She leaves them to dry in dressers, bathtub and recently my new infrared sauna!! Any ideas to redirect and stop this behaviour. Modify it or strategies for me to deal with this habit?

I would be inclined to think that her behavior is not as calculating as conservation. It's just behavior that is a result of brain damage. I knew a lady who had dementia when I was a child and she would put toilet paper on her hot dog and eat it. So, she had to be supervised at all times. It wasn't that she didn't have mustard or relish, it was just something that came to her mind that had no real intentions behind it. She would also put coins, fingers, etc in her mouth.

There's really no strategy that will likely convince her to stop. She'd likely forget any instruction you give about it. So, I'd focus on constantly supervising, her so that every bathroom trip, she's supervised and when she goes for the pad to be put out to dry, it is taken and discarded. Scolding doesn't help matters. I'd just calmly say, I'll take that for you. Thank you. Here's a fresh one. And, not make a big deal out of it.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1

Riteke, I found out that my own Mom was reusing her Depends. I would find them on the wooden drying rack. Mom was also airing out Dad's Depend Guards. There were also in their 90's.

As DeeAnna had posted, anyone in their 90's are children of the Great Depression thus they feel if a product wasn't "used" but worn, why thrown it out. Or washed and dried.

Depend type products are very expensive. And now with the C-19 virus, the grocery/drug stores are in very short supply [plus higher prices due to supply and demand].
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Reply to freqflyer

It sounds like your Mom is reliving the Depression or rationing during WWII.
Back then, there were NO sanitary pads or they were made of cloth. Women would layer pieces of absorbent cloth or other material together until they created a pad of rags that was sufficiently thick enough to absorb their menstrual flow. They also would use pins to attach it to their undergarments. After each use, women would wash the cloth or "rags" so they could be used again. (That is where the phrase "on the rag" comes from.)
In some parts of the country, toilet paper was so hard to find that some poeple used cloth diapers material or sheets cut into strips. They would wash the dirty "cloth toilet paper" and reuse it just like cloth diapers are reused

I knew a elderly woman who would take 2 sheets of toilet paper and fold them over each other to make one sheet, then fold that sheet to make one half sheet and then fold that sheet to make one fourth sheet before she would use the tolilet paper.

Lymie has some good suggestions. Maybe you can purchse some thin washcloths that your Mom can use for sanitary pads or as toilet paper. Make sure that you provide a specific towel rack for her to dry her pads on so that she does not use furniture to dry the pads on.

If you are unable to purchase cloth sanitary pads, there are patterns on the internet for feminine hygiene pads and cloth toilet paper. (Missionary groups often send the feminine sanitary pads to third world countries such as Haiti or in Africa because they don't have disposible feminine pads.)

People often revert back to previous experiences during times of stress and that might be what your Mom is doing.
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Reply to DeeAnna

Mom will need a bit more supervision in the bathroom.
And if you don't want to make a big deal about what she is doing then give her a "drying rack" that she can put her things on then later toss out the "washed" items and replace them with unused.
At least with giving her a place to dry there will not be any soiled items in drawers where clean clothes go..or there may be a place you have not yet found where she is drying her "treasures".
In your profile you mention she is living in Assisted Living. Did you recently move her to your house? And did she do the same thing in AL?

My Husband was resistant to changing his clothes. I would tell him to put them in the wash but he would change into PJ's and fold his clothes and put them next to his chair. After he went to bed I would gather all his clothes and put them in the wash and I would get clean clothes and put them in the same place. In the morning he would shower and get dressed and never knew his clothes were clean. I never made a big deal about it because to argue about it was futile. Same might go for trying to get your mom to stop washing her TP and pads.

Might also be a good time to change to disposable pull ups
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Reply to Grandma1954
Beatty Apr 9, 2020
Grandma, my Mum has been trying to wear the same set of clothes since Jan 2018. Refuses to wear clean clothes - even when identical items were bought. I wish you could explain your clothing swap success to my Dad. He still allows her to decide on this & many other matters. I get that he values autonomy but I value hygiene too. Clothes are only changed after a showdown every time (that could be avoided). Sigh.
I’m assuming the “Sanitary pads” are for incontinence? She may be relating to a time in her life when sanitary pads weren’t disposable, they were reusable and had to be rinsed and washed, has she been using them long? Maybe purchasing a few cotton reusable ones that she can then wash and dry until she works her way through this stage? The toilet paper is a tougher one, I’m can’t even imagine how she is keeping it together enough to dry! But the only thing I can think of to help curtail that might be limiting how much TP she has access to, that or giving her some wash clothes I suppose. TP is so hard to come by at the moment too! Good luck
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Reply to Lymie61

I am impressed a lady of 98 is still doing her 'washing'. She is keeping busy & useful but needs guidence - supervision in the bathroom will be needed. Like when people brushing their teeth start chewing the brush & swallowing the toothpaste.

Maybe a low tech option could be a bell on the bathroom doorknob so you are alerted. Is she left alone during the day?
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Reply to Beatty

Oh my. I’m going through a new behavior with DH Aunt, 93. Going through a roll of TP per day and she doesn’t go to the pot but once or twice a day. I asked her what she thought we should do about it. She asked if she was only one using her bathroom. Good question, I said, but the answer is yes.
She’s as stumped as I am.

Plus I’m dealing with her poor old dog who has leg pain and is crying. The pain pill has stopped working.
Ok. My rant is over.

Put a garbage bag on your hand and pick them all up.

Then I suppose you have to clean everything including her and wherever she did the “wash”.

Then go back and put clean toilet paper out for her to what “gather”. It will keep her busy.

Or maybe you can have her do the cleaning of all the surfaces. No? Maybe it’s easier to keep a close eye on her. She has probably slipped back in time when what she is doing was normal...just wasn’t paper then. Give her some socks to mate and hand towels or kitchen towels to fold.
Or you could put up a small clothesline and get her some pins and give her some items to wash and hang.
Try different things to keep her busy.
It’s trying behavior but probably won’t last long.
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Reply to 97yroldmom

I have no idea how to stop it but personally I would pitch them as soon as I found one. I am sensitive to smells. I could not handle the smell.

I am sorry that you are dealing with this. Others will have suggestions for you so stick around. Best of luck to you.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

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