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My elderly father-in-law lives with us. I'm not sure if this is a dementia thing or just an old person thing but he is constantly using a piece of silverware, wiping it off and putting it back with all the clean silverware. I have asked him repeatedly to just leave it in the sink for me to wash and still catch him doing it. Any suggestions? I am about to start hiding silverware so I know what I use is clean! LOL

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My mom does that! She used to be very clean but not now ugh.
Now she uses glasses, silverware, plates...........wipes them off with her fingers or dirty napkin and puts them back away - dirty, smudged, greasy. She is also constantly rummaging through my refrigerator and cupboards. Everything has been opened (with a knife) and nibbles are taken out of all. Yesterday I found her drinking out of the pickle jar. Needless to say, I feel like nothing in my house is clean anymore. Truth be told, I resent it. I have to hide my food in the basement or she's into it nibbling, smearing it around etc. My whole house "feels dirty."
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Get him a different set of silverware and you use a different drawer for the family set. Good luck, but it sounds like he may be getting worse, with age.
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I know a young man with autism who does the same thing. His mom put locks on the silverware drawers, but made plastic utensils available to him on the countertop. No one else in the family uses the plastic utensils.
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I think hiding the siverware is the best idea. just leave enough in the drawer for him to use and asume it is always dirty. Not worth fighting about, it goes in one ear and out the other
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Or I meant lack of Early Childhood training.
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I have seen young people do this is their 20s..I don't get it but I don't think that they will be any different in their 80's and 90's. These young people by the way also do this with dishes. Scary!!! Think it has to do with Early Childhood training.
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You might try hanging a "reminder" sign, if you think it wouldn't tick him off. This is really one of those "pick your battles" things. It's a hassle, but you could wash everything before you use it and that would ease your mind. Fortunately, this has not been one of the many weird things that occurs at this house!
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We had lived together for 3 + years now. It's been going on for at least a year. It's like it doesn't sink in that we don't like him putting dirty utensils back in with the clean :( He has not been tested for dementia.
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never mind, just read your bio....

so now the question is, how long has he lived with you and I see you say he constantly does this but for how long?
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my mother did the same exact thing, dementia.

how old is your father and has he been tested for dementia?
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My mother slices open cupcake packages and chocolate peanut butter wafers with a steak knife then puts it back in the knife block....we would pull out knives and wonder what was all this brown stuff on the knives, well it's Chocolate stuck in the knife block slots...it's the demetia...believe me
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My mom did this, she'd hoard a paring knife. She'd use it wipe it off and put it in a ziplock bag on the table. Said I was always washing it and she couldn't find a knife and it was too far to walk to the drawer to get it. We had many fights over this as it was not clean, she'd sometimes cut meat with it. She couldn't understand why wiping it off wasn't enough. Odd thing is she never did this kind of stuff when she was younger. I wish someone had an answer why they think wiping them off is clean?
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Agreed, it's an old habit from when he lived on his own. He thinks it is clean, you know it is not. Put Child Locks on the silverware drawer.
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Sounds like an old habit.... oh well, he's lived this long doing that :) But I know we all want clean silverware washed with soap to use.

If there is room in the sink, have a small basin with soapy water where he can toss the silverware once he's used it. My Mom use to have such a basin.
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