1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. MandyW

    MandyW Registered User

    Oct 11, 2005
    24
    Newbury
    Hi Everyone!

    All I do is seem to whinge whilst on TP-wouldn't want to change tradition so, here goes!!!:rolleyes:

    I posted a thread a while ago when my Mum had an 'episode' in Tesco, she thought that I was stealing and made a scene-it was so embarrasing at first as she looks so 'normal' to others. After the initial embarrasment, I felt sad and angry as my 'real Mum' knows that I'd never do that and sometimes it's hard to look passed the Dementia-it hurts to hear those words come out of your mum's mouth.
    However, it wasn't mentioned for a few weeks-or so I thought until last thursday I took my mum to buy a new blouse for my brothers wedding (which was no easy task believe me!!) and when she got home that evening with my Stepdad she blurted out that I stole the blouse from the shop and that I had a code with my children so that they knew what to do. Unusually she had no trouble with this sentence, normally it's very hard for her to piece a sentence together but she'd obviously been thinking about this one all day. So she was shown the receipt that shut her up for a minute but didn't sink in!
    My stepdad was due to bring my Mum to me the next week whilst he went to work for the day, so we had a conversation about what Mum had accused me of and how she had 'got it stuck in her head' and it wouldn't go that i'm a comman thief, I was upset but it was easy to remedy as I just would have to be mega prepared before a visit and just not ever take her shopping anymore. I thought i had found the answer to that situation until on mum's last visit she didn't trust me at all and wouldn't let my stepdad leave her with me. It's really hurtful-I know, I know-it's the AZ speaking but this comes out of nothing and i go out of my way to make every provision for my Mum so that she is happy but I cant do it do anything this time-I'm rendered useless. I want to help -but I cant, Mum wont let me.
    She is getting more and more paranoid about other things too, but not to this extreme-how can I help when I'm not allowed too? I love my Mum.
    I feel for my Stepdad, I think that he feels guilty that mum is thinking these things but obviously there's nothing that he can do.
    I had a really bad evening last week and I couldn't level with myself and give myself the good 'talking too' that i normally do when I'm feeling like that. I think that the hardest part is that everyone is 'Useless' with this horrible illness and the most you can do is be there and help-but now I cant even do that.

    It's so frustrating for me - goodness knows what it's like for my Mum and Stepdad.

    My Mum also has a problem with her feet, her toes have gone black and swollen with her nail's dead. My stepdad has taken her to the doc's but even they don't know what it is-it looks like frostbite but apparently it isn't that either.
    Anyone else had problems with feet?:confused: I'm a Nail Technician aswell but am still completely without any knowledge!

    Rant, rant, rant -oh by the way Happy Easter!!!:)

    Thanks,
    MandyW
     
  2. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    268
    Bucks
    Hi Mandy

    Mandy

    been stolen from, or other people stealing, seems to be quite a common delusion with dementia sufferers. My Mum accuses everyone of stealing everything, and is - embarassingly - quote adapt of acquiring endless rolls of toothpaste, combs, slippers and so on from others. I think it's something to do with not recognising objects and their history. I delivered 20 pairs of shoes to the home before Mum moved in. She recognises a few, others she says she used to have a pair just like some years ago, and others she swears blind aren't hers and aren't her size. Despite which they somehow fit her. I'm afraid it's something you just have to learn to live with. (I have noticed that since she's been on a low-dose of an anti-psychotic, this has been less common, but I don't know if that's cause and effect?)

    The feet sounds to me like it might be to do with circulation problems. Does your Mum have a history of blood pressure problems (either high or low)? My Mum's feet often swell up or go very red, but that's a high blood pressure symptom. It seems to happen after a TIA, I've noticed.
     
  3. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Mandy,
    Several years back my dad had to go into hospital and mum stayed with me for the week. At the end of the week I took her home, arranged for a neighbour to sit with her, then went to collect my dad from the hospital. When we walked in she would not speak to me nor my dad, I was his bit on the side and he'd brought me home! I left the house distraught, but a friend persuaded me to go back, ride it out, until reality returned. Also many toys had been kept from my childhood, but my children weren't allowed to touch them, they were hers. Bedding that she had given me because she didn't want it, I was then accused of stealing. And as you say, even though we know it is the dementia, it still hurts, cuts us to the quick. And the thought I am still left with is was my mum's final thoughts of me as a daughter that she loved and was loved by, or was I some awful witch? Sorry this is no help to you, other than to know that you are not alone
    Best wishes,
    Amy
     
  4. MandyW

    MandyW Registered User

    Oct 11, 2005
    24
    Newbury
    Thank You

    Hi,

    Thanks for your reply's.

    My Mum seems to think that my stepdad has 'got a bit on the side' too, it must be horrible for the partners, as they give their all to the sufferer.

    I heard that you can get anti-psychotic drugs and wondered if these would be appropriate for my Mum-the doc's said that after taking Aricept for 18 months there was nothing else that they could do.

    My mum will be 57 this years and she has already suffered for about 8 years now but lately it seems to be getting worse.

    Does the Paranoia only get worse or does it switch to something else? Do you think that she will ever want me again? I suppose nobody knows-my only hope is that she forgets about the whole stealing thing, but then what!!!

    With regards to my mum's feet-she has always had cold feet probably bad circulation but never a problem with blood pressure (as far as I know) They've ruled out Diabetes but is borderline Hypothyroid (underactive thyroid)
    I hope that it gets better soon though as it is painful for her.

    Thanks for all of your support, it's great to hear other people's experience-helps you make a bit of sence of all this madness!

    Mandy W
     
  5. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Paranoia - tell me about it.

    Lionel has accused me of having a "fancy man" of stealing all his money and being cruel to him.

    I could accept when he accused his children of neglecting him, as he never sees his son, and only saw his daughter 4 times last year. Now he has started saying that my children have turned against him too.


    This hurts as they, and the grandchildren, are so loving and caring of him.
    He blurted all this out to the consultant last week, so is due to be started on stronger anti-depressants, and another drug which I will have to check on and maybe research.

    It is so hard as he is my world, and I would do anything for him. Some days however, the patience wears a bit thin.

    Love to all, Connie
     
  6. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    268
    Bucks
    Paranoia

    The paranoia may come and go, Mandy. It does with my Mum. About two months ago I arrived at the ward to be accused of sleeping with the doctor's daughter and stealing all her money. As the doctor doesn't have a daughter (I didn't even know if he was married), and - as my Mum has known for 20 years - I'm gay (I visit with my partner, which ought to be a clue!), this was a bit of a bizarre moment, but it passed. Two weeks later, it was totally forgotten. (It helped that the (Indian) doctor explained his daughter would never date someone who wasn't a Hindu!)

    I can't say if it was linked to hallucinations (definitely stopped since the anti-psychotic was started) or if the paranoia is a separate symptom, but it may well fluctuate or cease altogether. (My Mum as Vascular Dementia as well as Alzheimers, and I think that makes the paranoia more acute or more likely).

    Have the doctors considered possible side effects of Aricept - my Mum has a slow heartbeat and poor circulation, and wasn't allowed to continue with it (it also gave her violent stomach pains). I know it can achive so much for people, but it's worth checking with them in case they haven't considered it.
     
  7. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
    Hi MandyW,

    What a distressing situation - from both an emotional and a practical point of view.

    There are some fact sheets on delusions which might be helpful:

    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/Caring_for_someone_with_dementia/Unusual_behaviour/advice_hallucinations.htm

    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/Caring_for_someone_with_dementia/Unusual_behaviour/advice_drugsbehaviour.htm

    The second factsheet deals specifically with drugs for behavioural symptoms and mentions anti-psychotics for delusions.

    Take care,

    Sandy
     
  8. miranda

    miranda Registered User

    Apr 6, 2006
    54
    cont...

    hi everyone.......
    reading everyone's experiences brought back an awful lot of memories and awful they really were too:( ! My mum was diagnosed with dementia many years ago but no one mentioned that these were quite typical symptoms. My mum was then given some outpatient appts in the psychiactric dept and no more was ever said.being the youngest in the family , it was almost impossible to find out exactly what was going on esp when every other member of the family ignores the situation pretending/carrying on as if everything was normal.:( :( :(
     
  9. BonnieRose

    BonnieRose Registered User

    Mar 27, 2006
    16
    taunton
    stealing

    Hi, my mum's dog is Remus - hence the name! This is my first letter, I've viewed a few times so here goes-
    Mum accused me of stealing her washbag recently which resulted in her not coming to stay with me as she thought I would steal all her money. This is the second time, previously she miss-calculated some money and blamed me and then went onto hide some savings from me which we have never found! It was horrible at the time, later I realised I'm begining to grieve as she will no longer be the same person. She sleeps alot during the day I noticed when she did stay a while back and goes to bed early(around 7.30 ish) as she worries about being up for the carers. She has a problem with telling time in the night , why should that be? Someone mentioned 'Sundowning' a while ago, are they related, can anyone explain? '
     
  10. MandyW

    MandyW Registered User

    Oct 11, 2005
    24
    Newbury
    Remus

    Hi Remus,

    Boy-do I know how you're feeling!

    Isn't it horrible when you are accused of stealing? The thing is that although you know that your 'Real Mum' would never think such things of you-it's the way they say it with such conviction, to hear those words come out of your mum's mouth is soul destroying. I try to realise that it's the dementria talking and not her but like you I dont think that I have grieved for my mum or accepted the new version. You feel so silly grieving a mum that you still have especially as every now and then (and it is getting less and less) you get a glimpse of the person that you love so much.
    I have a very straight talking mother-in-law, and whenever I need a reality check she is there with her strong (sometimes to strong!) advice, I dont like it at the time but sometimes it's good to get another perspective and other times it's good to have a whinge on this forum!!!!
    It's nice to know that your not alone.
    Take Care of yourself,
    Mandy
     

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