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Needing someone to blame

Felixcat1

New member
Feb 23, 2021
7
0
My dad has recently been accusing me of taking things, which is really distressing. At the end of our phone call tonight I mentioned that I was going to call my daughter. My dad said, “Well, don’t mention me.” I asked him why and he said, “I don’t want to see her.” When I asked why he said, “Well because of all the things that have been taken.” I wanted so much to tell him that she hasn’t taken anything and that she didn’t even move from his lounge and he was with her all the time whilst I was doing his ironing in the kitchen. I stopped myself because having read some of the threads on here, I realised that there would be no point trying to reason with him.
He has also blamed a neighbour of breaking a radiator valve when the neighbour went round to sort his boiler out. Just wondering, if putting the blame on others is something that anyone else has experienced? Does he just need someone, anyone to blame? My daughter loves her grandad and as her mother I feel very hurt by what he has said.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
14,939
0
South coast
Hello @Felixcat1 and welcome to DTP

Accusing people of stealing and breaking things is so common in dementia it is almost diagnostic. It was when mum started accusing an old and very dear friend of hers of stealing that I suddenly realised that mum didnt just have a bit of memory problem, but had dementia.

The problem is that they get confused, cant work out how to do things, or move things around and then forget. They are certain that it wasnt them, so it must be someone else.
 

Felixcat1

New member
Feb 23, 2021
7
0
Hello @Felixcat1 and welcome to DTP

Accusing people of stealing and breaking things is so common in dementia it is almost diagnostic. It was when mum started accusing an old and very dear friend of hers of stealing that I suddenly realised that mum didnt just have a bit of memory problem, but had dementia.

The problem is that they get confused, cant work out how to do things, or move things around and then forget. They are certain that it wasnt them, so it must be someone else.
That is reassuring to know, thank you so much 😊
 

Helen10

Registered User
Jan 22, 2021
98
0
My Nan had Alzheimer’s. she would frequently accuse one of her 6 children of stealing something. So much so that it became a family joke. When I got married I wore my nan’s pearls (she died when I was 10). I was still able to joke with my uncles and tell them not to consider stealing them. Fast forward 30 years and I’m now going through the same thing with mum. Not sure if this helps but it demonstrates it certainly is common. Perhaps make a joke of it with your daughter. I find laughter can help get me through some difficult dementia issues.

Hx
 

Felixcat1

New member
Feb 23, 2021
7
0
My Nan had Alzheimer’s. she would frequently accuse one of her 6 children of stealing something. So much so that it became a family joke. When I got married I wore my nan’s pearls (she died when I was 10). I was still able to joke with my uncles and tell them not to consider stealing them. Fast forward 30 years and I’m now going through the same thing with mum. Not sure if this helps but it demonstrates it certainly is common. Perhaps make a joke of it with your daughter. I find laughter can help get me through some difficult dementia issues.

Hx
Thank you for your reply. My daughter seems to have taken it on the chin. She said “Oh well, at least he isn’t blaming you.” Bless her. I’m pretty sure he will be blaming me again. I just find it heart breaking because when he is accusing, he isn’t my dad. It is as though he has become someone else.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,310
0
Victoria, Australia
Paranoia was one of the first things that alerted me that my husband had a problem.

I was stealing things, hiding money, cheating on him - you name it, according to him I did it.

If he misreads the time, it is because of 'this stupid watch'. If he has trouble doing something on the computer, then the computer 'has a virus'.

Medication has helped but not solved the problem entirely. I just got used to it and ignore it. I know I haven't done all the things he accuses me of so I don't let it get to me. I call it crocodile skin, thick, tough and impervious.
 

Felixcat1

New member
Feb 23, 2021
7
0
Paranoia was one of the first things that alerted me that my husband had a problem.

I was stealing things, hiding money, cheating on him - you name it, according to him I did it.

If he misreads the time, it is because of 'this stupid watch'. If he has trouble doing something on the computer, then the computer 'has a virus'.

Medication has helped but not solved the problem entirely. I just got used to it and ignore it. I know I haven't done all the things he accuses me of so I don't let it get to me. I call it crocodile skin, thick, tough and impervious.
Even though this is not what I want to hear, it is reassuring that accusations are common with this horrible illness. It must be very hard for you as you are looking after your husband. In many ways I do get to step away from it as my dad is still able to live independently for now. It doesn’t stop the worry as I do not simply live round the corner. I am so grateful to his neighbours. However, he has just accused his neighbour of something that I know he would not have done as he was helping my dad. Luckily his partner used to work with the elderly and has experience in these situations. Thank you for your reply and look after yourself 😊
 

Thethirdmrsc

Registered User
Apr 4, 2018
301
0
The accusations when you can’t bite back are awful. I am sitting listening to my OH have a rant about how I am ignoring him, how he is on his own, how awful I am. Someone posted earlier about your line, the line that you know you can’t go further. I thought mine might be incontinence, but the emotional and verbal abuse is bad. Why should I feel a wreck, ok it’s not everyday, but that’s not the point.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
2,814
0
My mother thought it was the neighbours stealing things, which a bit like @HELEN has now become a family joke when my husband and I can't find things. It wasn't a joke at the time as she would go and scream outside their door or call the police about them.
Mum is now in a care home. When she moved there she told all the carers her daughter's horrible boyfriend had stolen all her money. I had to keep on explaining I didn't have boyfriend, just a nice husband, and that, of course, none of her money was missing.
It is very common @Felixcat1 , which doesn't make it any easier when you are trying to deal with it. This thread (14) Recommended thread - Compassionate Communication with the Memory Impaired | Dementia Talking Point (alzheimers.org.uk) has some good tips about how to distract if your father gets into this sort of loop about things. Don't beat yourself up if you find it tricky to do, but I found if I could manage it, it did make things easier.