1. Uplands72

    Uplands72 New member

    Jun 21, 2019
    3
    My mum has dementia she’s 81 and in denial. She lives in her own 2 and 1/2 hours from me, so we spend a lot of time on the phone. My mum has a cat, but in recent weeks has started to believe she has 3, they are cats we have had in the past as a family. Unfortunately my mum believes that a neighbour is taking her cats in and keeping them against there will. It’s really hard to deal with, because often the real cat is at home and it’s the cats from the past she believes are missing. The CPN told my mum that the original missing cat a white one from the past had been run over, to try and get some closure for my mum, shortly after this the black and white one from the past came back. It causes my mum a lot of upset, she rings me constantly to tell me they are missing, she cry’s and gets very angry with the woman that she believes has her cats. She gets very angry with me too and it usually results with her putting the phone down on me. Today she thinks the lady has taken her cats somewhere in her car, as the cars missing from the supposed cat thief’s drive. I’ve tried to reassure her, tell her that the cat/cats will be back soon, but she’s got very angry with me because I won’t agree with this kidnap conspiracy, the phone has been slammed down on me again. I’m so exhausted with this everyday, several times a day, the upset her crying and the anxiety it’s causing her and sad that she falls out with me. We are going to get some special fencing put up for her so the cat can’t leave the garden, so hopefully that will put an end to this. I do worry about what will replace it though, as she seems to get very obsessive about things. Sorry for the long post, just needed to vent really to people who will hopefully understand. Feel better for getting it off my chest anyway, look forward to hearing from some of you. Thanks for reading
     
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,531
    Female
    South coast
    Hello and welcome to DTP @Uplands72
    Im sorry, delusions die to the dementia can very hard to shift. Delusions about neighbours are really very common and Im not sure that there is an answer to it.

    My mum believed that her ex-cleaner was coming in and stealing from her, so I changed all the locks so that she would know that it couldnt happen, but mum continued with this delusion. I would say, in frustration "But how can she do that? Ive changed all the locks so that she cant get in". Mum would just shrug and say "I dont know how she is doing it - but she is!"

    You may find that she continues to believe that the neighbour has kidnapped the cats even after the fence is in place. Logic and reasoning has no place in the mind of a person with dementia, Im afraid.
     
  3. Uplands72

    Uplands72 New member

    Jun 21, 2019
    3
     
  4. Uplands72

    Uplands72 New member

    Jun 21, 2019
    3
    Hi Canary, thanks for your response. It just helps to know others are going through the same sort of thing. I find it especially hard as it’s being dealt with over the phone, when we are face to face it is easier to distract her and change the subject. My mum is convinced that this poor neighbour is a nasty piece of work, who is doing this just to upset her. The neighbours only crime being that she told my mum how pretty her cat was one day!! Thankfully the neighbour is always out when my mum goes to confront her, but of course my mum thinks she hiding because she knows it’s her and she has her cats! Thanks again for your reply
     
  5. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,531
    Female
    South coast
    Have you explained to the neighbours about your mum so that they know it is dementia? Otherwise there might be an almighty row if she catches them in.
     
  6. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    489
    I'm afraid there is no beating dementia logic @Uplands72 . My mum was convinced the neighbours were up to all sorts in her flat and unfortunately they were in when she went round to scream at them.
    Mum was so convinced that she got the locks changed. She was capable at the time of organising that by herself. When I asked her what she'd do if things continued to go missing she said 'Well then I'd know I'd got Alzheimer's.' Of course things still happened that she thought was due to the neighbours. She concocted a story in which they came out and talked to the locksmith while he was changing mum's locks and he either did their locks too with the same keys as mums or he gave them a duplicate set of mum's keys. She even went and berated the poor man about it. I know it didn't happen, one because what locksmith would endanger their business that way, and two because I turned up ten minutes after he fitted the locks. Mum was at her front door trying out the new keys and said nothing about the neighbours, which she would have done if they really had poked their heads round the door to see what was going on. Any idea that it might be due to mum and her brain was forgotten by her.
    I'd agree explain to the neighbours. Mum's got very fed up in the end with it all and installed a door camera so we could see what mum had done too.
     
  7. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,644
    Female
    I agree re telling the neighbours - do you know them at all? If you do tell them, you need to make it clear they shouldn't approach your mother or tell her that you have contacted them, as that will further fuel her paranoia. But it would help if they are aware, in case one day she knocks and they are in!

    I also agree with the other posters that no matter what measures you put in place, your mum will still think your neighbour is taking the cats - her delusions don't follow any logic.

    I do sympathise, my mother had a cat, and previous cats, and lived the same distance away from me. I don't know if she ever had these type of delusions but she never mentioned them to me. I do know that she took to shutting her cat in cupboards or under-bed storage and then being unable to find him, fortunately by that stage she had a daily carer who would locate him! When she broke her hip last year, her main worry was 'who will look after Tommy?' Tommy was her cat who died nearly 40 years ago.
     

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