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Old 07-17-2008, 04:43 PM   #1
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Mother thinks someone broke into her house????

She thinks they stole her Mother's towels...
I asked her why any one would want to steal her Mother's towels and nothing else.

She says it happened when she was away. Away where and when I asked ?

The last time I was away at your house or was it in England. HUH////

What is going on here. Is this the start of Alz's or dementia. She is 81...

She is getting very mean too....

 
Old 07-17-2008, 05:43 PM   #2
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Re: Mother thinks someone broke into her house????

This sounds to me like a very typical Dementia fantasy, especially the excuses and explanations at the end.

I'm sorry, but perhaps that is what your mother has. Has she been to a doctor lately? Is she having any confusion over things like paying bills, (is her check book balanced), finding her way, being on time, remembering where she put things? Not being able to operate a machine like a coffee maker which she has used for years? Keeping rotting food in the refrigerator and things belonging in the refrigerator somewhere else? Food found in bedroom closets? Things disappearing and no memory of what she did with them (hence, the robbers...)

All of these can be signs of Dementia. (Alzheimer's is one of many types of dementia). It would be good to get her checked out, and tell the doctor first what you have noticed, because often these early stage patients make a special effort to look normal to the doctor, even rehearsing what they will say. My Mom knew she would be quizzed on things like today's date, who the current president is, etc - so as soon as she got into the doc's office she began to make comments on neutral, unchanging thngs. Example: That blue wallpaper goes so well with the dark carpet. The doctor was usually fooled. It took a few years during which only myself and my brother knew what was going on, before another doctor said she really ought to be in a nursing home, she has late mid stage Dementia!

Sometimes such things happen for other reasons - one of the most common is a urinary tract infection which can seriously mimic the symptoms of Dementia -- but after a course of antibiotics, it goes away, Dementia does not - it just gets worse, faster or slower.

Good luck - I hope things work out for you and your Mom.

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 07-17-2008 at 05:44 PM.

 
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Old 07-17-2008, 06:12 PM   #3
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Re: Mother thinks someone broke into her house????

Twokatss,
Sounds a lot like one of the early things I noticed about my Mom. She swore the plumber stole her pain meds. She had two left in the bottle and I never did find it. In the trash somewhere, I guess. Martha's right. Watch and listen. Mom would put her empty plate, fork and napkin in the her fridge. Napkin carefully folded, fork on top. Instead of restocking her fridge with the little short cokes she drank, she would put them in a dresser drawer, or on her nightstand, all eight lined up carefully. Just little things at first, but it builds. She had always pinched a nickel until the buffalo pooped, but suddenly began allowing me to take care of her bank account and her bills and never asked about them. I was lucky in the dr department. We all three see the same primary, and I told her early on, last Sept I think, the things I was seeing and she gave her a primary cognitive test. Then in February, gave her the same test with me there, and told Mom there was a very fast decline in the results. Hopefully, your Mom has a Dr that knows her well and can see thru any deceptions she might try. Take it one day at a time and get help for her if you need to. My husband and I found out after about 4 months of trying to watch her 24 hours and work full time, it was just dragging us down more and more. Zombies is what we were. Be sure to have her checked for a UTI or any type of infection. These can surely bring on dementia like symptoms, as well as a low level of B12 or a thyroid problem. Good luck, and I hope it something that can be taken care of with meds.
I will be thinking of you and your Mom, Susie

Last edited by susie1955; 07-17-2008 at 06:13 PM.

 
Old 07-17-2008, 06:32 PM   #4
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Re: Mother thinks someone broke into her house????

My mother, who was always the life of the party, started out by being mean, sullen, unhappy, never smiling.
We had no idea what to make of it. It was a year or so before I figured out I needed to talk to her doctor...sadly, it was AZ.
Then came the missing things...or the things she thought were stolen from her...odd things..then it settled into her family pictures which she accused me of stealing!! I didn't understand and took it personally.
She hides things and then forgets that she did, so in her mind, it must be people stealing from her because she certainly couldn't have misplaced it!

Getting my mom on meds did help for awhile...so, talk to her doctor and then take it from there..one step at a time.

Meg

 
Old 07-17-2008, 08:13 PM   #5
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Re: Mother thinks someone broke into her house????

My story is much like the rest and mirrors yours as well. Mom first became depressed. Dad has vascular dementia so any bizzare occurances were blamed on him. Being a bookkeeper/accountant all of her life she could no longer keep a check register. Bills went unpaid or were paid twice. She also accused people of stealing. It must be so because she had no memory of what she had done with the item. She would not remember visitors or phone calls and tell us tales we knew were impossible about things that happened.

She truly needs to have a complete physical to make sure there is no other medical reason for her cognitive decline. Her physicial needs to know what you are seeing. She needs the short cognitive function test that he should be able to give to her. Then she needs to see a neurologist or cognitive specialist that can figure out what is going on with her.

You also need to be sure that somebody has a durable power of attorney so her affairs can be handled. You need the necessary medical power of attorney and living will her medical needs can be taken care of. It is also a good idea to get another name put on her checking account. It just makes it so much eaiser to pay bills.

Be observant. Those little odd things that you might otherwise overlook or explain away, we passed them by because Mom was depressed, might be the clues to what is going on in her head. Don't take anything for granted. See what condition her chck book is in and double check her stories. Pay attention when she tells you the same thing three times in one conversation. Pay attention to her medication, is she taking it correctly?

I wish for you that it is not dementia but as someone told me long ago..... it's better to know, educate yourself, and be prepared then be in denial. I wish for the best for you and your Mom and will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.

Love, deb

 
Old 07-18-2008, 07:04 AM   #6
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Re: Mother thinks someone broke into her house????

I had thought that Mom had had a series of small strokes, she was forgetful, couldn't remember directions, couldn't remember how to do things, was putting things away in strang places, all the things that were really odd.

One of the most telling things was that she wasn't making cookies for daddy anymore. Now you need to realise that Mom had run 161 bakeries in 11 states and I grew up in a kitchen. When I asked her why she wasn't making cookies for daddy she said, "why should I? All he does is eat them." Now that may amke sense but it is a totally bizarre answer from a woman who when bored would walkinto the kitchen and whip up 20 doz. cookies just because.

Keep your eyes open, get on her bank accounts. Get POA, both medical and durable, and get it now. Start looking for better doctors if hers don't handle elderly or aren't good with dementia patients. Start looking for care facilities. Read "The 36 Hour Day." Come and post often and welcome to The Planet Alzheimer...where nothing is as it seems....here's your towel...

 
Old 07-18-2008, 08:33 AM   #7
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Re: Mother thinks someone broke into her house????

Twokatts...you are getting wonderful and insightful advise here...and I love this disease has not taken the sense of humor away of you posters!...."She had always pinched a nickel until the buffalo pooped"..."why should I? All he does is eat them." ...

I remember my Mom took to sleeping on the couch instead of in her bed (or one of the other 4 bedrooms!) She'd talk about the squirrel that came down the steps every night and snuck into the kitchen. Stories...stories...but they all REALLY believe them!

A simple phrase that helped me understand is "Perception is Reality". Everything the say is exactly what they believe.

Try not to argue or disagree. When Mom started saying things that I knew never happened...I found myself simply going along with her. After a while, I realized that she was easily picking up stories of other clients in the Alzheimer's Home and thinking they were HER stories! Telling little white lies is not a bad thing for us to do don-cha-know!.......Pam

 
Old 07-18-2008, 08:49 AM   #8
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Re: Mother thinks someone broke into her house????

Twokatts, one thing that you will learn-and fairly fast is that your Mom soon won't be able to enter into our world as we live it. And you will have to enter into hers. It's much like Alice sliding down the rabbit hole. You enter a whole different reality. They don't feel that there is anything wrong with their perception-it's YOU who is having a problem.

I remember the gentleman who came up to the reception desk at the independant living area where daddy was. He wanted someone to come and take care of the bunnies that were under his bed. They had been turtles the day before, which he didn't mind, but during the night they had changed into bunnies, and didn't they know that he was allergic to bunny fur? So could they please send someone to his apartment to get rid of them because they were multiplying as fast as he could count......yup their reality is of a different view.

Keep your sense of humor, some days it's the only thing that can get your through the day..that and a good hand towel....and a recipe for red jello.and if you are company you can have redi whip on it!

 
Old 07-18-2008, 08:58 AM   #9
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Re: Mother thinks someone broke into her house????

Could be anything that causes confusion and forgetfulness. Alzheimers generally starts at a young age but it is becoming a diagnosis that doctors use in the USA simply because it is the diagnosis that medicare pays for and you can get the patient into specialized nursing homes. However, your mother is obviously having something going on and it could be a number of things that cause confusion/forgetfulness can be sorted out by a doctor. It could be TIA's...blood vessels in the brain leaking and causing the confusion. Sometimes in the elderly some medications can cause serious confusion but you would have to know what medications she is on to note these things. At any rate take her to the doctor.

 
Old 07-27-2008, 06:48 AM   #10
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Re: Mother thinks someone broke into her house????

Well, today MOM called the police and said some one broke in to her house and stole her Mother's tea towels. So the police contacted me, found out my phone number from a neighbour.

Mom is going to be placed in a home as soon as we find one....they are all full here and a waiting list. I am in such a state over all this...however she will be put on a urgent list.

Thankyou for all your support. She seems to be going down hill fast. Now my worry is my Dad. He has his mind but his body is shot. He will have to go to a home now too....They have been together 62 years and Mom had done everything for him...

Wish me luck.

 
Old 07-27-2008, 08:28 AM   #11
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Re: Mother thinks someone broke into her house????

Twokatts...what about a facility that has assisted living as well as a dementia floor? My best friend did this with her parents, also married 62 years, and her father is in an assited living apartment and her Mom went directly to the dementia ward and he visited her every day until she passed last May. He is still there in his apartment and once he has to be moved into a more secure level he will stay there. It's worked out very well for them and her Father is involved with activities there and still has some of his friends in for cards etc. You might want to try and find a facility like this that could take both of them.

Good luck and God bless...
Janie

 
Old 07-27-2008, 09:07 AM   #12
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Re: Mother thinks someone broke into her house????

Janie is right Twocatts. My Mom and Dad are at such a place. They have been married for 58 years. Right now they are in an apartment together but there is a Rememberance Hall at the facility that Dad can move to if necessary..... and/or Mom. With hospice, they can usually stay there until death. It saved splitting them up or having them moved several times. It has also been nice to have doctor's on call that make in room visits not to mention the wellness center and med tech that constantly check on Mom and Dad's health as well as give medications. Check for an assisted living facility that specializes in Alzheimer/dementia. It might be worth a short wait to get both of your parents in such a place.

Good luck and I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.....

Love, deb

 
Old 07-27-2008, 01:10 PM   #13
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Re: Mother thinks someone broke into her house????

The nursing home where my Mom was also had some couples. This would be a good solution for both of them Good luck!

Martha

 
Old 07-28-2008, 11:13 AM   #14
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Re: Mother thinks someone broke into her house????

This is what we had for Mom and Dad also. Dad started in the independant area while Mom was in the locked unit for the AZ. It was perfect as Dad could walk over to see Mom and eat meals with her. He swore that the food was better on "Mom's side" than it was on his side even though it was the same. I think it just was being with her that made the difference...

 
Old 07-29-2008, 04:53 PM   #15
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Unhappy Re: Mother thinks someone broke into her house????

Thanks for every ones advice. We are in a real dilemma here. Mom and dad do not have much money other than a paid for house. They live on pension. Selling the house to get them in an assisted living place is the way we have to go. That would mean they would have about $240.000. Now, the dilemma is how do we go about that with them still in it....WISH ME LUCK....

Dad is actually going BONKERS with her fantasies right now. They have no intention of leaving their home and plan on dying in it....If I wasn't a concerned daughter, would I just leave them there . They do not want help of any kind. He is so head strong and she is just confused.

I see their hygiene suffering too. There is so much going on right now I could write a book about.
I feel I really want to help but I am being turned down by my Father who is quite sane but not able bodied...For my own sanity I think I will leave them alone for a week or so. Maybe they will think about things more clearly...

 
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