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Memory regression and hiding things

lensgirl

Registered User
Jan 14, 2020
62
0
Hi

My nan appears to be going downhill quite quickly and seems to have memory regression back to around a year ago. Today she called me in a panic because she couldn't find her purse or keys, and i obviously got the comments that someone is coming into her house and stealing things. I ended up going over there, couldn't find them at all but she had her bag under her bed pillows. Last year she went and stayed with my sister for a few nights, and hid her torch and remote control and then couldn't remember what she had done with them and i think this is what has happened. Luckily i found those, but unfortunately nan didn't hide her keys and wallet in the same place. We have no idea where they are, but she started getting a little bit anxious after me starting to look so i just stopped and we dealt with the practicalities of cancelling her bank card and getting her some cash.

After a conversation with her partner i found out a lot more information, and some of nans comments are becoming concerning. He popped over to hers on Wednesday and found she had packed some items. When he asked why, she said that it was because she was moving that day and when he explained she wasn't, she was over the moon. This goes back to last year when we were going to move her into something a little more secure and closer to me and my sister, however we cancelled this when she met her partner because she was so happy. When i spoke to her when she called me this morning, she was saying that she had been away for a few days at my sisters, but this was something that happened last March. She was also saying today that she had her wallet when she came home in a taxi because she remembers being in the back seat, and this was something that happened around July time.

she also briefly talked about my dad and aunts in the present tense about needing to buy them Christmas presents, but she hasn't seen or spoken to my aunts in about 20 years and my dad at least 5.

her partner has acknowledged today that her memory is significantly worse recently, and certainly we have noticed over the last month how bad it has become.

Are we starting to see significant progression in the illness? She is no longer under the mental health team as the consultant stopped prescribing her medication, so we dont really know where to go from here. She is definitely not ill enough to go into any sort of facility, but im not sure if there is anything we can do to get professional help? She isn't taking any regular medications, so its not like we can use the guise of a nurse coming in to give her any meds once a day
 

Lucy Young

Registered User
Feb 16, 2021
12
0
Hi Lensgirl - I'm so sorry to hear your nan is struggling. Why has her GP stopped stopped her medication? My mum has started on Donepozil and she will be taking this for the rest of her life.
 

lensgirl

Registered User
Jan 14, 2020
62
0
The consultant just decided that it wasn't the right thing for her. She wasn't taking it, had no recollection of being given it or why she needs to take it. They tried a couple of times and it didn't work so decided just to let things take their course.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
14,667
0
South coast
Yes, Im afraid that this is all part and parcel of dementia progression.

Putting things away safely (aka hiding things) and forgetting that you have done it is classic dementia behaviour. Because they dont remember doing it they become convinced that someone is stealing them, so they decide to put them away somewhere safely where the thief wont find it...........

It is classic dementia and so common that it is almost diagnostic. Im afraid that there isnt much you can do apart from learning her usual hiding places.

The other things that you describe with her memory happen because the brain is filling in the gaps in the memory with old memories, but to her they seem like recent ones. Soon you will find that gaps in the memory will be filled with stuff from the TV, stuff triggered by conversations, plus a large dollop of imagination all mixed up together, but your nan will be convinced that it is all perfectly true.

There isnt any treatment for this specifically. I learned to say "well, well" "really?" "you dont say" and other neutral comments when mum was telling me outrageously tall stories with complete conviction.
 

Lucy Young

Registered User
Feb 16, 2021
12
0
The consultant just decided that it wasn't the right thing for her. She wasn't taking it, had no recollection of being given it or why she needs to take it. They tried a couple of times and it didn't work so decided just to let things take their course.
Does she live alone? That's rough, bless her heart.
 

lensgirl

Registered User
Jan 14, 2020
62
0
Thank you. I know it might sound silly but knowing these things are "normal" is quite comforting. I find the fact that everything about this disease is almost completely bespoke to each person so difficult, I wish someone would just say "first they will do this, then they will do that..." so we know what to expect!
 

lensgirl

Registered User
Jan 14, 2020
62
0
Does she live alone? That's rough, bless her heart.
She does, but her partner comes over every day. She was alone which is why we were moving her to be near us, but when she met Bob it was so lovely that she has someone every day who is able to take her shopping and just generally be her companion that we decided the best thing for her was that she actually got some happiness for however long that might last
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
675
0
My dad loses things regularly. I am looking for a key finder device that can be used to track list keys but can't find one where the transmitter can be screwed to the wall so it can't also be lost. It isn't about hiding things. Things just get put down at random, and forgotten.
 

Lucy Young

Registered User
Feb 16, 2021
12
0
She does, but her partner comes over every day. She was alone which is why we were moving her to be near us, but when she met Bob it was so lovely that she has someone every day who is able to take her shopping and just generally be her companion that we decided the best thing for her was that she actually got some happiness for however long that might last
I absolutely agree with that. It's lovely she's met someone who is supporting her.
 

lensgirl

Registered User
Jan 14, 2020
62
0
Ok, so a bit of an update. Nan was over her partners having a cup of tea when she announced that she had found her wallet. He asked where it was, to which point she took him back to her house and opened her dresser drawer and there it was. Now I know I checked that drawer yesterday at least twice, so she has obviously found it and moved it again and then to sort of "ta dah" him with it. Bob is actually suspicious that she knew where it was all along and said she had something similar happen earlier in the week with her mobile phone. She claims it was lost, they looked all over and then 2 days later it appeared on her bed.

Has anyone ever heard of anything like this before? It seems such odd behaviour even for what is now becoming the norm!
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
5,221
0
Nottinghamshire
Hi @lensgirl . I think it’s probably likely that your nan found her wallet in some illogical place and then put it somewhere she could find it this time. My mum used to do random things like putting dirty pots in the cupboard and would then tell my dad she’d found them there and washed them and would he please check the pots were clean before he put them away...🙄.
She didn’t remember doing it and never would so it must have been someone else. I think something similar is happening with your nan. It’s not deliberate.
 

Lemondrizzle

Registered User
Aug 26, 2018
144
0
Ok, so a bit of an update. Nan was over her partners having a cup of tea when she announced that she had found her wallet. He asked where it was, to which point she took him back to her house and opened her dresser drawer and there it was. Now I know I checked that drawer yesterday at least twice, so she has obviously found it and moved it again and then to sort of "ta dah" him with it. Bob is actually suspicious that she knew where it was all along and said she had something similar happen earlier in the week with her mobile phone. She claims it was lost, they looked all over and then 2 days later it appeared on her bed.

Has anyone ever heard of anything like this before? It seems such odd behaviour even for what is now becoming the norm!
This sounds just like my MIL. Things would disappear and then reappear as if we were all in a great big magic act. We once had a discussion about blue scarves - I could not find a single one of any colour. The following week there was a pile of blue scarves in the lounge. I have no idea where they had been. Also, for months we had looked for her false teeth. When we were clearing her house after she died I found them in a place I had searched numerous times. That's just two examples. It was never her that had moved things or put them back, it must have been "one of those others".
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
14,667
0
South coast
Im pretty sure I have a space/time continuum shift in my house.
Some things simply disappear and then, just as suddenly, re-appear several days/weeks/months later
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,249
0
High Peak
Im pretty sure I have a space/time continuum shift in my house.
Some things simply disappear and then, just as suddenly, re-appear several days/weeks/months later
My dozy boyfriend has that issue. Sometimes he phones me ranting he can't find his car keys. Not sure what he expects me to do from here. (Though he has located them in the places I've suggested a few times...!)

He once found the wellingtons he'd lost 15 years previously. It's a small house.

He lives alone, no dementia... (And wonders why I don't fancy moving in with him!)

When in her care home, my mother was surprisingly good at finding things, including several pairs of glasses, packets of biscuits, clothing, walking sticks, toiletries and - worryingly - scissors, which I'm afraid she made good use of. (No one was injured fortunately!)
 
Last edited:

Roxbyterrace

New member
Feb 23, 2021
2
0
I have a slightly different experience. Mum is doing things like putting the butter in the dressing table but she is also determined to give away everything she has. It can be anything from recently acquired things to things she’s treasured for years. We did try to save a lot of things which were family treasures. Nothing of value but sentimental items. New clothes, furniture and even electrical items have gone. She seems lucid and generous to those on the receiving end and to be fair some of them have alerted us. We take the view it’s her choice and her money but it’s still quite hard to deal with when it’s personal stuff. She threw away so much of dad’s stuff almost as soon as he died. We are trying to move her nearer so we can be more supportive and to an extent watchful without making her feel in any way ‘managed’. I’ve read as many books as I can find to try to understand all aspects but I can’t find any thread on this?
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
14,667
0
South coast
Hello @Roxbyterrace and welcome to DTP

Although what your mum is doing is not so common, it is by no means unknown. Often it happen because they forget that it is theirs and/or the history behind it. They see it lying around "unused" and dont see why they need to keep it.
OH gave away several thousand pounds from our savings. Some he was scammed out of, but most was him seeing the money on a statement and feeling that we didnt need it and it could be used much better by someone who did. I had to ring-fence our savings to stop him getting at them

Make sure that you have got sentimental and important items/documents in your home for safekeeping.
 

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