How to handle the every night constant packing of their clothes and things?


My mother is packing her things every night and wants to leave . I don't know how to handle it, this behavior is causing me great anxiety...Is anyone else dealing with this?

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You said your mom packs her things every night. I'm wondering if she then unpacks the next day.

Would your mom actually try to leave? Take her suitcase to the door and try to get out? If so, then that is a problem. If not, let her pack. If it keeps her engaged and occupied and is not associated with any other behavior that can be harmful (like actually trying to leave) then I don't see how it can hurt anything.

People with Alzheimer's seem to be obsessed with their stuff. I've seen packing behaviors and people who stash their items of clothing only to not be able to find them when they need them. In addition, I've seen people who reorganize their drawers in a way you and I never would and then become agitated when they can't find anything. And as someone engages in this kind of behavior we, the caregivers, know how it's going to turn out. That our loved one will soon become agitated because they can't find something that they hid but what can we do about it? If we try to stop the behavior it only agitates the person more.

If the packing is bothering you try to come to terms with it and let your mom pack. Or you can try to come up with something that will distract her from her task. Distraction is often effective but exhausting for the caregiver. Does your mom have a favorite program she enjoys on TV? Maybe a bowl of ice cream will derail her packing? You might want to try the distraction at the beginning of your mom's packing. Once she's into it she's probably very obsessed with it and won't be open to doing something else.

Good luck, Marty. Try to work on keeping your anxiety levels down.
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I agree, Sunflo. Let them do what's comfortable for them as long as it's not harmful to them or anyone else. Dad doesn't want anything hung on his walls, no decorating. It's been 7 months. But if that makes him comfortable, I'm ok with it.
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My mom has been in memory care for 7 months. She is still packed up in her bags and refuses to put anything in drawers or hang up in closet. I attempted to put away but mom is insistent she will go home soon. She hasn't fully accepted her new living arrangements and may never.

Director supported to "pick your battles" and if mom is comfortable packed up then leave her be. I decided unpacking her just made her anxious. She likes to know she is ready to go at a moments notice I guess. She may be this way for a few years and I've reconciled myself to that.

Hope you can to.
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Hide the suitcase. I'm sure others have experienced this. My mil calls 5-10 times a day from the nursing home asking for the car so she can go home. She also constantly goes through her purse and wallet removing all the old expired cards inside putting them back and repeating this. They just seem to be very unsettled all the time. I think it's because somehow they know something is wrong and want to feel safe again. This disease is awful- but they seem to be oblivious to it.
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