1. Livveywills

    Livveywills Registered User

    Jul 11, 2015
    DOes anyone else have a relative obsessed with buying one certain thing?

    Mum is obsessed wit knickers, earlier on in her journey through dementia she would wear 3 or 4 pairs at once, now, she might wear none or a couple of pairs over her trousers superman style. (We do try to address this if she is going out!) But it is the obsession with buying proper knickers that is getting crazy and it's getting hard to distract her.

    She must own well over 50 pairs by now but they are always not there, or someone elses or not proper knickers, or when we finally get a pair on she is amazed that no one has ever shown her how to use them and she will be fine now with all the lovely knickers.

    Then the next day or hour she is planning a trip to the shops to buy more knickers as she has no proper ones and they are all someone elses.

    We've got a new companion starting soon to do a trip to the shops once a week - I've got visions of a new pack of knickers weekly coming home, just hoping that the shop will be sympathetic about me returning them!!
  2. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    hahaha my ma used to do the superwoman knickers too! I think the companion could do with some knicker training!
  3. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    Yes my Mum, but not quite to the extent of your Mum :D
    Every time I take her out where there might be a shop that sells underwear she wants to have a look, or buy them. They have to be a certain kind or colour too.
    I think Mum has about 20prs but tends to wear the same half dozen.
    She also has a fixation with hand washing them and hanging them out to dry.
    They cannot be seen by anyone least of all my Dad.
    She hangs them on a drying rack at the back of their house, so the neighbours cant see them too...
    Unfortunately this has become worse with Mum developing incontinence and not always remembering to wear pads. Its not unusual for Mum to have 4 prs a day out drying.
  4. Livveywills

    Livveywills Registered User

    Jul 11, 2015
    My mum is obsessed with hand washing them too, its really hard we have to whip them away when they are draped on radiators and get them into the washing machine as she also is at the near incontinence stage and doesn't really know how to wash anything anymore.

    And yes I think knicker distraction tactics will have to be high on the list of companion training discussions!

    I wouldn't mind too much if she bought some each week, but she likes the kind that come in packs of 5 - can you imagine how many we'd end up with?
  5. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    It seems to be, my wife went through a knicker obsessive phase then I worked out wanting to change her knickers was code for wanting to be taken to the toilet.
    Ath the moment here's a woman on the same ward as my wife who spends every waking minute asking anyone she can see do !they know where her knickers are?" she can do it literally for hours.
    Could you try folding them neatly, putting them is a small plastic bag (like a sandwich bag) and telling her they're brand new ones, hopefully she may not open them to pronounce them the wrong type or someone else's.
    As I had to replace them quite often so I took to only buying her black ones that way they all looked the same so no confusion about who's they were.
    50 Shades of Grey may be acceptable on your bookshelf but much less so when it's a description of your underwear drawer :)
  6. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    Just for info the pads are free from the NHS - just google your continence service at your local NHS trust - our continence nurses were wonderful and then the big baggy knickers in 5 packs become very useful lol x
  7. Livveywills

    Livveywills Registered User

    Jul 11, 2015
    Thanks, we aren't at the point of her accepting wearing a pad at the moment, after a poo accident this week I thought we might have no choice but to ring the continence nurse, but mum seems to have rallied and is almost coping again, so on we go!
  8. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    some places have a 12 week wait so don't leave it too close! You would be surprised at how quickly they get used to it and don't even notice, i think because it is actually more comfortable (and gives extra comfort when sitting for long periods too lol)
  9. Livveywills

    Livveywills Registered User

    Jul 11, 2015
    Gosh - 12 weeks, that is insane! I'll take that advice then, many thanks
  10. tatty

    tatty Registered User

    Oct 14, 2015
    MIL has become 4day plus hand wash knicker woman, in our tiny downstairs sink with hand wash soap, then dries them on the radiator so a nice sweet sickly smell of urine permeates the down stairs :eek:.

    Have tried to solve it with saying ''a special bucket and dettol soak stuff for you to use to soak be clothes and leave in down stairs shower room and then I will pop them through the wash for you....so you don't have to have them drying in your room , and then your darling son(my OH) won't see your smalls'. 'Oh yes that a good idea, I wouldn't like him to see"
    -Never mind OH has been seeing her knickers for ages drapped inappropriately around and removing tena ladies form sink , loo arm, chair and hand bag:rolleyes:

    Time will only tell if she remebers to use her 'special bucket' ....she also has 40 white knickers- at least I can boil wash:
  11. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    Is the reason they want to hand wash them because they're stained, and they don't want anyone to see? My FIL would sometimes insist on hand washing his underpants when they were stained. And then he would get very irate because he wanted to hang them on the washing line, and our garden is titchy and we don't have one. I would offer to spin and tumble dry them - no! that would not do, nor would the drying rack I used. On one occasion he exploded into a full blown rage over the non existent washing line.
  12. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    I think I've seen any number of posts talking about someone with dementia hand-washing their smalls and hanging them up to dry. Radiators seem to be a favorite place. (I'm guessing not helpful if the heat is on and the garment isn't clean.)

    My mother sometimes throws hers away, but I don't know if this is because they are stained, or she's had an accident, or for some other reason. I haven't seen or heard of her washing them herself (she's in a care home) and as the arthritis in her hands is getting worse, I doubt she would, but you never know. I'll keep an eye out for that.

    Her obsession with her knickers, which I hear about every visit, is that "the laundry doesn't use fabric softener and they must starch them because they're like iron." Then she wants me to feel all her underpants and agree that they are like iron. Okay. I'll tell the laundry to use more fabric softener, shall I? Like any delusion, there is no arguing with her, and I don't try, but it gets old.

    One of the nurses told me that my mother sometimes spends a lot of time lining up her knickers and smoothing them out and folding them just so. I figure if it occupies her and doesn't upset her, it's fine, but I am not sure about why her underpants. I also find a lot of folded Kleenex (facial tissues) everywhere. My aunt, who is not diagnosed with any dementia but who might have something going on, has an obsession with folding paper towels (kitchen roll?) and leaving stacks of them everywhere.
  13. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    My mum was also obsessed with pants even before dementia. She owned about 30 pairs, most of which were really old and tatty. She used to buy them from charity shops. I found out she was even wearing my late stepfather's briefs! She used to hand wash them in the kitchen sink, sometimes in the dishwater! She used to say her washing machine was too expensive to use for a few bits, and her clothes (charity shop buys) were always worn for a good few days until she would wash them. She even went for a free swim daily and had a shower there afterwards rather than use her own hot water!
    I replaced her pants, buying identical sets, and started doing her washing. My SIL showers her at home daily.
    She has also worn her pants superwoman style, once when I took her to GP and only found out afterwards!
  14. lizzybean

    lizzybean Registered User

    Feb 3, 2014
    My MIL always washed her knickers through every evening pre dementia, she still does this now EXCEPT if they are soiled (only slightly, I think its a case of not wiping properly) then they go in the wash basket for me!
  15. AnneED

    AnneED Registered User

    Feb 19, 2012
    East Yorkshire UK
    I have to say, after a chuckle over some of these posts, that her knickers are the only thing Mum routinely changes every day and puts into the wash basket so if I've not been over there for a week I find 8 pairs of black pants and nothing else in her wash basket. Less so now as some of the carers dare to change her clothes during the week.
  16. Boldredrosie

    Boldredrosie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2012
    I know the knicker obsession can't be funny for you but your post has made me laugh. On a more serious note, don't dally getting a referral to the continence service. The service where we are is notorious for being absolutely useless. When my late father was doubly incontinent they threw a bag of pads at our front door an scarpered. And that's the God's honest truth. We never saw anyone and they do not answer the phone. So get your request in quick.
  17. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    My mum's other obsession was never spending any money on anything unless she absolutely had to!
    This included birthday cards, Christmas presents etc, new clothes or shoes, new furniture or DIY, and any cleaning products or toiletries. Everything came from charity shops or markets.She never cleaned or cooked or bought fresh food, and we lived off sandwiches and chip shop chips. She would refuse our friend's party invitations as it meant taking a present, and we were not allowed to bring friends home or have birthday parties. My Dad gave me some money towards my modest wedding which I mostly paid for and she was livid! She has never bought even a packet of sweets for any of her grandchildren and greatgrandchildren and was never interested in even seeing them.
    My dad had his own successful business so she did not have to scrimp, but she seemed to get perverse pleasure from not spending money. When I got POA I found out she was very well off and have since been spending money improving her home and generally making her more comfortable. She would be livid at the expense if she knew!
  18. Dazmum

    Dazmum Registered User

    Kevin, that did make me laugh :D
  19. its a struggle

    its a struggle Registered User


    Pear Trees - your last paragraph had me smiling :rolleyes: Karma is the final arbiter of justice!!!!
  20. sinkhole

    sinkhole Registered User

    Jan 28, 2015
    Whilst clearing out my aunt's house recently, we found 75 tins of salmon (all out of date) and an invoice for 50Kg of dried apricots.

    She also had an obsession with buying alarm clocks for a few weeks and we keep finding brand new clocks still in their boxes about the place.

    I don't know about her knickers...

    Thankfully, she doesn't seem to want to go out shopping any more.

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