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Lock for my bedroom door
About four years or so ago I got a lock for my bedroom door after realizing that my mom who stays with me was going into my room while I was out and rummaging through my things and taking anything she felt she wanted.
When I went on a four-day trip and my sister and brother-in-law stayed with her, mom even bragged to them that she took whatever she wanted out of my room and that I didn't know.
Mom has no boundaries regarding my property but has meltdowns regarding her property, (which I don't go in her room and take). One set of rules for herself and another set for me.
Just needed to vent.
Soon after I moved in with my mom I started "hiding" things I cared about or leaving "use indicators" on objects. Not because I knew mom would take or use things but because I knew she was a rummager. If you left a bag sitting in the living room, she would go through it and put things away wherever she thought the items should go.
After we moved her into memory care I started the task of clearing out the house. One day I intended to measure a piece of furniture with the very small measuring tape i had brought with me from home, but I couldn't find it anywhere. I usually left it in my backpack which was almost always tucked away in the back of my closet. Did I take it home? Did I leave it somewhere else in the house? Days later I found it, along with a few other things I didn't know had been relocated, in the bottom of a basket of knitting.
I'm still going through the house and every day I wonder "What will I find today, and where?" - Holly
Vent away. I know it really can make you crazy.
I just wanted to mention that all you can do is change your expectations, because your mother can't adjust her behavior due to her illness. Dementia affects judgement, self- control, emotions, and many other things the brain controls. She simply can't help it. Her brain is damaged so she can't recognize it is wrong to take your things. Taking other people's things and hiding and hoarding is extremely common with dementia, as is being territorial about or fixating on their own possessions. "Shopping" in other people's rooms is rampant in memory care facilities because everyone has dementia. When we visit my mother, every week we empty her room of so many things that don't belong to her. Other people's family photos, books in languages she can't read, and stuff that would be useless to her. And when we can't find her shoes or something the staff goes and finds them in someone else's room.
You just have to find workarounds. Lock areas you don't want her in, such as your bedroom and also cabinets with medicines, cleaning supplies etc. We even did baby locks on kitchen cabinets and the fridge because my mom kept ruining food. It didn't take long, turn my back for a couple minutes and she could get into trouble. When your mom isn't home or is asleep go looking for the things you can't find. Trying to reason with her or getting her to show some "respect" is useless.
When my mom visits I have to hide a lot of stuff, she always says, "That is in my way! This is in my way! I don't like this! I don't want that!" and I'm supposed to rectify the situation immediately. She'll just start moving my stuff around in a haphazard way, so I have to plan ahead and put things where she literally can't see them.
Sorry this is so long, I am , so , lost I guess, Overwhelmed , frustrated.
Having a really rough time. I had to place my mom in a health facility , we had someone we trusted be her POA, and they resigned in Aug, leaving my mom in a lot of debt, cause they did not take care of business. My husband is now POA, as I have a form of muscular dystrophy. (Mitochondrial diease) My mom has Vascular Dementia, I don't understand it, She has had Dementia for about 20 plus years, but finally got a diagnosis in Feb, because she had 2 mild strokes in Jan. I had no choice, but to call adult protection, and get them involved, because my mother's Safety , was a major major issue. As she has been in the facility since March, A lot of stories have been reveiled by neighbors and such. I live 18 miles away from my mother's home. I now, since she was in a facility closer to the former POA, I am 40 miles round trip, away from her, and no easy way to get there quick. So , My husband is working on trying to cash in her 401k, We put her house of for sale, That was a nightmare clearing it out. Now I am going through 6 months of unopened mail. Finding NO bills were paid, finding NO utilites had been shut off. I mean , did the former POA NOT want to be the bad guy? I dunno, there was zero communication , other then text messages , and I am so ANGRY!. My mom has not trusted the best people in the last 20 years. and now, the control is back , in our hands. Which , I am a bit happy about. However. I worry , I will die , before my mother, My husband is British. and I am happy he took over POA, however, it is a lot of stress. and my husband is nearly 68 and my mother is 77, and i will be 50 next year. I am emotionally , distraught. I dont know what to say to my mom, how to communicate with her. I made a terrible mistake a few weeks ago , The week the POA , resigned, she told some untruths, and then wrote me a nasty email , then , she scheduled to have my mother's beloved dog , put down . and I had just about enough. We did put my mother's dog to sleep, however. The vet had to call me and tell me, because I was co owner. and I paid the bill, FYI. The dog was 14 , and had a lot of issue, Anyway .... My mom had a moment of clear thinking, and was blaming me, for everything. So , I told her the truth . and was blaming me, for everything. So , I told her the truth . Told her about the POA stepping down, told her about the dog, and told her about putting her house up for sale, and , That was the dumbest thing I could have done. but, Dog gone it, I am not going to LIE to my mother. and certainly not gonna let a big lie, rest on my shoulders, NO Sir! She screamed, I am gonna sue you , You cant do this, , I made her tell Me, I love you. and kiss me before we left. I went away for 2 weeks.. I just , didn't go see her. Then she called me, and said Where are you , I want to see you, Don't desert me . I went and saw her. She asked me, if I was mad at her, and did I hate her.... I said no Mom, of course I do not hate you, and No I am not mad at you . I am taking a moment to take care of me. I said Mom, I am right here. I am only a phone call away . I can't come every day . She knows I am terminally ill. How , do I communicate with her, without agitating her?
How, Do I cope, with this heavy guilt, of giving her stuff away , and selling her house HOW do I go through these old photos, that I really do not want, I know sounds horrible, but alot of them are of her 1st marriage. I am sending alot of photos to her cousins in California.
I dunno what to do , if we can't cash in her 401k.I dunno what to do ,if this house doesn't sell quick.
She let , life insurance lapse , that she has paid on , since the 1960s
I can't afford an attorney , I can't afford a bookkeeper or anything like that .I do not want to name anyone else as Guardianship . and We really don't want that.People we have trusted, have stabbed us in the back. So my trust, is broken with them.Mom is in MC. I have to liquidate her assets so she can get on Medicaid.What happens, if there is no money? What kind of health facility will she go into then? I really do not want her in a nursing home if I can , avoid that . I guess I should put.. she adopted me when I was 2 1/2 from family , due to a tragedy . My birth mother, passed in 2009. and that is a whole nother story . but that is why I am fighting so HARD to do what is right , for my mom,
I love her so, so much.
I cry , a lot . .....too much really . and I wish I had time to go to person to person support groups, but I go to a lot of doctor's appointments. and I get tired, quick .
I know people say , take care of yourself first.... I been a caregiver so long, it is hard to do, I took care of my mom's parents , Only Grandparents I knew, for 9 years . till they passed in 1995. My mother , controlled every big of my life , when I lived with her. I was disabled as a child as well . and to escape, I met my husband on line, No , no dating sites, just a mutual interest website. and we got married in 2000, and I moved to England,
Until after gastric bypass surgery, triggered the Mitocondria cell , not to work anymore. and tada... Mitochondrial diease, No cure, no treatment. and for adults a ticking time bomb.
Anyway ..That's my story and such, sorry it is long. HELP ME!
Deep breath. Some things are fixable, some manageable.
First, the costs for a medicaid specialist elder care lawyer can be paid for out of your mother's funds with your husband as her POA paying the bill. This is too important an issue- selling the house, cashing 401ks , medicaid qualifying etc to try to figure out yourself. The lawyer is for her benefit- her funds can and should cover it.
You don't want a huge tax bill for her either (unless her 401ks are Roths)- even then - need expert advise on timing.
First thing the lawyer will check is if the POA is durable, continuing beyond your mother being found incapable of managing things.
As you go through the bills see if the old POA was dipping into the funds. Her SS payments went somewhere - and it wasn't the bills.
You were wise to not want to be named POA. Think of her financial -legal situation as Mom Inc- your husband is the CEO, you assist as needed.
The daughter part is harder- as you found the truth can cause blow-ups - at her stage- keeping her calm , even if it involves fibs, topic changes etc is a kindness for both of you.
She can't process facts or aid in making rational decisions so some topics are ok staying silent about.
No guilt on the house sale(subject to lawyer/accountant advise ) or the photos- she needed to be placed and photos are just seconds of someone else's life.
I was sent BOXES of people I don't know from the 1940's in some european forest snacking down . Days of it. I mean wth--- unless I notice Adolf, Clark Gable , or Edith Piaf bye-bye. But they all have beer steins in front of their faces. Will someone in 2107 look at me in 1970's photos from Mickey Dee and go- "she never got a shake? Weird" Hope not.
Honestly, I can tell you are feeling really raw and shattered right now but, IMO, it is because you have ALREADY gone through the worst --- Mom got placed, POA got replaced , her house and assets wereN'T stolen, you have the mail to go through (I had to recreate 3 years starting from an empty box- no idea where anything was) you're rebuilding.
Imagine if she was still in the house, POA not resigning, dog getting sick all over....
You've made it through a lot.
There are great videos and books, look at other threads for their names , Teepa Snow, etc to help with how to converse with Mom.
Take care of you.
Dear DeJan, Wow!!!! I can totally understand this! When my parents come to visit I have to “get ready for Mom”! I roll up rugs, put breakables away, etc etc. She roams the house at night and digs in every drawer and closet she pleases. She also takes things. During the last visit she took a framed picture of her grandparents. She also trashed the guest room. I don’t know how I slept through the noise. I realize she doesn’t know what she’s doing but I am concerned that she’s up alone at night.
Good luck with the lock! My Dad locks his home office and she gets furious.