My Mom stole things from my house. Is this normal?

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I had my mom, who lives in an independent care facility, spend the night because we had an early doctor's appt the next day. When I took her back to her place, I thought I'd unpack her little overnight bag. She had "stolen" a hair dryer, box of kleenex (her obsession), a glass and a pair of my flip flops. When I asked her why, she first said because they were hers, then she said she thought I had enough stuff and she figured she'd take what she wanted. I was blown away. Is this normal? She has not been diagnosed with dementia but has had a minor TIA.

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I'll note the behavior and report to her doc. Thanks all. It's just going to take some getting used to as I deal with an aging parent. I keep thinking she's the mom I used to know....
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Ya, that is pretty normal for folks who are losing their cognitive abilities. In a nursing home or a dementia facility it isn't unusual for people to wander into one another's rooms and help themselves to baubles or eyeglasses or baseball caps ... I see it, I want it, it's mine. I think I'd continue to unpack her bags, and be gentle with the confrontations. "Oh, I see you packed my hair dryer by mistake. You have one, don't you? I'll just take this back ... I'm going to need it tomorrow." As for boxes of tissues and similar items I think I wouldn't mention it.

If she still visits in others' homes or shops with you in stores, keep an eye on her and find some pretext to check her purse before leaving. It isn't that your mother has suddenly become a criminal. Her inhibitions are lowered and she confuses the fantasy of wanting something with the reality of having it.

If Mom is entering into dementia, you'll have a lot of surprises to get used to. Try to take them in stride. Learn to correct things without making Mom feeling terrible. She is not likely to remember your lectures but she will remember how you make her feel.
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lblack5255, If she was a child of the depression, they have an unsatisfied need to accumulate and "save" things. It is dementia. Changes like this should be kept in a notebook and shared with her MD.
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for 6 of the right torque converter bolts id uppercut my friend right out of his boots ...
hope that helps clarify what im saying ..
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my aunt actually is ill with dementia and her daughter has confided in me that her mother has been caught ' klepting 'things on a few occasions now . i dont have any problem understanding it , dementia or without dementia . an old brain is as compromised as the rest of the old organs and flawed reasoning should be expected .
lblack ,
im betting in the past you have taken things from your moms house many times because you knew it was ok , felt free to take it , mom has six of these , ill grab one of these to save stopping at the store, etc ..
i just dont find your mothers actions all that odd . i have friends who might lose a handfull of bolts if i need them when theyre not at home . im not a thief, just needed bolts worse than my friend at the moment ..
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You say in your profile she has Alzheimers/Dementia. If she hasn't been diagnosed with it, it certainly sounds like something that should be investigated. If she was out to really steal stuff with a bad intent, I'd think she go for jewelry or something more valuable than flip flops, kleenex and a glass. Kleenex/napkins are an obsession for many with dementia, as you can see from the many threads on here. I wouldn't be upset with your mom, I'd get her checked out by a gerontologist or neurologist to see what's going on in her brain. I doubt she took those things with a sound mind.
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I think it's time for an evaluation by geri neurologist. This coukd be a symptom of many things, the beginnings of dementia, vascular dementia, a uti (the thing to check for first). Behavioral changes in the elderly are a symptom, should be reported to primary care doc, who hopefully is a geriatric specialist. It sounds to me like she's trying to make sense of her behavior. Get her to the doc.
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First thought is not that they're things she needed but rather that they're YOUR things, and reminders of her to keep close to her.

It's also possible she has some resentment against you if you're the one who placed her there and took your things because of this.

How long has she been in independent living? Did she want to go there or prefer to live with you? Is this the first time this has happened? Aside from the kleenex (a constant companion for older folks), has she ever asked for these things because she needed them?

Are there other family members who visit?

Perhaps you can ask her what she needs so you can take her shopping for supplies, or get them yourself. Provide a notepad and pen so she can write them down.
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