realize now we are going to the fruity tunes time. When I got home from the gym I was accused of stealing all her papers. I finally told her she needed to stop and made her go back to her room and open up her files and guess where the papers where, in her files.

Folks no one will understand or appreciate you and what you do until they live through it themselves. I have had even most of my friends drop out of my life. They think I am being antisocial and just leave her. I can't wait to see what they will go through when it is there time. I hope they have lots of money, so they can just put their parent away and they can go on with their life. I have a few months saving left and then I will have to apply for jobs out of state and leave Mom alone. She won't move with me, and my siblings don't support putting Mom in a home because of the costs, which I agree but she is really not at that point quite yet, but I think the time is coming in a year.


Lizawren answered...

I brought my mom into our home about five years ago when she obviously could no longer live alone. All in all, it's been a rough experience.  My mom constantly accuses me of selling her house behind her back and taking her money. She is absolutely furious that she lives with us, and refuses to believe that a nursing home is her only other option.  I've shown her the documents that she had her lawyer draw up (on my dad's advice just after he died) saying what her wishes were - my sisters and I have followed it to the letter. I have tried to reason with her, called my siblings to talk with her and see if she would believe them, etc., all to no avail.  After literally hundreds of arguments trying to make her see reason, I'm worn out.  Now, when she threatens to leave, I tell her 'okay.'  She'll say she needs to call a friend to come get her, and I hand her the phonebook.  She tries to start an argument and I say 'whatever you say, Mom.' She threatens to call the police on me for stealing her house (she has lately started thinking my home is her old house) and I ask her if she wants me to bring her the phone. She threatens to leave, and I ask her if I can give her a ride somewhere.  She usually sputters to a stop when I go with what she says, and it takes her awhile to come up with a new strategy.  This has been the best way for me to preserve some sort of peace in our home. She never follows through - it's obvious she just wants to pick a fight.  My mom has always been narcissistic and childish; she was impossible to reason with before she had dementia, and now she can't even pretend to make sense.  I just pray and ask God to help me have patience. I have never been close to my mom, and I'm thinking that maybe it is a blessing in some ways.  I have told my chilfren that, if I ever get like my mom, I don't want them putting up with all this - put me in a nursing home and remember the mom I was (hopefully a lot more loving than the one I was raised by.)  Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories.


Maryanndodge answered...

My experience was with my sister- while I have healed tremendously, the chain of events comes back to haunt me as it has done tonight and I am not sleeping and I have to wake up in 1.5 hours to ready for work. Why do the powers that be punish me/us like this?


Mimi1220 answered...

My Mother is 95 years old and recently has started accusing her neighbor of coming into her house at all hours of the night and stealing money,blouses, pants cookies and even furniture polish we have found all of the things it started after my dad passed away last year locks have been changed 3 times and claims he comes in and gets the keys when she is watering the lawn, I live in Nevada and she will not come and live with me ...she wants to die in the house like my dad did, I have a cousin that goes there and my niece I have no other siblings as I lost my sister in 1993 I go there 2 times a month I still work and it is not easy being so far away...


Shimmy8969 answered...

Hello, fellow caregivers. It does make me feel better that there are others out there that go through similar situations as myself. My mom is 83 years old, and of her 3 children, I got chosen to be the "thief" that takes all her money. Anything that she thinks is "new" that I am wearing, she swears that I have taken the money from her. To add to this grief, she also only relies on me to help her with all of her financials. She will literally bombard me with phone calls after phone calls, then my husband, then my siblings if i refuse to help her. I have told her that if she is thinking i steal her money, why does she involve me in writing her checks, and her banking. But she will not let up until I give in (for the sake of others in the family)....

She's always had a bit of a controlling/manipulative personality, so even though she clearly has AD and dementia, she can still "control" her behavior with others. So I am afraid that other people will be convinced that I "touch" her money, and mistreat her (yes, I've been accused of locking her out, keeping my kids away from her, and many other nonsense).

I wish there was a set of ways where I can keep myself from going crazy and salvage the little quality of the relationship we have left.


A fellow caregiver answered...

Hi, choose any combination of these posts and that is my life. But here is a question. When we get accused of this kind of behaviour or hear a story so bizarre that for the life of us we cannot make head or tails of it, do we agree, disagree, ignore, become evasive? My mom is very intelligent and nobody escapes her accusations, but the fact that I am not agreeing 100% with all of them places an additional "conspiracy mastermind" slant on it for her. Any advice would be great.


Catpreen answered...

We are advised to say, ' I am sorry you feel like that, it must be awful for you' or just change the subject but it didn't really work for me.


A fellow caregiver answered...

There is a treatment - NOT a cure for this dementia which causes people who misplace things to think it has been stolen.

I discovered this through the treatment of my wife at PineRest Christian Hospital in Michigan. She now takes a medication which seems to put this belief that her things are being stolen into the background. It seems that This is worth looking into for others.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I knew an elder with early stage dementia who was accusing some family members of stealing from her. One of the accused family members admitted to me they had a storage unit to hold the elder's belongings. Sometimes the elder is right.


A fellow caregiver answered...

Hello everyone. I work for a community that deals in Dementia and Alzheimer’s and as one of the people who deal with the residents every day I can relate to some of what many of you have been posting. When I was younger my grandpa was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and it was a very hard time for my family, especially my Dad who had always been close with his father. One thing I’ve noticed with working in an environment like this one is that often residents will accuse me, or others of stealing their belongings. In one case one of the women who reside here is constantly telling me that no one is giving her morning paper to her and giving it away to someone else. I know no one is stealing her paper in the morning because I have specifically handed her the paper in the morning only to be accused later that day of keeping it from her. At first I tried telling her that no one was taking her paper, that she must have just misplaced it because I was the one who handed it to her. This was only met by her refusing to believe me and getting even more upset. So, I tried a different tact and the next time she told me someone was taking her paper I played into her delusion. I apologized for the inconvenience that this was causing her and reassured her that when I got the paper in the morning I would set it aside and hand it directly to her (even though that was what I had been doing anyway) I was surprised when she told me how sweet I was and thanked me multiple times for doing that for her. Working in this environment has taught me many things and reading some of these posts I hope that I can help those of you struggling with your loved one. One thing that I’ve noticed is key is to just go along with whatever delusion your family members are creating. If they tell you to give back what you stole, next time instead of saying you didn’t take anything maybe try this approach. Tell your family member that you are very sorry for taking that, that you thought you would fix it up, or you just wanted to keep it safe since they had told you before that they were missing items. This may relieve some of the conflict or it may not. The one thing I know with this disease is that they will forget sooner or later that the conversation took place so try this experiment. If it goes well then great, if it doesn’t then you know that it doesn’t and you can continue to find ways to work towards finding a scenario that doesn’t involve shouting and acusations. I really hope this helps and my heart and good thoughts go out to you all.


A fellow caregiver answered...

One fairly simple change I made is with what I say. Instead of saying, "Mom called me and screamed at me about clearing all of her things out of the house and selling it out from under her," I say, "Dementia called me and screamed at me about....." I know it sounds overly simple but I do this constantly and consistently and it literally helps me to know it's the Alzheimer's not my mother.


Assistedlivinghelp answered...

I have worked in Senior Housing for over 20 years, and this is a very common phenomenon especially in seniors with early onset dementia. This may be the only symptom of dementia you see in her for years. One study has found that as many as 55% of people with dementia exhibit delusions of theft.

Nothing you say or do will change or fix your mother’s delusion. This is a medical condition involving changes in her brain. You need to find a good neurologist who specializes in geriatrics and dementia and have a full mental and physical workup. If she refuses, start by calling her primary care doctor. This is the time for tough love. I have seen families let this go on for years without intervention, and it NEVER gets better on its own.

Understand that your mother cannot control this. You never win an argument with someone with dementia. You will never convince her that she is wrong or that what she thinks is happening is just in her head. But if you do force the issue of medical intervention, at least you have a chance of getting some help and possibly of slowing any further mental decline.


Dbruers answered...

My mom had Alzheimer's and passed away 7 months ago. She also accused me of taking her money. I was her only caregiver during this time so who else was she going to accuse. Not really understand at that time what was going on it broke my heart daily until I found one of these sites and all the other people who was experiencing the same things. Mom also told other family members that she thought I was doing this as well, family members that I talked to regularly and k 're how hurt I was by all of it. When my mom passed away and wasn't even buried yet this family member bought it all back up again and said she knew it was true because my mom told her. We're all not speaking. How do you handle something like this? She obviously did do much research on this disease or she would have seen that it common for this to happen. So not only did I have to live through that with my mom I'm still dealing with it. Any suggestions?


Catpreen answered...

This is a very difficult situation for you, we had a lot of this earlier in my mother in law's illness. My Husband's family were saying there was no smoke without fire etc. Then she went to a wedding with thenm and she really showed herself up, accusing them of doing things they had never done. Now they believe us, well most of them do. My husbands father is still not talking to us and i think he is going the same way unfortunately. What I would say is that time will heal some of this for you, there will be other people who your family know who have suffered or will suffer from the same accusations and your family will recognise that it does happen often. What you are left with now that your mother has passed away is your own conscience, you know that you did your best for her in the circumstances and that is all you could have done whatever anyone else thinks. It's very sad for people to go this way but we try to think of the happier times when she was younger to remind us of our true relationship even though she is still alive. Take care of yourself now.


Dbruers answered...

Thank you catpeen, I don't blame my mother after I realized it was part of the disease I knew my mom didn't really think I would do her like that. It just a shame that some people will stand back and let you take care of it all then start the blame game. It's a devastating disease no one should have to go through.


A fellow caregiver answered...

First time in months I found a page where I feel so not alone! My mom is 85 with serious heart issues and some cognitive impairment . She is in short term nursing but blames me fir her being there. Also similar patterns of accusations but she is still very much with it. Manipulative. Combative toward me. Impossible to take care of. I am an only child. My father is 88 and still in decent shape and can mostly take care of himself. My son lives near him so he stops daily. I have a family member who works as HHA willing to help which I am praying once my mother is back home I can find agency to place her. She is the only person my mom will cooperate with. My mom is such an extreme person, it is impossible to take care of . I have to work. I cannot afford not to. My parents can't seem to understand. My mom wants me to leave my husband and move back home. Between trying to work and running to either mom or dad nights and weekends, my husband is ready to leave the marriage. Because I have no one ( he travels for his job) we are not getting any time together nor can we take a vacation. He said he can't go on. I am suffering my win issues with fatal blood pressure numbers from stress. As well as exhaustion. I have an aunt 85 but she at least talks to me and a cousin who calls daily ( is disabled) because they are getting frightened for me. My whole life is gone. Friends scattered when I could go out. Depression getting worse. I reach out to social workers only to be told to "suck it up" or lay guilt. I live in fear something will happen to my father and turn what will I do with my mother? Help please my life is destroyed right now.


Christina d answered...

Hi, Anonymous, I am so sorry that you are going through such a difficult time with your mother. It can destroy your life but don't let it! It's ok to say that you can't take it any more. she definitely sounds like she has dementia. my mother was the same way-combative, paranoid, accusing, etc-all directed at me, her only child! Loving your parents doesn't mean that you have to take care of them 24/7. you can't do it all. finding good care for her is helping her. don't let her guilt you into leaving your husband and moving in with them-that would probably kill you!!

can you talk with the people at her nursing home about this? they can't release her to go home until she's more ready, and that means having care at home for her most likely. you need to tell them that you can't help take care of her at home, that you've reached the end of the road. they can find help for her. You have to take care of yourself!!

this is such an isolating disease! I know I felt the same way when I discovered this website-at last people who understand what I'm going through!!! hang in there!


Hurting for years answered...

I have read a lot of your testimonials and my heart breaks. I'm a believer in our God almighty and I know get brought me thus far and there is good in everything. I'm sorry, the good was to read that I'm not the only victim . I went into my mothers house to ask a favor from her regarding her grandson; my mother took a tool a beat me with it until I could run out the door, she called the cops to have me arrested. The cops would have taken me in had I not had the bruses to prove my innocence . This is a terrible disease but I'm scared of my mother to this day. I haven't seen her in two years, she asks about me. My siblings don't understand what that did to me that day. I have forgiven her and pray for her but not ready to see get. I know that day will probably be my last day to ever see her. Am I feeling the right way, I don't know but I pray God accepts my feelings . It's not harsh feelings, it's protected feelings, it took a year to quit crying and hurting.


A fellow caregiver answered...

Thank you to all that replied! It so helps to hear how others are handling their moms with dementia symptoms. I am not grieving for the wonderful kind mother that I used to have because I never did had a wonderful kind mother. I grieved years ago for the 'mother' that I so craved for. My sister (who now lives 10 hrs out of state) and I have had to withstand a selfish vain emotionally-needy bull-headed manipulative degrading mother all of our lives. Now that she is very forgetful and has dementia, her personality is doubly hard to deal with. Still I have never given up on my mom and have always gone out of my way to make good memories, but that was never good enough for her. I have always been there for her (even though 4 hrs away). She recently had 2 stays in the hospital and a rehab center for pneumonia and then an hallucination, during which I stayed at her home for 3 weeks to visit her and helped her to transition home. I cleaned and prepared her home, filled her frig, had repairman come to fix some things, ordered a medi-alert system, filled car with gas, etc. For months, she had endlessly complained that her house cleaner stole her jewelry. When I came to her house to pack for her hospital stay, I found a little box with a ring in her PJ drawer. When I showed her the ring to reassure her that the house cleaner didn't steal it afterall, she immediately turned around and blamed ME, 'I must have been the one that stole it and then I returned it'. So now ALL of her paranoia is directed at ME. When her car battery died in the freezing cold, 'I must have disconnected her car battery so she couldn't drive anymore', 'I too entered her home when she was sleeping to take things', 'I'm trying to ruin her life', on and on. My mom has not recognized my good intentions and deeds in the past, and now with her dementia, I'm sure that she will continue to keep me in her emotional doghouse until the day she dies. The last phone call that she left on my answering machine was her screaming that I was never to call her again and that 'I am done'. I wish her the best as she has stubbornly refused to sign anyone for a Power of Attorney. I feel good that I have tried my best.


Caregiver justice answered...

Would be curious to know if anyone experienced hospital medical staff treating you like a criminal because of a dementia/alzheimer patient making a false accusation. If so, would love to hear back.


Concernedapril answered...

so my mother is 51 and does the same thing. but instead of accusing me she swears someone is stealing her things. she says that someone come in when she is sleeping or away from the house and steals her catfood, washing powder, sodas, coffee,sugar, etc. what can i.do its driving me nits!!!


A fellow caregiver answered...

My mother is "learning disabled" and has also been hateful and accusatory all of my life. The problem is that I have acquired an anger issue in the last few years, maybe from a difficult divorce, and I immediately get defensive upon seeing her. I love her, but my mental and physical health is deteriorating from the horrific accusations she throws at me. I steal her food, medicine, paper towels, on and on, claiming she saw me loading up my car the week before even though I wasn't any where near her during that week. The last time I left her house, I was so angry that I couldn't say goodbye. My anger is now affecting my new marriage. Mom is so sweet to EVERYONE ELSE. I've tried to help her move into an assisted living apartment. She refused. She is also a hoarder, although a fairly clean one.


A fellow caregiver answered...

Finding this site has helped me a lot. My Partner now 76, of the last 10 years has increasingly, been ramping up the accusations of theft. It has gone from a gutter rake five years ago, and regularly through various other items, to the latest, a rolled up Turkish Rug. Sometimes she finds the missing items. I say : 'there you are, I didn't steal it after all, did I ? Her response : 'you've put it back'.

What the ...!?

Hopefully, I will be able to persuade her, one day, to go to her GP, although somehow I doubt it.

The accusations are such game changers and day changers. The hurt is indescribable. Emptiness. Sadness. Despair.

Just yesterday I tried to discuss the issues with her again, but she steadfastly continued to watch T V. I said 'can't you switch that off please, whilst we talk?' . Her reply without looking over : ' I can do two things at once '.


Lilyflwr1966 answered...

To All,

I wish I had found this site five years ago. Oh how I can empathize with each and every one of you.

I was my mother's rock, "her person" my entire adult life. One day five years ago, that changed.

It has been my most painful experience to date.

Accused of cutting up her robes, throwing clothespins in her garbage disposal, getting in her house via the rooftop and attic to take things of hers (only to bring them back later), circumventing both surveillance cameras and other security measures, etc. Has anyone seen the "mission Impossible" movies? That was how she saw me.

Out of the three of us kids, I was "the only explanation". The crafty, devious one...

Things I learned (some of which are stated above):

She truly believed it. Wasn't doing it to hurt me. Her perspective is that I was hurting her;

It won't get better. My fantasy was that at some point she would realize her mistake and we would make amends. It won't happen;

My mom, the mom I knew, was already gone. I grieved that loss as best I could and moved forward;

I loved the woman that was remaining (the one who had taken possession of my mother's body) anyhow. I stuck with it and persevered until the end.

I wish I could tell each of you that things will get better with your parent. But, no, the "issue" will never be resolved. You have to find peace within yourself to overcome this horrendous pain.

My mom passed away a little over a week ago, and I will say this, the pain of her involuntary departure was nothing compared to the initial pain of her voluntary departure.

I am at complete peace now, knowing she is whole again and at peace as well.

If anyone ever needs to talk, I'm here.


A fellow caregiver answered...

It could be worse. I took care of both parents until my father was passing and the vultures showed up knowing my mother had dementia did steal from my mother. I made them bring it back..My mother made irrational excuses for the behavior and your can't explain to her she doesn't understand. The people stealing changed the locks and are telling her lies about me to keep me and other family away so they can steal without anyone telling my mother. They don't tell me when she is sick or in the hospital and moved her without telling anyone where they moved her. When I found her they had put a ban on my family seeing her. It is disgusting how some adult children treat their parents especially isolating them from their family and stealing. Over 2 years of horrible painful and nasty behavior and my mother's hurtful remarks. I can only suggest that you pray a lot for the parent with dementia. It is not their fault. Sadly some people take advantage of them, how they sleep at night I don't know. If I try to see my mother they threaten me with arrest, they are telling her things that are not true. When it gets that bad, you just have to walk away. Family or not you can't help anyone if it makes you sick. The last call to her she told me she has no money, one of her daughters didn't have the gas money to come help just quite her job and went on a trip out of the county, the other just bought a new car and the house was sold well below market, as well as a trailer. I pray they do try to have me arrested at least a judge would hear this disgusting behavior. Judges don't make irrational excuses for disgusting behavior. My kids have not seen their grandmother since my father passed over 2 years ago. I was told they will call me when she is in a box!!! Who behaves that way! If my adult son or aunt visits my mother it is always monitored so no one tells her what they are doing to her. Acceptance is not easy, but I have had to give up all I hear how those things happen in families. Maybe it happens but it is never OK to take advantage of a parent in that way. I got a call for the hospital she was susidal, they did that to my father on his death bed when they were sending horrible text messages after getting caught stealing. They will be judged one day and it won't be by me. Sometimes all you can do is pray and patients for the parent with dementia. Sleep well knowing who you are and that the things said about you are not true don't try to defend yourself, you didn't do anything. Simply say I'm sorry you feel that way. In my family it was planned well ahead of my father passing. The behavior has one motive and it is not in my mother's best interest. In hindsight, I should of called the police when it started. The first thing I was told when my father passed was not how sorry they were for my loss, but she is next and it won't be long as they boxed her thing into their car. Some people are jaw dropping disgusting. One tells her to her face when she dies she wants her wedding ring and she giggles. It's not funny, it's disgusting. She blames me for my father's cancer, I can't defend myself against that, she make irrational excuses for their behavior and blames me for that too. I can't reason with her, she doesn't understand. I stopped trying. Family should never have to try that hard. In my situation, I had to walk away even her attorney wouldn't do anything other family not only didn't help make it stop but joined in taking advantage of her one took things without her permission than blamed another family member that was caring for her. My mother did the same thing with her, disowned her. By the time she left she wanted to move out of the county. I know the feeling. When it gets that ugly I needed to stop caring what happened. Not easy but nessessary for my own family. I could never disown any of my kids, I love my kids with all my heart nothing could make me disown them yet my mother disowned my brother at 18 and never saw him again. He passed in 1999, she never even went to his funeral. Dementia just magnified her previous behavior. Some of us are lucky to be born into loving families. I was not that fortunate. I am very lucky to have great children and a amazing husband. I am focusing on my loving family. When I feel sad about my mother, I just pray for her and wish her all the best, I apologize to my father because there is nothing I can do and let it go. You can't defend yourself against things that are untrue. I sleep well knowing I cared for my parents for more than 5 years when those people that are there now are there for self centered reasons with motives. I believe everyone eventually have to answer for poor behavior and I don't need to do a thing. When family intentionally caused that degree of pain it is time to move on. My kids told me strangers treat them better than their own family. I teach my children no one abuses them no matter who it is.


Phoenix1920 answered...

I'm so glad I found this group. I was really thinking that I was the only one dealing with this. My mother was always quick to accuse people of stealing, but she is out of control now. She is angry because I moved her to the city I live in. She lived in a senior apartment back in my hometown, and she had gotten to the point where she was sundowning pretty badly, calling residents and some of her friends in the middle of the night to tell them that she felt like she was dying. After the 3rd ER visit in as many weeks, the doctors and social workers contacted me to tell me that she couldn't live alone any longer.
I have sacrificed my time, money, job, comfort, and everything to take care of this woman. She didn't want to live in my home, so I found her a senior apartment close by. I figured that my family and I could check on her enough times in a week for her to be okay. Now, for the SECOND time since October, she's spoken to someone about me stealing from her. I already had to talk to social services once, and I'm expecting a visit from the police any day since she's accused me of fraud on a credit card that she's well aware I'm an authorized user on -- it was how I got all of her things moved out and driven down here, purchased groceries and depends, and paid for the gift she wanted my son to have for Christmas. It's pretty ridiculous that out of all that, she picked ONE transaction that is supposed to be fraudulent, but that's what she's said.

Dealing with this, and reading your stories has made me think that maybe the way that they act is actually a blessing in disguise. It won't hurt so much when they do die. I can say that I know I'll be relieved when this over. I can't live like this, and I too have considered harming myself. I CAN'T, though, because I have children that need me. I am in a bad place right now. I hate my own mother. I can see the hatefulness and vindictiveness that her mother possessed in her now, and it sickens me. I feel guilty for feeling this way, but it is fleeting. I'm in self preservation mode at this point. There is nothing more that I can do for her.


Cybercyd answered...

I am literally in tears to have discovered this site and the realization that I am not alone. Though it makes me feel not so persecuted and singled out, I also send my deepest heartfelt prayers and hugs out to all because I know your pain and what you're going through. My mother has pushed away all of her dearest friends, her helpers, one loyal and reliable cleaning woman who also cooked for her and would drive over at any hour of the day or night off the clock and who has been with her for nearly 30 years. She was like family. So was her physical therapist mom told me was like a son that we've known since I was a little girl. Add to that a wonderful Christian woman, her age, who leads prayer groups and has been in mom's words "like the sister I never had" I've also known her since I was a little girl (I'm 61). The accusations ranged from one person stating that a wall needed a little paint and that they had no right to criticize her house, to most recently the stealing accusations. I thought mom would get over it but every time she pushed away a good friend or loyal helper, she stuck to her delusions and maintained that she is in the right. Now she has accused me and my husband of taking money from her bank account even though she demanded that we take over paying her bills and monitor her property rental income which is directly deposited to her account. I fill out a few checks a month that she signs for employed help, such as the gardener, the new cleaning lady, and a girl who spends the night with her so she's not alone. Even her CEO who has POA is on our side knowing that it's her signature on every check but my handwriting on the rest. She hired the new cleaning girl, she requested that she have someone there at night so she's not alone, (we take care of a family member also at our house who is a stroke victim and half paralyzed) so I can only spend 2 nights with her on my husbands nights off while he stays with him. We have been juggling errands, jobs, screening employees for her, taking care of her meds, doctor's visits, shopping...all of it. We have bent over backwards getting everything and everyone that she pushed aside in order again and now she claims that I hired people she never authorized and that they are in on it with me to steal from her. I have tried to reason with her but she just yells and hangs up on me. I was almost done adding up receipts for her taxes but I will give them back to her so I don't get accused of taking things from her files. She calls back the next day crying and apologizing and swears she won't ever accuse us again. I thought it was over and then a few days later she was back to the same screaming and yelling like there was never an apology. She has been bi-polar, or whatever you call the Jeckyl and Hyde split personality for years but the dementia just makes that part even worse. She won't go with me to visit my sister anymore who was diagnosed with Parkinson's a few years back and is in a private assisted care home owned by a wonderful Russian woman. Next time I visit my sister, who is in the last stages of life, I will lie to her and make up something believable as to why mom isn't there with me, even though she can't talk anymore and might not even know who I am. It truly hurts when someone you care about treats you with suspicion like a criminal when you've been there for them their whole life...I can relate to all your stories so much, some of them almost describe my mom and her actions exactly. Unfortunately, I see no way out of this as mom promised to let me take her to her doctor for this problem but now has no memory of that at all and refuses. I told my husband if the phone calls continue 50 times a day, screaming and yelling at us, I have no choice but to get a restraining order to keep my sanity. I can't bring myself to having her committed. She has hired yet another new set of people, so at least she's not alone, but I know she will fire them in no time like all the rest. It's ironic the ones of us who don't give up on them are scorned and punished for caring, however, I feel in my heart that in the big picture, our efforts won't go unrewarded.
Thanks so much for this site and for helping me to cope a little better as well as God bless all of you.


Sueedge answered...

This sounds a lot like my father. He lives independently and appears to be managing fine but over the last few years he has become more and more paranoid. He has accused neighbours of stealing from his house when he is out, he has accused three of five of his kids of stealing old photos and stopped talking to them as a result. Now he has changed his will to cut all his kids out and is giving everything to a virtual stranger. We can see the changes in his personality but my attempts to get him properly diagnosed has been an uphill battle. I wrote to his dr who performed a perfunctory 5 mins test that showed my father is functioning well. Well, never denied that. But the crazy accusations and gradual isolation from his family is not normal either. My biggest frustration is how hard it is to get proper help when a parent is showing signs of deteriorating mental function but does not recognised it. I feel like my hands are tied. I have written to his dr again outlining all the incidences that are causes of concern and basically threatened to sue him if he does not act of his duty of care for my dad. We will see what happens now...


A fellow caregiver answered...

My mother has convinced her elderly brother who lives across the country and hasn't seen her in year s that I've locked her away in a home and am stealing from her. He took me top court and they believed him and my mother who showed up in court screaming about what evil I was. I have decided the past few years of my life top caring for this woman and now I have lost his and trustee. They are burning through her money at a terrifying rate and I'm not even allowed to see her. The American justice system ID seriously broken for them to take the word of an Alzheimer's sufferer and an elderly relative who hasn't even seen her in two years. I'm devastated


Spikestir answered...

My 85 year old grandmother sounds like this also. It has got bad a little after my grandfather died from lung cancer she started saying he was cheating on her and has a child my age with some woman. She first say this woman would break into her house and steal things. But this is not true I would later find the things she said were missing and she would still say someone replaced them with something that was old. Case in point she said her vacuum would not work and wanted me to get her a new one. So I bought her the shark professional with lights and and all the different piece to get under everything. 3 month later she said someone stole it and replaced it with a 10 years old vacuum. I told her that was impossible they just started to make this model a year ago. Now she was to come to my sons b-day party showed up on wrong day. I told her next day at 1200 called her at 11:30 to make sure she said you told me 4:00 so I am not coming. Followed by next day she said she went out with the girls and got home and her purse is missing and she thinks we took it and was calling the police. But this is not the first time she thinks we have taken things. She also said we took her car keys (which I should) but I have not. Had to have car towed to dealer and get new keys made. 3 weeks later her sister calls and said she found them in her coat pocket of her coat, Grandmother thinks she took them. But we believe she mistook her sisters coat for her coat and put them in it. Now grandmother will not talk to use because the feels we stole her purse. But she never got out of the car at my house and no one will go into her house. Feeling hurt and do not no what to do.


A fellow caregiver answered...

My mother has not accused me of stealing but she accuses me of not doing anything for her. I am at her house daily for about an hour to an hour and a half and more on weekends. I work full time and am married so this really does cut into my free time. She is my next door neighbor so I do pop in and out on the weekends. I am tired of being accused of doing nothing for her when I am making sure she eats, i buy her groceries, help my husband take care of her large yard and flowerbeds, etc. I am really wondering if we are at the beginning of a dementia process. I spent the weekend there two weeks ago and when i questioned why she was doing things a certain way, she had lots of "excuses" for her behavior, none of which made any sense at all.


A fellow caregiver answered...

To all, I'm in this hell now. My Father who has always physically ab used me, made it impossible to be successful as a kid to get anywhere, has money but lies about it. Makes everyone suffer, always did. He hates women, hates his family. Never tells the truth.
The really ugly part of this started when he got diagnosed with Lung Cancer...he was working still (vision gone? drove to work swing shift for an armored guard company) he quit working and went on disability at 87? sick? He started beating me up all the time, one night at 4am the heater was left on by him, he flipped out and beat me up. In that assault he injured his arm, big bruise. Well GUESS what? his FRIENDS all former co-workers took him to a Oncology appt. and he lied to doctor. Told them I just smacked him for fun. 2 Days later I went to jail. He accused me of everything under the sun, every check he wrote for anything to me he said I STOLE. Every Credit Card he offered to pay for Dental work etc. he said I stole. I was arrested for Felony Elder abuse was in jail for months. My mother is 88 has dementia and I have to care for her, Im on probation and guess what can't go near father, District attorney has protective order. So whenever Mom freaks out, DAILY she forgets I can't contact father. I am under constant stress, my father CLAIMS he is running out of money to pay for Mom's expenses, bills etc. and he is cutting her off. I am on disability with major heath issues. Father also claims Mom has to live with him, I live with her...so guess what I will be homeless and no matter what I do to be helpful to Mom she forgets spends all my money. and has no real future....My message, BE CAREFUL if your elder parent makes that call to police it is hard to prove you are not guilty, their word is enough in some situations. It happened to me.


A fellow caregiver answered...

Wow, nice to know I'm not alone. My father has been like this for years. Hiding his wallet then accusing others if stealing it. Same with his false teeth. Always doesn't wear them, keeps them in a cup of water. He has had mobility issues ever since he had @ double hip replacement 18 yrs ago. He is diabetic and refuses to take his meds unless someone us actually there mak8ng him. There is also sibling issues with one sister who talked him into signing for a 4300.00 loan for a 1987 mustang for her 17 yr old son. He has repeatedly told us he did not want to do that and she signed his name. Also he is not on the title to the car, but the credit union has their name on the title. She fell behind on the payments. Until we confronted her about them. She wanted to take dad back to his credit union to sign some papers saying it was OK for her to make the payments. Lenders don't care who pays as long ad it's paid, so we knew from talking with the credit union that sh3 was lying. We think she wanted to have him sign a paper to direct pay from his account. She did this four days after my dad signed a dpoa authorizing my brother to be in charge. Credit union would not reverse the loan after we told them about dpoa The story could go on, but I can't type that much info.

I believe that dementia scrambles the brain. Just like drinking. It allows people to say what they feel and probably have felt about us all along. It is a sad disease, but do is cancer, alcoholism, drug addiction, etc.. I know at this point in my life, self preservation is more important. I'm responsible for a high functioning autistic 22yr old. He, my husband, and myself come first.


Susiefaye answered...

My Mom hated me on and off for several years even though I was at her beck and call and did over and above what any other sibling would have done. After she moved in, her hate and accusations escalated as did her bizarre behaviors..... like opening the car door while driving, dumping trash into toilet etc. The paranoid delusion of dust and dirt coming from vents and getting into her eyes was a daily trauma and she begged my other siblings to rescue her. She told many a lie about me until my sister had to ask if I hit her. Luckily she told the truth when confronted. She agreed to look at assisted living facilities as she declared to all that she hated living with me and loved the daily activities but she saw many and changed plans so many times. Her delusions and confusion worsened to where she would try and talk to my sister through the blood pressure cuff. Unfortunately she had fairly normal answers to simple questions so her own doctor thought I was the problem and thought it was a domestic issue. He gave her a list of shelters she could call. The 2 weeks following, my Mom had 4 ER visits and 2 hospitalizations. ER doctors just kept giving her Valium and sent her home. She was out in the yard yelling for the police and telling them I was selling reds and blues to children. They still would not baker act her stating I had locked my gate so she couldn't walk in the street so she was safe enough. I had called 911 stating my mom had psychosis which was a medical emergency so ambulance would take her to ER (she refused ER). They kept sending police. Luckily last ER visit they admitted her and ordered psych consult. They started her on seroquel and I could tell if she refused it. I arranged for admit to memory care but by the time she was released, she was so good on new med we had her go to regular unit. She was perfect for a while and loved the activities. We keep upping the dose which helps but benefit wears off. The staff is stealing from her and kids coming in her room at night so next week we are moving to another ALF but memory care. Switching antidepressant helped her cry less and I strongly believe the right medicine for the paranoid delusions will help her have less anxiety and fear. We know she will never be the same but I don't want her to live in fear. I have learned to be sweet, lie creatively, and joke and have no longer been the victim of her hate which helps me take care of her. I told her the new place (locked memory unit) has strict rules and is very safe. They lock the doors so strangers don't come in and they have not had complaints of stealing in 12 years. So even if your parent is not as bad I advise you to lie, be on their side when you can..do NOT act like they are your normal parent with bad behavior. They are not. They are ill. Don't feel bad if you can't take it. Good luck. Maybe something in my story was helpful.