What to Do When Your Aging Loved One Accuses You of Holding Them Hostage
Making False Accusations Is Common Among Alzheimer’s & Dementia Sufferers
In addition to things like sundowning and forgetfulness, paranoia is part of the decline experienced by people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. For unprepared family members, it can come as a shock when a loved one with Alzheimer’s suddenly accuses you of kidnapping them, stealing money from them, holding them hostage at home, or doing other horrible things. The frustration they feel when they can’t remember things or continually get lost sometimes leads to feelings of paranoia and distrust, which are often directed toward family members in the form of harsh accusations.
What Not to Do
If you have no reason to believe your loved one is being exploited, do not attempt to talk it out or convince them of the truth, as logic will be unhelpful, unproductive, and frustrating for both of you. Also avoid giving such accusations any credence and certainly do not take them to heart. Your loved one’s accusations of kidnapping, being held hostage, etc. are merely a result of their brain’s deterioration.
What to Do
Keep your cool and remain as kind and diplomatic as possible, remembering that your loved one is speaking out of mental illness. While your gentleness may not assuage their agitation in the short run, it will keep things from escalating further than necessary. Also take a moment to pause and reduce stimulants in the room or in the house, such as background music, a loud TV, dogs barking, children shouting, etc. This can help you calm your loved one and take their frustration down a notch.
You should also consider bringing in reinforcements and involving a private in-home caregiver to help you manage your loved one’s health.
Experienced Alzheimer’s Home Care Providers in Texas
The At Home Healthcare team is very familiar with the process our clients and their families go through after receiving an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis. We have served thousands of families by keeping their aging loved ones safe and happy at home, even during periods of notable decline. Connect with our private in-home caregivers in Texas today and find out how we can assist you and your loved ones during this difficult time.
Call (877) 959-9093 to speak to a member of our team, or contact us online to request care.