My mom spends all her spare time going through her drawers and folding and refolding her clothes. What is causing this? Boredom?

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She also reads voraciously which she never did before. She likes American history books. She tends to think it is our family history when it is not. Nothing is scaring her though, and she still knows who everyone is and is not doing badly at all. Just wondering if any of this has to do with Alzheimer's.

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Thanks for answering me. Yes, she does have a dementia problem but is diagnosed as mild at this time. My mom lives no where near me. She was supposed to come and live with me when the time came. My sister has severe control issues and told her she needed to come live in a home near her instead. Her rationale is that I work and she is a homemaker so she would have more time. She still has teenagers at home and is busy and complains constantly about my mom. They fight all the time because she insists on telling mom that the family stories from the books aren't real which I would never do. If she was here I would see her everyday and she could go to adult daycare if it would make her more comfortable. She is in Independent Living still. My sister goes to her in laws in another state for Christmas. Always has. My mom has always come here for 3 weeks during the holidays but can't do the travel anymore. I asked my sister why she doesn't just take my mom with her. I know her in laws, and they wouldn't mind. She says it is because part of the drive is two and a half hours in the middle of nowhere with no gas stations or restaurants and my mom has bladder problems. My mom is extremely upset she is being left in the home by herself. It is a Jehovah's Witness home, too, so they won't be celebrating Christmas. I think my mom should have given a choice and just told she would have to wear a pull up and there would be no where to stop. I don't think that would be unreasonable. Actually, it is my opinion that my sister just finds it inconvenient to take her. I have made arrangements to go there on the 28th of December after my sister comes home. I am bringing my 22 yr old daughter up from MS, too. I haven't told my sister yet but we ARE doing a little Christmas after Christmas just for mom. It's the best I can do but I'm trying. Mom has depression and anxiety issues as it is. All this makes it worse. Wish I could get her here. I'm trying to get my sister to leave her alone about the books. I don't know what to do.
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Thanks for answering me. Yes, she does have a dementia problem but is diagnosed as mild at this time. My mom lives no where near me. She was supposed to come and live with me when the time came. My sister has severe control issues and told her she needed to come live in a home near her instead. Her rationale is that I work and she is a homemaker so she would have more time. She still has teenagers at home and is busy and complains constantly about my mom. They fight all the time because she insists on telling mom that the family stories from the books aren't real which I would never do. If she was here I would see her everyday and she could go to adult daycare if it would make her more comfortable. She is in Independent Living still. My sister goes to her in laws in another state for Christmas. Always has. My mom has always come here for 3 weeks during the holidays but can't do the travel anymore. I asked my sister why she doesn't just take my mom with her. I know her in laws, and they wouldn't mind. She says it is because part of the drive is two and a half hours in the middle of nowhere with no gas stations or restaurants and my mom has bladder problems. My mom is extremely upset she is being left in the home by herself. It is a Jehovah's Witness home, too, so they won't be celebrating Christmas. I think my mom should have been given a choice and just told she would have to wear a pull up and there would be no where to stop. I don't think that would be unreasonable. Actually, it is my opinion that my sister just finds it inconvenient to take her. I have made arrangements to go there on the 28th of December after my sister comes home. I am bringing my 22 yr old daughter up from MS, too. I haven't told my sister yet but we ARE doing a little Christmas after Christmas just for mom. It's the best I can do but I'm trying. Mom has depression and anxiety issues as it is. All this makes it worse. Wish I could get her here. I'm trying to get my sister to leave her alone about the books. I don't know what to do.

I have been working with seniors off and on since college. My last job was with AARP Health doing Medicare Supplements and now I work with Jitterbug cell phones. I am trained and used to dealing with this stuff. Frustrated!
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Diana, does your mom have a dementia diagnosis? Those behaviors seem consistent with dementia, but would not be enough to diagnose it.

Refolding clothes can be soothing to the sense of touch. It can provide a sense of control over the environment. It can be reassuring to be in touch with familiar items. My mom and husband each had dementia, and they both loved folding small items of laundry. My mom also loved sorting things -- another way to create some order out of chaos.

If your mom is doing this out of boredom, then be glad she has solved that issue in her own way! You could ask her to help you sort your button box or to match up socks right out of the drier or some similar task as a little diversion, but if she prefers sticking with her drawers there is nothing harmful in that!

One woman I know of spent hours handling her jewelry. Dealing with familiar objects that are textured and/or pretty seems to be popular among persons with dementia.

The delusion that history books are about her family is kind of charming. There is no need to correct her, unless it causes her distress.
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