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How do we deal with our mother saying people are stealing?

Our mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 18 months ago. Recently she insists everyday that someone is coming into her apartment at the senior living facility she is at taking her things. Everyday she calls us that someone during the night has come in and taken something, could be her calendar, pills, remote, phone, etc. She gets very angry with us when we try to explain that no one has come in. We even put a camera in her apartment thinking it would ease her aniexty and have reassurances. Now, she says they are crawling below the camera to steal things. I hate this disease.
Status: Open    Apr 28, 2016 - 09:28 AM


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May 06, 2016 - 04:00 PM

You are dealing with such an emotional and difficult situation. I am an attorney and not a health care professional. However, from personal experience I have learned it is best not to try to counter those delusions with evidence or reality. It seems to be best to just not dispute it and try to gently steer your loved one to another topic. Otherwise, you will continue to make her angry and just frustrate and exhaust yourself.



May 01, 2016 - 06:26 AM

sorry, no answer to this - just felt compelled to say i experience the same frustration with my mom. repeated accusations of items that she forgets where she has put them and dozens of "where is my...............................!" she's even called her old neighbor and we chatted [chuckled] on the phone over mom desperately wondering where all her things are...

May 07, 2016 - 08:27 AM

My mom has been saying similar things but not quite to this extent. She hides her purse in a drawer and tells me people have been moving things and stealing coupons that she originally was leaving out for one of the girls working there. So far when she mentions the stealing I just listen and help her conceal her purse and things. If she can't find something I say things like, "well, lets see if it got put in a drawer or is under the bed". Usually we can find it and then I say, "you know I do this all the time" or "maybe you should tell her (the girl who cleans her room) not to move stuff so much". That will often move us into another conversation of a totally different topic.

May 08, 2016 - 10:15 AM

It would be best if you document a summary of her behaviors from time to time-from a legal standpoint. In this age of elder abuse-it is better safe than sorry.
Also-make sure that things are not missing.
Do not argue with your mother-her reality is the only reality she knows. Offer support and empathy, then try to re-direct her by changing to a positive topic or activity.
It may be helpful for your mother to have a notebook to write down things that she needs to remember. (where she put her pills).
It may be helpful to label the areas of concern: ie...Put phone here, put pills here, etc.
It may be helpful to put neon colored tape on the items she is misplacing-so they are easier for her to find.
Is the calendar taped up somewhere-so it doesn't get misplaced? Are appointments, events written on the calendar so she can remember them?
Does her pill minder have an alarm on it that goes off when it is time to take her pills, and keeps going off until she empties that slot? They are available for around $200.00
Be very accepting of your mother's forgetfulness, so that she knows that it is ok. Do not point it out to her, just accept where she is at.
If these thoughts continue to distress her, you may wish to consult a mental health professional or a general MD for advice.

May 17, 2016 - 07:38 PM

Arguing with her will not work. Just say "oh no, not again...we will help get it back for you." She misplaces stuff and does not imagine it could be her brain that has the problem...and it is no use reminding her that it really is.
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By emeraldlawn on Nov 28, 2016 - 07:04 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

The theft in these places in rammant from day 1. Once you go into a place like this there are no options to get out I could not believe how my friend was pilfered from the very first day. Phone calls made from his phone, arm card disappearing from the minute he received it, his computer and any other valuables they could take. Tried to get his car and doubled billed for medication he didn't receive. Awful simply awful. Then if a complaint is made they are condescending and nothing ever returned or an excuse even made. One person even starting declaring residency at their private home with him without his knowledge.

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