Mother has recently been diagnosed with dementia. She is obsessed with towels, tissues, and clothes clips. Does your parent have obsessions? -

Mother has recently been diagnosed with dementia. She is obsessed with towels, tissues, and clothes clips. Does your parent have obsessions?


Mother is 94 and has heart issues. Each week she has a new obsession. Last week it was razors and tissues; this week it is towels and wearing plastic gloves. I ask her why she is wearing plastic gloves and of course what she says makes no sense to me. I told her that if she is comfortable wearing the gloves then it is fine with me. She seemed pleased. She might like it but I really don't like listening to her explanation because it is irrational to me. I play along with her, but to myself I find it very off putting. There are towels and tissues everywhere in her bed. I don't think her behavior can be changed but I want to understand it.



I get the "checking on the weather and if the guys went to work " questions every morning. I don't have any morsels of advice, but in this case I think that she wants to be "normal - ish".
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Reply to Lostinthemix

Obsessive behavior, delusions and hallucinations are a large part of dementia. My mom had them and so did my in-laws. Many, many of them. I never tried to understand them or convince her not to do them. In your mom’s case, I’d be a little concerned over the obsession with razors, though. Those can cause nasty cuts.
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Reply to Ahmijoy

I hear ya, wally03. My dad was a great dad too. It's so sad to see them this way.
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Reply to LindainCT

yes my mom gets fixated on what day it is. right now every time I visit. I get asked that question. she has written in a journal for 35 years, but with her dementia so bad its getting harder for her to do. she tries real hard to get the date off her newspaper (that someone KEEPS STEALING...not) so that she can put the correct date in her journal. but she keeps writing a day that is ahead of what day it is.... :(
so she literally picks up her journal, gets frustrated, puts it away...then does that 10 more times. and I cant get her to stop. so I just sit there and watch :(

she also saves any piece of scrap paper or pieces of cardboard. she cuts out cartoons, pictures from newspaper. pics from magazines. and then puts them in an envelope.
she wants to paste them to something. but ends up just saving them. so she ends up with all these stuffed envelopes of clippings.

but gosh she was a great mom all my life. I hate that shes acts so #%@*&^

she also continuously tries to read. goes down to get books a AL bookcase. takes books. and cant read. I return books, big pile. next visit, big pile books.
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Reply to wally003

My dad has dementia and he was always fixated on something for a few weeks until he got fixated on something else.

First it was his bank book. I gave him an old bank book and he would add/subtract the numbers all day long.. for weeks. Then make my mother add them up, then he'd add them up again. There were sheets and sheets of paper with all his calculations. He was sure the bank was stealing his money.

Then it was a tree in the neighbors yard. He was obsessed that it was going to fall (it wasn't) This went on for weeks until he found someone to cut the branches that were hanging over the fence into his yard. He would just sit there all day staring at the tree waiting for it to fall. For weeks.

Then it was the furnace. It was last summer... He was obsessed as to why the furnace wasn't going on. This went on for weeks. One morning (4 am) my mother found him in the basement and he managed to remove the front part of the furnace and was playing with the wires!!! I had to call the furnace guy to come check it out to make sure the house wasn't going to blow up!

Then, he got fixated on the electric panel!! All he 'd talk about was the electricity. He'd make my husband go and look at it every time we visited and he wanted to change wires and whatever and try to hook this up and hook that up to wires.

All these fixations were making us all crazy. My poor mother had to deal with it 24/7. I can't answer why you are uncomfortable to be around your mother, but it sure drove us crazy!
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Reply to LindainCT