1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. Sianey

    Sianey Registered User

    Mar 23, 2015
    103
    Yorkshire
    How do others feel about your parents things in their home when they've gone into care.

    Due to teenagers hanging around Mams I've decided to bring her jewellery box and valuables to mine, not something I want to do I want to leave it all in situ as it doesn't seem right but feel I have to as I would hate anything to happen to it all.

    Its so hard doing it as Mam is here not gone if you know what I mean and just feels so wrong, I can't go through her drawers except for looking for pants etc as it feels so rude to me, probably me being daft I know.

    Since Sunday's altercation at the home I've done nothing but be upset although Mam apparently had a go at the woman from Sunday so it makes me think Mam remembers how the woman was Sunday with me.
     
  2. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    1,056
    GLASGOW
    I understand completely. I am in theory clearing my Mums house to get it ready for someone to rent and get some income for Mum. I have managed the sitting room and kitchen but the thought of upstairs is breaking my heart. How can I give away her things when she is still here. She tells me she wants nothing from the house which also breaks my heart. She remembers nothing about it. 46 years of our life as a family and there is nothing that she wants.

    Do you have a friend or family member who can help you? Its not the thing to do alone. Its just too sad. Keep posting. At least you know its not just you. Pity we dont live nearby.
    Best of luck
    Quilty
     
  3. irishmanc

    irishmanc Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    64
    Manchester
    I am in exactly the same position. I have to spend some time this summer clearing out my parents home - it feels so invasive. I have also removed jewellery and other valuables for peace of mind. We have to remind ourselves that we are helping our parents by being so practical and that they would understand if they could. I have organised some friends to help me as I can see that having non-family members to do this will be useful and will help me to cope with the inevitable emotions involved. Good luck.
     
  4. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
    It helped me to think that mum's things were safer with me or other family members than left in her house. The things I wanted to keep were mostly small things, like the thimble from her work box, which reminds me of her whenever I see it.

    As nobody lived in the same town as my mum, once she had moved into residential care I was just worried all the time that an unoccupied but furnished house would attract burglars or squatters. Also it was never the family home, and mum had never been that fond of it. (She much preferred the previous family home.) Maybe that made it easier to focus on the practical issues rather than the emotional ones.
     
  5. Sianey

    Sianey Registered User

    Mar 23, 2015
    103
    Yorkshire
    Mams things

    Ooh that would be great Quilty if you lived nearby. I honestly feel like I did when my Dad died suddenly years ago, none stop crying.

    No my siblings live away, I'll go later with my Husband who came home from work last night guessing I'd been upset rubbed makeup the giveaway I think plus he's a bit of a caveman :( with feelings so practically he's ok but not getting feelings.

    I suppose I hoped Mam would get better and go back home but sadly I can't even give her any of her jewellery as she puts it god knows where and you can't name jewellery can you.

    I've come to the conclusion also unlike if I were younger, you look at your own mortality more.
     
  6. Sianey

    Sianey Registered User

    Mar 23, 2015
    103
    Yorkshire
    Pickles53, youre right about taking it for safety, I can't look in it though it'll go in a bag, it just seems wrong to me to look when she can't wear it herself.

    You're right also the house is a concern, fifty years of childhood memories and the aching thought that one day I won't go back there as it is sold and someone else's house.
     
  7. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,569
    Female
    South coast
    Im supposed to be clearing mums home for selling too. It is very hard to do. I have brought her photos, jewellery and best china/glassware back with me for safe-keeping and I was OK with chucking out piles of magazines and tourist guides as I could think of it as rubbish that needed clearing, but what broke me was removing all the food from her cupboards. OK, most of it was out of date, but the bare cupboard seemed to reproach me and brought it home to me that she is never coming back. :(
     
  8. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    840
    Fife Scotland
    Am I the only one who wants to say this.......I want nothing from my mums house,
    a) I don't have space
    b) it's not my style.

    The jewellery I would probably sell as I have no children of my own, and I just don't want.

    I think I would give what I can to charity.

    And before anyone condemns me this is just me.
     
  9. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,569
    Female
    South coast
    No-one will condemn you, patsy - we all cope with it in our own way.

    But I will say that deciding to send it to charity (which is what I want to do) and actually doing it is quite different.
     
  10. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    1,056
    GLASGOW
    Patsy, we all understand. They are just things. I only want the photos, nothing else. Its the fact they are mums special things makes it so hard. None of it has any value. Still, its thr cycle of life.
     
  11. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    11,604
    West Midlands
    No condemning from me. Just a sort of envy. I have a garage full of stuff from mums house that I don't need, want, or has any use to anyone, yet still I can't let it go...


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  12. Sianey

    Sianey Registered User

    Mar 23, 2015
    103
    Yorkshire
    Mams things

    No offence taken Patsy56:). Everyone feels differently.
     
  13. CynthsDaugh

    CynthsDaugh Registered User

    May 5, 2015
    140
    Salford, Lancashire
    Not just you. Mums flat was cleared out today by house clearance guys, already got the few trinkets she wants up here but doubt they will stay once she is no longer living with me (I don't like Lladro!). Not bothered by the clearance but the thought of not having a reason to go back to the town I grew up in (Wolverhampton) did make a small lump appear in my throat though.
     
  14. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
    A round of applause from me for being brave enough to say it. Absolutely my view as far as furniture and general household stuff was concerned. We are a very small family in this generation and have had the situation with several more distant elderly relatives offering us all kinds of things they no longer had room for because they were downsizing from large houses. It felt ungrateful and embarrassing to say no but really there was nothing we could do with it. Far better for a charity to have it and raise some funds for a good cause.

    Most of the jewellery has gone to the Alzheimer's Society as they can raise funds from recycling it.

    Having to clear three houses as executor in the last two years has also made me much less of a hoarder of my own stuff.
     
  15. Liz57

    Liz57 Registered User

    Dec 22, 2013
    184
    I'm in the same position. Mum went into a lovely care home ten days ago and so far I can't bring myself to go into her home other than to water the plants as if she's coming back. Fortunately I'm in no rush to clear it out but it breaks my heart to think that her life is in there and she walked out not realising she wasn't going back. Maybe in a couple of months when she's clearly settled and clearly not going back home, I'll feel a bit better about it.

    I have, incidentally, cleared out her fridge and cupboards of the out of date stuff. I went into her garage to fetch the watering can and a mop fell against the door outside nearly trapping me in there. I could have spent the last of my days in that garage! Revenge perhaps???
     
  16. Sianey

    Sianey Registered User

    Mar 23, 2015
    103
    Yorkshire
    Mams things

    Liz57, I relate to the feeling about your Mum not going back. My Mam went in for respite or so we thought and so never really said bye to her home which she thought even after fifty years was a hotel with a cat, she did kiss her cat bye who thankfully has been adopted by her lovely neighbours now.
    My Mams is left as it was when she went in two months ago. I thought it would get easier but it hasn't.
     
  17. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    840
    Fife Scotland
    Thank you everyone, do you know, I think it is because I gave mum and dad nice things over the years and do you know they are not shown. I actually would like the things mum /dad had from their own parents rather than their home. photographs?? I couldn't keep hoards, just a few from each decade, but as I say I have no children it means nothing to anyone.......... I know that when my gran died uncle gave medals away to the army unit grandad was in.......I have some "history" from granny which I will give to local historical groups. Books I will give to charity.......

    Maybe I should add, that their home wasn't mine.........and also we ar/ were a disfunctional family.......I think the wars did that WW1 and WW2 , paternal grandad was lost at sea, maternal grandad was away fighting, both parents either farmed out or sent to boarding school.
     
  18. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,592
    Yorkshire
    My mums (and grandmothers) jewellery was stolen when we were burgled. I had a very fair insurance payout and I bought myself jewellery I actually like and that I knew I would regularly wear rather than keeping stuff in a drawer, unworn, for sentimental reasons.

    Every time I put on my new little pendant or wear a bracelet, I think of Mum and Gran. And isn't that what it's all about? Something that rekindles fond memories of the person, not the item itself?

    I would recommend taking photos of any items just in case, as this was very useful when the insurance assessor came round.

    Re clearing the house: I went through my MIL's house sorting things into categories: tip, charity shop, family keepsakes, personal. I was one step removed from my SILs' emotional attachment and was able to deal with things so much more objectively. They just had to cast their eyes over the piles to make sure what I'd done was right, without having to decide on the fate of each individual item.
     
  19. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,623
    USA
    thank you

    I'm so glad you brought this up as I was just about to do a search to see how other people cope with this. My mother went to a care home in February and my husband and I have been spending about one day a weekend clearing out her home. She wasn't coping well and there was stuff everywhere, plus even before dementia she wasn't an enthusiastic housekeeper. It's been a struggle to just sort through all the...stuff.

    At the beginning I had no trouble clearing it as it was clear to me, she was never moving back. This is also not my childhood home; that was cleared and sold (by me) in 1998 when my father died (they were divorced). But my mother lived in this home for about 20 years and did I mention it was crammed with STUFF? She never cleared anything out.

    I know some of that was personality and then lately it was dementia, but has anyone else been upset that they have to clean up their parent' (parents') mess? Obviously it's upsetting to be in a situation where someone is not dead but you are basically clearing the house as though they were, and I expected that, but I didn't expect to feel so angry at my mother for never clearing anything up! It would appear she literally stopped clearing AND cleaning in 2002 when my grandmother died. (And she didn't clear out most of my grandmother's things, either, so I've had to deal with as well as my mother's.)

    Also no judgement here about keeping things or not keeping things. Do whatever you have to do!
     
  20. Sianey

    Sianey Registered User

    Mar 23, 2015
    103
    Yorkshire
    Dementia

    Amyinthe US, I found an interesting thing while on the internet Anticipatory Grief not just for terminal illness but is for loved ones of dementia sufferers, it sums up how we feel I think x
     

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