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What would you do? Taking things from shops

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by SerenaS, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. SerenaS

    SerenaS Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 7, 2011
    Do you have advice about what to do if a person with dementia walks out of shops without paying for goods?

    We're planning to include more real life experiences of dementia in our Living with Dementia magazine and we'd love to hear from you.

    Please do add your comments below, and we may feature it in the next issue of the magazine.

    Thanks :)

  2. AishaRebecca

    AishaRebecca Registered User

    Feb 13, 2015
    Yes. I know this problem well.

    In the beginning my Grandfather was doing the same thing. We used to go to the shops with him and have to watch him like a hawk and take things back that he'd picked up. One suggestion could be to let the shop staff have a contact number for yourself or someone close by, who could be the first port of call. If they make a note of what she is taking then you can go up to the shop later and pay for the goods. Or obviously if they are unaware then you'd have to take things back later or go and pay for all the things you later find with her at home. Or have a week "tab" set up that they can take it off of when she walks out without paying. Basically it is all about awareness. Make them aware of your mum's condition and I have found people are often understanding. My granddad barely gets down the road without someone spotting him and bring him back home or calling us now. Community awareness. Hope that help a little.
  3. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    There was a very useful thread on this not long ago
  4. fellowtraveller

    fellowtraveller Registered User

    Jan 22, 2012
    Inadvertent shoplifting

    Hi Serena. When my husband, who has Early-Onset Alzheimer's was still able to do the family weekly shop at Morrisons by himself, he started to come home with things without paying for them. I only knew because I would check through the till receipt to see what had been forgotten..and found the opposite was happening..we had goods which weren't listed!. I saw what was happening when I was subsequently with him: it was a sequencing problem. He'd load up the conveyor belt and chat away happily to the cashier. Then take goods back off and put them in the bags in his trolley before they had gone through the till. My main worry was the stress it would cause him if the security guards accused him of shoplifting so we decided to try talking to Morrisons about it. I phoned and made an appointment with the manager. We went along together, and met him. He was brilliant. He introduced my husband to his team of supervisors and explained that he had memory problems and may need a bit of help. It made us feel quite secure about my husband continuing to shop there - in fact it was the last place he still went shopping independently.
  5. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
  6. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    Ft, how lovely to hear that the staff of a large supermarket acted in such a compassionate way :)

    This reminds me that I need to go and have a chat with someone at the shop my mum goes to on her own. I don't know that she has taken anything without paying, but she has taken food from the communal kitchen where she lives and not thought of paying for it, so I fear it might be only a matter of time. Added to that, she sometimes forgets what she wants and gets upset, so it would be helpful if they know who to contact. The people in the Post Office, next door to the shop, know where she lives and say they would contact the staff if they had any concerns.
  7. Namrah

    Namrah Registered User

    Oct 17, 2015
    Here in Wilts the County council has employed 3 people to 'train' 5000 staff and any body else in the local communities we can persuade to listen them about the impact of dementia and to be more dementia friendly, talking to folk and raising awareness and using the practical measures described all helps. The distress caused by the confusion can be acute and reduce the confidence we need to keep for all our LOs. I am going to get the team into my mum's sheltered flat complex and our support worker was told she should not be allowed alcohol and should be locked up!!! The support worker is great and said 'if you want a cup of tea, a piece of cake, a chocolate bar you have it so there is your answer'. :))) I have found awareness is all.
  8. Jeanie 73

    Jeanie 73 Registered User

    Apr 20, 2013
    N Lincolnshire
    First hand experience!

    I have myself found myself heading for the exit of a shop without paying! Thankfully I was with my daughter who called me back!
    It was not as if I was hiding things as they were in my disability buggies basket and festooned on the handlebars. Non the less I would have been mortified, if I had actually left without paying!
    These days I rarely go out without my daughter to the shops.
  9. SerenaS

    SerenaS Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 7, 2011
    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond to this discussion. If anyone would like to add a comment, please feel free - the discussion will be open til the afternoon of Friday 8 January.

  10. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    Hi can I just add something different and that getting to check out and forgetting the PIN because if diagnosed with dementia isn’t necessarily noticeable that leave's the cashier and anyone in close vicinity thinking you’re trying to use a stolen card unfortunately the alternative is to carry loads of cash which is a bit worrying ok it’s not a problem if you know personally at the store
  11. geniemax

    geniemax Registered User

    Oct 30, 2015
    Hi I also have a problem with my dad pilfering from our his regular shops and its a problem. I took in a photograph with my contact number to one shop having taken back his receipt and paid for goods he had not. I spent alot of time worrying and as well as a GPS tracker he has a card in his pocket with his condition and my contact details just incase. His pilfering hasn't stopped but I am prepared for the worst-case scenario and leave alot to chance for the hope that people understand. The amount of packets of bacon he has taken without paying is unbelievable and the more I brought them to his attention the more he took without paying so I found not making a big thing of it to him actually helped and at the moment the bacon has been less .Oh dear god love him.At least I know his whereabouts with the tracker its been a godsend .Caught him coming out of a hardwear store after I returned home from work to find him not in and it was going dark low and behold there he is with a bag of nails suprised to see me how did you know where I was he said oh I was just walking bye lets get you home and we walked home and put his bag of nails with the dozen other bags he had.
  12. SerenaS

    SerenaS Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 7, 2011
    Hi everyone,

    UPDATED: Thanks for your responses so far. I've closed the discussion now.

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