Alzheimer`s Disease/possible AD


My stepmother seems to be in the early stages of dementia, although there has been no diagnosis. One symptom is that she is making irrational accusations against me. How should I deal with this?

She and my dad have been married almost 20 years, after the deaths of their fist spouses. She and I got along really well most of that time, and I was thrilled that my dad found someone to be happy with. Now she is accusing me of things like stealing from them or trying to "sell the house out from under" them. My dad's mind is OK but he is physically frail and just not up to dealing with this.

Should I just ignore it? Try to reason with her (For example ask why I would do something like that)? Or is there something else I should be doing? I know she needs to go in for a full evaluation, but I live 200 miles away and have little influence over things like that.



Hi Jo,
Paranoia is one of the most difficult behaviors to deal with. Reasoning doesn't help cause she won't remember that you told her.  If you can try to anticipate what she is accusing you of stealing and then be prepared to show her the object and saying something like Dad must have moved it that can help. Never accuse her of "moving" it cause that's accusatory and that won't help you! She is NEVER wrong! Hard to accept that but if you do it will make your life SO much easier! It is easier to accept blame for something she things you've done then to try to make her see she's wrong. No one likes to be wrong and a demented person hates it worse! Accept being wrong and walk away. Remember this will pass and in the long run it doesn't matter who really is wrong.

It may be hard for you to get her to a diagnosis but the sooner you do and get her on meds the better. They will help with the paranoia as well.

I hope this helps. You are in a tough spot. I'll be thinking about you! Write back again even if you just want to rant!


Alzheimer`s Disease

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Paula Damgaard


I can offer families and caregivers non-diagnostic answers to questions regarding the disease. I travel around the state giving courses on Alzheimer`s disease for nurses and CNA`s.


Past/Present clients
I have coordinated Alzheimer's Clinical drug trials since 1987. I have coordinated the Memory Disorders Clinic since it's inception 1994. I also have personnal experience from caring for my mother who died of AD 5/2000 and presently from caring for my mother in law who was diagnosed in March 2000.

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