It is common for someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia to misplace things. Since your mother is unable to recall her actions and therefore cannot come up with a satisfactory explanation for why things may be missing, she “believes” they must have been stolen. As you and your siblings are the people most accessible, in her mind you must be the culprits.
Realize that your mother is not doing this out of anger or malice, but that her actions are part of this terrible disease. She does not understand what is happening to her or why things are the way they are. She likely never had reason in the past to distrust you, but for her the past is gone. The “fact” that you would steal from her is as frightening to her as it is to you – but she cannot help herself. Your mother is living in her own reality and it is one you cannot change. If there is a bright side to this tragic scenario it is that she is living moment to moment and will just as quickly forget that something is missing or that she ever accused you of stealing it. Until the next time. That is simply the unfortunate reality of Alzheimer’s disease.
It is absolutely crucial that you and your family not take your mother’s accusations personally. Even though she may no longer be able to recognize the love and care you offer, your good deeds will always triumph over any misunderstandings.
Please support our local Alzheimer’s Association at 316-267-7333.
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