Accusations of stealing

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by red321, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. red321

    red321 Registered User

    Oct 13, 2015
    My mum was diagnosed with vascular dementia just over eighteen months ago and I moved her nearer to me into warden assisted housing a few months after that. Everything seemed fine up until 12 months ago when she started accusing me of stealing things from her. This has got progressively worse and I think she has reported me to the police now. On the whole she seems fine and gets herself into town on a daily basis. I see her most weekday mornings and take her out once a week and bring her back for tea. All the while she is fine just a bit forgetful. My sister moved near me first around the same time. I was always th favourite as a child so this seems even more hurtful to me. I felt physically sick yesterday when i was at hers and the police phoned to arrange an appointment for this morning. I left shortly afterwards. she constantly says to my sister and nephew that I'm going in at night and stealing from her. My mother has always been a difficult person and manipulative and other things . The move for them all to come live near me sounded like the perfect solution but i'm struggling with these accusations as she doesnt do them to my face now as she did in the beginning. I havent been round today because I couldnt face her. Sorry for the long post its my first time.
  2. Summerheather

    Summerheather Registered User

    Feb 22, 2015
    My Mum is going through this stage now, it's stomach rolling.

    Several weeks ago I came home from spending an hour at a coffee shop with a friend on a Sunday, my mum had been lovely that day, I got in the house and she spent the next 2 hours shouting abuse at me and throwing stuff. By the time I actually got her upstairs to her room I was shaking. The next day the Doctor visited to check whether it was an infection - nope, it's the Alzheimer's progressing - and he's given me lorazepam for it now.

    It's a regular event now, I don't think it's something you can get use to, no matter what you tell yourself - during these times I swear my Mum hates me. I liken it to a form of mental cruelty because you can't do anything about it - except walk away, but sometimes you can't do that. I tend to get out my laptop and ignore her when it happens.

    I am actually looking forward to the next stage because the abuse is horrible.

    The main theft accusations have been for my brother - poor man, she told me last week that during the night he robs her, but then she's also accused me of stealing her false teeth
  3. JLM

    JLM Registered User

    Oct 11, 2015
    U will hate this and me! But cry cry cry it helps! They don't mean it and try to remember all of the things we u said as a kid?? That's where they r now. Hard true and hurts so bad. Love to all xxx
  4. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    Welcome to TP :)

    That's awful but unfortunately accusations of theft are very common. I'm sure the police will have encountered this before.
  5. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    North East England
    Hi Red...the accusations and "reality" that Mum believes in...sadly are down to the Dementia. I say sadly, because you cannot do anything to stop them hurting.
    Do you or your sister hold an LPA for Mum? I suggest that you ask Mum's GP to test for a UTI, known demon cause for disturbance:rolleyes: It may be that she needs any medication checking.
    When the Police visit ( if, as they may choose just to file the accusation) explain the situation clearly. They will log her a a vulnerable person. They may also recommend that the Local Authority SW call to re-evaluate Mum's needs. It may be better if you take a back seat in caring for now and let your sister carry the load. .... but of course, none of this will stop her claiming you are the bogey man, coming in at night!:eek:
    You are not alone, there are a lot of us night raiders about!!:rolleyes::rolleyes:
  6. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    The accusation of theft is hard but you must try not to let it upset you as it is the dementia talking. I recently took £1700 (yes £1700!!) out of my mum's purse and put it in her bank. She's still got plenty but she tells everyone I've stolen all her money and left her to starve. I remind her daily that she's got enough and the other money is safe in the bank. She needs cash for her lunch club but I have explained to them that mum will always have enough money even if she says she hasn't.
  7. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    My Mum did this - we even went to the bank one day to try to sort out an account and she told the poor girl that I was just taking all her money. I was really embarrassed at the time (floor could have swallowed me lol) but as time passed and the accusations became nothing new I became immune to them and then they stopped and we moved onto another phase!!
    She didn't mean it - for her it was about loss of control and fear of losing independence and that is how it showed itself. I realised that quite quickly and then we paid things like lunch club on an invoice which was so much easier. She always wrote her own cheques with support right to the end - sometimes it took me 40 mins sitting with her. I would explain several times what she was paying and then i would write out on another piece of paper for her what she needed to do and she would copy. She signed her own name and wrote even tho I had POA - i wanted her to keep that control as much as she wanted to - although it did try my patience lolol
    If you can let it wash over you then please do - deep breathing helped me enormously and I did do a mindfulness course about half way through the 4 years which showed me how to make my life much less stressful. I am caring again and have just embarked on another mindfulness course to top up my resilience!
    thinking of you x
  8. woodbrooklabs

    woodbrooklabs Registered User

    Aug 17, 2015
    Hi, I totally understand how you feel. For the last year, my dad has told everyone that I stole the deeds of his house. In actual fact, the Building Society still has them. Think I was finally getting through to him that they have them. I then found notes the other night in his house saying his sister stole them and his money. In actual fact, she paid off the remainder of his mortgage as there was a shortfall. Now he has moved onto the neighbour, apparently he stole dads laundry off the line, a cctv camera and damaged the seals in his windows making them misty. The windows are at least 20 years old and a few of the seals have gone. He has been to the police station numerous times. I rang the constable involved and explained the situation.

    I cried so much at the start when the accusations started. I really thought I would never be able to speak to him or visit his home. Had many arguments with him. But through this website I have educated myself about dementia and how to deal with it. When he mentions anything about theft etc I gently change the subject and he forgets. There have been no arguments for 6 months and we are getting on better than ever. I just agree with what he says.

    Dad has doctors in the morning for a review and I've been trying to go with him for months to hear what the doctor has to say, but he point blankly refuses to let me go. Going to use gentle persuasion tonight of getting him back online (no phone/internet for 5 years) and then bring up going to the doctor with him in the morning. Actually feel nervous even thinking about asking him. :confused:
  9. carol4444

    carol4444 Registered User

    Feb 5, 2014
    It's surprising what you get used to. Today I have been accused of taking Mum's special toothbrush, apparently I get jealous of this so helped myself. We then moved on to the walking stick that I have taken. It doesn't take long to locate these things in the house, then next week we will go through it all again. Mum is wearing herself out with all the anguish and crying. It's pointless to use up all your own energy by getting upset.
  10. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    Oh gosh. Whatever is it that starts the stealing delusion? I went through the whole of my caring time (six and a half years) putting up with it. There was never anyone mentioned except a bloke called Peter, who, as far as I knew, didn't even exist. People were coming into the garden at night to steal tools. (Who would want them rusty old things?!) Our gates got stolen. (We never ever had gates!) It just went on and on for all those years, Red. Pitiful to have to live with. Absolutely no way of reasoning it out as the power of reasoning went very, very quickly when the dementia first took hold.

    Sometimes, staying out of the way is the only solution. If you've got enough courage, and believe me, I know how much of that is needed - try to be around to have a quiet chat with the police when they come. Let the original visit take its course. Wait outside and snatch a word with the officer when they come out. It's what I did when there was an incident. The officer could see my husband wasn't in control of his faculties. You'll only have to confirm it yourself. Don't be shy. Get stuck in and chat with them after the meeting they have with your Mum. It'll possibly be a CSO who arrives, but whoever it is - just put them in the picture of what you're dealing with. They may even come up with a helpful solution for more care, and/or advice. All the very best to you.
  11. velocity

    velocity Registered User

    Feb 18, 2013
    North Notts
    My Mum used to visit the Police Station quite often apparently (it isn't far from where we live) making various accusations some really serious I found out. A Police Officer came round to see me, advising that Mum could have early onset Dementia and to see her GP. When I explained the GP didn't agree, I had been trying to get help for quite a few years, that the GP had just made our situation worse. He offered help from the Police to back up the 'evidence' I later found out Mum had told most of the family and other people locally. I felt really isolated as nobody seemed to help.
    I can remember feeling bewildered by it all and I did cry buckets.
    We eventually did get help after a spell in Hospital. xx
  12. MrsTerryN

    MrsTerryN Registered User

    Dec 17, 2012
    The local police were lovely towards mum when she would ring about various crimes. If mum was quite distressed they would send a car. They would also contact me to advise.
    I was on their records to contact.
    Mum has had theft and crime delusions for at least five years
  13. Concerned J

    Concerned J Registered User

    Jun 15, 2014
    I have never been accused of stealing (yet) although everything else is my fault. I have been in tears as Mum has ranted and raved at me. I get phone calls that make no sense.
    I am the eldest of four siblings and Mum doesn't have favourites but I seem to be the devil incarnate at the moment. My sisters are always been told about things I've done or not done. She then tells me she hasn't spoken to them in "I don't know how long".
    It really hurts but we all laugh with relief (we have to) when us siblings chat together.
    It's a really surreal world at times.
  14. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    Why don't you tell him the doctor has phoned and asked you to go in with him as he wants to speak to you too? That may convince him to let you go in with him. Good luck.
  15. Delphie

    Delphie Registered User

    Dec 14, 2011
    My mum accused me of stealing everything from her, from her house to her teeth. She also accused my sons, which hurt even more, and must have been beyond horrible for her too because she loved them so...

    I wouldn't worry too much about the police. They've seen it all before and are trained to follow the evidence. I'd get in touch with them if I were you, explain the situation, and tell them you're more than happy to answer any questions. It's important to remember that some elderly people do get exploited financially so being open about everything is, I think, the best way forward. In our case, although my mum could be extremely plausible at times, I think everyone could clearly see that I was doing everything I could for her under very difficult circumstances, so in the end the more she accused the kinder everyone was to me!

    The emotional impact from something like this is massive, though. My strategy was to refuse to engage. If she started on me, I'd give her an opportunity to stop and if she didn't I'd leave.

    If your mum is saying these things to other people then in your shoes I'd have a word with them about it once, so they know you know and how upsetting it is, and then try to forget it. No one wins these battles with dementia and your mum will forget all of this, either immediately or in the near future. You can't stop her doing what she's doing, she probably can't stop herself from doing what she's doing, but you are in charge of how it affects you. Easier said than done, I know.
  16. Grace L

    Grace L Registered User

    Jun 14, 2014
    NW UK
    I hated this stage of my husbands VaD.

    He accused me of stealing 'the buttons' of his favourite shirt and replacing them with inferior ones.
    and also... he used to ask me why I had stolen 6" off the bottom of his shirts, as they used to come down to his knees :eek:

    I had the terrible stolen money / posessions stage, that I never got used to. It broke my heart every time.
  17. woodbrooklabs

    woodbrooklabs Registered User

    Aug 17, 2015

    Hi, Mrsbusy, just catching up on here again. Dads appointment was at 9:10am and I knew he had forgotten about it, so I arrived down at his house at 8am (nearly gave him a heartattack!) and did just that, told him the doctor asked me to go.
    Even a few months ago, he would definitely not have let me attend his doctor, he would have cracked up with me. But there were no arguments, he just went along with it.
    The doctor asked numerous questions to dad, ie, the capital of various countries, who the prime minister is, to which dad answered perfectly in milliseconds! Only thing he struggled on was the day of the week and month. Though the doctor could see dads appearance has failed, non shaven, scruffy clothes and unwashed :-( Doctor suggested referring him to the memory clinic. He said 'now Mr *****, nobody is forcing you to attend, it is your choice'. Well that was the green light my dad needed to say a firmative NO. Doctor could have handled it better, he is not a 'people person' and had no patience.
    So we are back at square one with no diagnosis. Dads bloods and various tests were all normal, which I suppose is something to be thankful for.
    For now I'm just going to take it one day at a time. I just worry constantly 24/7 about dad, but that's life.
  18. alison1981

    alison1981 Registered User

    Dec 13, 2013
    My mum is now in a nursing home but before that, my dad was told by the dementia nurses to take her bank card as she was declining fast and he saw 100 pounds gone out of their account. When he asked her of course it wasn't her so they advised him to just give her small amounts of money.

    She went out of the house and went to one of our neighbours on the next street and said he's taken my money so they called the police on her behalf. The next day the police came and he asked her questions and it was obvious to him she had dementia.

    She used to accuse my dad of stealing her things, poor man. Even now in the nursing home we will go and she will say that people are taking her things! There is a man in there who looks similar to dad and she will act like he is her husband, she even gets jealous when other women talk to him!

    I know it is easy to say to just ignore it, let it go as it does hurt when someone you love accuses you of taking their things but they really don't know what they are saying.

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