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Accusations of stealing

GemB

New member
Aug 4, 2020
1
Hi all,

I'm new on here, but am the primary carer for my Gran who has Dementia. We've been through various forms of accusations of stealing - it started last year with her accusing the neighbour of stealing her garden furniture (which hadn't happened at all), and progressed this year to someone coming in and stealing her TVs (again, hadn't happened) and has now progressed to her accusing me of stealing things from her house (TV, cutlery, other things that she won't specify (presumably because she can't?)).

I know that this is the dementia, but I'm getting very threatening phone calls and voicemail messages from her about it all and it's just rattling me. I find it horrible that she thinks I'm stealing from her - I'd never do that and keep stringent records of all bills I pay for her and so on, but I just don't know how to handle this. She shouts and screams at me when I'm on the phone or over there in person.

Has anyone else experienced this or have any advice on what I can do? Distractions don't work and I'm just at the end of my tether with it all.

Thanks in advance.
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,649
N Ireland
Hello @GemB, you are welcome here and I hope you find the forum to be a friendly and supportive place.

This is a common thing and just a few days ago my wife(who has dementia) couldn't find a neck chain and said it must have been stolen. I think that is often a default explanation when things can't be found as it must be logical to the person with dementia. Reasoning won't work, as the power of reasoning may be gone, so when I explained that she hadn't been anywhere because I'm shielding her and no-one has been in our apartment she still insisted that it had been stolen. The chain was in her jewellery box!! The big issue is that things are put in 'safe' places and then forgotten. The 'safe' places may be strange like the freezer or a bit more normal like under a pillow. May I suggest a chat with the GP because of the agitation being experienced as that may be caused by an infection, a reaction to meds, or a need for meds.

I hope you have time to take a good look around the site as it is a goldmine for information. When I first joined I read old threads for information but then found the AS Publications list and the page where a post code search can be done to check for support services in ones own area. If you are interested in these, clicking the following links will take you there

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets-full-list

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/find-support-near-you

You will see that there are Factsheets that will help with things like getting care needs assessments, deciding the level of care required and sorting out useful things like Wills, Power of Attorney etc., if any of that hasn't already been done. There is also a Dementia Guide in the list.

Now that you have found us I hope you will keep posting as the membership has vast collective knowledge and experience.
 
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karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,649
N Ireland
By the way, there is a very useful thread with great tips on communication that may interest you. Just click the following link to find it
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
13,257
England
Hi and welcome @GemB.

This is so common with dementia, mixed up thoughts and things not where they were thought to be. Now someone’s doing it, that’s very real to someone with dementia and your Gran sees the neighbour and they are the culprit. Unfortunately she sees more of you, she has contact with you so you will be the one accused of all the other things. It’s hard but it will pass though I can’t promise the next fixation or problem will be any easier.😀

Try to let her hear a little concern from you, I always used to say ‘ oh I’m sorry that’s happened, or sorry you feel like that “ Hearing sorry might help her think you are concerned about her losses. Offer to help look for something she has lost. I did that and when I found it my husband’s reply was “ I knew it was you, you knew where to find it”. Dementia wins every time.
 

Andrea57

Registered User
Feb 15, 2020
60
Chesterfield
Hi my mum accused me of stealing from her at the beginning things from her meds to money she even made a statement to her solicitor that I had stolen from her bank account.I found out because she wanted me to look at the paperwork to see how much the bill was ,can I read it I asked her ,yes she said I couldn't believe what I was reading and she denied even saying those things .it is so hurtfull and personal at the time but now I know it was the illness still hurts though 4 and half years down the line. She doesn't do it now the focus is on people outside that don't exist.