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Oh dear -- I'm thinking of my own incredibly cluttered "pre-hoarder" bedroom (I swear --all stuff aquired fair 'n square, with my own money, no danger to myself or my finances, just...messy). I occasionally eat almond butter off a spoon, leave my tea mugs EVERYWHERE...maybe a lot of this is semi-normal behavior run slightly amok? I too would ask about the spoons though (careful sniff test would betray the "worst" scenario, & he might deny it). I remember my great grandma would "horde" aluminum foil (WWII carry-over), egg cartons ("so useful") and the styrofoam meat trays (carefully washed & stacked in the cuboard...100+ of them). She also stashed small amounts of cash in books & around the house. Some things never really change, they just sort of morph with the generations. Chimonger's mom probably qualifies as a kleptomaniac ("shopping" at your house & giving stuff away are both traits). It's a recognized psych disorder, so maybe medical care along those lines is in order for her? a stealth video so that Docs get an idea of what you are talking about when you say "junk everywhere"?
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My Mom does the same thing. She is 87. She kept her cell phone in her pants tho ! She is incontinent, and it really wasn't a good idea. So I try to discourage that. At her home I think she could have been classified a hoarder? Glass bottles everywhere, magazines, newspapers, etc. ?? Out of all the things to save?
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BAHA!! BoniChak -"butt scooper"?...I almost choked on my ice water!!!!!

My MIL (89) is a "fluffaholic". She once consumed an entire 1 lb. container of marshmallow fluff in 24 hours. And I too find teaspoons in a variety of places - on her night stand, stuffed down beside her in the wheelchair...usually with evidence of her last "fix" still on it. And tissues! In every pocket, up every sleeve, down her front. Don't even get me started on her persistent need to conserve on Depends.
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So many interesting ideas! Please let us know when you find out! (hoping he's a jam sucker and not a heroin addict or butt scooper!)
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Have your asked him? He might suprise you.
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If the spoon is bent in such a way that it sits flat on a surface and have burn marks on the bottom of it, he's using the spoon to cook up heroin. I don't know anything about your Dad, I'm just relaying what happened to me when caring for an elderly gentleman who was a closet heroin addict.
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My Dad leaves spoons everywhere too. I've had the thought that he wants it out where he can see it and find it because sometimes he doesn't remember where they are kept! he is also a big peanut butter eater for a snack and does the same thing as the 'jam sucker'! Gets a big glob of it on the spoon and then goes and sits down to watch TV while eating it slowly. When he visits my house, I put out the peanut butter and a clean spoon every night, because if he's up wandering, he'll go through cupboards and drawers trying to find food, but if that is on the counter, he'll generally stick to eating that. i would rather have the spoons all around to look for than have my cupboards unpacked and on the counters!
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Chimonger, my mil has been doing this supposedly looking then taking to her room.
When I question her why she taking this n that for its not hers, she too would act as if she is doing nothing but looking. Even though I am right their behind her watching her picking them up! I just told her to go to her room n rearrange n take her own stuff off her dresser if she needs to do something. Of course, this happen about 3 times within an hour.
Missy, I would keep n keen eye on him n make sure he is not doing something with the spoon that it is not intended to be used for if u know what I mean. It maybe that he gets into the p-butter or jam or what ever reason. As long as no harm is done n it is not starting to cause roaches then I let it be for him. Maybe he likes the cool smooth feel of the spoon? Who knows until u find out. Hey, at least he's not taking wadded-up used toilet paper n shoving it in his shoes n shoe bag n behind the toilet bowl or tables around the house. Good luck.
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Peanut butter, Nutella, or left in the coffee cup. Maybe he takes it out after stirring and puts it in his pocket. Unless you find burnt matches or a lighter, I wouldn't worry. Forks and knives, I would worry. Is this a trick question? heehee:)
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Lots of great answers to this.
Good idea to see if you can deduce why they are interested in a repeatedly carried thing--even if you have to trail behind, watching.
It is a concern if an elder is constipated, because they can try doing things that should never be done [like using a spoon for this job].
One little old lady I cared for, got ahold of scissors, started trying to trim her pubic hair. She was pretty much non-verbal, but the mind was in there
--at least some of it. We had to prevent her getting scissors, and help her pottie process, by occasionally cutting that hair--some folks grow long hair everywhere, and it makes cleanliness hard for mobility impaired persons.
Once that was done, she stopped looking for scissors, and happily held a doll, a cup, etc.

So many grew up in the Depression and learned to hoard, accumulate and carry things.
But really, all it takes is for someone to experience lack and poverty during their formative years, to become vulnerable to developing hoarding behaviors, fears of lack, difficulty with organizational skills, etc..

When Mom lived with us, she usually kept track of things, BUT, as I started refusing to "help her" hoard more stuff [shopping trips, 2nd hand stores, yard sales, etc.],
she started going thru OUR stuff, taking it to her "nest" [[her room piled up around 6' hi with stuff all scrambled together, and to trailers for storage--she had access to 10 acres to pile stuff...]].

She would pick things up she liked to look at, emotionally and sometimes dramatically desiring them because she remembered having one as a kid, or just loving the items--she loved shiny expensive things, and collected whatever she could.

If she didn't feel I was properly appreciative of something, she took it into her piles.
If she thot I stole something, saw something like it elsewhere in the house, she took it, or tried to.
She often believed pan lids in our kitchen, dishes, etc. other things, were hers, and tried to take those--sometimes it got pretty epic when I refused to let her take them.
It became necessary to hide our valuables [she at one point demanded I get out my good silverware so she could use it], financial records, anything she might be interested in for various reasons--she almost daily cruised the house looking thru things, contemplating--you could almost see the wheels turning!
If I caught her taking or going thru something that was none of her business, she either acted as if nothing was going on, or, made excuses like she was just looking, or would say "I have to get out of my room and move around SOMEtime! [accusing me of locking her in her room, and then getting aggressive].

She would hide it, carrying it, lose it or give it away while she was out "shopping", with things and money, too--she disappeared over $200K in only a couple years after her house was sold.
Often, she would verbally and physically attack, believing I had stolen stuff from her scrambled piles--if the item was found, "the thief just felt real guilty and put it back".

She used her hoarding to block the hallway to the bathroom, the porch, the yard, etc, and said "I am doing that to blackmail you into doing what I want" with an evil glare--- trying to force us to bend to her will to allow more hoarding, more trips out, admissions of guilt to her accusations, whatever--if I moved anything, even a dish, she'd blow up..

She would "gift" things no one had room for or wanted, or even things that were pretty cool, but in her case, was more her trying to take over the whole house, once piece of stuff at a time.
I initially expressed thanks for her "gifts", until I realized where this was going!
== not bits of TP or paper towels==it was rafts of note paper with her constantly rewritten diatribes, vases, towels, rugs, furniture, clothes only a mother could love, containers of all kinds, recycled metal, plastic and glass jars, can lids, etc.:
"You better hang onto these, you never know--when there's no more to be had, and the economy really crashes and supplies of stuff disappear, you will be very glad to have these!

She RARELY had specific goals for items, except "You will get all this someday!" [[[_!_!_!_as if!?!?]]]
or, if she did have a goal, the item came home, piled up, lost, forgotten, remembered when she came across it again, but projects begun, rarely got finished, much less by when she wanted to get them done by.

The brain tries to reconnect broken memory pathways; sometimes the newer connections are just strange!
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my dad like to have things "handy", he kept one glass out at all times and a set of flat ware...this way he did not have to wash more than a few objects...have you asked dad?
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My Mother is also 90 y/o, survivor of the "great" depression and saves paper. They must have run out of paper big time during the depression. Bits of tissue, used straws, used paper plates - she is hardly hurting for money but makes me feel like I am a spendthrift if I throw out a paper plate that has been used. Oh I finally got her to eat some fruit - just throw it in the trash. I will have fruit out for days that she does not touch but if I throw away a rotten banana or a brown apple she will dig it out of the trash and eat it!!
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My Mother is 97 and also a paper hoarder. She tears napkins and paper towels to half to save them. She also saves the used ones under her placemat on the breakfast table. I also have to remember to check her pockets before doing the laundry. I am learning to not let this behavior drive me crazy anymore. Thinks for all the above comments. I really need a hug.
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Kabeena, your mom and mine have something in common. My mom is 93. The paper stuff use to drive me crazy. But it doesn't anymore as it is no big deal. Wish I would of bought stock in Kimberley Clark. Those depression era people are savers.
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My mom puts many things in her pockets. Her favorite is paper goods, used and unused. She also stuffs them in her bra and down her pants (those eventually fall out as she walks around). She's a Depression baby, maybe they had to be very frugal with their use of paper. She will even come to me and present a piece of toilet paper or paper towel to me as if she is giving me a real treasure. I used to be dismissive and tell her it's just a piece of paper, but I have learned to receive it in the manner it is given and express deep gratitude. Other things I have found in her pockets/bra/underwear: TV remote, phone receiver, large comb, toilet paper roll, toilet paper spindle, toothbrush, curlers, scissors, soap - just about anything is a candidate. I think she picks something up out of curiosity, and then doesn't know what to do with it so she puts it in her pocket/bra/pants. Or, she picks things up and then thinks, "Oh, I'll have to keep this!"
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Is he sneaking medications?
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tihanger, i thought something similar. be watchful of things that can be stuck up into places. you might want to consider a daily stool softener if he is having troubles.
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Is he constipated?
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My mom puts everything in her pocket, from salt and pepper packets to plastic utensils. I don't think it is anything to worry about, it just seems to be something that they do. I have found food and tooth brushes as well as her soilded undergarments. I just have to try and check her pockets regularly.
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My FIL is the same. In our case he is a closet jam sucker. Whenever he thinks no-one is looking, he scoops out a dollop of jam and then walks around sucking the jam off the spoon. He does this all day, and we go through jam at a rate of knots! We now have seperate jams for him (because the sucked spoon goes back in the jam jar) and for us, but we also find teaspoons everywhere.
I have heard that by applying a cold spoon to the closed eyes you can reduce the feeling of pressure in the eyes. Maybe that? Or maybe he too is a jam lover?
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