Alzheimer`s Disease/irrational accusations

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Question
My stepmother has been diagnosed in the early stages of Alzheimer disease. Although we got along well for many years,about 6 months ago she began making irratonal accusations against me. For example has accused me of coming into the house when they are gone (a three hour drive each way ) and stealing knick knacks. She has accused me of taking my Dad's military souvinirs, when he gave them to me years ago. she accused me yesterday of trying to "sell the house out from under" her and my dad. How do I deal with this kind of thing? I could ignore it, or I could try to reason with her. For example, I could point out that I couldn't sell the house even if  wanted to and would gain no benefit from leaving them homeless. My dad is in denial about the whole thing, so he is not much help.

Thanks

Jo

Answer
Hi Jo,

Sorry for the delay in writing you back.   I am very sorry to hear of your step mother's diagnosis.

Unfortunately, in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, paranoia and irrational accusations are quite normal.    You will not be able to "reason" with her.....Alzheimer's is a physical disease of the brain and "rational" behaviors will occur less and less.  

I know this is a very frustrating time for you and your family.  My suggestion is just to ignore the behavior and don't say anything. Try to change the topic to something light and always remain calm.   Alzheimer's individuals take their overall attitude levels from those around them.   If your calm and happy, they will tend to change to that state of being as well.

Please go to the Alzheimer's association website and you will learn a lot more about how to positively interact with your step mother during this awful disease process.

With best Regards,

Michalene Peticca, MA  

Alzheimer`s Disease

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Michalene Peticca

Expertise

I'd be happy to help with any questions about Alzheimer's or Dementia diseases. I can also help with Medicare, Long term care & other insurance questions.

Experience

I have my Masters degree in Geriatrics and am credentialed through the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Pennstate Milton Hershey hospital and the American Geriatrics Society. I've been in healthcare for over 20 years and worked directly with Alzheimer's and Dementia individuals for most of that time. I am also a licensed insurance agent in PA and MD. Currently i train healthcare professionals to care for Alzheimer and Dementia individuals and i have been a care manager for guardianship services in PA

Organizations
American Geriatrics Society

Education/Credentials
Masters degree in Geriatrics Licensed insurance agent in PA & MD.

Past/Present Clients
PHI Homes in Pennsylvania York, Dauphin & Adams County Area on Aging The Jewish Home of Harrisburg

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