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Lately, we've been getting the newspapers for my mom to read while she is with us. Today, she became frantic when I went to collect the old ones and put them in the recycling bin. My daughter, who is autistic; can not understand her grandmother's irrational behavior; therefore it irrupted into a shouting match about the newspapers when she went to collect them. Now she is taking the papers we bought her today to read and stuffing them in between the pages of a magazine as if she is hiding them from us. She is now becoming a hoarder on top of everything else.

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Cats are so independent, one of the reasons I love them so, but also so gentle to know when someone is sick, old or very young. I always say that a senior little cat or dog is so great for the elderly, and let's not forget the parrots that always listen and talk back.
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It is the weirdest thing with one of my cats. He is a Bengal, not friendly, not engaged unless peeing where he shouldn't and then when mother moved in all of a sudden he has a best friend. They hang out on the chair when mother isn't up. She talks to him...he talks to her...it is a beautiful thing! :)
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this is a funny thread. cats are pretty short on tolerance anyway. i can imagine a sporatic elder getting some pretty shitty looks from a cat, being the cats house and kingdom and all.. the cat will eventually go mad with no power - not a pretty outcome..
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Good for you Chloesgram2012, a date is a good thing. Now you better keep the cat happy cause he will tip of your mom, perhaps a wee bit of nip. Can you imagine coming home and the cat is reading a paper and so is your mom, peeping at each other, oh no, I got to get out more! Or worse yet, both your mom and the cat got into the cat nip.
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If we couldn't make a joke and laugh, we would be in an awful shape wouldn't me. My husband took me on a date today and I left Mom in her rocking chair with her snacks and newspapers, needless to say, the cat wasn't very happy. When we got home, she was in the bathroom, so we just snuck in and pretended we had been home and she didn't even know the difference. She has NO track of time whatsoever, of course, I don't leave her for very long at a time anyhow. Just have to get out and let myself breathe some, LOL!
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I am thinking about getting my own paper while mom is reading hers and play peek a boo. I think it is funny that the cat tips you off to the peeping game. So, I am practicing the art of detachment today, har har. I got mom into the shower and hair and everything done, perfume, talc the whole nine yards then it was ten minutes looking for her stashed pearls. Okay so that is fine, pearls with your pjs, why not, put some nice red satin pjs on and will be darned she looks like Hugh Hefner, LOL. Hang in there, we are in this together. When I get upset I can feel my heart beating faster, glad I am on bp meds now too.
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Oh ladies, it sounds like we are all in this together!! I do not wish this on anyone, but am so glad to know I am not by myself. We have a little bit of everything going on don't we? We all have peepers and sneakers! I am so tired after today. Mom is a NON-napper at 94. She held the newspaper and watched every move I made for over 12 hours today. So I gave her a quiz. I said, "Mom, what is that story about that you have been reading all day long? She looked at me all" bumfuzzled"
like what are you talking about and then started reading underneath a picture on the front page. Couldn't understand a thing she was saying. I just don't understand how she can do that for such a long period of time! Wears me out!!
Mom has hearing aids, but she doesn't comprehend what we are saying or pay any attention, so that makes them NOT work. Mom does wear her hearing aids, but they do NO good whatsoever. Madeaa, I have no idea how much longer I am going to be able to do this for. Mom had pneumonia back in January and hasn't been back to her doctor since. He told me he had done all he could do for her at her age and with her ailments. Well, guess who is going to the doctor for high blood pressure and blood pressure medicine now, me! I have an appointment on Monday to be rechecked to see if the medicine is working, and she doesn't even have to go to the doctor. Seems like there is something wrong with this picture!!
Thanks to all for telling their daily rituals so I know that I am not alone. Take care all and please let me know of any solutions that you may have.
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Oh you guys, Cholesgrams2012, you talk about getting old my God it is way past fossilized at this point. I can't stand this BS ARGGGGH! thanks, I needed that one. My mother was the most petulant I've seen her today, I now have a headache from her carry on. She peeps out of the door to see me, if she thinks the coast is clear she will continue, but, if I look her way she runs down the hall and runs under the covers. What the hell is this, their is an enormous amount of sneakiness going on and of course this just gives me a major mind cluster. How can you have dementia and be so controlling, manipulative, devious and spiteful? There is a new tool added to her arsenal now, she says "well you know me I just don't know what I am saying." this is after she calls me a choice few unattractive names. Okay, 1 tired I would go even battier if I had the noise thing going on too. I just say to myself, how long can I do this for?
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LOL, ladies! We have a peeper here too. Leaves the door open to his room to keep track of every step ! He "watches" TV in his room because the volume is so loud it is deafening to us, so we keep closing the door to keep from going mad...and he cracks it open to watch us. Refuses to wear a hearing aid! GAH! I have been known to escape on occasion by the side door, just to get out in the yard without scrutiny!
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Madeaa, yes she is! It is so funny, but trust me after most of the day, it certainly does get annoying. She isn't very discreet about it either, LOL! My cat will set on her kitty condo and stare at Mom and let me know when Mom is peeping at me. If me or my husband have to go somewhere, she will peep and watch us get ready from out behind the paper (she always gets caught, LOL), and then she pouts because she knows we are leaving. I know it could be a lot, lot worse, but after 3 years and NO privacy, it kinda gets old. Any extra prayers anyone has to send my way would certainly be appreciated. My best to all fellow caregivers!
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She is watching you behind that paper LOL, true true true
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As I am setting here reading the latest on AgingCare, my Mom is setting in her rocking chair re-reading yesterday's paper, just like it is all new news to her, which I am guessing it is because it seems she does not comprehend anything she looks at.
I know she doesn't understand anything in it, because we had a shootout in our neighborhood last weekend and it made the whole front page of our county paper and she had read and re-read it non-stop and doesn't even realize it was our neighborhood. So sad!! I'm beginning to think it is only as a cover for her watching our every move we make and thinking she is hidden in doing so. I just want to run away! LOL!
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I previously answered your question but I wanted to add.....My mother reads her newspaper twice each morning and maybe again at lunch and sometimes after dinner as well. She does not remember that she has read it already so the news is new to her although I have heard it three times already. So maybe your Mom is just holding on to them because she does not remember that she already read them and is just holding on to them to "read later."
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My 92 year old mil: napkins, paper towels, tissues, and toilet paper... I have to buy in bulk. I can't put a box of kleenex in the living room because it will end up in HER bedroom and tell me...how in this world can a 92 year old woman can go through up to 4 toilet rolls in one week? I am impressed by her ability to consume so much paper products!
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geedeeooo,
I have an adult child with ASD who came home for awhile.
AND Mom was under our roof during that.
Her behaviors upset him hugely--no ability to cope with her madness/behaviors.
We had managed to teach him to cope pretty well, considering there had been no programs to help us until recently--and those are for kids, not adults.

"When you have met one person with ASD, you have met ONE person with ASD".
Each very individual. Each has things they can deal with, and not.

While we were fairly successful teaching him how to cope with the world fairly well, there are still glitches. His roommate also has ASD.
Each has abilities the other lacks or has difficulty with.
Each escalates from various triggers.
Anxiety is constant companion.

The nature of those w/ASD ability to cope with a demented elder, can be difficult.
The Elder can't change, & in some things neither can a person with ASD.

Best idea might be: Keep the 2 of them separated, if possible
--protect your ASD kid from the Elder's behaviors.
A person w/ ASD, even high-functioning, usually cannot make sense of mental scrambled eggs in others!
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Gosh--if hoarding is symptomatic of dementia, then Mom had it decades ago! She'd hoarded most of her adult life--not just napkins, either--anything that caught her eye--always been pretty hopeless at organizing or maintaining things--she'd struggled all her life with that, getting worse at it when more kids came along & stress levels rose beyond her coping skills.
Stuff piled up in mounds that could reach 6' high, packing whole rooms but for a tiny area to sit in. She did shuffle thru some piles, but not all of them.
She hid valuables in some piles, which she'd forget, then scream about being robbed.
Food got hidden in piles of stuff, only to be found long later, rotting or rodent messed.
She was symptomatic of bipolar, multiple personalities, history of alcohol & other substance use, had history of a number of head injuries.
Quite a package, yet she always managed to skate by.
Then age & dementia caught up to her as well.
She'd go ballistic if she thot anyone messed with her messes--everything was precious--even the trash.

There was an old guy--very poor, townies here kinda looked out for, who lived in a van he'd stacked with papers & magazines--probably for insulation more than anything else--all he had was a long extension cord from a house nearby, to provide a light. Running a heater was dangerous, with all those papers stacked to the ceiling. When it finally got to the point he could no longer walk to the post office to pick up bags of food left there for him, he finally got moved to a nursing home. Poor thing was a skinny wraith by that time.

People often hoard things to get a sense of safety--if the room is too open, they feel insecure, fearful...so they make nests--even if it means they cannot even fully sleep in their bed.

Some hoard because they were badly affected by going through the Great Depression--paper, food, cloth items--paper & cloth were things one really really wanted when one couldn't afford to get more--stashing them was a safety net. The Dust Bowl caused food to be scarce for a long time, too--hoarding food is popular--all fed by fears.

G'ma , with Alzheimer's, collected small smooth beach rocks, penciled a word or phrase on each one, & set them all over her house on every horizontal surface...she was desperately trying to hold onto words & thoughts.
She got more rapidly disoriented every time one relative periodically took things out of her house [it was never hoarded], or threw away her message rocks.

We've mostly converted to using cloth for things we used to use paper for.
What if your elders who collect paper napkins, had some pretty cloth napkins & hankies? Wonder if they'd still collect paper napkins?
Although...if they hang onto those because they later use them for potty business, that could be a problem...clogged plumbing & such.
[[We finally installed a toilet with a 3" outlet, to match the waste pipe--that stopped clogs from too much paper, flushed old washrags, etc. from Mom's business.]]
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When you have dementia or Alzheimer's you do things that you would not normally do, there does not have to be a reason for it. My mother began to save all containers that held her coffee, both plastic and cardboard. They lined the shelves of the garage and I thought they were full/new until I picked one up and realized they were empty. I tried to toss them but she became upset so I began to toss out a couple here or there when she wasn't looking just to try and clean up some of the "collections." She never noticed that I got rid of them when I tossed just a few at a time and there was no argument.

I have to say however that you don't have to have dementia to do this. I worked for a very, very good doctor who horded newspapers. They came in daily but he never had time to read them, when we tried to clean them out he came unglued and they were stacked to the ceiling...still in the plastic wrappers!

Hoarding is hoarding they feel there is a very good reason to keep whatever the item(s) may be. Sometimes they may have grown up poor and everything was kept and reused or repurposed as we now say. Some people are creative or artistic and see the beauty in items they choose to keep. Sometimes they are just unable to rationalize that you read it already and you are getting a new one to take it's place so lets clean up the house and get rid of the old ones.

Why not let your Mom keep a few days of newspapers in her room, perhaps you could stack them on her dresser and then when she is not looking slip out the bottom one and toss it. If you can keep the quantity down I would let her and avoid an argument. If she is aware or wants to keep tons of them, I wouldn't let it get out of hand but ask her why she needs them and see if you can come up with a compromise, like no more than 5 days can be kept.

If she has never done this before, you can be assured it is the illness and she just cannot help herself. These mental illnesses cause our loved ones to do odd things.
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Comments make me lol, blizzard of tissues, shake down of items in their clothes, locks and keys locks and keys, and not alone in the land of tissue! My mom went through some of this and also wanted to eat the paper towels, tissues and all paper. Now she has passed that stage and doesn't really do much anymore. We made her some "trinket boxes" filled with various items to "work on". She doesn't show any interest in those anymore either. Now she only plays with a stuffed animal. I try to remind myself that all the annoying things will go away with all the good stuff too. Back to the original post, I can't imagine caring for an elder and a special needs child with opposing issues in regard to the newspapers. I am completely inexperienced with autism but I wonder if there is any way to change the child's perspective about the newspapers? Some kind of way to get the child to help the elder in collecting them? Someone else said that it is harmless and as far as I can see it really is harmless.
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Well, I need to know what day it is so I can fend off the guys with the white coats coming for me. Thanks guys for helping me to know I am NOT ALONE in the land of tissue. You made me laugh too, well a snortle for now at least.
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Ferris1 - They don't need to know what day it is, and it makes them kind of sad....

There is a scene in the book Still Alice when Alice keeps asking what time they are going to an event. One child says, "Mom, you don't have to worry. we will get you there on time." I forget the second sentence, but the third child says, "Mom can ask what time it is as often as she wants, and I will tell her every time."

Oh, these caregivers in books are such saints.

Full disclosure - I'm an apprentice hoarder myself.
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You all have me laughing like a mad woman! We are right there with the tissues/napkins as well...no solution, but so wonderful to hear that it drives others crazy too! Oh I needed that belly laugh, Thank you!
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Yes Chloesgrams2012, tissues are giving me major issues. She is to storing them, saving them, stashing them, reusing them. I buy her pads for her underwear just in case, she thus far does not have incontinence, but she will throw away the pad and wad up half a roll of tp, tissues, paper towels. Arrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. SERENITY NOW
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Oh your situation is so much like mine. I am laughing about the tissues. Mom has them stuffed everywhere also. In the bed, under the pillows and keeps one in each hand. She can't even wipe when she goes to the bathroom because she won't put her tissues down. Then I say, Mom you didn't wipe. She will say, yes, I did and then I ask where her paper is. She looks and sees that she didn't and I'm looking for, one of these days, for her to wipe her butt and her eyes and mouth with the same tissue!! More than likely, she already has!! Some days, I think I am going to go stark raving crazy, and today is one of them. Hugs and prayers to all of you caregivers.
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You can tell them the moon is really made with cheese it won't make one bit of difference, my mother will do what she wants to do when she wants to do it. When I help her undress, she has tissues spewing like a blizzard all over, I mean really, she has tissues up both sleeves, in all pockets, in any pocket, any where she can stuff them they are there. It is like a shake down, she will have my cell phone, brushes, combs, makeup, more of my stuff down her pants, in her shirt, Oh my God. Then she will walk into the living room with a donut and a cup of tea that she made herself!??. Other times she can't make a cup of tea and that's when I say is she playing me or what???? Anyhow, what I am saying is for your own sanity find a way to work around her craziness so you don't end up playing banjo with your lower lip, I try not to take it personally anymore that is.
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My father in law was a hoarder. Throwing anything away caused him great anxiety. When his house was finally condemned, we moved him into assisted living facility. At first it was very difficult. He would not allow anything to be thrown away. He would hide his dirty diapers on hangers in the closet. He was so afraid of one of us throwing anything away, that when I tried to get him to change his pants (they stunk really badly) so I could wash them, he hid them and would walk around in nothing but a diaper. I got many calls from that place asking to help out. As his dementia progressed, he seemed to forget the hoarding. He now allows helpers to wash his clothing and diapers to be thrown away. He is now in a memory care unit and allows them to do whatever is needed. Your situation is much more difficult because she lives with you. Obviously you can't let her fill up your entire house with newspapers. Would she part with them if you kept making excuses that someone else needs them? My father in law hoarded things because he was sure they would be needed later. Could you tell her your friend just got a new puppy and she really needs some papers to train her puppy with?
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Hoarding and rummaging seem to come with dementia. My husband hoards pens, twist ties and anything of his from the past. He has a wood boot box right in front of his seat in the living room with all his treasures and a few of mine which he has now laid claim to. Years ago he would earn sales award points for merchandise in his job and would have me pick out things for myself usually equal to the things he got for himself. Now they are all his and he has the story to tell everyone....over and over... how he earned them by being top in sales! He was in management positions for over 20 years after that, but most of his stories now go back to things that happened 25 or 30 years ago. He rummages through his belongings everyday sometimes even a few times a day and then arranges them all neatly again. He rummages through my things too, which I can tell because he is not as neat when he does this! All his life he was almost obsessively neat and orderly. This was one of the big changes I noticed when symptoms started appearing. He became very messy in most areas. Although, when it comes to his treasures he seems to be capable of the same neatness, he is not able to remember to do other simple things such as to close the kitchen cabinet doors after opening two or three of them to finally find the one that holds the glasses! I learned to just let him keep himself busy and content doing this. I end up hiding or hauling lots of things to work with me that I don't want him losing; learned to do this after he misplaced numerous bills and my tax documents twice! Handling as much bill paying and finances online as possible has been a godsend to remedy this problem. When he goes to sleep early in the evening every night, I will go collect some pens or whatever I need that he has stashed away. He never notices. With only a few exceptions, if it is out of sight it is out of mind. If something is newer, he never misses it, as it was never in his memory, just in his sight.
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Mom's is also napkins, and paper towels along with her newspapers. I was straightening the pillows on the couch the other day and there was a whole stack of napkins and towels, folded neatly under the pillow. She does this every time I give her something to eat, LOL! Yes, the newspapers do get annoying, but it is the only thing she has that she is even interested in. She ignores the TV. It is the only way that she knows what month of day of the week it is, too. But, then she forgets within 5 minutes. So sad. Sometimes we just have to go along with the
little annoyances to keep what sanity we have.
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For my Mom it was paper towels and napkins which she folded and refolded constantly. Every time we went to dinner she'd want to take all the napkins. Her dresser would become full of them. But as long as they were discarded when she was asleep or gone she never noticed they were missing. That said her short term memory was non-existent. Now she is in a memory care facility. But I noticed the storage seat of her walker has quite a few napkins neatly folded inside it.
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My dad is locks and keys. We moved him out of his house to assisted living and there were at least 300 keys strewn around. Locks and keys. Locks and keys. It seems they fixate on something and their brain just stays there.
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Let her have her papers. It is the only "company" she feels she can hold on to. Some family member messed with my Mom's TV and she was unable to turn it on. She began irrational and said "It is the only companion I have now".How sad, but true as she refuses to call her friends and when they call she isn't feeling well to visit. So let the papers be. Good luck and a hug!
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