1. pebble

    pebble Registered User

    Apr 18, 2008
    57
    The Borders, Scotland
    For the last 2 years my mother has trusted me completely. After my dad's death in Feb 2006 I sorted out finances and helped with as much as I could, taking 18 months off work to travel back and fore to try and keep things going for Mum. Mum has been slipping further into dementia and within the last few months I have somehow become "a not nice daughter" as far as she is concerned. When I visit I am accused of stealing cultery, plates, purses and money and of rummaging through her drawers to deliberately confuse her. She is widening the distance between us and doesn't phone much now - which is really worrying as she lives alone. Phoning is quite a struggle for her as she is loosing the ability with words also. I live 200 miles away and feel quite cut off. Last visit I persuaded her to see the Dr and she has since had a house visit from a geriatric psychiatrist. He has said that she has "good going moderate dementia" and from a mini mental state test is "below the threshold for being at home with a care package". This is horror news as Mum is very very independant and considers that she is managing in the house with no care package. She seems a paradox - an appauling short term memory but, in the Dr's own words, keeps her house immaculate. I am terrified of where this is going and Mum thinks the whole thing is my doing and that I am out to get her.
     
  2. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,975
    Toronto, Canada
    Pebble,
    Better that your mother be angry at you and safe than you hesitate about stepping in and she has an accident. The paranoia is simply part of the disease, a not very nice part, I'll admit.

    Would you consider taking a week's holiday and going down to try & sort things out? Make appointments with everyone you can think of for that week? Very important, do you have power of attorney (I think it's LPA now in the UK)? Not a great way to spend a week, I'm afraid.

    I'm afraid your mother may well blame you but it's the disease speaking. Eventually you will develop a thicker skin about verbal abuse but it is so hard at the beginning of things.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    3,518
    All too common. Many people with dementia do this: the real cause is, of course, that they do things themselves but can't remember, or remember how things used to be years ago but aren't now, hence the only "reasonable" explanation is that someone else is moving things about. The most likely target is someone they are familiar with. Such is the condition, that it makes more sense (and is easier to live with) that mum believes you are stealing/moving things than the reality...

    It;s sometimes difficult to distinguish between whether someone with dementia really believes these things, or does so because they are in denial of their own failing faculties. Or a mixture of both.

    My father does this with his sweets. He eats them but can't remember it, so his explanation of the mysteriously vanishing sweets is that I take them. However, he only makes these accusations to mum, and never to me, because he knows that I would say I hadn't taken anything, because I wouldn't, and I never eat sweets anyway because I hate them.

    So he is faced with either admitting there is something wrong with him, accusing me and being proved wrong or alternatively keep to his safe delusion. Guess which one he takes..

    It doesn;t matter that there is no rationality behind the chain of thought.
     
  4. pebble

    pebble Registered User

    Apr 18, 2008
    57
    The Borders, Scotland
    Thank you for that. Denial seems to be a bigger problem than I first realised - it is highlighted less as a condition than the memory loss etc. It is going to be a big problem with Mum as her reluctance to accept help from the doctor and his Old Age Team is going to be a big cause for concern for them. Strangely she has suddenly become very confrontational with me about the ridiculous accusations which leaves me stunned and shaking as I am a total pacifist and she is almost looking for a head to head about it. What an illness.
     

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