Both of my parents are hiding things from each other. They keep losing their keys in the house. How can I get them to stop?

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How distressing, Nancyt. In the future, if Mom wears or uses something for a special occasion, keep your eyes on it and help her put it away where it belongs. Alas, that doesn't help the Easter loss. She values those two rings very much, so of course she doesn't want them to come to harm. She put them in a "safe" place. I suspect they will show up. In the coffee canister, under a rug, under her mattress, in the freezer -- who knows? I think often the same hiding places are used over and over, so once you catch on to her methods it might be easier to find something.

Best wishes to you as you take this challenging caregiving journey with your mother.
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My 88 year old mother is living in my home. I am a 54 year old female at my wits end. She keeps hiding things. I let her wear my emerald ring on Easter Sunday and now she's misplaced her engagement ring and my ring which were kept in a little ivory box. Can't even find the box. I've searched everywhere today, even the garbage pail outside and can't find it. Any suggestions where I should look? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
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I also made copies of her ID cards and laminated the copies. She didnt know the difference and I kept the originals. That way she still had ID on her if I wasnt there but I didnt have to worry about getting replacements
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It took me about 2 years of searching for my moms wallet, id cards, check books, you name it. Even toilet paper got hidden. Finally one day I had a brain storm and searched for key finders online. Amazon had a few to choose from. For roughly 50.00 I bought a set that had small flat beepers (I tucked that inside her purse pocket) It also came with 4 key chains. Different colors and 1 remote that I kept. I attached the key chains to the change purse, her purse, her keys. I kept the bank books. This stopped the endless back flips I had to do every time we went to leave the house. Hope this helps.
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I saw this same progression with my Mom. For years leading up to 2010 she was very organized. Up until my Dad passed in 2006 she managed his care and lived a very independent life. In 2008 I noticed she began showing increased paranoia and forgetfulness and finding her way to old familiar places was impossible. Since I live 3000 miles away visiting her regularly was difficult. She refused to ask for help. We talked almost daily on the phone. She would call me in the middle of the night experiencing health problems. Her doctor moved offices and since she didn't know how to get there she stopped seeing him.

To make a long story short, she suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2010 and I went to care for her. During her recovery at home, she showed increased dementia and would hide the keys and other important items I needed to function. She was afraid I was not going to let her drive (she couldn't anyway due to health issues) so she hid the keys. She would ask me where they were and told her I didn't know, let's look for them. She began getting verbally and physically abusive toward me but I remained calm and would call the doctor to let him know what was going on. If I found the missing items, she claimed I hid them and that is why I could find them. It was heartbreaking.....Conclusion.....this seems like a normal progression of dementia. I finally placed Mom in a nursing home. She continues to deteriorate. I came back home and we are talking almost daily. She wants to live alone, and still misplaces the few possessions she has left. She believes the workers are taking her things.....pretty sure they are not. I have left nothing of value with her cause it would create too much anxiety.

There are many good suggestions here. I did make extra sets of keys and made sure I had a copy of every important document in case I couldn't find the missing items.
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I truely wish that I could see from my mom's eyes for just one hour. Given some of the things that she has taken to doing it might give me a better perspective on how to deal with some of it. As hard as it sounds though a sense of humor does help...
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Yes i agree lijoma62, We have found the soap dish in the bucket of ice cream, his left over hamburger under the cupboard(and we are with him when he eats, so he was sneaky). He tried to clean toilet with my dish brush. Sometimes you just have to sit down and have a good laugh. We get worried bout the toilet stuff cause of illness and of course had to throw ice cream away, but in the long run no harm was done. Aslo, I stop and put myself in their shoes, can you imagine how scary and odd it must be to see thing from their eyes. I admire all you folks for caring enough about your love ones to take all this on and also for taking time to come here and share stories with us, it lets us know we are not alone and some days gives us a laugh we really need.
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It's best not to get yourself upset. This always happens and is part of the aging minds process. It used to start with the keys, wallet and glasses...now I find things in the oddest places....the toilet brush hanging on the kitchen utencils rack, bills in the fridge, mail under the bed pillow, wallet in with the pots and pans, which also had 16mm cannisters hidden there....just to name a few. My dad would hide the things including anyone elses things (moms glasses, my makeup) and now my mom is hiding things from him. It can be a real inconvenience but a lot will depend on how much stress you allow YOURSELF to have over it. Things can and probably will get worse....I've yet to find out what at this stage. So far this is the least of my worries. My dad losing the bills used to be the most aggrevating thing, but now we've had the mailed sent to my sister and I. The "stuff" around the house is just that! Good luck.
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Allysia, I know that feeling. After mom lost her purse in the house for the 100th time, I finally took the credit cards, check book and anything of importance. I got her a new smaller purse and wallet and there is about $20.00 in it. She still loses the purse from time to time but at least I know that there is nothing that needs to be replace in it.
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This is dementia behavior. Do both of your parents have dementia? Or maybe Dad hides things because of the dementia and Mom hides things to keep Dad from hiding them?

I don't know of any way you can stop this behavior. The best you can hope for is to learn to cope with it without losing your own sanity and without fueling the paranoia. "Oh Dad, I'm so sorry that your glasses are missing. I'm sure that Mother didn't mean to cause you distress, and I haven't had them, but let's see if we can find them." Fortunately most dementia folks develop favorite hiding places and once you catch on it might not be too hard to find the missing items. But some of the hiding places are really creative, as Allysia's example demonstrates. You have to be more creative in searching!

I hope it helps your sanity to realize that this isn't just your parents' strange behavior -- it is very common in dementia, especially Alzheimer's.
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