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My Mother was recently diagnosed with dementia.

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My mother always hid stuff whether it be her hearing aide wrapped in tissues in her pocket, etc.

This thread reminds me of when after my mom passed away and I was going through her clothes, I found, in the pocket of one of her coats, a handkerchief that had my mom’s scent. It was bittersweet to find it.

I put it right back in her coat pocket where it is still upstairs so when I feel the need for a tangible piece of my mother I go to her coat pocket and get it out for a bit.

But prior to her passing, she lost many things throwing stuff away that were wrapped in tissue- amongst the lost was her hearing aide. While in the NH we kept her valuables at home.
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Honestly, I have been hiding stuff on myself for years.

I always think.."this is a safe place that I will remember". Yeah..right. There is stuff that has been missing for years!

I do not accuse anyone of taking it...I know I did it

Recently, my 39 year old daughter found a US Savings bond issued the day she was born. No kidding...I not only "put it somewhere safe" all those years ago..I long ago (decades) even forgot it existed.

Maybe this has always been a part of her personality... just getting worse.
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Most patients will lose the urge to hide things as their disease progresses. The later stages of this disease have different challenges. :-(
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No.
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It is time to be proactive and stay a step ahead. You do not mention her living arrangements. I hope that someone is living with her or is helping with the money issue.  She is not hiding, she is losing stuff  it will become much worse
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Hugs, Diana. Welcome to the club no one wants to join. 😬 Keep coming back to ACForum for support.
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When my mom began exhibiting this hiding behavior it came with delusions that my father wanted to ‘put her away’ and she also began to call the sheriff regularly. She’d lock herself and all her stash in her bedroom and stay on the phone talking to my uncle/brother. He was born a few years before me, mom’s little brother, and has been raised by my mom. Strangely I don’t have many memories of him when I was little. Anyway, it’s a complex relationship. He can do no wrong and I can do little right.

My father calls me for help. Actually the sheriff called me too, he can see the situation but doesn’t have time to keep coming to my parents house. I arrive with my daughter in tow and my dad shares with me that my mother has gotten his wallet and hid it. All their Medicare information, their SS cards, credit cards, drivers license, basically everything we’d need to get her admitted to Geri Psych. My parents have never memorized their SS #s and are devoid of any personal ID. My mother had stopped us in our tracks!

After five days of combing the house nothing is found. She was changing the locations of the hidden things, so by the time we gave up, I FELT LIKE I HAD DEMENTIA. I had to go home. I ordered duplicates of all the important papers and cards and have them mailed to my dad for safe keeping.

Meanwhile, my uncle has told everyone in the vacinity about how we’re torturing my mother and that nothing is wrong with her! The relatives and townsfolk believe all this crap. It’s a nightmareish small town in the rural south, obviously we’re not popular (as if we ever were)!

So the second trip we were successful in getting mom admitted to Geri Psych. Diagnosis is moderate dementia and depression. Then mom went to AL, because physically she had gotten in bad shape as well. She had been refusing to eat and take her meds. So she’s been in AL for almost three months. She’s really doing well. But she needs the extra help she gets there, my dad is pretty lost about caring for someone helpless.

Well that’s my introduction to the world of dementia. I knew very little about it although I’m a retired RN. I’m adjusting now.
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Sadly, this behavior won't stop, and it may get worse. It can be helpful if you think of some options right now to address the issues.

Make duplicates of her keys, copies of her ID cards, account numbers, etc. and keep them somewhere unavailable to her. A small fireproof box with lock is one option.

Plan to eventually take over bill payment, money management and other financial and/or legal issues. List bills as to date normally received, due dates, account numbers, etc. and keep a separate log so you can ensure that critical ones get paid timely.

Are you an authorized signatory on her financial accounts? Has she executed estate planning and financial management documents - Will, Advanced Directive/Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney? You may need these eventually, unless you hold assets jointly.

If you have options in place to deal with the behavior she can't control, and of the issues created, it won't be as shocking when it occurs and/or accelerates.

Hang in there; you have a lot of company here.
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My heart goes out to you. Mom did that for years, also accusing people of stealing her old stained clothes. She is no longer hiding things, but what she does do is obsessively put a lot of things away, out of sight. Its a crazy quirk and you may find her bedroom clock in the kitchen drawer one day, her table decorations in the bedroom drawer or on the closet floor. What is really really bad though is that over the past 10 years she has lost 3 sets of hearing aids, and misplaced them countless times. Last week her brand new hearing aids were gone. We have no idea where they are, she probably put them in a kleenex and flushed them. It will cost another $1200 to replace them. This is the last time. If AL doesn't control it, and if she loses them again, she will have to be deaf as there is no more money to replace them over and over! Good luck!
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