1. maggier

    maggier Registered User

    Jan 9, 2006
    Hi everyone,
    I have not posted for a while, been busy as working full time, trying to look after mum and keep her in her own home and also have a little granddaughter which I would like to spend more time with....................aaaaagh being pulled in all directions.
    Anyway, I was just wondering if other people have come across this problem and how they cope with it. Mum keeps throwing things away. Her clothes, food from the cupboards and fridge, bread, etc. We think she has thrown money away in the past and we are now (on the advice of the CPN) keeping some money back from her when we get her pension etc. It is driving us absolutely mad. Every day we go round and the first thing we do is check her dustbin and you would be amazed at what she throws away.
    I have already confiscated all her photographs apart from ones that are framed, as one day I went round and she had scattered them all over and torn most of them up saying they were not hers and when I tried to explain that they were pictures of her (once) treasured grandchildren, she said, " well they are no good to me now are they what do I need to keep them for?". She has recently had a birthday and whilst we struggle as to what to buy her, she had been given some really nice clothes and a dressing gown and slippers etc. We had a little tea party for her and she seemed to enjoy it very much. The very next day all the clothes she had been bought were in the bin and she said they weren't hers and that we must have got them from a second hand shop and she wasn't having them from there!
    What do we do! sod em and leave em in the bin, or keep washing them and putting them back. Hide or take away everything she could dispose of which would leave her with very little at home. She has already got rid of books,videos, ornaments, jewellery (not valuable stuff in a monetary way but mostly sentimental stuff) She has lost /thrown out her engagement ring which absolutely breaks my heart as she always loved the rings that dad had given her.

    Mum is due to start on Aricept very soon having had a visit from the Geriatric Psychiatrist last week but I am worried as I don't like the place she is at right now, and if Aricept halts things, does this mean that she will stay this way for a long long time. I don't want her to get worse, but just wish she could have started the Aricept a lot sooner before she got to the stage she is at now (which they determine as Moderate.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Sorry to have gone on so long.
    Maggie xx
  2. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi Maggie

    It must be very worrying seeing your mum throwing everything away. All I can suggest is that you keep any good clothes and valuables at your house, and just take them round to her as she needs them. That would also have the advantage that things would be 'new' to her every time, so she could have regular 'presents'.

    Regarding Aricept, all you can do is try it. Different people react in different ways. You may notice a dramatic improvement within a few weeks. That's the best possible result. (I got that with my husband).

    You may find that there is little or no obvious improvement, but the progression of the disease is slowed, so your mum can remain independent for longer.

    Or your mum might have bad side effects, and be unable to tolerate the medication at all.

    Any of these can happen, and no-one knows until you try. I agree that it would have been much better for her to have the medication at an early stage, but that's NICE!

    I do hope it works for you. Let us know how you get on.

  3. Tess

    Tess Registered User

    Nov 29, 2005
    I live in west wales
    Hi Maggie

    The very first time I realised that something was not quite right with my Mum was when she told me that she'd been having a sort out and had thrown away all the letters/greeting cards/postcards I had sent her over the years. She had always treasured these - there were probably about thirty plus years' worth of letters etc. and some were special (even to me) - like the one I wrote to her just a matter of hours after my first son was born (her first grandchild). I just wished I could have rescued them before they were taken to the tip! It was so out of character for her to do this (I am an only 'child' and she had aways doted on me and my children.) As I say, this was the first time that I can honestly say that I noticed that 'something wasn't quite right' - that's when the alarm bells started ringing. I would guess that was about six years ago.

    With regards to the Aricept - this was the first medication that Mum was prescribed but she couldn't tolerate it (it gave her tummy upsets) so she was later prescribed Reminyl (with the same side effect) and lastly Ebixa, which she still takes.

    Hope things improve for you. It's so difficult.


  4. Splat88

    Splat88 Registered User

    Jul 13, 2005
    I found this quite funny ( not the right word, but you know what I mean) , because we're having the same problem in reverse. We are having a garage clear out, and everything we put in the skip, Mary retrieves and says its her best "whatever"!!! The other day, it was an offcut of carpet from my sons room ( her best rug), yesterday it was her best towel that was left in the garden!!!

    As for clothes, I bought her some new vests 6 months ago, but she still will not wear them because they are not hers. Yet two new cardigans bought her for Christmas have become an accepted garment.

    She has two wardrobes full of clothes that she hasn't worn for years, but I'm not allowed to throw them out, and she will only wear the same three dresses over and over again.

    It must be upsetting to destroy photographs, they are irreplaceable. I have found with Mary that photos of her other son ( who we haven't seen for 4 years since she moved in with us, but who still sends cards ) have been turned face down in her room. I daren't ask!!!!!
  5. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi Splatt

    I have the same problem with John. I'm not allowed to throw anything out, or even give them to his sons. I try to have a bit of a clear out while he's at daycare, but I do feel a bit guilty.

    Isn't it strange how they differ!
  6. Natashalou

    Natashalou Registered User

    Mar 22, 2007
    And my mother, whilst refusing to have any of her own belongings in the nursing home spends time writing ET her initials on EVERYTHING..cups, plates, towels, mattress, so on and so forth.
  7. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Maggier, you have my absolute empathy on this one …. from one who has fortunately ‘rescued’ mum’s wedding album and rings dad gave her ….. amongst a few other things of great sentimental value - if not to me but other members of the family ….. all have been handed to me by mum …. as in ‘I don’t need these anymore’ … (heart-breaking in itself that she has thought like that) …… but without an inventory dread to think what has just gone into the bin or she has given away that I don’t know about …..

    Yet I can’t get her to part with an empty milk carton ‘in case it comes in useful’ ……?????

    I remember being advised to try to ‘de-clutter’ for mum ….. makes things easier in the house for her …… perhaps your mum is doing some ‘de-cluttering’ for herself ???? ….. just a shame their definition and ours don’t match?

    Sorry if that’s not much help ….. Just an ‘I kinda know how you feel’ …

    Love, Karen, x
  8. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    Hello Maggie, my mum started this behaviour some years back it's like the less she has, the less she has to worry about, the family photos of her childhood and the photos of her wedding plus our childhood have all gone, mum said she posted them overseas to my sister but god only knows where they are as my sister didn't receive them I would say she binned them.Only that dad was in the house just about everything would of been given away, mum was always a very generous person she got great enjoyment from giving but she also liked having nice things but not now it's almost like it annoys her having stuff around. She moved into a care home recently, her room was made lovely for her but it's empty now looks like it's been burgled I just took everything back home not the furniture I told her it belongs to the home. Hopefully someone else will come along and shed light on why this happens,one theory I have is maybe nothing looks familiar anymore and it's confusing so if it's all gone they don't have to worry. Hope all goes well. Taffy.
  9. maggier

    maggier Registered User

    Jan 9, 2006
    Thanks you to all of your for your replies, it does make me feel better to know mum is not the only one, that does this but it is still so heartbreaking to go to mums and fidn that yet another item has gone. I just feel that when mum goes too my brother and I will have nothing of mum and dad left to remind us of the good times, and we will just be left with the bad memories. I know it is not material things that make memories but it would be nice to have some ornaments or photographs left to remember them by. But hey ho what can we do, just get on with it and hope for the best.
    thanks again and love and hugs to everyone coping with this awful illness.

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