Totally random behaviour?!

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Dimelza, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. Dimelza

    Dimelza Registered User

    May 28, 2013
    Hi all

    Well dads been with us in a small annexe for just over 2 weeks and all's well in that he's not pining for home or anything. He'd started not knowing where he was for many months before we moved him which helps I think.
    He's acting very strangely though, some of which happened prior to moving him, for example:
    Used teabags on radiators
    Removing all the clothes from his wardrobe and hanging them all over the place
    Empty food packets in the airing cupboard and down the side of his loo
    And much more that's so random I can't even think of it.
    He refuses to be helped to settle at a reasonable bed time but can put himself to bed any time from 5pm or partly undresses and sleeps on the sofa from much later on, not appearing to know he has a bedroom next door (we have a surveillance camera).
    I've had a long awaited couple of days away with friends and it was quite a jolt back to reality when I returned as he seemed so much worse!

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    This is all quite typical for dementia. I got into bed the other night and found under the duvet the contents of husbands sock and underwear drawer!

    If I ask why he has done some of these odd things he denies all knowledge of it. Part and parcel of the situation I'm afraid.
  3. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    North East England
    Daft his bedroom door closed during the day/evening? Is it possible that he doesn't see it therefore does not remember that is where his bed is located?
    I guess all you can do regarding the rubbish, is to do what I did.... remove it without comment or criticism.
  4. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    My mum likes to have her clothes hanging outside her wardrobe or in her hallway so she knows where they are, forgets to wear them if she can't see them, maybe its the same for your dad.
    My mum hides half eaten food in strange places (bathroom cupboard, bed drawers), seems to be typical of dementia. I just try to remove them quietly.
  5. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Hi dimelza. Sorry to hear about your distress.

    From what I've observed with my mother, and more so from what I read on TP, all of the "random" behaviours you're describing with your father are all pretty common for dementia.

    I know that none of them make any "sense" to you or to me but this is part of the problem with dementia. Things that make sense to the dementia sufferer, don't make sense to the rest of us.

    Having said that, a sudden personality and/or behaviour change is often a warning sign of a urinary tract infection (water infection), sinus infection, chest infection, or some other medical problem, so you may want to get him checked out. The UTIs in particular are a problem in the dementia patient population (in that they happen frequently) and can cause massive behaviour disruptions.

    I am sure this is not what you want to hear, but in my experience, there is no point in having a talk with the person with dementia about this behaviour, as they don't see that it is a problem. This is especially distressing when the person is at a stage where they can behave "normally" about other things, or at other times.

    The clothing thing is especially common and I wish I knew why. She did seem to have a need to have all her clothes "visible" to her, in her case, in piles on the furniture, rather than in closets/the wardrobe. Now she is is at the care home and while she will put things in the closet, the closet doors are always open. Some days she knows things are in the dresser drawers and other days, I'm not sure. Sometimes I think the fiddling is just to give her something to occupy herself (at the risk of TMI, she gets OCD about folding her pants just so) but it's not a problem.

    My mother also stopped sleeping in her bed at home and took to sleeping on the sofa; she couldn't articulate why. I am sure I have seen others here talk about the same thing.

    I frankly wouldn't try to ask him what he's doing or why, or comment on it all, just remove the rubbish. If he likes his clothes all over the place, or it gives him something to do, well, there's no harm in it, surely? Although I can understand it's bizarre.

    Sorry I can't be of more help.
  6. Dimelza

    Dimelza Registered User

    May 28, 2013
    Hi again everyone.
    Thanks so much for your replies. I'd never confront dad about any of it, I just potter about putting it all straight each day.
    In a way it fascinates me as I'd love an insight into a mind with dementia. I just hope he's not behaving like this out of any distress.
    It does sound typical and common in people with dementia so I'll stop wondering ☺️

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  7. Tiller Girl

    Tiller Girl Registered User

    May 14, 2012
    My OH has a fascination with the wardrobe too. Arranging and rearranging his clothes. Taking them out , folding them up etc.. He can spend quite some time in this activity. It doesn't harm anyone and it keeps him happy.

    He also has a phobia about beds and sleeping arrangements. He doesn't like sleeping in the bed anymore and prefers to lie on the sofa bed in the living room. In fact I'd say that this was his first 'act' that made me wonder if he had some problem . If we stay anywhere else's the first question he asks. 'Where am I sleeping?'

    He also doesn't like to go to sleep at night and can be up and down,back and forth to the bathroom , lights on and off for quite some time before he settles.

    He can't explain why he does any of these things. I've stopped thinking about it now as well as there's no reasoning to it. So it's pointless trying to fathom it out.

    Just go with the flow .

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