Sunday, July 23, 2006

"Stealing My Clothes"

My cell phone rings, and it's Mom. Someone must have helped her to call me.
She is all excited.
"Everyone here is wearing my clothes. They're helping themselves. I counted everything. They took all my clothes, ten outfits, and won't give them back. So I'm calling you. I told them you would make them give the clothes back."
"Oh dear," I answer, trying to figure out how to respond. "They're stealing your clothes?"
"Yes, Connie is and so are the others."
"I don't think Connie would steal your clothes... she must have an outfit that looks like one of yours."
"No, it's mine. She's wearing it. We went to count the outfits in my closet, and they said there were forty, but I said I'm not going one bit further than thirty."
"Let me talk to Connie.... Hi Connie, so my mother is agitated."
"Yes, she thinks we are wearing her clothes. In the dining room, she points at Bethlhem and says, 'She's wearing my outfit!' I took her to her closet and we counted her clothes to see they are all there, but she doesn't believe me."
"Thank you, Connie. That was a good thing to do. I don't know what to say...maybe you can take her out for an ice cream cone."
"Hi, Mom. Well, I'll take care of it when I get back. If anyone has stolen any of your clothes, we'll solve it."
"I told them that Anne will make them give them back."
"Okay. Maybe you'd like to go out with Connie and get an ice cream cone or buy something at the drug store."
"I don't want to but I will if I have to."
Note: Lewy Body Dementia patients have hallucinations, seeing people or things that are not there, or misinterpreting what they see. This is an instance of hallucination--difficult for Mom and for those around her.

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