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Mom is 87 and n hospice but still able to walk and talk but shes constantly hiding or wiping down everything.

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I have a friend with Dementia for whom I'm trying to help design a care plan. She's very healthy and active physically, but short-term memory plagues her days and adds to confusion. She hoards, hides, wipes - constantly and I've tried to accommodate these behaviors because they really aren't harmful to her or my household (except when she hides my car keys or wipes the dishes with the same towel as the floor...minor details). I just thought I'd share that I have this mental image of a perfect housing situation for her - everything she needs in one room with no drawers, closets or deep shelves. I envision a lot of 4'' deep wall shelves where she can set and rearrange stuff and a system of curtains that she can draw between areas such as bedroom, bath, her version of a kitchen. Really just sharing this to enjoy how our own minds work when trying to solve problems. (-:
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Hiding, hoarding, and wiping down everything. I don't think anyone can tell you how long these behaviors will go on. Perhaps until she loses mobility, if that happens. Or it could fade away next week. We can see common behaviors, and sometimes associate them with a certain stage in the progress of the disease, but I've never seen guidelines about how long behaviors typically last. Like so many things with dementia, you just have to play it day by day.

Does your mother still have some happy times each day? Cherish those moments.
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Oh, certainly. She was diagnosed about 4 years ago, but, it was in the works with her for a year prior. There's a period where you just can't figure out what's going on.

I have had to grieve all along. While I still love to see her when she smiles, it's now apparent that she's not aware of much. There's less focus, less recognition. Her agitation has increased. I've been reading a lot about the final stage. She still does have a healthy appetite though. My hope is that she will go without suffering.

Is she in your home? Are you doing all the caregiving? I can't imagine it. My LO has been double incontinent for quite awhile. She can't do anything for herself at all.
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Sunnygirl1 may I ask how long LO has had the diagnosis? These are the longest days of my life.
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Oh, I see. Yes, I recall that having a chronic condition like heart disease and certain weight loss may meet that requirement. My LO is wheelchair bound and meets most of stage 7 criteria, except that she can still sit up, use her hands somewhat to eat and still can use more than a few words, though, her vocabulary has greatly diminished. She also hasn't lost weight lately. She dropped a hundred pounds in the beginning, but, has maintained her weight for 4 years. It's shocking really.
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She has congestive heart failure and was losing weight as well. The hospice nurse and I don't feel she's in stage 7 either. I'll accept the help and the respites though.
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I'm sorry to hear about your mother. I hope that Hospice is helping.

From what I have read, hoarding and hiding aren't uncommon activities for those who suffer with dementia and I think how long patients do it varies. Early in her dementia my LO did hoard odd things like air fresheners, cat food and cleaners, but, eventually the hoarding stopped. Of course, she's in MC now, so she doesn't have the access to so many items anymore. But, she did still hide things, though, I don't think it was intentional. She would take her favorite pictures that were on the wall or nightstand and put them in her drawers or behind the bed. She didn't even realize she was doing it. It's just part of the condition.  She's now in severe stage and doesn't do that as much any more.

I am curious though, if she is still walking and talking, do you know why they recommended hospice? I thought there were certain criteria for dementia patients.
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I'm sorry your mom is in hospice. That means her doctor thinks she will most likely die within the next six months. I'm assuming she will get worse than she is now before those six months are up. As stressful as you find her activities, recognize they won't go on forever but probably will as long as she is able. Is it that you wish for her attention for yourself and she isn't able to give it to you?
That's understandable that you want to share more with her these days. Have you discussed this with a therapist? Unfortunately we don't leave off our addictions and mental disabilities just because we are dying. It doesn't work that way. Try to find peace with her. If she were able to stop she probably would have done so long ago. It's most likely you that will need to change if you want special times with your mom.
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