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Dad keeps losing his keys

Mich53

Registered User
Nov 20, 2015
8
Hello I am new to TP and would really like your help on how to help my mum cope. My dad keeps losing his keys. He has now lost 4 for the kitchen door and 3 for the patio door. My mum is at her wits end and has looked everywhere but with no luck. She is not the most patient person, and really gives my dad a hard time. I work as a carer and have had clients with varying stages of this disease so maybe it is a little easier for me to get my head around things. Also I don't have to live with him so again I am sure it is really hard for my mum, she sometimes thinks he is doing things on purpose, when he puts things back in the wrong place or forgets his drink is in the microwave and has been heated up 5 times and still forgotten! Going back to what I said earlier if anyone has any ideas as to what we can do to help dad with his "key losing problem" I would be very grateful.
 

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,732
I lost count of the number of keys my Ma lost!! Never really found a solution except that she NEVER had a key unless she really needed it and wherever possible we gave it to someone else to look after. I was really worried about someone else finding them and it giving us a security problem but they were never found.

Does he go out alone? if not then you just need to not let him have a key or give him a dud one to lose. Don't leave them in the patio doors, hide them in a safe place. I had to get very strict with keys and bank cards in the end as it really did become a security risk
 

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,732
Sorry Mich I meant to say a big welcome, keep posting, others will be along soon and many have great practical solutions to problems. Lots of help on here xxx
 

Mich53

Registered User
Nov 20, 2015
8
Dad loses his keys

I lost count of the number of keys my Ma lost!! Never really found a solution except that she NEVER had a key unless she really needed it and wherever possible we gave it to someone else to look after. I was really worried about someone else finding them and it giving us a security problem but they were never found.

Does he go out alone? if not then you just need to not let him have a key or give him a dud one to lose. Don't leave them in the patio doors, hide them in a safe place. I had to get very strict with keys and bank cards in the end as it really did become a security risk
Thank you for your help. My dad does use the kitchen door when he goes out to walk the dog. He is fine doing this as he uses the same route every day. My mum leaves the key hanging up and constantly tells him to put it back when he gets back, but he forgets then must put it somewhere. Mum said it has to be hung up or dad would be constantly asking for key. He goes to get the paper in the morning and to shop at other times in the day.
 

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,732
ahhhhhhhhhhh then perhaps she can grab him as he comes back in and get the key straight away - the lost ones are probably in a box somewhere or the fridge or the bathroom cabinet or in the pages of a book - any number of places that you wouldn't dream of looking. I was AMAZED at where things could be put!
 

Mich53

Registered User
Nov 20, 2015
8
ahhhhhhhhhhh then perhaps she can grab him as he comes back in and get the key straight away - the lost ones are probably in a box somewhere or the fridge or the bathroom cabinet or in the pages of a book - any number of places that you wouldn't dream of looking. I was AMAZED at where things could be put!
Mum just will not do this. She is really in the state of mind that he should be able to remember to hang the key up when he comes back. She gives him such a hard time when he forgets to do it and then it gets lost.
 

Bod

Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
1,212
Mums got a lot to learn!

Does the door need to be locked, when someone is in the house?
Does he need to take the keys?

Bod
 

Mich53

Registered User
Nov 20, 2015
8
Mums got a lot to learn!

Does the door need to be locked, when someone is in the house?
Does he need to take the keys?

Bod
Hi thanks for your reply. Mum likes to keep the door locked to feel safe. She is 75 and dad is 79. He needs to take the key with him as mum is not very mobile and would feel it too much of an effort to get up every time dad goes out.
 

Bod

Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
1,212
Large key fob. Hotel style, too big to lose easily.
Retractable lead key fob.
Keys chained to his trousers. Prison warder style.
Findable key fob. The sort you clap/whistle, and they sound a buzzer to track them down.

Bod
 

arielsmelody

Registered User
Jul 16, 2015
516
Could he have the key attached to him in some way on a long key chain or something, and leave a different one somewhere out of sight for your mum to use.

Or one of those key finder gadgets which makes a noise so you can find it?

Edited to say - oops cross-posted with post above.
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,841
London

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,732
Maybe when he comes back in she could give him a shout that she needs the key could he bring it, then she would have it in her hands!! If she is in a different place when he comes back she is never going to find the missing keys, seriously wherever they are they will be somewhere you would NEVER think of looking. Inventive is the new word for Alzheimer's as far as keys and lost objects are concerned. I think perhaps your mum would find this useful
http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/showt...emory-Impaired

One thing is guaranteed your Dad is not going to be the way your Mum thinks he should be, memory loss doesn't work that way, we have to work with them and live inside their world - the other way round just doesn't happen and to expect he will conform is just setting herself up for a bag load of stress. Life is different now :)
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
Keys and dementia are often a very problematical mix, I'm afraid. What I might try is a) getting a couple of spares cut, for starters, b) if he's going out a lot, giving your dad one to keep on a ribbon or cord around his neck, and c) getting your mum to keep one on her. With at least one other spare for you.

It will help if your mum can be made to understand that your dad isn't being deliberately awkward - he CANNOT remember what he's supposed to do. He may well still hide or lose the key around his neck, but it could be worth a try.

My mother hid her French window keys so successfully that we never found them, even when clearing her house later. I had to get the lock changed, and then kept two spares for myself, since I knew she'd only hide the new key again.
 

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,732
Large key fob. Hotel style, too big to lose easily.
Retractable lead key fob.
Keys chained to his trousers. Prison warder style.
Findable key fob. The sort you clap/whistle, and they sound a buzzer to track them down.

Bod
oh we had one of those whistle things and everytime anyone made a noise the bl***** thing whistled back - drove us bonkers in 24 hours and it went in the bin - I imagine it is still whistling on a steaming rubbish dump in India
 

Mich53

Registered User
Nov 20, 2015
8
Keys and dementia are often a very problematical mix, I'm afraid. What I might try is a) getting a couple of spares cut, for starters, b) if he's going out a lot, giving your dad one to keep on a ribbon or cord around his neck, and c) getting your mum to keep one on her. With at least one other spare for you.

It will help if your mum can be made to understand that your dad isn't being deliberately awkward - he CANNOT remember what he's supposed to do. He may well still hide or lose the key around his neck, but it could be worth a try.

My mother hid her French window keys so successfully that we never found them, even when clearing her house later. I had to get the lock changed, and then kept two spares for myself, since I knew she'd only hide the new key again.
I have tried so many times to tell mum that he isn't doing it on purpose but she gets so stressed with it that she just can't help it but shout at him when he has lost yet another key, it's so frustrating, and I feel so sorry for dad
 

Slugsta

Registered User
Aug 25, 2015
2,762
South coast of England
Oh dear, what a nuisance for your mum! I'm afraid the simple fact is that dad will not remember to hang up the key as requested. This is not him being deliberately difficult, it is a symptom of the illness he has. The only way round this is to come up with a system where a) the keys don't get lost and/or b) it doesn't matter if they do.

Of course, your mum is also elderly and probably has fixed ideas (she might even have a degree of cognitive impairment herself, who knows?) so you, Mitch, will probably have to be the one who comes up with a solution that works for both of them.
 

betsie

Registered User
Jun 11, 2012
252
My mum also takes the dog out so she has her key on a lanyard round her neck. It is long enough she can open the door without taking it off.

It goes over the end of the bannister at night and I put it back on her first thing.

This has worked really well. Keys on key rings are always going missing but normally turn up. I found the back door keys in with the porridge pots this morning after a half hour hunt, but still missing her emergency spare front door key that should stay in her handbag - this one often disappears for a few days.
 

Pear trees

Registered User
Jan 25, 2015
441
My mum also has a lanyard which she wears all day and we make sure she is wearing it when lunch club bus comes. We fitted a keysafe and all have spare keys, And have a spare in cupboard. Lunch club knows code in emergency.
 

Mich53

Registered User
Nov 20, 2015
8
Keys and dementia are often a very problematical mix, I'm afraid. What I might try is a) getting a couple of spares cut, for starters, b) if he's going out a lot, giving your dad one to keep on a ribbon or cord around his neck, and c) getting your mum to keep one on her. With at least one other spare for you.

It will help if your mum can be made to understand that your dad isn't being deliberately awkward - he CANNOT remember what he's supposed to do. He may well still hide or lose the key around his neck, but it could be worth a try.

My mother hid her French window keys so successfully that we never found them, even when clearing her house later. I had to get the lock changed, and then kept two spares for myself, since I knew she'd only hide the new key again.
wkward

I have tried about 100 times to try to get my mum to understand that dad is not being deliberately awkward but I may as well be talking to myself, she is just not listening. She just says i don't have to live with him, which of course is true and I admit it must be hard.