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And expects me to come over to look for it but will never ask. It's easy for some else to look for them.
I can't help but to keep thinking of the days when I was younger, she would get so inpatient with me not being able to keep my belongings in order. She would tell me to this day that the reason why I lose things is because I don't have a designated place for things and criticizes me that my mind is aloof.
I've asked her not to remove her wallet from her purse but she constantly changes her purses/bags for no good reason. And calls me when she can't find it at least twice, three times a week. She removes her wedding rings daily and wears them on different fingers or not wear them at all. Then when she can't find it, she calls me. They are usually wrapped in a tissue and hidden in a kitchen drawer or between memo pads.... She removes her passport from a drawer/bag to another even though she is not going anywhere. I have asked her hundreds times not to remove the passport from the designated drawer but never listens.
I no longer have patience for her as the only caregiver even she has dementia or does she? I am having a great difficulty dealing with her "defiant" attitude but find myself feeling guilty for wishing for her to live in a senior living community.
Since I am her only child, I have no one else to share the burden except for my husband who tries his best to help out. But at the end of the day, I'm the only one who she depends on. If she calls me tomorrow to tell me that she can't find her wallet or her wedding rings again, I'm really going to lose it. Can someone please help me regain my patience?

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My father does this all the time. He calls me agitated over something and wants me to come by right away. As if I have no job or life and I live to solve his problems. I have learned to keep firm boundaries and find that if I can't come by for a few days the issue resolves itself. Of course he doesn't tell me that and still expects me to stop by because my time has absolutely no value at all. But the problem is already resolved. If I jumped every time he called I would be there daily. And I find that if I come more than my 'normal' visits he starts demanding more visits as if it has occurred to him that I could be there more often if I wanted to.
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Zipyco, what's especially poignant about this is how your mother used to give you a hard time over your own belongings. I'm not sure quite why that so chimes with me, but it's the old hurt of the criticism combined with the boot being on the other foot. Which might be the clumsiest sentence I've ever written ?!?!?! - but anyway I do feel for you.

Is that old habit of order what is making your mother so anxious about the valuable things that she keeps moving them to a 'safe place'? - which is incredibly counterproductive, obviously. This sort of anxiety does sound dementia related, I agree. If you can get a detailed cognitive assessment arranged as part of an overall health check, maybe, it would be a good idea.
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Great tips above. You do have to very proactive in protecting her is she has a condition like dementia. Beware that she may be vulnerable to scams. My cousin allowed two strangers to come into her home! She gave them her social security number, date of birth and driver licence! She did call me and tell me immediately and I was able to confirm they were actual salesman, but still...it could have been very dangerous for her.

I'd be taking steps to have her examined medically and her important papers located. Are you her Durable POA and Healthcare POA? Those things are very important so you can act on her behalf. Is she still competent to sign them? I'd explore that.
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I would (unbeknownst to your mother) go over sometime when she is out (with a friend) and remove anything really valuable from her house. Any expensive jewelry, any large stashes of money, important papers (deed, will, car title if she still has a car, insurance papers, you know!) and take them home for safekeeping. My mother used to hide her purse AND her wallet. We would waste hours looking for them (usually wrapped up in tissue paper and stuck in a box or in a drawer) until it dawned on idiot me: take valuables out of the purse and wallet! Keys, credit cards, license, big amounts of money. Then if stuff got 'lost', well, it got lost, but you are going to have to write her checks someday, sell her car someday, take the credit cards so she doesn't charge $1000 from QVC every week. Because now, or in the near future, she isn't going to need a wallet and purse (except for show/force of habit) - you will be doing the driving, etc. Your mom sounds like she has a lot of money, be careful she doesn't fall for scam artists. Sweepstakes, charities, begging letters, do-good organizations could pick her clean....I am wandering afar here. But this is most likely only the beginning, so take matters into your own hands and remove the valuables. If she calls and says she can't find them, tell her she has lost them before and they will show up eventually.
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Hi Zipyco, please have your mom seen by a neurologist to see if she does, indeed, have the beginnings of dementia as this will effect your decisions in the future for her, especially living arrangements. If she does in fact have dementia (the early stages) buying a condo where she would live independently, would not work in the future when she will need constant care. It is just something to keep in mind.....as for losing things and calling you....I agree with Sunnygirl....set some boundaries so that you won't be at her beck and call 24/7. Keep a list of the items and maybe one or twice a week go over and help her find them. You might consider getting her a safety deposit box for her passport and other important papers to keep them safe. My mom used to like to throw away all those 'useless' things. Good luck with all of this!
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zipyco, my mom does the same!
If I race over, she usually forgets what she was upset about,
and just wants a nice visit,
even if I just spent the whole day with her.
I love the cruise ship on land idea, too.
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Thank you all for the great advice!
I'm going to consult her doctor again regarding her memory. All are right, it is getting worse...
She has considered a "Cruise-ship-on-land" as I call it, a beautiful independent living facility for seniors and was looking forward to moving in but when it came to pay for the entry fee, she changed her mind and wanted to buy a condo in my building instead. So I can take care of her....uugh..
She is well liked by her neighbors and small circle of friends. they all love her even though, to me, she doesn't have anything nice to say about them.
I love her, she is my mother! But I now know that my near future will be spent catering to her needs for rest of her life.(or it could be the rest of my life...)
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I would try as others upthread have suggested to find out what is causing the loss of items. IF she has early signs of dementia, please know that it's just the beginning. And that trying to give her tips, ways to keep track of things and how she should respect your time, is not likely to have any impact. She may not be able to do that. I wouldn't frustrate myself by trying to get her to try harder. Just accept it and find some ways to manage her requests. It may sound harsh, but you have to set boundaries. You might write down the things she has lost and go by several times during the week at a prearranged time to help her find them.

Oh, she may not be remembering that she has called you for help before. My cousin would call and ask me when I was coming to her house and 5 minutes later call back and ask the same question. She would forget about the call within minutes of making it. Later on, she would tell she that her tv cable box was missing! After hours of searching, I found it in the kitchen cabinet! So, if it is dementia, you will likely see an increase in her need for assistance.

Depending on what you find out about her memory, you might check her mail, make sure her bills are paid, inspect car for mysterious damages, check fridge for spoiled food, and whether she is taking her meds. You might also chat with her friends and neighbors. Sometimes they know a lot about concerning behavior. And it might be helpful if she will allow you to go with her to her next doctor appointment. I would suggest a checkup and discuss it with her doctor.
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Babalou's right. You don't have to go running every time your mom calls but I understand that the calls themselves can be irritating. My dad would call me late in the evening needing help finding this or that. It would always be too late for me to do anything about it. I know how frustrating it is.

If you've made suggestions to your mom on how not to lose things and she's continuing to place her belongings where she can't find them it might be time for her to see a Dr. If she has dementia trying to talk to her reasonably about this issue isn't going to help. And if she has dementia she's going to need more and more assistance. Have you considered in-home caregivers? Or a nursing home? She may not need these things right this minute but maybe in the near future.
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Has your mom been to a neurologist to discus her habit of losing things? Are there other symptoms of forgetfilness.?

Your mom calls to ask you for help locating something. You are allowed to say, " no mom, i cant7come today. I have other plans. I'm sure it will turn up". Part of being an adult child is learning that you can sucessfully say no to your parents. Give it a try.

Have you talked to her about moving to a senior community? What is her response?
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