1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.
  1. The Whippet Walker

    The Whippet Walker New member

    Nov 13, 2019
    5
    I've read that it's common for PWDs to develop obsessions and the other night my mother apparently got up in the middle of the night and had to collect things that were red. Gloves, hat, red box of cereal - all carefully placed on the bedside table. When she was telling me about it I couldn't make out if she'd been dreaming and hadn't properly woken up or if she'd been fully awake when this need to collect red things came on her or what!

    We've had a few shopping obsessions and had to find room in the fridge for 8 bottles of milk, or a dozen bars of butter, but this one's a new one. At least it didn't take her out of the house in the night!

    What sort of obsessions do others develop? Are they mostly harmless, as Mum's have been (so far!)?

    Should I have put the red box of cereal back in the cupboard? (She doesn't seem to have noticed... yet....)
     
  2. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    1,357
    It may not be an obsession as such. Those with dementia can have visual perception difficulties and red is the most easily perceived colour, hence lots of dementia equipment/aids are coloured red. It's possible your Mum may just have picked up the things that she could clearly see rather than deliberately chosen things that were red. The shopping problems are quite common due to forgetting what has previously been bought, hence lots of the same thing. My Mum tended to buy a lot of cat food!
     
  3. Palerider

    Palerider Registered User

    Aug 9, 2015
    969
    Male
    North West
    Brocoli, mum insisted on having it everytime we went near a supermarket. At one point we had so much brocoli I just didn't know what to do with it - brocoli served 5 ways?? Tissues -now mum has gone into care I could literally fill tissue boxes with all the tissues I keep on finding, they are everywhere. Jam doughnuts -the bain of the last six months of life at home with mum and Iam still finding them wrapped in tissue

    Almond slices, coffee and walnut cake .....the list goes on and on ...6 packs of chocolate digestives, Mars bars by the dozen and bounty bars -stuffed in every draw in the house
     
  4. Dimpsy

    Dimpsy Registered User

    Sep 2, 2019
    601
    Female
    My mum is beyond shopping, but has her own obsession with folding tissue's.

    Intricately folded a particular way into triangles and sheet's of loo paper folded into oblongs.
    We think it's a harmless obsession and keeps her happy (we have resisted buying her Origami books for Christmas).
    Hand in hand with the tissue folding goes the precision lining up of her word-search pens and pencils, in fact, most things are aligned exactly and neatly.
    There are worse infatuations to be had, we take it in our stride.
     
  5. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    1,357
    Hmm, sounds a bit like my shopping list :oops: I find that chocolate and cakes help with the stresses of caring.
     
  6. The Whippet Walker

    The Whippet Walker New member

    Nov 13, 2019
    5
    She told me she ‘had to’ collect all the red things so I assumed it was deliberate on her part but maybe she did it and then worked backwards to explain it to herself and me? She has done that once or twice, too. Even more puzzling!
     
  7. Soroptimist

    Soroptimist Registered User

    Jun 10, 2018
    51
    My mum had her front door key on a green fob. She thought she could use other green things to open the door, so she collected all kinds of green items and kept them in her bag too. It wasn't distressing to her, although we had to make sure we had a spare key hidden outside in case she didn't have her real key with her.
     
  8. silkiest

    silkiest Registered User

    Feb 9, 2017
    80
    With my MIL it has been sweet things of all kinds, tea bags, and knickers. Amazingly she cannot remember she ruins knickers with number 2 and throws them in the bin, but she can remember she has no knickers. I tried encouraging her to use continence pants by taking away normal ones but she just bought more as she is physically very well and goes out alone. Ive now given up and she uses normal knickers as disposables. Must see the funny side sometimes
     
  9. silkiest

    silkiest Registered User

    Feb 9, 2017
    80
    Have you tried a key safe soroptimist, it keeps the key safe and is then available for carers if needed in the future. MIL was always leaving her keys in the door and we had to break in once - now all the door locks have been changed and the door is locked/ unlocked on the inside with a knob - there is no keyhole on the inside( just the outside) so we can still get in.
     
  10. Soroptimist

    Soroptimist Registered User

    Jun 10, 2018
    51
    My mum is in a home now so that time has passed - but thank you, yes a keysafe would have been a good idea. It was a nightmare - mum got locked in the garage once too. luckily she had a gps tracker with her that she managed to call us on.
     
  11. Champers

    Champers Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    189
    Yes. Money.

    Despite being in a CH and everything taken care of:
    I need you to get me some cash!
    Someone’s taken my cash!
    Is my money safe?
    How much am I paying for xyz?
    I need to get to the bank!
    Where is my cheque book?
    I think that woman over there has been in my purse!
    How am I going to get home without any cash?


    When clearing out both mother and MIL’s homes, we found cash stashed in all sorts of mysterious places.
     
  12. Lladro

    Lladro Registered User

    May 1, 2019
    74
    Nuts! - My OH can eat enough nuts to sink a battleship - and Towels! We have towels all over the house - folded of course - I find them in the bed, behind the cushions on the sofa, under the bed, in the garage...
    Tonight I stepped onto something crunchy in the bedroom...a malteaser! Then I found half a dozen more rolling around under the bed, further investigation by this dementia detective discovered a large box of malteasers secreted in the bedside cupboard - They were mine originally!
     
  13. Palerider

    Palerider Registered User

    Aug 9, 2015
    969
    Male
    North West
    I could never openly eat the cake or digestives as mum wouldn't allow it. I had the occasional munch as a covert operation at night :rolleyes:
     
  14. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    480
    Pleating.
    Mummy pleats her trousers, skirts, bibs, tissues etc with great concentration.

    Mobile phones. Sh couldn't use one but was and still is fascinated by them.

    She was also upset that on entering a care home her request for "a really sharp knife" fell on deaf ears. I am afraid I have developed a rather black sense of humor and unhealthy coping strategies...
     
  15. Jaded'n'faded

    Jaded'n'faded Registered User

    Jan 23, 2019
    528
    Female
    High Peak
    Sorry @Helly68 but your mum's request for a sharp knife made me laugh! The image it conjures up is just hilarious - a bunch of panicking carers chasing a resident on the rampage brandishing a walking frame and a sharp knife... :D (OK, so the reality would not be funny...)

    My mum was very similar to yours - also a trouser-pleater. She dearly wanted a metal nail-file but I decided emery boards were more appropriate. She was very disappointed when I gave them to her, saying that no, she wanted the pointy metal type because, 'you know - the ones you can poke things with!' And she would gesture a stabbing motion, much as you would with a sharp knife... :rolleyes::eek:
     
  16. Mousehill

    Mousehill Registered User

    Nov 28, 2018
    19
    I can totally relate to the money one! It seems to hit mum when she gets down or confused about something completely different and then she always comes round to money - how much does she have? Nobody ever tells her! There's no way to explain as if I'm too vague and just assure her she's living within her means, that's not enough, but any more detail and she gets completely overwhelmed.

    She's been through stages where she 'knew' the neighbours were stealing our water and electricity and where they had encroached on some of her house and were living in it.

    The one that does make me smile is her obsession for sending me out to buy 10 bars of chocolate at a time for my brother - he's only 50 :D
     
  17. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    480
    Yes, the knife thing cracked me up, as she asked me loudly in Waitrose and people were rhater surprised.....
    The mail file is great - I think Mummy has a twin!
     
  18. CardiffGirlInEssex

    CardiffGirlInEssex Registered User

    Oct 6, 2018
    63
    You have no idea how relieved I am to hear that someone else is having the money issue. With my mum it is always when something has changed or she’s unwell, and boy is it frustrating. She wants money in her purse to go out with, they can’t afford meals on wheels as there isn’t any money, my father is spending all her money, no one tells her how much money is in the bank, and so on and so on. I must confess that last week I did lose it with her and told to shut up about the ******* money, about which I still feel very ashamed though she’s probably forgotten all about it by now!
     
  19. Champers

    Champers Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    189
    I’m sure she has forgotten, CardiffGirl! :rolleyes:

    I suppose it’s because money represents security, but it sure is wearing!

    How much did that cost?
    Can’t you get it cheaper?
    How much?!
    How much do you think my house is worth?

    I know whenever I tell Mother that I’ve have something done to my house or bought something, the inevitable question will always be, “How much is that setting you back then?!”

    The slightly amusing thing is; Mother and MIL are in the same CH and even though they don’t really recognise each other now, there’s still a tiny bit of financial competition between them. They’re both bothered about whether they’re paying more than the other one for their care. My husband and I regularly get questioned by our respective parents, “Does she pay the same as me?” Not that either of them have anything to do with settling their bills and wouldn’t remember even if they were told. :confused::confused::confused:
     
  20. Grizebelle

    Grizebelle New member

    Aug 18, 2019
    9
    With my Mother in Law (Alzheimer’s) pre diagnosis and in the early stages post diagnosis she had a few obsessions:

    Bananas: the house was filled with them, any time she went shopping she bought a huge bunch despite having many still at home. Mostly they went un eaten too, she just HAD to buy them.

    Electric toothbrushes: she had 3, 1 to use, 1 on charge and a third as a spare. Was very insistent that it was very important to look after her teeth (what I wouldn’t give for that now, water is the devil and she won’t go near it).

    Sell or use by dates: had to check all dates on food and would throw out perfectly good food.

    Sweet things: lots and lots and lots of custard creams hoarded and hidden throughout the house.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.