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Why is Mom Paranoid?

Judie Rappaport
March 26, 2015

Dear Judie,


My mother-in-law (85) constantly complains that her neighbors are stealing gas from her car, magazines, clothing, and food from her.  She’s had her locks changed four times in two months.   She calls the condo office regularly to report suspicious activity and has even called the police twice.  Last week she began hiding her purse in the oven when she goes to sleep and calling my husband in the middle of the night to come to her apartment because she’s frightened. Needless to say, I want this to stop. Where do I start?


- Bob, PSL


Dear Bob,

Your mother-in-law’s paranoia symptoms may stem from adverse medication reactions, alcohol or drug abuse, dehydration, malnutrition, depression, urinary tract infections, Alzheimer’s dementia, fear of living alone, or dozens of other conditions, many of which are treatable or reversible.  Solve this mystery by making an appointment for a complete medical examination by a board certified geriatric physician. In her current state, the best approach is to tell her the appointment is for her annual check-up or a non-related problem that’s she mentioned in the past (back pain, sore toe).  At this point, your mother-in-law is unsafe living alone and requires 24-hour supervision.   

Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services

Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©


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