Manipulative mother is giving away clothes

ArcticTern

New member
May 13, 2024
2
0
Hello everyone I’m new here. I have seen lots of threads about people with dementia wearing only a few of their clothes and hoarding the others, but haven’t seen any discussing my problem, so thanks in advance for taking the time to read this and apologies if there is a thread on the subject that I just haven’t seen.

My Mum is in a care home, diagnosed with vascular dementia. She has always been demanding, narcissistic and manipulative, but these traits are getting increasingly worse in the last few months.

She has started giving away her clothes and toiletries (witnessed by care staff) so that it forces me to take her to buy new ones. There aren’t that many places around that have lots of choice when it comes to clothes (she is VERY fussy), let alone those that have a changing room to try things and a car park right outside (she has limited mobility). However there is one such shop near me - if I do a 60-minute round trip to pick her up, take her there, take her home and then drive back to my house.

She gets me to take her there, then says she dislikes everything in the shop, tries on a few things and buys them, then gives them away to other residents and badgers me (quite often the same evening) to take her there again.

She constantly wants me to buy her toiletries, so I buy her a couple of bottles so that I am shopping less often, but she gives away the spare and then asks me to buy more.

Everyone I know says she is doing these things just so she can manipulate me and get attention.

I can’t think of what to do - if I refuse to take her she is left without clothes (and she gets really nasty and pesters me until I say yes). Does anyone have any answers please?

It is affecting my mental health as she will ring me again and again until she gets the answer she wants (I have known her ring 14 times in an afternoon, or eight times in an hour). I can’t turn off the phone as I need to take other calls and if I don’t answer she just keeps calling.

Sorry for such a long message and thanks for any advice you can offer.
 

northumbrian_k

Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
4,691
0
Newcastle
Hi @arcticand welcome to Dementia Support Forum or friendly and helpful community. I am sorry to hear about your mum. I don't have any experience to relate to what you are experiencing but I hope that some of our members may have.
 

Jale

Registered User
Jul 9, 2018
1,175
0
Hi @ArcticTern , are your mum's clothes and toiletries labelled with her name? If the carers have witnessed your Mum giving things away, then surely they could make sure that they are returned to her. Sorry can't be any more helpful at the moment
 

Jools1402

Registered User
Jan 13, 2024
155
0
I've not been in this exact position but this is what I would do:
Firstly raise the matter of her giving away her clothes to the care home manager. They will doubtless be labelled with her name and these can be found and given back to her.
Toiletries - Names on all bottles etc. My Mum's home has a lockable bathroom cabinet where these can be kept. They have taken away Mum's key and they can only be used when supervised - does your Mum's home have similar? If she has given them all away then tell her she will have to do without.
Shopping - tell her that shop she likes has closed down. If she complains that she has no clothes tell her to stop giving them away (it Might work). Every time she wants to go shopping make an excuse - there's no fuel in the car - the car is overheating and you can't risk it - you have a headache - anything she will believe really.
Phone calls - Perhaps answer one of them a day but the rest of the time block her calls. You know she is safe and if there was a real problem the home would call you on their phone.
You will have to gently stand up to her otherwise her behaviour will only get worse. I know there will be shouting and rows - you don't have to put up with them - just walk away when she starts. And don't feel guilty!
 

ArcticTern

New member
May 13, 2024
2
0
Thanks to all of you for taking the time to respond. I have now labelled most of her clothes and I am looking for printed sticky tape to label her toiletries - I’ve heard that there are a few about. I have resisted a few of her calls, dreading what she will say when I do answer, but she seems to have forgotten she was calling, so I will carry on with that. Many thanks for your help.