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Mom thinks I’m stealing and wearing her clothes, advice?

How should you handle it when your mom thinks you have stolen her clothes and are wearing them?My mom has alzheimers. She always thinks I stealing her clothes.
Status: Open    Feb 24, 2015 - 02:23 PM

Dementia, Caregiving

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6 answers

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Mar 08, 2015 - 02:31 PM

We had the same problem. Just redirect her, tell her what she's looking for is in the wash, or you will look and find it. They are like children, just take her attention to something else. I hope she is on the meds, they make a tremendous difference.
Get the book 36 Hour Day. Lots of good info.



Mar 08, 2015 - 02:33 PM

We went through a phase where Mom accused us of taking her Nivia hand cream, then her brushes, then her address book, etc, and everything was "all hands on deck" to try and find them. I went out and bought a few more of each item and kept them on hand so when they went "missing" I had some spares, and each time I said, "of course not, they are safe and right here." It didn't matter it wasn't the one she had lost. When I couldn't produce an item "on demand," I told her she had just loaned it to me or her best friend (if I couldn't produce it right away) and I was supposed to get it back or return it - tomorrow. That worked too. By tomorrow, it was all forgotten. "Don't you remember - you loaned this to Peggy and she's bringing it back tomorrow?" or "You're right, this is your sweater (even if it isn't)! You lent it to me last week! I'll wash it and make sure to give it back to you tomorrow!"

None of this has to be factual, it just has to make sense and be kind in the moment.


Mar 08, 2015 - 07:23 PM

I'm sorry this is happening to you. For me my father's clothes are being taken but by family members. Your mother most likely remembers a dress she once wore. If you are the right size offer her the dress or try suggesting that she gave it to you. If you can afford it perhaps getting her a similar item may help. My father does not have Alzheimer's he is just in denial about why he has no clothes or other personal things me and my brothers have given him. Try to get trough the moment because each will come with a new set if concerns. Talk to her often to strengthen her recent memory. There is a vitamin supplement called DHA otc in GNC stores. I truly helps but approve it with her physician first. Good luck. Diana

Mar 08, 2015 - 09:21 PM

My Mom accused my wife of this daily to the point that my wife left me. My wife took off the garment a time or two and gave it to her. After seeing it up close, Mother realized it was not hers. This worked, but for that time only. My wife has been gone for three months and Mother still thinks she it coming back and taking her things. I believe that there is no answer for this so don't beat yourself up. She doesn't accuse me, but the implication is that I have allowed my wife to do this. She can't help it, but it takes a lot of fortitude to deal with it. I pray daily for patience. Good luck to you.

Source: personal experience

Mar 15, 2015 - 06:58 PM

I have told her she given them clothes tob me as a reminder I found her motherly love

Aug 14, 2015 - 03:03 PM

These are all some REALLY good suggestions! It sounds like she does forget one minute to the next so pacifying her in the moment helps with her overall mental state both at that moment and the rest of the day. Not to mention helps 'ease her mind' at night for sleep. It's all inter-connected, stress is physical and mental and taking away the physical side of stress as much as we can for those with dementia helps better the overall quality of life.
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