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Mother in law doing strange things

Polly worn out

Registered User
Jul 12, 2015
My Mother in law thinks that a photo on the cupboard is real. She keeps leaving food and drink next to it. Do i remove the photo which would upset her? The food attracts flies and it is her food that she should be eating!


Registered User
Jul 6, 2015
Hi Polly,

Is it a photo of a family member? Maybe your mum is trying to feed the person? If so, try telling her that whoever it is would like a Mars bar or an apple or some kind of snack which can be left there without rotting immediately. I wouldn't remove the photo - she may well get upset and start looking for it (and never stop!)

My dad has a photo of me next to his chair and he thinks I am in it for real and talk to him sometimes. It keeps him happy, so we leave it there. I think this might be quite common behaviour.



Registered User
Jan 30, 2009
Dad had to remove all photos from the house as mum thought they were real and it made her distressed. I would take it away and see what happens, she may miss it or she may not. As long as someone is checking the food daily it shouldnt cause problems if she leaves it there. Perhaps move the photo to a table which might encourage her to eat the food she leaves there.


Registered User
May 10, 2014
My mam too has recently started thinking people in photos are actually in the room. She will talk to them, and whisper if she doesn't want them to know what she is saying. She also started to think the same of people in the tv. Watching a program with babies on a couple of months ago, she was cooing at them, and said ' ooh they like it when I coo at them don't they, they are smiling at me'. She also tickles people in photos. But the photos do make her happy, so I just go along with it.
The ideas from other people sound good, using non perishable foods. As for moving the photo, I think it would depend on whether the photo causes distress, or it is becoming a problem in some way, if she is not eating due to giving all her food away etc. Best of luck with it.