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    I have a question
    mugsy1960 posted:
    My Mother has been accusing me of stealing from her for 3 years. Recently, She has accused me of stealing fruitcakes and costume jewelry! I am a guy and have NO need for jewelry! My question is, is this normal behavior?
    davedsel2 responded:

    IMHO, this is not normal behavior. This behavior could be caused by a number of medical conditions. It would be a good idea if your mother could get in to see her doctor asap.
    Please click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.


    cjh1203 responded:
    I completely agree with Dave. If you google "paranoia in the elderly", you can see how many possible causes there are for behavior like your mother's. She definitely needs to be evaluated by a doctor.

    Best wishes-
    mugsy1960 replied to davedsel2's response:
    mugsy1960 replied to cjh1203's response:
    Judith L London, PhD responded:
    Hi mugsy1960,

    I hope you have made arrangements for your Mom to be seen by a physician to rule out any physical basis for her behavior. Often people who accuse others of stealing are actually losing items they have misplaced and can't remember where they are. Try asking your mother where she last saw the items, sympathize with her that they are missing, tell her you'll help her find them. This approach may be useful if your mother is in the early stages of dementia. It's import an to diagnose what is causing her paranoia so that she can be properly treated.

    So many others have had a similar situation - so take heart,
    mugsy1960 replied to Judith L London, PhD's response:
    THANK YOU Judith. She is seeing a doctor and she's haveing other health problems. She has just recently admited to misplaceing things! I have searched the house several times to find the things I have "stolen". I did find them after HOURS of searching. I just can't do it anymore! Right now I'm seeing my doctor about my severe depression that these accusations have driven me to! A couple of weeks ago I was SO hurt that I thought about doing something VERY drastic to myself. Anyway, I really appreciate your input.
    Thank you again. It means a lot to me.
    cjh1203 replied to mugsy1960's response:
    Ed, I'm so sorry that the situation with your mother has had such a terrible effect on you. I'm glad you're seeking treatment for your depression.

    Please keep us posted as you find out more about her health. I hope someone can figure out exactly what's going on with her so you know what you're dealing with and how best to treat it.

    It might be very helpful for you to seek out some kind of support group. If you call 211 and explain what you're looking for, they can probably steer you in the right direction.

    Best wishes.

    Judith L London, PhD replied to mugsy1960's response:
    Hi mugsy1960,

    Please take care of yourself first. Get help with your depression. That you even consider hurting yourself, or her for that matter, is a bold sign that you need to deal with these feelings now.

    Contact the Alzheimer's Assn. (800-272-3900) and you will find people in the same situation who have tips on how to survive. Get help with her now. Don't wait. There are community resources available if you can summon up the strength and reach out. You need relief from this burden.

    I know this is really hard to do but do not take her accusations personally. Its the disease that is terrifying her and the only way she can react right now is this way. Every time she accuses you, tell her it must be so hard and scary to be missing items.

    When you feel better, look into a memory care residence for her, despite her objections. You're the one who can think straight - she is sadly unable to do so. If finances are an issue, there are many decent places that accept Medicaid. Again, the Alzheimer's Assn. or a comparable non-profit group can give you input in you area.

    Our hearts of out to you during this stressful time,

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