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Hi I posted a few days ago about my mom, who is in a CH, said she had things taken from her room. Well after a search of her room I found she had hidden these things in her zimmer frame wrapped in masses of tissue paper and then forgot she had even had them and seemed very confused as to how & why they had returned!! I have no experience of old age and my mother's forgetfulness is very disturbing. Could this be the onset of dementia or is it just forgetfulness & confusion in old age?

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My dad is slowly declining, I would say that I started noticing that he is more and more accident prone and I found this article really interesting, they've pointed out a lot of things that I havent thought of! Trying to do as much as I can to prevent a future accident!
https://www.guardiancarers.co.uk/care-news/a-safer-home
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Reply to SSmyth
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BarbBrooklyn hi, strangely the doctors did ask if mom had had a stroke anytime in the past, but if she did we never new about it. She is very happy in the very small CH she is in, just this issue of forgetfulness. I can't fault the carers they are very understanding, but sometimes she can be 'nasty' to them accusing them of taking her things which is untrue. Its so hard to see her distressed and confused but most days she is happy.
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Reply to frankie22
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Frankie, an increased level of anxiety was what led us to realize that my mom could no longer remain in her home alone.

To make a very long story short, she eventually saw a geriatric psychiatrist who strongly recommended a complete neurocognitive evaluation ( think 3 hours of testing). This showed no appreciable loss of memory, but that her ability to reason was completely gone. She had the reasoning abilities of a 5 year old! So, her anxiety was pretty understandable.

She was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment. It was discovered that she'd had a stroke at some point in the past.

She did fine in an Independent Living Facility which provided all her meals, transportation and activities. The socialization was VERY good for her.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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BarbBrooklin hi, in answer to your questions, mom is 95, she has not been tested for dementia but when she has been assessed by doctors when she has been admitted to hospital various times with her breathing difficulties, just general questions which she answers but seems surprised they ask her. She has had 2 or 3 UTI's which have been treated with antibiotics. She went into CH because of her illnesses mainly COPD anxiety & falls which are many & needs 24 hour care. She is constantly confused hard of hearing and has malacular degeneration. So much going on for her she has suffered so much. I appreciate all replies thank you.
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Reply to frankie22
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Hi everyone, and many thanks for all replies which are all very helpful. OMG I never new about all these things happening in old age. Mom suffers from COPD, empahsyma, esophageal stricture (narrowing of the throat) & AF to name a few and is on many meds for which she would forget to take, hence the need for care, as she refused care at home.
She has had many falls which have caused her many hematomas in her legs. She has had a couple of UTI's for which she had antibiotics prescribed, the CH test regularly for this. They have done a memory test but not the full dementia test as they say she dosen't show any signs, its just forgetfulness, for which I disagree. I have asked for her to be tested. Once again many thanks, will no doubt need your helpful advise again as this is such an eye opener for me.
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Reply to frankie22
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We had same thing a couple months ago with my father, but he was imagining my mom had some man living right there with them, very tiny people jumping around their place, care giver at their Assisted facility called and said to get him tested for a UTI immediately, it was so bad he was in the hospital for almost a week with antibiotics pretty much flushing him. This was nothing my 3 siblings or I new anything about, but we all certainly made our children aware of it in case that ever happens to us.

Our mom has dementia, she accuses the staff of taking things, everything is always found. My dad couldn't find his cane, we found it pushed way under her bed and how she got down or up from the floor or what she used to push it under there is such a mystery to everyone, she has assistance going to the bathroom, getting dressed and in and out of bed. HaHa, maybe a moment where she actually felt like a little girl and pulled of something amazing.
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Reply to ParentsLove4
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Yes, I am OCD and even my RN daughter thinks I worry too much and she works in rehab/NHs and knows what goes on. To make sure Moms outfits matched, I would put tops and bottoms together on hangers in her closets. Mom kept missing tops and pants. A check with the laundry found nothing. She had gone to the closet, taken odds and ends of clothing out, folded them and put them in her dresser drawers. You never know what they do. I had to make sure I checked everything thoroughly before I asked the staff.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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"wrapped in masses of tissue paper" Yep. My mom would wrap Anything in a wad of tissue paper / napkins and hide them in bottom drawer, down her pants, her walker. I would find the thing but not touch it - then lead my mom to it to find on her own. _ Well, not the stuff down her pants LoL
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Reply to micalost
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hi I remember your prior posting. :)

not glad shes hiding stuff. but glad its not the CH stealing

I had to google zimmer frame. I didn't know what that was. how did you ever think to look there?

its hard when your parent tells you one thing...you want to believe. but ive learned with my mom. I cant rely on her word alone. :(
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Reply to wally003
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That behavior is very consistent with some forms of dementia. The person is slightly paranoid. They intend to keep something precious safe. The "precious" item could be hearing aides or a spool of thread. The safe hiding place might be in a tissue box or the freezer or wrapped in a hankie and stashed under the bed. The person is also increasingly forgetful. Not only does she not remember where she hid the object, but she doesn't remember that she hid it at all. The paranoia kicks in again. "See! Someone IS stealing my stuff!" inspiring her to hide more things.

Sigh.

This is not usually a permanent feature of dementia. Some people do retain paranoia throughout the disease. For others that particular symptom fades away, showing only when they are sick or overtired.

Is this by itself proof that she has dementia? No. But it is suggestive, and is definitely something to discuss with her doctor.

I am so glad that I learned from this site about the symptoms of UTI in the elderly. I had really weird symptoms with a UTI myself recently. I wasn't surprised at the diagnosis. The young PA who tested me was absolutely amazed that the entire list of symptoms went away when the infection was treated! (I don't have dementia.) I guess AgingCare indirectly taught him something he hadn't learned or hadn't understood from his training!

My mother had dementia and a UTI made her confusion much worse. (She didn't hide things, though. I don't think she had enough comprehension at that point to do something that planful.) When the UTI was treated, the dementia symptoms went back to her before-UTI baseline.

I hope you'll keep us updated about your mother's behavior. We learn from each other. And besides, we care!
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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Frankie, my mother was the same way. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the things that made me suspect dementia. She was delusional way before she was diagnosed, I came to understand. I almost wonder if she had mental issues most of her adult life. She felt she was being “stalked” by a man in her apartment. She’d hide things and then call the police when she deluded herself this man broke in and stole them.

A raging UTI finally led to testing and the diagnoses of dementia. But, having said that, not every Senior Citizen who acts “odd” is suffering from dementia. The only way to find out for sure is to have her tested, like my mom.

Don’t panic. One day at a time, one foot in front of the other. There will be “behaviors”, but take them as they come. Enjoy the good days and let them help you handle the bad ones.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Frankie; has your mother ever been evaluated for dementia? How old is she? What conditions led to her entry into a care home?

Sometimes, when elders have Urinary Tract Infections, the only symptom they show is increased confusion; I didn't know this when I first come on this board and it is one of the single most useful pieces of information I ever got! Get mom tested for a UTI, just for starts.
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