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How can I respond to accusations and paranoia from my aging parent?

Shelley Webb
Nursing

Whether or not the accusations from an aging parent are true, being accused of anything hurts. But how does a person respond to these allegations when the temptation is to strike back with angry words and tone in order to convince the person they are wrong? Never agree with them that they are correct in hopes that they'll forget about it later. What you can do is to be sympathetic to their situation. For instance, you can say I'm sorry that you believe that I've taken your....whatever. I would never do that. Let's see if we can locate it together. There are some items that must be removed from an aging parent's possession for their own safety such as car keys, pocket knives, power tools, or weapons. In this case, the caregiver may need to use an untruth such as the radial arm saw is in the shop being repaired.


Most often, accusations from an aging parent stem around money issues. Paranoia about money is common with those suffering from dementia. This is an issue that may come up daily. The advent of online banking can sometimes help to demonstrate to your aging parent that the money is indeed still in their account. Another ingenious way of handling this is to take your parent's bank statements and mark out all personal info with a black pen so that if it was lost, it wouldn't be a problem. Give your aging parent the statements so that they could keep them to read every time they were concerned. In one example, the statements became as soft as cotton due to frequent touching, but the accusations of money theft lessened.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.