home again after another couple of days at mom's. my mom has been collecting books. I mean hundreds of books, they line the walls of her house. a couple of weeks ago I have started to remove them. so far I have removed 9 black garbage bags and 3 apple boxes full, this week my van is loaded once again with another box and two bags full of books, my god I think the books are procreating somewhere in that house... this week I also have started to clean out some of my moms cloths, mainly dress shirts. she has this thing for both dress shirts and books and pretty dishes, everytime time my dad and her go to the thrift shops she gets a couple... in all truth there is no harm in it, but now it is overwhelming her. so now everytime I go for a stay I load up a bag or two and make them disappear...but what I wanted to say today was the other morning as I made the coffee , my mom became obbssed with her change purse. she took out all her change and counted it and then would put it back in her purse and then she would see the change purse and do it again,,, for 2 or three hours my mom did this. us with our loonies and toonies along with the nickles dimes and pennies.... she had quit a stash.. As I sat there and helped her arrange her coins, this is the first time that I noticed that she no longer can count... well she can manage to a little bit but to look at the money and try to figure out the worth for her was not going to happen... she finally left it little piles and said she would leave it for dad to count....I did manage to take my mom to town and spent the afternoon shopping for groceries and such... it was great... sometimes my real mom comes out to play for a bit and it makes it all worth while. So I am home again and now today have to go and take all the books to the local libary and the cloths to the homeless shelter and get ready to do this all over again next week.... by the way the new inhome caregiver is a dream and I do beleive that it was a great decission, now if I can only talk my parents into more that one day a week..accually I have already told my dad that as soon as mom gets used to the women that she will be coming two days a week... I sure can't get over the relieve that I feel that someone who deals with this is coming in once a week to help out and keep me informed for the times I can not get over there. I always feel like I am have left something unfinished when I leave and the inhome care giver can make sure I am not overlooking something..
Obsessions are so typical jags. Mom's was washing windows and rearranging the straw in the flower beds. She would wash windows on Monday and do them again on Thursday. There were only 25 windows and doors in that house so it was not an easy task. At least she put in drop down windows that could be washed from the inside but gezzzz. Then she would spend several days sitting in the flower beds picking out leave and rearranging the straw. It didn't matter if it was 50 degrees or 100 degrees. She also horded things and I have the remains of that in my house now. What to do with all that stuff? Perhaps Dad can limit her to one item or fewer shopping trips? I had to laugh because I thought of Mom and her graham cracker pie crust. We split them up when we clean out her kitchen. I brought home about 20. But I also had about 20 boxes of instant pudding to put in them
Number are an abstract thinking process and that goes pretty early. I will never forget the day Mom was talking about her puzzle and stumbling with what she was trying to say. Finally she read off 5, 0, 0, and then ask me what that was. Mom your puzzle has 500 pieces! Oh, then why didn't it just say so. She could not read the number....
You did mention something that I felt myself. Not only was the caregiver we had when Mom and Dad were at home valuable for helping Mom and Dad... she was even more valuable at letting me know what was going on when I was not there. What a relieve that was. Even if Mom threw one of her southern hissy fits... at least I knew when they happened and what happened. That is when I learned that it was not Dad that was creating the major problems but mom's agitation of Dad that was the problem. I got a whole different perspective of what was going on (the real one) that was not clouded by "what Mom said". The caregiver was a god send in truly knowing what was going on.
Yep, one day, then two days, then three days, then seven. It may be what keeps them at home a little longer. Take solace in knowing that you are doing good things for Mom and Dad and that so far it is turning out well
My Mom lost the ability to balance her checkbook very early on. Before I even went to live with her, she would 'jokingly' say , "I don't need to put in the amount left; I get it from the bank every month and there is always enough in it". Since in principle she was right, she never overdrew and the bank was adding her SS check and subtracting her written checks, and it all came to above zero, she really didn't HAVE to do it -- I didn't understand until 2 years later that she COULD NOT do it ...
The strangest behavior was throwing out food. My Mom lived through poverty and hunger in Germany in her youth, and then the Great Depression here in the 1930s. She LOVED to eat and hardly ever had leftovers.
Then good food - useful for another meal or two - disappeared, she had thrown it out. Then old food accumulated. Yucky moldy stuff.
Then she threw out fresh flowers I had bought, when they were only a day or two old.
Then she threw outr bills that came in the mail but not junk mail.
By the time I moved in with her it was obvious that she was not capable of taking care of everyday stuff. Yet it still didn't dawn on me that it was dementia and would get ever so much worse, until she didn't know who I was.
Obsession...there is a word that describes why my mother does what she does...obsessively.
Empties her closet. Digs around in her jewelry. Hides stuff. Then hunts for stuff. Worries about money. Worries about her grandson... and so on and so on. Obsessively. I used to worry about it more than I do now. I figure she is busy and wearing herself out.
One thing she is doing lately has almost become a game with us. She has a small bunch of plastic flowers. She has them in a drinking glass full of water. I come over and empty the glass. The next day the glass is full again. We go back and forth. Neither of us ever saying a word.