1. Rosserk

    Rosserk Registered User

    Jul 9, 2019
    318
    My mum keeps hiding things and then makes me spend hours looking for them. I feel physically sick, every time she comes into the room because I’m waiting for her to kick off about something. I’m constantly on the verge of tears.

    She will hide her handbag and purse and go on and on until I find it. She will start sobbing until I do what she asks there’s no way of persuading her otherwise. I’m not very well I have Hashimotos and sjogrens and the main symptom is extreme fatigue so I physically can’t keep it up. I tell her I can’t because I’m not well but of course it never sinks in. She is convinced people are coming into my house and taking her things and nothing I say is going to convince her otherwise.

    I know she’s sick and frightened and she can’t help it but I can’t keep going and I know it’s only going to get worse. Although I had a good relationship with my mum as an adult she was abusive when I was a child. I’d forgotten or buried how bad it actually was but her behaviour now brings it all back and I’m ashamed to say I resent her for it. Any tips on how to cope would be appreciated, think I need a pep talk!
     
  2. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    105
    Hi Rosserk,

    I really feel for you. We are going through this with our Mum too. She hides her keys, teeth, purse, handbag, money, shopping etc. If anything arrives in the post she hides that too. Its really annoying as she swears blind she doesn't know, and says 'people came and took it'.
    This together with the constant phone calls at all hours of the night, we took mum to the GP who put her on anti-depressants to lift her mood, although I think we may need something like Risperedone for the agitation soon. Good luck with it, its really annoying
     
  3. Rosserk

    Rosserk Registered User

    Jul 9, 2019
    318
    Hi thanks for taking the time to share your experience it helps to know it’s a common problem.

    I don’t mind her hiding things I mind her throwing a tantrum till I find whatever she’s hidden. It would be easier if I could walk away but she lives with me which turns out to be the biggest mistake I’ve ever made!

    My fathers had dementia for the last ten years so I’ve spent all that time running around after him. During that time mum had no quality of life so when he was sectioned I thought living with us would help her have a bit of a life. She could visit dad without having the worry and expense of running a home. I never dreamt she would get dementia too!

    It must be a real worry for you with your mum I hope you get the right medication soon. X
     
  4. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    5,015
    N Ireland
    It's possible that your mum isn't hiding things, but rather suffering from anxiety and putting things in a safe place. Anxiety is a common bedfellow of dementia so it may be worthwhile talking to the GP about medication for this, or an increase in dose if she is already being medicated.
     
  5. Rosserk

    Rosserk Registered User

    Jul 9, 2019
    318
    Thanks! That’s a really good idea and you might be right. I would not want her to be anxious or frightened in any way. I will ask the mental health team and see what they suggest. She’s on lorazepam when I can get her to take them. Before taking those she was really nasty and aggressive and they seemed to stop that so it’s worth seeing if there’s something else. X
     
  6. Champers

    Champers Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    172
    Thank you for pointing this out - I hadn’t considered anxiety at all.

    My mother hides all her post, but I’ve got wise to her hiding places. As soon as I visit, my husband sits her down for a cup of tea and chat whilst I rummage around retrieving anything of potential importance. Usually, it’s just junk mail but there is the odd letter from the hospital etc! If she catches me doing it, she fusses and fusses and gets quite distressed if I try to dispose of anything. If I didn’t, she would be subsumed in papers!

    The handbag is another issue too. To us ladies, they clearly represent security, hence her constant need to put it somewhere ‘safe’ Unfortunately she then forgets completely where that safe place was. When I find it, she’s then adamant that it wasn’t her that put it there and that someone is clearly coming into the house to create mischief. She even told me once, when yet again it had disappeared, that a man had snatched it whilst she was out walking (she never goes out) I even had a call from one of her neighbours one afternoon because she’d allegedly left it on the bus. I just smoothed it over by telling mother not to panic because she’d left it in my car. She was satisfied with this reply and never mentioned it again.
     
  7. Sarasa

    Sarasa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2018
    570
    When she was at home my mother was convinced the neighbours were coming in and taking things. She even had the locks changed, and when things carried on disappearing suggested that was because the local locksmith was in cahoots with said neighbours and had had spares cut for them. The whole 'disappearing things' scenario started just before they moved in, but got much more serious after she couldn't find her handbag one evening and my brother had a two hour drive to go and find it. That made mum hide more and more things to keep them safe, and also made her argue that it must be them coming in as I hadn't happened before. The other thing was even if I found said thing she wouldn't recognise it as hers and was convinced it was still missing.
    If there are regular places things get hidden @Rosserk I suggest you look there first, otherwise try and distract your mum. However It does sound like you are getting to the end of your tether, so maybe it is time to look for a care home for your mother.
     
  8. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    1,047
    My mother-in-law was "protecting " things from her carers. Usually this was cosmetics, in case the carers helped themselves, or as she put it, were "light fingered ". Unfortunately, it's very common and not easy to deal with. I've no magic answers, I used to try and distract her, sometimes it worked. Once she was in her care home, those anxieties vanished
     
  9. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,166
    Hiding things in a safe place.
    How useful would a large red box, marked "SAFE" be?
    With a lid, for items to be kept "safe", everything in one place. The box could be kept under the stairs, in the back bedroom, bottom of the wardrobe...
    Would the person be likely to use it?

    Bod
     
  10. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,712
    Female
    South coast
    In a word - No!
     
  11. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,772
    Female
    lol @canary, I fear you are right!
    My mother used to do this, I didn't think of it as hiding as I could see she was putting things 'somewhere safe'. Somewhere so safe that they were very hard to find! She started with keys (under the pillow) and progressed to paperwork. The more important the paperwork and the more anxious she was about it, the more thoroughly it was hidden - anything from the hospital or HRMC was buried.
    Good idea to speak to the GP. My mother never had any medication and as a previous poster said, her anxiety and desire to 'keep things safe' disappeared when she went into a care home.
    I think you just have to note the places she uses and hope she doesn't find more new ones.
     
  12. PsychicSnail

    PsychicSnail New member

    Sep 8, 2019
    8
    Some practical advice:
    My mum has fairly bad memory loss and always losing her purses (she has 3). She isn't exactly hiding them but it feels like it after I spend 2 hours searching the house without success. So I bought her a key finding device. It cost £20 on amazon and contains 6 fobs.

    You put a fob in each purse, then when she loses it, the controller will make the fob sound - problem solved.

    Well, in my case not quite as my mum found the fobs and threw them away, forgetting what they are. However, if they were to be sewn into the purse lining then she couldn't do it. I will try this ;)

    Hope this helps.
     
  13. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,712
    Female
    South coast
    Yes, mum used to do this. First it was her ex-cleaner and I didnt realise what was happening and changed all the locks, which didnt make any difference to her delusion. Then it became the neighbours and friends who were coming in stealing things, then the children who went to the school which was above her bungalow (!), then finally it was me.

    What was happening in reality was that she put things in odd places and forgot that she had done so and became convinced that someone else had moved them, so she things away safely, in places that the thieves would not look so that they wouldnt find them. Unfortunately she did not remember that she had done so and thought they had been stolen....... It became a vicious cycle. When I cleared mums bungalow I fount all sorts of things - stashes of cash, birth and wedding certificates and other documents sandwiched between books in the bookcase, bank statements and bills posted between towels in the airing cupboard, her will tucked in with her best table linen and the deeds stuffed behind a chest of drawers. One thing I nearly missed was a heavy gold chain at the bottom of the tea caddy hidden under the tea bags.
     
  14. Rosserk

    Rosserk Registered User

    Jul 9, 2019
    318
    I think this is a brilliant idea. We have a large box she might use so worth a try, thank you! X
     
  15. Rosserk

    Rosserk Registered User

    Jul 9, 2019
    318
    Thank you. Another great idea! I have seen these fobs and think they might be worth a try I will sew them into the lining of her bag. I am also going to try the box suggested by @Bod . My kindest regards to you x
     
  16. Rosserk

    Rosserk Registered User

    Jul 9, 2019
    318
    It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. What an awful disease this is x
     
  17. Rosserk

    Rosserk Registered User

    Jul 9, 2019
    318
    And there lies the problem she keeps finding new places! I have never known someone be so resourceful when she’s obviously so confused. It makes no sense that someone could plan and execute the hiding of things when they can’t think straight. It upsets me that she must be so tormented x
     
  18. Rosserk

    Rosserk Registered User

    Jul 9, 2019
    318
    Thank you. That’s the strangest thing, she never hides anything in the same place twice. Once I find a hiding place she comes up with new places to hide things. It’s almost like she thinks she has to hide them from me, or perhaps she doesn’t remember it was me who found them and only remembers a person found her hiding place so she needs a new hiding place. She keeps telling me two woman are coming into her room and taking her things. She gets very distressed when she can’t find things and insists these women took them. X
     
  19. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,772
    Female
    Maybe she has a realisation that the things were 'found' so obviously the safe place is no longer safe. As you say, odd how these trains of thought are possible, but I do remember my mother's friend (who used to go round to help her find things) saying the keys were rarely in the same place twice. Sorry you are having to deal with this, it's very difficult.
     
  20. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    105

    I can see us having issues when we eventually have to get a financial assessment for Mum so we are able to get carers coming in. Because we have spent quite a lot of money (Mums money from her account) on locksmiths and key cutting over the past 6 months. Mum hides keys; loses them, throws them away etc. Front door keys, back door, shed keys, garage keys. I can see us having a problem trying to explain that. Especially emergency locksmiths at weekends.
     

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