What to do with a Mother (82) who is constantly snooping through your stuff? - AgingCare.com

What to do with a Mother (82) who is constantly snooping through your stuff?

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My mother moved in with my husband and me a year ago (April 2014) It's been kind of rocky. And she's been getting on my nerves...the biggest reason is she's so snoopy. Today she was in my bad snooping and actually removed something from it. And then she denied it. I was mad enough to spit. When I told her I didn't appreciate her snooping through my bag, and she should have more respect for me, that I was an adult, she denied it. OHHH dear...I had to hold my tongue...or I may have just kicked her out. That's how angry I was. In any case when I got home many hours later I was still angry. Now I cooling off from my mad, but I need to stop this snooping business or I may go off the deep end and actually ask her to leave. I love my mom, but this is something I don't tolerate. I don't do it to her, I never did it to my daughter. (who is now an adult) I don't do it to my husband and it aggravates me that she actually denied it and she and I were the only ones home. Plus I saw her doing it yesterday and let it go because I thought she was looking for something. Do I need to put a lock on my door from my own mom???? Help me please.

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Get fliers from nursing homes and funeral homes and put them in a folder marked PERSONAL. Put her name on the forms, inside.
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Rosie, for whatever reason, your mom's behavior is unacceptable to you. If that is the main area of discord then it certainly makes sense to prevent unpleasant episodes by locking your things in your room. Should you have to? No. Do you have to? Yes.

This behavior really does sound like the first sign that something is not quite right in Mom's brain. Maybe she has always had these tendencies and her social filters are beginning to slip, so she acts them out more. In any case I think you will feel less upset about it if you don't take it as a reflection on you. Can't mother realize you are an adult and this is no longer appropriate at any level? This probably isn't about how Mom sees you. It is about her own internal urges.

If Mom suddenly developed a fascination with fire, I think you'd take care to keep matches inaccessible to her. This is similar. Keep your private things in a locked room. I like GardenArtist's idea of a snoop dresser. Maybe once in a while you could stock it with old pictures or other treasures to make it worth her while to look in there.

I would also keep an eye out for other inappropriate or strange behaviors. Some forms of dementia do not start with memory loss.

Come back and let us know how this is working out for you. We learn from each other!
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well, personally what I would do since she does not have dementia per say, I'd really give her something so see. Maybe roll up some oregano to look like joints, stick in some gay guy porn magazines, some receipts from casinos showing you lost hundreds of dollars, and just sit back and watch the fun. If you could get her reaction on tape, you could go viral on you tube!
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I agree with making her a snoop drawer... I'd rather have my mother alive and well and able to snoop and be able to tell her every day 'I love you mom' and be able to embrace her than to have her gone never to see a smile or feel her touch.... Just remember when you was a child you was snoopy also... And she loved you!... Mine passed 4 days ago at 75 years old and I would have given her my last breath just to be able to tell her how much I love her...
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Rummaging is a sign of dementia. So is hoarding. Check her purse when you leave a restaurant, it might be full of creamers, artificial sugars, jellies etc. Keep an eye on her when shopping. Mom picked up $25 gift cards and stuffed them in her purse. Fortunately they are no good until paid and activated.
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Does your Mom have memory issues such as dementia... if she does, she doesn't realize what she is doing and no amount of reasoning will help... you'll just have to grin and bear it.
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Has she been evaluated for dementia? This sounds like the kind of loss of impulse control that can signal that cognitive decline, especially in the area of the brain that controls executive functioning. Sadly, it may be beyond her control.
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Can you put most of your personal things in your bedroom or other rooms and add locks to the doors?

Of perhaps you could create a "snoop" dresser in an area accessible to her. Fill it with various stuff that isn't personal and let her rummage around in it.
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Gary, one of the things caregivers need to do before washing is check all the pockets for Kleenex. I learned that the hard way.

But interpreting the napkins as a message from your father is very touching and helpful.
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We went through the same thing with my mom in law so we locked our bedroom door. She cried buckets when she found out so my husband had to sit with her and explain we needed our privacy and that room was off limits. She never did figure out how to unlock the door.
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