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My mother is 84 and keeps buying duplicates of things she already has. For example, she has 5 containers of drain opener, 7 funnels, 4 containers of WD-40, 3 bottles of bleach, 3 bags of sugar, 2 bags of flour, etc.

Recently, she purchased another set of plastic clothes hangers. She has at least 2 dozen of these hangers that she's not using...they are in plain sight. When I asked why she had purchased another set, she got angry and said that she had clothes that needed to be hung up in her closets (she has 3 closets in her 2 bedroom apartment). This isn't true. Any of the clothes that need to be hung up are already on hangers.

She rarely bakes and, if she does, she makes a Jiffy cake mix or some other dessert that has all the ingredients in the box. So, I see no need for so much sugar or flour.

She still drives and goes shopping by herself.

HELP!

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We moved my mom out of her house to independent living. When we started to gothrough "the stuff" we were sppalled at the duplication. Underpnts, bras, ehite tops, black psnts, dhoes of the same style. Not sure whst it is, but it's epidemic.
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My mom and dad did same. Couldn't resist a bargain. I have thrown out, sorted, etc...but mom just bought more and I can't stop her. She is slowing down and out shopping less and that's the only reason it isn't accumulating. She won't let me get rid of or donate umpteen cans of tomatoes, 30 plus boxes of potato pancake mix at least 10 yrs old, duplicate spices, etc. I quit trying and close my eyes.

She is obsessed with her money, so I remind her "hey, be careful where you spend", and that curtailed it some although I don't want her to deny herself some pleasures either.

IMO you can't stop the behavior and the more you argue the case, the more they go out and purchase more.

Hopefully it doesn't transcend into hoarding.
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Love, would having a garage sale appeal to her? Problem is she would want to spend her money.
Is mom still safe to drive, that may be the bigger problem. If she gas the funds, maybe it is nit such a bad thing, although it would drive me batty.
Good luck
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Thanks Ziggie, I was thinking the same thing.
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when we moved my parents mom had about 3o sets of bath towels, numerous nail clippers, band aids, envelopes etc. She was not organized and on e she passed away we had to find new homes for all this stuff.
It does make me aware of all the stuff I have and try not repeat her actions.
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I often buy duplicate things when they are on sale but my husband and I use them. My mother does not use the duplicates she buys. That is the problem. They just sit there collecting dust.

When I moved her, I was able to get rid of a few of the things. I just left them in my car and never took them into the new apartment. I've still got stuff to move and don't know where I'm going to put it. The 2nd bedroom is almost full now and I've got a sewing desk and 2 chairs to put in there plus some other misc. items.

My mom used to craft and has accumulated a ton of stuff. But, she doesn't do that anymore and the kits, material, yarn and other items have accumulated. Now they are buried under the boxes that I moved last. She refuses to part with them. When I suggested that she ask any of the other ladies in the apartment if they knit, mom replied, "ABSOLUTELY NOT! NO ONE IS GETTING MY STUFF!!!"

I'm not a collector, so keeping all this stuff isn't familiar to me.

Does anyone have any ideas on how I could get rid of this stuff without mom knowing?
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I know this not a joking matter..but I'm 54..find myself doing the same, but in my defense, I do use the duplicates..;)
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It sounds like my mother. She has never been very organized and as she got older it got worse. She never made lists. When she went to the grocery store, she picked up things that she always bought, not thinking that she already had 10 of them at home. The only solution that worked was going shopping for her. I tried to go shopping with her, but she would pick up things I know weren't needed. We would end up in a battle when I told her we already had several of them. So I had to start shopping alone. It was like shopping with a young child who would grab things and not take no for an answer. She had lost the ability to understand a list and her eyesight is so poor she would have a hard time reading it.

My mother apparently had a fear of running out of food. When I got here the kitchen and dining room were stacked with food. The cabinets were filled to breaking. The counters were covered. You couldn't fit anything in the freezer or refrigerator. A major accomplishment after I arrived was handling the food hoard. It made her angry at first, but I did what had to be done for all of our safety. There was food dating to 25 years back in the cabinets and freezer. She protested, saying it was still good. I didn't listen and tossed it out. I took over the shopping and over time we used the hoard of food that was still good. Now everything is near empty, with just what we need for the week ahead. Feels good.

I would have not been able to do this so easily if I didn't live with her or if my mother was able to drive and shop. I don't know how it could have been handled except by me giving her no options about this important thing. I hope that you can find some way to handle it from where you are, lovetoplay.
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If your mom is independent in that she shops by herself I don't know how you can stop her from buying a bunch of stuff she doesn't need. You can take it upon yourself to go shopping with her but you'll probably be battling with her throughout the entire trip and come out of the store pulling your hair out.

You've tried to reason with her. Asking why she has 7 funnels and 4 cans of WD-40 is a very reasonable question but her answer is not reasonable. She sounds very defensive. Maybe it's the beginning of dementia and she's wondering why she's buying all of that stuff as well. Or maybe she has hoarding tendencies. The compulsive buying is a symptom of something.

In either case, there's not much you can do but try to keep up with all the useless stuff she's buying and getting rid of it before it starts taking up too much space. You can donate it or trash it.
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So, how do I deal with all these duplicate things? Do I secretly take them? Or, do I ask her outright for them? Saying something like, "Mom, I see you've got some extra sugar, do you think I could have a bag? I could sure use it."

The other problem is that my mother and I have never gotten along. I've never lived up to her expectations but I'm the only one who lives near her. She constantly belittles me and comments about my weight, that I married someone who never earned any big money (my husband is a retired school teacher), etc. These comments are not new...so I don't believe that I can "blame them" on any type of dementia.

I wouldn't have even known she had all these duplicate items but I recently moved her from a small house to an elderly (non-assisted) apartment building where everything is on one level. During this move, I found all the duplicates.

Additionally, the 2nd bedroom of the new apartment has now been filled with boxes of craft items and other things that I didn't have any other place for during the move. Most of these items were on the 2nd floor of the house and hadn't been touched in the 2 years she lived there.

My mother insists that she NEEDS everything! What's my next step?
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Yes, it is dementia and you have to look for more clues. Our mom bought 16 pairs of beige pants. The closet had lots of scuff slippers that she can't keep on her feet and are the wrong size, but they are cute and she got a good discount.
Check the pasta and dried beans for bugs. Check the canned goods, there will be 20 year old cans of soup in the back. The bottom shelf in the fridge will have unidentifiable remains of food in a plastic container dated 2001. NEVER believe the label if the container is open, the "premium coffee" may actually have floor sweepings from the dollar store. A gallon of Gallo Paisano turned out to be just water. Check the bills, some are paid twice and others not at all. The really annoying bills, like property taxes, get hidden in the "paid" stack. Last but not least, check the car. If all four corners are scratched up, she is parking by feel. You must be on constant alert!
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