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5 Things to Do If a Loved One with Dementia Thinks You’re Stealing

False accusations are a common symptom of dementia, and many caregivers experience these uncomfortable confrontations. Your senior loved one may accuse you of stealing something valuable, and you need to know how to manage such an unwarranted accusation. Here are a few tips you can use to deescalate these types of situations as quickly as possible.

1. Keep Your Emotions Out of It

Older adults with dementia often live in a constant state of confusion, and accusing others of stealing is symptom of this disease. Taking things personally can make your life more difficult than it needs to be. If you feel as if you’re losing control of your emotions, you might need to take a step back from the situation and have another person care for your loved one for a day or two.

If you are the primary caregiver for a senior loved one in Anchorage, respite care is available when you need time away from your important caregiving duties. At Home Care Assistance, our respite caregivers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help your loved one manage everyday tasks in the comfort of home while you have the chance to take a much-needed break.

2. Don’t Try to Use Logic

It may be frustrating to argue with a senior who has dementia. You can’t reason with an individual who no longer has a grasp on reality. Instead of arguing, give your loved one a few moments to complain or express his or her feelings. Once your loved one’s emotions are back under control, you can then use a few different tactics to move past the situation.

3. Respond Clearly & with Simple Phrases

Long explanations and wordy sentences can confuse seniors with dementia, which is the last thing you want to do during a confrontation. The best way to deescalate the situation is to respond clearly and calmly. You should also try to create a calm environment so your loved one doesn’t feel overwhelmed. Turning off the television and closing the curtains could reduce his or her agitation. You might also want to turn on some soothing classical music or your loved one’s favorite song.

4. Use Distractions

If your loved one doesn’t calm down after a few minutes, you may need to distract him or her. Telling your loved one it’s time to eat a meal or watch a favorite TV program may take his or her mind off the situation. Before distracting your loved one, you might need to validate his or her feelings as well. Tell your loved one that you’ll help him or her look for the missing items later, but you first want to sit down and share a snack.

Older adults with dementia often need help with an array of activities. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care Anchorage, AK, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

5. Keep Duplicates of Important Items

Keeping a few spares of your loved one’s frequently misplaced items could make it easier to handle future confrontations. An example would be keeping a spare set of reading glasses somewhere out of sight. When your loved one accuses you of taking his or her glasses, you can “find” the spare pair after a minute or two of searching.

Dementia is a serious health issue that impacts an older adult’s health, wellbeing, and independence. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an Anchorage senior care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. To learn about our high-quality in-home care plans, give us a call at (907) 770-0907 today.