Mom won't keep chewing gum in her mouth. What would you do about this? - AgingCare.com

Mom won't keep chewing gum in her mouth. What would you do about this?

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She holds it in her hands, gets it on everything in the house! Help! She obsesses about saliva, either too much or not enough. So she chews this bluecolered chewing gum. Problem is, she "saves" it in her hands ( fingertips) frequently. Enough so that I am finding it on lightswitches, doorknobs, keyboards, and even on her forehead once! I told het no more gum if she can't keep it in her mouth. She hides it from me and just now I find it on the side of her water glass.... So gross, I am sorry but this is disgusting and I am remodeling the kitchen soon. I don't want gum all over the house. I haven't said a word to het yet about my recent find of blue sticky gum on her water glass, from her fingers..how do I approach this she is very childish.

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Freq and Eye- Good idea! I will take a few sticks a time untill it is gone... When I can sneak into her room later. The ongoing struggle with her obsession of removing all yellow or brown leaves from the yard! Freq that is a good angle I will try. I always made it about improving our soil in the gardens, but she does not care or understand. Maybe if like you say I make it about the poor birds and bugs and critters need that for houses and stuff, she will let some stay on the plant or ground. It is a shame because had she added leaves and mulch to her yard all these fifty years that she's lived here, she would have the best soil in town. Instead our topsoil is pale and more anemic than it was when she moved in years ago. Oh well, no logic in her head. Eye- Apparently she is not easily disgusted. She is not at all alarmed when I pull a wad of dirty blue gum out of the carpet, or when I point out blue gum on the fridge door handle or anyplace. Heck one time I had to use rubbing alcohol to get it off of her forehead. I don't think she had much education about transferring of germs, or how bacteria and virus spread. She thinks I am being "picky" when I have an honest reaction of revulsion to her disgusting habit. I cannot try to educate her, she doesn't believe me half the time, and wont remember the other half. Oh I could go on and on about her ridiculous behaviors.
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Yes, I would go in search of the gum. Chances are she hasn't hidden it so you won't have to go through all of her things, it's probably on the dresser right out in plain sight. Take a few sticks and leave the rest. The next day do the same thing until it's gone and make sure it doesn't come back into the house. Can your mom not understand that it's disgusting to find wads of chewed up gum everywhere?
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onlyme, OMG you do have your hands full... sounds like your Mom has some OCD when it comes to leafs.... I do understand that as I have a bit of OCD myself. Try to redirect her obsession to something else... it will take time but it might stop the chewing gum issue.

As for the leafs tell her the frogs, birds, squirrels, raccoons like the yellow leafs for their winter nests and for her not to take away their homes... see if she will buy that excuse.

As for the chewing gum, pretend it is contraband and whenever you see a pack in plain view, slip out a couple pieces of gum and bury it in the trash bin. Once the gum is gone, make sure no one brings more into the house... tell whomever is buying it for your Mom that the gum is causing acid reflux. Sometimes we have to fib to keep our parents safe.
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Freq, you are right, she forgets about my years of being a 911 operator / police disptatcher. I remind her how old I am, and sometimes I remind her how old she is, though it sounds cruel. She will be out in the yard with a shovel at high noon and it is 100% outside, I will remind her that she is too old to be overheating. She totally resents me for always telling her what to do. But she is a total hazard to herself! No judgement or common sense, takes ridiculous risks hanging over the pond because she "Had to get that yellow leaf" ( does not understand about mulch or compost and wont let a leaf hit the ground in the yard) She is going to break a hip or something climbing around after yellow leaves. Can you tell how frusterated I am? Sorry to rant and ramble, need to vent. Thanks for any input
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OMG twice I have written out my thank you to both of you and I keep losing the text on this tablet!! So first, you are both right but what do I do? Go into and search her bedroom for chewing gum? I have a difficult time seeing myself invading her space like this even though she has no respect for me in any way. Literally how would you "enforce" the no gum.
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I really believe our elder parents still think we are *children* and we don't know anything, even though we have had a lifetime of experiences no different than that of our parents. They think we couldn't find a box of cereal and a carton of milk for breakfast without their help :P
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Thank you pam and freq, for responding. You are both right. I need ro treat her like a toddler, but she is aware enough to not like it and tells me to "Back off!" (her go to thing to say.) Heck, she still babies/smothers me and I have always found it rather cringeworthy, and at the same time I sort of NEED to treat her in that way...this is so weird, I get upset because she treats me like she needs to be treated! As far as I know, I still have my mind and she will not stop harping on me for everything. Like telling me my laundry is dry and then gets more and more insistent as the minutes go by that I don't go right in there and fold my dry laundry. ? ?? Does any of this make sense or has anybody else endured this kind of insanity all wound up in one harmless little old 85 year old lady? Anyway,
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onlyme, I read your profile... I would hold off on remodeling your Mother's kitchen, save that money to use in case she needs to be watched 24/7 because of her age decline/memory issues. Thus, instead of placing her in a nursing home, you will need that money to make her home a nursing home, and to hire Caregivers to help you out.

As for the chewing gum, I agree with Pam above, take it away. Make up any excuse you think your Mom would comprehend. If her mouth is dry from pills, such as blood pressure pills, there are over-the-counter mouth sprays to will keep her mouth moist.
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Would you let a toddler have gum? NO? Take away the gum. Be the parent.
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