Delusions

by Joyce
(Chagrin Falls, Ohio)

My 90 year old mother believes that she still owns the house next door and that "squatters" are living there rent free.


She believes that she is paying their property taxes and utilities. She calls locksmiths to come change their locks, calls the post office to have their mail delivery stopped, etc.

We have tried to show her the public records that show the title transfer of the house, etc. to no avail.

If you tell her that she no longer owns the property she becomes very angry. How are you supposed to deal with this?

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May 20, 2017
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Delusions of my 91 ye. Old mom
by: Anonymous

I empathize totally. It is humorous at the same time. I'm with my mom and only caretaker. I have 4 sisters who live a distance away. Mom was diagnosed with mixed dementia a year ago, though for a few years I've witnessed changes.

Here are some unusual things my mom is delusional with. She seems to believe we are on vacation in a beautiful hotel.

She thinks I am stealing her clothing and that the clothes she has are not hers. She'll often ask me when my father will be back hone...dad passed away in 1997.

She doesn't want to be with me anymore as I'm too bossy and for nothing for her, she's going to drive, she cannot any longer, back home to NYC. We live in SC. It goes on and on. If I try to tell her truth or ask her why she's not happy here, she screams at top of her lungs like a toddler having a fit.

I have decided I better just go along with her delusions now instead. She has md and can not see well so I don't think she'll go outside walking. She walks with walkers and not well. I feel traumatized by her craziness and worry constantly.

I go to a therapist and have paid caregivers several times per week, but leave her alone too. I worry it will become worse and I do feel all alone, though I go to support groups.

I have also learned redirecting conversation works, but all this I fear is hurting me somehow. I hope not. There no money for me to get away do I'm stuck in situation.

I have my own business and opening up small space in June in which case I'll be gone 6 hour of day. Praying that works okay. I'd say where delusions go, the redirection of conversation is my best way to deal with my mom. Thanks for posting and best wishes...sue

Jul 30, 2015
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Re: Delusions
by: Anonymous

I'm sorry to laugh, but just reading your comment gave me a laugh - although I KNOW the situation is NOT funny to you!! Sometimes what others go thru make our trials seem small, or at least give us a way to laugh about how crazy this all is.

Fortunately my mom hasn't started getting dementia or Alzheimer's. She's just old and weak, so needs our help (which, as you know, is very tiring and time consuming.)

But I have friends with parents who are losing their mental faculties and their number one rule is: You can't change their minds, so find a way to pacify them. Maybe tell her, for instance, "yes, you're right!

I'll call the locksmith right now myself." Then tell her "it's been taken care of." That might be enough to satisfy her.

My grandmother lived with us in her 90's and she had a weird idea that "strings" were hanging off of her, all over. Sometimes she would pull her hand out at arms length and say "LOOK how long it is! It's driving me crazy!"

Instead of trying to convince her (unsuccessfully again) that there were no strings, I went along with her one time - I got my scissors out and pretended to be cutting those "strings" off of her. She was so grateful and didn't complain about "strings" again for 3 weeks, at which time we just trimmed the imaginary things off again.

Sometimes it's better to go along with them, than fight them, which I know from my friends is the mantra with Alzheimer's patients.

Good luck.

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