Why do sufferers always think we are stealing from them

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Harley, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. blue sea

    blue sea Registered User

    Aug 24, 2005
    Hazel, it may be partly boredom, but, based on my experience with my father, it is more likely that it is the natural progression of the illness. For many dementia sufferers their whole concept of time goes and everything seems to move earlier and earlier in the day. It is so difficult to reconcile this with a normal life. Dad started wanting to go to bed at 8.00 pm, then at 6.00, then at 4.00 in the afternoon. In the end I sometimes used to let dad have a nap late afternoon, then wake him up at 6.00 so that he would have his evening meal later, so stretching his 'proper' bedtime out to later. You just have to try all sort of 'tricks' to maintain the pattern of your own day and not worry too much about it when it goes awry!
    Blue sea
  2. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    My Dad has completely lost any sense of time. He never knows what day it is (and forgets as soon as he is told) and often mixes up morning, afternoon and evening.

    We often have to resort to making him read a clock because he won't believe us.

    He often has little concept of time passing either, it seems to pass more quickly or slowly than normal for him.

    I suspect that whilst the sense of passing time is true for everyone (like time going slowly when you're bored) we are "aware" enough of external things that our clocks remain fairly accurate. We remember eating breakfast but that we haven't had lunch for example.

    With dementia these external clues disappear.
  3. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    there are a number of clocks in my mum's nursing home that have either stopped or tell the wrong time! My mum can't tell the time any more so it doesn't affect her, but I have had conversations with other residents about what time it is etc and I do find it slightly annoying that these clocks are wrong!
  4. joyportsmouth

    joyportsmouth Registered User

    Mar 26, 2007

  5. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    John hasn't been able to tell the time for a long time, and doesn't know what day it is. But he does seem to be aware of what part of the day it is, and knows which meal he wants next. I'm sure it's just that there's nothing else for him to focus on, so he focuses on his next meal -- and bedtime!

    He won't go to bed during the day. He does doze a bit in his chair, but not for long. I wish he would have a proper nap in the afternoon and go to bed later. He might sleep a bit longer in the morning!
  6. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    south lanarkshire

    I cannot keep Mum and Dad going in biscuits, or bananas.

    A big packet of biscuits can be devoured within 2 hours.

    Along with teabags, they take biscuits and bananas to bed and if Mum is bored bed can be all through the day.

    Of course they cannot remember having eaten the bananas or biscuits and my grand children are accused of stealing them, along with anything else which has been misplaced, even though the children have been nowhere near Mum's house and have been in school all day. Fortunately the children understand and are not hurt.

    Mum is even paranoid when I take them out, or they are in my house. She frets to get back to check they are not there stealing her biscuits:( Has a look at the empty biscuit barrel and is convinced, the thieves have been at it again.

    I could keep a constant supply of bisciuts in the barrel, but then they won't eat proper nutrious food. Between a rock and a hard place again??

  7. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    My Mother also had this fixation with criticising out loud peoples clothes and their size etc ..........it was very embarassing when she was in the hospital ......she went on and on about what everyone else and their visitors were doing /wearing

    she had of course also done this at her various clubs for some years much to the chagrin of many of the other members
  8. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    Part of something I was reading in a book called simplicity of Dementia

    When The need -for - nursing -care phase

    In search of safety and trust

    Nature has, fortunately, found a very good medicine to counteract such a degree of anxiety an insatiable need for sleep. Because the past and the present have both been wiped completely from his memory .He no longer has any sense of time .He is living in an endless ‘Now’ Only what is happening in the hear and now is real .



    Hazel I gave up on that one :(

  9. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Comments out loud

    NatashaLou, had to chuckle about the big bottoms in hospitals. Your mother was being logical, everyone had a big bottom so that must have been one of the required qualifications:D .

    In additional to making negative comments about chubby people, Mum also would make derogatory comments about people of colour, complete with all those lovely racist terms. It was horrifying. What I don't understand is where it came from, she had never used language like that before in my hearing. She never made such comments when I was growing up either. Weird, isn't it? Where do these things come from?

    I went to feed her dinner tonight & she was feeling quite feisty & lively. At one point she told me to "Eff off". At least she was speaking to me.
  10. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Absolutely priceless, Blue Sea!!!!!! :D

    Love, Karen, x
  11. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    Not always paranoia of course, there are real thieves and fraudsters about who do target elderly or disabled people.

    Some things really do get stolen in hospitals and homes.

    And some do even steal from their family and neighbours.


  12. jks

    jks Registered User

    Jul 2, 2005
    West Yorkshire
    This thread has reminded me of the very first time we realised that something was *not quite right* with my Dad - he accused me of stealing six daffodil bulbs from his shed!

    For many years now, he has accused anyone and everyone of stealing his stuff, particularly his money. We did, however, get a variation on the theme a couple of weeks ago - she said that someone was planting money on him. :eek:
    He had simply found £50 in his bedside cabinet that he had hidden months ago.
  13. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Oh how I remember finding TP and this being my first question…………..how to deal with ‘stealing’.:rolleyes: Just to know that others were coping with the same thing was such a relief and comfort to me.

    That phase has passed, well nearly, its very seldom now that things go missing, and therefore ‘stolen’, the staff at the NH have incredible radar for finding mums ‘stolen’ items in her room, God bless them.:)

    However, even though mum’s memory is dreadful, one item still remains stolen, and the 'thief' is still wearing the said item. This would of course be mum’s dentures, nearly a 12 month down the line, and SIL still has them, and very nice they look too, worn of course over her perfect own teeth!!:eek: Half the time mum confuses me with her sister (who died 20+ years ago), but the dentures paranoia is alive and well. Thank goodness we can all have a chuckle over this, and that TP friends, is all down to you, so thank you.:)

  14. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    Most of us are horrified when we realise our parents know all those dreadul swear words that we know :D

    I am sure it is the same thing. Your Mum probably knew racist terms (even if she did not believe in the thinking behind them).

    But the dementia means that she may have come to believe these things, or has lost the real meaning of them, or thinks they are harmless, along with the social inhibitions about saying them out loud and doesn;t realise the possible consequences of saying them.

    I bet if you say anything too her, she looks at you like you've just landed from Mars. It's like telling someone they shouldn't say "that woman has a nice hat".
  15. Natashalou

    Natashalou Registered User

    Mar 22, 2007

    Oh, it was far more involved than that!!..and somewhat oddly, actually true! she seemed to know the "pecking order"..the ward mamager was the plumpest, and the student nurses, as bottom of the pile, were the slimmest, but nevertheless had what mum called "starter bottoms" plump, but designed to grow as their careers progressed.
    It wouldnt have been quite so bad if she didnt express all of this very loudly, asking me why I thought they were so fat and why didnt they go on a diet.
    she doesnt do this any more, thank goodness, but her current belief is all the staff in the home are having affairs with each other. But here logic doesnt prevail as she pairs up very unlikely couples.
    She has even tried to pair me up with a few of the young male carers!! Luckily they are smashing little lads and take it all in good part!!
  16. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Natashalou, your mum sounds wonderful Talk about growing old disgracefully!:D

    On the subject of bottoms, I feel I have to claim the position of matron!:eek:
  17. Natashalou

    Natashalou Registered User

    Mar 22, 2007
    Carry on Alzheimers

    what a wonderful film that would have been with Hattie in the role of Matron!!
  18. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Oh, can't I do it?:(
  19. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
    Just caught up with this thread. My Dad has difficulty with money constantly losing it and accusing my Mum of having taken it. He can't cope with 'chip and pin' or with the hole in wall as he cannot remember his PIN number.

    Last week he went to the supermarket to buy some things, didn't have enough cash and couldn't use his credit/debit card at the till. The staff we think had to put things back. When my Mum came home he really shouted at her for having 'messed' with his credit card. I think as others have already said it's a way of covering up the embarrassment they feel for not being able to do what they used to.

    A few weeks ago my Mum and Dad, my sister and I were walking back to the car from a funeral and my dad wanted some cash so we stopped at the cash machine and I helped him with his PIN. As we walked away he said to my sister 'that's all my money in that account'. My sister pointed out it was a joint account with my Mum. 'Ah yes' he replied 'but she's already spent her half':D

  20. Amanda1954

    Amanda1954 Registered User

    Nov 5, 2006
    Starter Bottoms!

    Oh please! Stop it! I'll fall off my chair laughing in a minute. Starter bottoms if you please! That's just brilliant.


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