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losing things
Iris L.
Posted: Monday, February 16, 2015 5:11 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18362

I just came across this article written by Michael Ellenbogen on another site. Michael is one of our members with EOAD at age 49 in 2008. He recounts a story of misplacing one or two pair of work boots. He cannot even remember if he has one or two pair.

Note: he likes the term assistant instead of caregiver. He calls his wife, his assistant. I am not sure I care for that term, either. IMO, an assistant is someone who takes care of repetitive details for you. The least objectionable term for me is care partner.

Losing things is a big issue with us. I do not usually lose things too much. this is probably because I keep so many duplicates around. Hah!

Spoiler Alert! Although Michael makes a big deal out of not being able to locate his work boots, or remember if he has one pair or two pair, I do not believe this particular situation only happens to people with memory loss. Tearing the house apart for one item is common to many households. Even his wife/assistant could not remember that she had put the boots away. If the assistant is not helpful, why are she your assistant?

The Spouse/Partner board has a thread on losing eyegalsses and other items. Apparently, this is very common.

I believe we must become proactive regarding losing things. The best way to avoid losing so much is to get rid of all the clutter in the home. Make places for everything, and everything in its place. We have heard this before. Thanks, Mom!

We do not have to become overwhelmed by losing things. We can do this!

BTW, there is also a comment from Michael in the comments section that stealing from residents in facilities by the staff is common. He also provides references.

Where Are My Boots? Alzheimer’s Disease Stole Them

By Michael Ellenbogen, Special to Everyday Health

I have read so many stories about people living with dementia accusing their caregiver – make that “assistant” because I don’t like the term caregiver – of stealing their belongings.

As a person with dementia I was hoping I would never become one of those people (because I knew it could be very hurtful to those around me). However, as I continue to decline into this black hole that is Alzheimer’s disease, I find myself trying to analyze these things to see if there is any truth to them or it is simply a misunderstanding. As someone living with dementia, I am an ideal person to have examine these issues.

read more:

Is this a problem for you? How do you deal with it?

Iris L.

Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 4:12 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608

I lost a lot of stuff in a very small house. I used to sell collectible stuff on eBay when I could no longer work and somehow lost the best of my vintage jewelry.
I also lost a large photo of my Mom as a young woman posing for WW2 Navy Ship.

This was one of the very early signs, before even the vision loss, maybe 6 years ago.

Very frustrating. The answer is to get rid of excess and clutter as Iris suggested. I also began to give away stuff of value on purpose.

Putting things in odd places was similar experience.

Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 2:35 PM
Joined: 7/24/2014
Posts: 107

My mother "loses" everything all day every day. And it just depends on what type of mood she is in whether she accuses me of moving or stealing her things or whether she gets frustrated with herself for not being able to find them or keep up with them.

Simple things, such as her glasses, her cell phone, etc. I have to watch her take her meds if at all possible bc she will pour them into her hand and then get distracted and begin to do something else and start dropping them forgetting that they are in her hand.

Sometimes I leave for work before she gets up in the mornings and worry that she will not take her morning meds correctly. I feel that I will have to start having to wake her up soon to give it to her.

Paul Hornback
Posted: Friday, February 20, 2015 7:28 AM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584

I too continue to lose things. I think it is because when I'm not focused (only my foggy days), I tend to lay things down while doing something else. The other day, I put the cordless phone in the refrigerator after a call while I was putting away breakfast things. If I don't concentrate on one thing at a time, I end up doing very silly things (like putting the phone in the frig).

I've done similar things with my cell phone, keys, tools, shoes, and eyeglasses. I've tried to keep things in a specific location when I'm finished with them but that doesn't always work. Perhaps the most common misplaced or lost item is one of the remotes for the TV, satellite, or blueray devices.

Thankfully, the way our home is laid out, I spend most of my time in the open area (kitchen, dining nook, and family room) or my study. this helps narrow down my search for lost items.

God bless, Paul

Iris L.
Posted: Friday, February 20, 2015 1:09 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18362

I think the key is in not becoming so distracted. Multitasking is difficult for us now.

I find that if I am mindful of what I am doing, I do not lose things as much.

I put things back where they belong as soon as I am finished with them. I do not think. "I will do it later." No, I do it NOW!

This enhances my independence. My independence is my priority.

Iris L.