My grandmother has had Alzheimer's for a few years now and she forgets things in a matter of minutes. I take care of her at work, I noticed about a month ago that she can't sit still. she gets bored and will go through the desk or if she sees a box she'll get it, open it and put it back. she'll do this a few times. I tried stopping her once by asking nicely "what are you looking for? can I help?" she got angry, then when she did it again I asked her again and she said she didn't know what she was looking for. I put the TV on for her and she'll get bored. I was wondering if this is normal behavior or could she be stressed?

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When my MIL does this sort of thing, to me, its like the dementia "gnome" has taken over. She will fidget non stop on car trips, her seat belt is her favorite thing to mess with - "drives" my husband nuts when she does it.

She will rummage around in her belongings as you describe. She rearranges things, put things away, gets things out, sometimes she takes her clothes out of her closet and walks down the nursing home hall and puts her clothes into someone else's closet. This makes sense to me as she always kept some of her clothing in a spare bedroom down the hall from her own bedroom in her home. At those times she often makes a little growling sound in her throat.

She used to watch the tv all the time - and I mean from waking up until falling asleep with it on. Now she rarely watches tv.

She also likes to wrap things up in napkins. Her dementia interferes with her eating as she will stop and begin wrapping up her food. After a few minutes, she usually unwraps her food and starts eating again. I have to search her room at the nursing home pretty regularly for wrapped food items stowed away in drawers, her glasses, also carefully wrapped up in a napkin, and other people's things! She is a bit of a magpie and tends to collect things that she sees and likes:)

Often in her dementia gnome moments she believes she is taking care of her roommate. She will comb her bed bound roommate's hair, adorn her with jewelry and apply lotions. Her roommate enjoys the attention - poor thing no one ever visits her as her daughters live in another state. My MIL once announced that a plaque had been installed outside her door honoring her care of the "girl". She showed it to us and we admired it greatly. (you realize there was nothing there, right?)

I don't think its stress related for my MIL, she is just in a dementia zone and something is making sense to her in that zone. 95% of the time she still believes she is living in her home and no one tells her otherwise. Why would we? She is happy in the gnome zone.
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