• We're currently experiencing technical issues with our newsletter software, so our Dementia Talking Point monthly updates have been put on hold for now. We hope to restart the newsletter soon.

    Find out more >here<.

At a loss, any advice would be gratefully received.

andyderby

New member
Jul 14, 2020
3
Good evening,

I would be very grateful if you could offer advice, or point me in the right direction to someone who could.

My mum is 74 years old. She has lived on her own for the past two years since my father died.
She is fully independent, doing all of her own shopping, cleaning house work etc.

Over the last year or so she has become more and more forgetful, and now regularly forgets the words for everyday objects.

As this has progressed she has started to lose things on a regular basis. The blame for the misplaced items started out as a casual blaming of me for entering her house and hiding her missing items. This has now progressed to mum being convinced that I either break into her house while she isn’t there, or stand at the bottom of her bed while she is asleep, trying to strangle her.

I have tried to reason with mum and reassure her that this didn’t happen, but by the look on her face she truly believes it to be fact.

Over the last week or so this has further progressed to mum throwing away most of her food as someone is trying to make her poorly, and locking herself inside the house and hiding the keys so no one can enter her property.

These accusations are delivered with much shouting and swearing which is very much out of character for mum, she also regularly severs contact with me, again very out of character.

A Few of these examples include.

Accused of greasing the hinges and latch to mum's side gate while she was out, and accused of leaving too much grease on the catch which got all over her hands.

Three phone calls from mum accusing me of entering her house and stealing all of her pain killers. A further phone call later that evening to apologize, the tablets had been found.

Mum had visited ASDA to purchase new cutlery. Accused of entering mums house while she went to the toilet and hiding her new cutlery, when she went back upstairs mum feels I returned to her house, but this time swapped the cutlery set for one she didn’t like.

Accused of entering her shed and using all of her white gloss paint and putting her paint brushes back without cleaning them.

Accused of entering her bedroom while she was asleep and stealing her towels, then going downstairs and stealing her brush from under the sink.

Accused of stealing her toothbrush, when she goes to bed it’s there, yet when she gets up it’s gone. Mum told me she will cut contact with me if I keep breaking into her house and hiding her things.

Accused of stealing all of mums shoes, she asked if I could return the pairs I wasn’t wearing.

Mum asked why I keep breaking into her house and standing over her while she’s asleep.

Visited mum. Mum was unable to find any keys to unlock her windows, she told the story of how I had entered her house to steal these.
Mum also relayed the story of how I had been shouting at her this morning, and then entered her house to close all of the doors and windows so she couldn’t get back inside.

Mum showed me her sideboard, which appears to be nearly empty, she feels that I keep going into this cupboard and throwing things away.

Mum told me I was now banned from her house and could only speak to her through a window. This was because of all the things I’m stealing from her house.

Had two sets of spare keys cut for both the front and back doors for mum. Delivered and checked the keys, attached key fobs to each key and showed mum they worked.
Mum rang an hour later. She felt that I had entered her house, swapped all of her spare keys and locked her in the house.

As we are now, mum has gone “no contact” again, refusing to answer the door or phone.


I would be very grateful if you could advise on anything I can do to try ensure mums safety.

Many thanks

Andy.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
1,703
Hi @andy, my mother exhibited very similar behaviour, though fortunately I wasn't the one being blamed but the neighbours.
What I did was piggyback an appointment she'd made for something else with a GP and handed in a letter outlining my concerns. What you could do is contact her GP and explain what is happening, and ask if they could check on your mum. They won't be able to talk to you, but will hopefully check your mum out. My mum did really well at the mini memory test so the GP wasn't going to refer her to the memory clinic, but on a second visit when my brother came along he got mum to talk about all the things the neighbours had done, which made it obvious that mum had problems. Mum was convinced they were in cahoots with the local locksmith and had spare keys to her flat. According to her they came in took things and then brought them back. What your mum is actually doing is hiding things to keep them safe and then not knowing where they are. She may well be throwing things out because she doesn't recognise them.
Do you have Lasting Power of Attorney. It sounds like your mum might not want to grant it to you, but if you haven't and you can persuade her it will make things moving forward much easier.
I'm sure others will be along with more suggestions and their experiences, but keep post here, you'll get lots of support and advice.
BTW my mum is now in a care home. She was become less safe at home, and when she started going down the pub to drink with random strangers she started to put herself at serious risk of harm.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,420
South coast
Hello @andyderby and welcome to DTP.

This sounds ever so much like my mum before she moved into her care home.
Im afraid that accusations and delusions are part and parcel of dementia - and yes, Im afraid that they do really believe it is what is happening.

The idea that someone is coming into their house and stealing from them is so common it is almost diagnostic. What is happening is that they put something somewhere and then forget that they have done this, so they think someone is stealing from them, so they put things away "safely" so that the thief cant find it and then they forget that they have done this, so they are certain that someone is coming in and stealing, so they find new places to put things away............

Please contact your mums GP and tell them what is happening. It may be easier to write a letter outlining your concerns - much like your opening post. Mum wouldnt let me into her house either, so you have my sympathy. I was pulling my hair out with worry. Is there any particular reason why you are worried about your mums safely, or is it a general concern about what might happen? If you know of things that she is actually doing that are unsafe (like walking outside in the middle of the night in her nighty), then contact Social Services Safeguarding and tell them what is happening.
 

Hazara8

Registered User
Apr 6, 2015
512
Good evening,

I would be very grateful if you could offer advice, or point me in the right direction to someone who could.

My mum is 74 years old. She has lived on her own for the past two years since my father died.
She is fully independent, doing all of her own shopping, cleaning house work etc.

Over the last year or so she has become more and more forgetful, and now regularly forgets the words for everyday objects.

As this has progressed she has started to lose things on a regular basis. The blame for the misplaced items started out as a casual blaming of me for entering her house and hiding her missing items. This has now progressed to mum being convinced that I either break into her house while she isn’t there, or stand at the bottom of her bed while she is asleep, trying to strangle her.

I have tried to reason with mum and reassure her that this didn’t happen, but by the look on her face she truly believes it to be fact.

Over the last week or so this has further progressed to mum throwing away most of her food as someone is trying to make her poorly, and locking herself inside the house and hiding the keys so no one can enter her property.

These accusations are delivered with much shouting and swearing which is very much out of character for mum, she also regularly severs contact with me, again very out of character.

A Few of these examples include.

Accused of greasing the hinges and latch to mum's side gate while she was out, and accused of leaving too much grease on the catch which got all over her hands.

Three phone calls from mum accusing me of entering her house and stealing all of her pain killers. A further phone call later that evening to apologize, the tablets had been found.

Mum had visited ASDA to purchase new cutlery. Accused of entering mums house while she went to the toilet and hiding her new cutlery, when she went back upstairs mum feels I returned to her house, but this time swapped the cutlery set for one she didn’t like.

Accused of entering her shed and using all of her white gloss paint and putting her paint brushes back without cleaning them.

Accused of entering her bedroom while she was asleep and stealing her towels, then going downstairs and stealing her brush from under the sink.

Accused of stealing her toothbrush, when she goes to bed it’s there, yet when she gets up it’s gone. Mum told me she will cut contact with me if I keep breaking into her house and hiding her things.

Accused of stealing all of mums shoes, she asked if I could return the pairs I wasn’t wearing.

Mum asked why I keep breaking into her house and standing over her while she’s asleep.

Visited mum. Mum was unable to find any keys to unlock her windows, she told the story of how I had entered her house to steal these.
Mum also relayed the story of how I had been shouting at her this morning, and then entered her house to close all of the doors and windows so she couldn’t get back inside.

Mum showed me her sideboard, which appears to be nearly empty, she feels that I keep going into this cupboard and throwing things away.

Mum told me I was now banned from her house and could only speak to her through a window. This was because of all the things I’m stealing from her house.

Had two sets of spare keys cut for both the front and back doors for mum. Delivered and checked the keys, attached key fobs to each key and showed mum they worked.
Mum rang an hour later. She felt that I had entered her house, swapped all of her spare keys and locked her in the house.

As we are now, mum has gone “no contact” again, refusing to answer the door or phone.


I would be very grateful if you could advise on anything I can do to try ensure mums safety.

Many thanks

Andy.
I concur with both Sarasa and Canary. GP should be made aware of your observations . Medical and neurological examinations then follow. Like many here, l recognise the 'paranoia ' inherent in such behaviour having seen such in my mother prior to diagnosis. Assessment is so important in alleviating anxiety over safety and welfare.
 

andyderby

New member
Jul 14, 2020
3
Thank you for your reply Canary, I've spoken to mums GP, who also happens to be mine as well. He explained that without consent he couldn't discuss my concerns, but he did agree to make a note of the call on her records.
It's just a general concern for her safety, mixed with a dose of guilt.
Thanks again.
 

andyderby

New member
Jul 14, 2020
3
Thank you Sarasa, I've spoken to mums GP, he's made a note of my concerns. No power of Attorney, or similar, mum is fiercely independent, and I believe incapable of agreeing to that now.
 

Jaric

Registered User
Jun 8, 2018
20
I am experiencing exactly the same, I’ve been into Mums house last night and stolen all her food, this has been joined by hospital appointments, telephone numbers and bills. It’s been a month of hell, she has been seen by the a second psychiatrist on Friday, it didn’t go well, first one was told to leave. She won’t have a scan, won’t take the medication (antipsychotic) and will only speak to one social worker (that doesn’t work Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully she will pick up the concerns tomorrow.
I’ve been told to step back and let the memory / mental health team deal with her, so it’s difficult knowing whether she has everything she needs. She’s so verbally abusive. There is talk of sectioning, it’s terrible it having to get to that point.
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
867
Hi @andyderby, welcome to the forum. Some sound advice already offered - it might be worth formalising with the GP in written form (e.g. I am writing to follow up on our call.....) either by email or handwritten letter. They can't respond back to you regarding Mum's health without her consent but will be duty bound to act. Are there any neighbours or friends that know Mum well that perhaps could go round and see that she is ok, for your peace of mind? Unfortunately your Mum's thoughts regarding the thefts are in a dementia loop that is continuous and at the moment you are the focus - although that may well change. It is still worth persevering with contact as the position may change over time.

The only thing I would add, which is really important, you aren't letting your Mum down in any way, you can only do what you are doing (without Power of Attorney you are quite limited). Hopefully the GP will go to see Mum and involve other agencies (Social Services, Memory Clinic) which should set the ball rolling to Mum getting the professional help that she needs.

All the best. Stay strong and keep posting.
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
867
Hi @Jaric, that is an incredibly challenging situation, it is impossible for you to do anything more. I agree sectioning for the individuals safety is the last resort, but sometimes necessary. That can enable proper treatment under controlled conditions e.g. proper administration of medication, which can bring the individual back on the right track. I hope you get some resolution soon. Take care of yourself through all this.
 

Jaric

Registered User
Jun 8, 2018
20
Hi @Jaric, that is an incredibly challenging situation, it is impossible for you to do anything more. I agree sectioning for the individuals safety is the last resort, but sometimes necessary. That can enable proper treatment under controlled conditions e.g. proper administration of medication, which can bring the individual back on the right track. I hope you get some resolution soon. Take care of yourself through all this.
Thank you, the social worker is there at the moment and will let me know how things are.
 

Jaric

Registered User
Jun 8, 2018
20
I am feeling extremely frustrated with our gp service as they appear to think that there is nothing wrong with mum. The nurse phoned me on Monday about taking bloods for prolactin levels as requested by the hospital. Apparently the gp had gone to take bloods and urine sample (mum refused the urine sample) and the notes read that the gp didn’t know why there was a request. They had been made by the mental health team due to Mums behaviour.
I explained that I doubted that mum would cooperate more if I was there as at the moment it was quite difficult. Oh yes, came the response, it says here altercation with daughter!
I’m really angry as the ‘altercation’ is Mum going around the neighbours asking if they knew where I was as she thought my husband had put me into a mental home, he blocks the phone and won’t let her speak to me (not true) and that I’ve been into the house, scaring her at nighttime after her money, stealing her food, telephone numbers and appointments / paperwork.
How do I make the gp understand as she’s like the hostess with the mostess when they are there. They don’t appear to listen to the mental health team.
 

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
7,049
Bristol
I am feeling extremely frustrated with our gp service as they appear to think that there is nothing wrong with mum. The nurse phoned me on Monday about taking bloods for prolactin levels as requested by the hospital. Apparently the gp had gone to take bloods and urine sample (mum refused the urine sample) and the notes read that the gp didn’t know why there was a request. They had been made by the mental health team due to Mums behaviour.
I explained that I doubted that mum would cooperate more if I was there as at the moment it was quite difficult. Oh yes, came the response, it says here altercation with daughter!
I’m really angry as the ‘altercation’ is Mum going around the neighbours asking if they knew where I was as she thought my husband had put me into a mental home, he blocks the phone and won’t let her speak to me (not true) and that I’ve been into the house, scaring her at nighttime after her money, stealing her food, telephone numbers and appointments / paperwork.
How do I make the gp understand as she’s like the hostess with the mostess when they are there. They don’t appear to listen to the mental health team.
I haven't had to do it myself @Jaric, but heard suggestions of making a diary and sending it to your GP to try to make them understand what your mum can be like due to her condition. Hostess mode can be very frustrating, you have my sumpathy.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
1,703
I too think a diary is a very good idea @Jaric. My mother told all her friends I had dementia, which was why I was trying to get her to go to the memory clinic. As I said to @andyderby it wasn't until we got mum to talk about what she thought the neighbours were doing that the doctor realised there was a problem. I'd sent in a bullet pointed list, so he could ask her about things she thought had happened. Not a lot happened for a while. When a few months later she caused a big scene in the surgery because she thought they'd given her the wrong medication they really came on board and got a psychiatrist from the memory clinic out to see her at home.
Maybe contact the mental health team and see if they can discuss things with the GP direct. Sooner or later your mum isn't going to be able to carry hostess mode off. One time we had an occupational therapist from the memory clinic come to see mum. Mum wasn't best please with my organising it, but was extremely charming the the lady. Afterwards we went for a coffee and mum said 'I think I've done enough to get them off my back.' She thought she had, but she hadn't as is was obvious that though she could answer direct questions in a way that appeared credible she couldn't take part in a three way conversation. The OT and I had been discussing jobs and she turned to mum and said 'What did you do?' Mum looked totally blank, as she obviously didn't realise we'd been talking about work.
 

Jaric

Registered User
Jun 8, 2018
20
Thanks for answering.
We’ve been through the whole thing regarding what the neighbours were doing and are onto our second psychiatrist with the mental health team (first one, she threw out) the social worker has upped her visits to weekly and have the the capacity for daily, it just doesn’t feel that the gp is on board as even the mental health social worker has commented that the gp doesn’t think there’s a problem. Not quite sure how to make them understand or whether to wait for the psychiatric report or even a crisis to happen. Although not sure what a crisis constitutes. At least the mental health social worker can see how delusional she is.
I have started to keep a diary and now record any phone calls.
 

Hazara8

Registered User
Apr 6, 2015
512
This whole question of obtaining the relevant support when matters become difficult if not impossible, is a very familiar one and can be immensely frustrating and indeed very upsetting.

A prime and unarguable fact, is that unless you are related to dementia behaviour 24 hours a day, the implications become dissipated through secondary or tertiary reportage. The tantrum, the hostile retort or the physical conflict - all of this and much more evades the one who receives such reportage. Even siblings can be wide_eyed and sceptical quite innocently when confronted with a dramatic scenario of events, or actual "facts" which fall outside their received comprehension.

Yes, even your friendly understanding GP can be quite innocently a professionally adept onlooker, when it comes to the "reality" you have experienced time and time again. I prefer not to dwell on my own experience at its worst, but many 'dramatic' instances endorse the difficulty you face. I took my late mother for a drive one day. The plan was to visit a local beauty spot and observe the ducks which gathered there. On arrival Mother became uneasy. I think the sight of a large expanse of water disturbed her and her wet AMD did not help in respect of hallucinatory episodes. As she became more agitated l decided the 16 mile trip should be aborted and a return home was prudent. That 16 miles became a marathon. Grassy verges were waves threatening to engulf the car. Mother quickly became very alarmed and tried to get out of the car. I secured all doors. The raised voice became more frantic and the door handle was wrenched in both anger and abject terror. Do l pull up and try to calm her. No. Because l have seen this before and it simply builds and builds into a frenetic shouting and yelling and physical outburst and the constant trepidation from myself, thinking it could all lead to a stroke. At last, we arrive outside the Surgery and l rush in seeking assistance and two doctors and a practice nurse hurry out.

One of the doctors gently coaxed my mother out of the car and we slowly enter the surgery. All this time my Mother is behaving just like she would in any visit to her GP. MORE OR LESS NORMAL.
inside the doctors surgery room Mother quips amicably and to all intent and purposes behaves like someone who has no issues in terms of that behaviour, whatsoever. So how does one convince? Barring visually recording such events, you are reliant on telling the facts as they played out, however bizarre.

With regard to proper clinical and psychological assessment, perhaps l was lucky? The day l was compelled to lift the telephone and call a paramedic remains with me to this day. I prefer not to detail the events, but it involved even the paramedic and two wonderful neighbours having to stand back and await the ambulance. This "emergency respite" was traumatic and tested my own hitherto unshakeable conviction that one had no right, ever, to end your own life. And yet at the peak of events, it became extremely hard to visualize the next hours or days and being a part of it. This can sound melodramatic IF you are removed from all that has actually taken place, if one is simply imagining it, or listening to the chain of events devoid of the REALITY. And that " reality" can and does, break hearts literally. And l say l was perhaps lucky, because when my mother arrived at the Care Home, slightly subdued by the benzodiazepine l had managed to administer, the "support package" was put into motion - assessing and diagnosis then Memory Team etc. etc. Six months into Care (dementia) and the nightmare of previous months became history.

Sometimes, one feels like inviting folk into a seemingly nicely appointed room, fading out the lights -- then presenting on a big screen, scenes - actual true, unambiguous, raw in the flesh, actual events one has lived, with all the added elements which exacerbate those events - the incontinence , the mealtime tantrums, the pills spat out in anger, the night time calls for help, the endless changing of pads or sheets.... the steam cleaning of carpets....the tears, the lack of sleep ..... the hourly, daily, monthly ritual of Care despite everything ..... the home movie, the documentary, the two lives governed by the oblivious, uncompromising, cruel and heartless uninvited resident .......... Dementia.
 

Jaric

Registered User
Jun 8, 2018
20
You couldn’t make it up, could you. When you tell anyone, it’s as though your living in a world of your own imagination. If only. Thanks for replying