My mother in law suffers from dementia and has lived with us for over ten years. We have seen a progressive decline in her abilities to manage on her own. Her short term memory is all but gone. She remembers things from the distant past,but anything from say the last twenty years is gone. Some of the behaviors we have seen are constant pacing,inability to focus on even simple things,loss of any semblance of hygiene unless we are right there to remind her,repeating the same questions over and over,constant eating because she can't remember that she just ate,etc. We have her going to adult day care three days a week and the other days my wife watches her. Yesterday my wife went out to walk the dog while I was cleaning the driveway from the last snow. I hear a noise and see my mother il law opening the door. I ask her what she is doing and she replies she is going to look for Cynthia. Cynthia is my wife. Mind you she has no idea where Cynthia is. Last night my wife's work schedule changed which threw my MIL all out of sorts. I had to have my wife call and tell her where she was. Five minutes later it is back to the same topic. It started at three in the afternoon. She decided she wanted to eat dinner. I told her that we wouldn't be eating dinner for a couple of hours,but that she could have something in the interim. She had cake,a muffin,and a bunch of chocolates. This morning I heard her up pacing the house at four thirty. She was in the kitchen trying to turn on the stove. She had a coffee mug full of water. I said to her put it in the microwave for two minutes. She had no understanding of what I was telling her. Later this morning my wife caught her trying to put a mug of water in the toaster oven. She caught it before she turned it on,but is these things that have us worried. She will not sit still and just paces always ending in the kitchen where she starts getting into things,trying to turn on the oven,toaster,or microwave. We are afraid she will forget that the oven is on and something will catch fire. We have found the oven on before with her nowhere in sight and claiming to know nothing about it. Her leaving the house in search of my wife has happened a couple of times. Last night because my wife had to work my MIL paced even more constantly searching for my wife's car. I told her on more than one occasion that my wife was working. It didn't help. I guess where I am leading is if we turn our back for a minute she is into things. My MIL is up at all hours of the night and doesn't go to bed until seven thirty in the evening. Even then she still gets up claiming she hasn't had dinner. We are frazzled.