Lately my Mom seems to be packing her stuff like she is going somewhere. Is this normal?

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Sometimes she packs her bags and puts on the bed... When I ask her where she is going? She says aren't we going somewhere, or I thought I was going somewhere. Other times when she puts her bags on the bed, I ask her why she did that and her response is I like it there. She also seems to be accumulating obsolete items like finished cereal bags, washes them, folds them up to keep. I asked her what she was doing and she said she wanted it because she likes it. I told her that if she needed a bag here is a freezer ziploc bag instead, but use it, don't just take it and look at it or put it away somewhere. Oh and also she is constantly rearranging items and every time she does that she can't remember where she put things and why she moved them to begin with...This is my first time caring for an older adult...is this a normal part of dementia? And is there anything I can do to stop the behavior?

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sunflo2 had the absolute perfect answer, everything she stated is true. There are times my mother thinks I am her sister and talks about a place we lived but I have never been there, so I just say, "Gee Mom I am sorry I don't remember, my memory isn't that good anymore." She accepts that and just goes on. She too "saves" rubber bands, newspaper bags, and I have to stop her from going through the kitchen trash and taking out used paper plates, that she wants to wash off and save.... and yes it does come from their past and having to be so frugal.

The most difficult time has been dealing with her checkbook. I had to take it away as she would hide it and then we would have to search the house for it and she was very angry with me that it was lost, accusing me of mishandling of it. Telling her I will not give it back to her evokes anger but I just cannot spend every day searching the house. I gave her a check book cover and update the log book with all expenditures but she will still periodically have a tantrum over wanting her checks back in her book.... I just say "I am sorry but I cannot do that" and try to change the subject.

Your Mom will go through a lot of changes, if they are too disruptive you may be able to get medication that can help. My mother was not on medication until recently when her actions became too much to handle. The medications have calmed her down and we are able to handle the situations much easier.

You will never be able to stop her of all the things she may do. She is reliving her past, so don't worry too much.

God Bless You
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I bought pads, mom is continent, however she is nervous about losing any urine. Pads, pads, she took them out and stuffed them up her arms. Her preference of course for my mother was a toilet paper roll, go figure, I do not try to understand, figure out, reason for God's sakes forget that one, and just go with the flow best as possible, she is happier that way and that is better for all of us.
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I forgot this little ditty......mom was starting with incontinence so I thought that I'd get her pads to use instead of diapers. Bought special underpants that the pad slipped into. One day I asked her if she needed more pads. Nope, she had enough. Now I'm thinking............I bought those pads well over a month ago........so I investigate upstairs. Used pads in dresser drawers, on top of the dresser, on the bathroom vanity and a pad or 2 in her sweater pocket. Dad........why didn't you tell me what she was doing???? Oh.......I really didn't think it was wrong to re-use them!!!! End of pads and beginning of Depends and me being more vigilant, but it was shortly after that she fell and broke her hip and went into a nursing home.
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My mom did the same thing. What is normal for one person with dementia may not be normal for another. Don't try and make sense of her actions, try to go along with her. No sense getting her upset. A hundred times a day my mom would lay something down on the bed to pack. I'd just tell her ok, we'll do it later. Then I'd remove the item because in an hour or so she'd have forgotten she put it there anyway. It's not easy by any means but I found that doing what upset her the least was better for both of us. Hope this helps!
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Get used to any behavior your mother is doing because it is HERS. Don't question it, or medicate it (unless she is violent) and know she is trying to sort out things in her own mind in order to make sense FOR HER. You get some books on dementia, and the Alzheimer's organization is a great place to start. You are in for a long haul and nothing will make sense from now on, until her death. Sometimes when she packs her bag, take her for a ride with the bag, and then come back home. She might be needing to have a change of scenery. Get yourself educated as much as you can about her illness. Merry Christmas!
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Yes this is quite normal, and very disturbing when you don't understand at first what is going on. Sounds like you are early days in taking care of mom. It is distressing, but come here and the lovely people who understand will guide you through. Assandache7, you brought to mind the never ending tissue issue, as I have said before getting mom undressed was like doing a shake down, tissues flying like a blizzard from every place on her, she had them stuffed in her pants in her sweater arms, she looked like the Michelin woman. This is what happens you will have to learn how to not get upset with it, it is hard it takes time and effort on your part.
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When my husband was actively wandering all this past summer, he would look for a while at his parents picture from the past, which is kept on a corner shelf, then he would walk over and take it down and keep it on the couch beside him and look at it; then, on his wanderings, he would be clutching that picture and "going", probably thinking he was going home, to his parents. One day he tried very hard to tell me he wanted to go someplace, and after directing me to a local college area, which is not where he wanted to go, I realized he wanted to go to his old hometown and we drove there and walked on his street; his house that his dad built was no longer there as it had been destroyed in a hurricane, and a new house was there, but we went into his old backyard, where the river, which he always used to talk about, was flowing, and we talked to an old neighbor who remembered his whole family and him, and my husband seemed to feel comforted by this.
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Oh the tissues and napkins!!!! Ugh! This is normal dementia behavior. You just have to laugh to yourself, so you won' t go crazy...
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My mom does the same thing day in and day out...she packs all her stuff every day says she is going home and her mother is coming to get her.
I let her do it every day and then together we put it all away because she says she does not know how it all got out and was such a mess, then the next day she starts all over. sometimes she looks like a bag lady she has things stuffed in pillow cases and sweatshirts .
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Thank you very much...I will read the reading you advised. Thanks so much
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