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Elderly parents - long

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little turtle ( member #15584) posted at 2:33 AM on Sunday, June 23rd, 2024

Thanks for updating!

Little by little... you've had 2 successful days!! smile

Failure is success if we learn from it.

posts: 5612   ·   registered: Aug. 1st, 2007   ·   location: michigan
id 8840600
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 SackOfSorry (original poster member #83195) posted at 10:01 PM on Tuesday, June 25th, 2024

Another 5 bags of garbage out today. I'm almost done her food cupboard. Oldest product today was another can of soup, this one expired in 2005!

Soooo many boxes of foil, plastic wrap, wax paper, freezer bags, sandwich bags - most unopened ... I took another box of donations to Goodwill. Took another load of steel to a steel recycler place, too.

I hope she can see how much money she has wasted all of these years. Just kept on buying stuff she already had.

I peeked into bedroom. I'm scared of that room.

Me - BW
DDay - May 4, 2013

And nothing's quite as sure as change. (The Mamas and the Papas)

posts: 123   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2023
id 8840810
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Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 10:25 PM on Tuesday, June 25th, 2024

Sack, your Mom reminds me of my father the last several years before he suffered a cerbrovascular stroke. I never wanted to really say to myself the old man had progressed from slightly eccentric to the beginning stage of dementia. But in hindsight, one episode stood out: I had gone shopping in town with him to his favorite discount store, and he loaded the top part of the grocery cart with those air fresheners that have a plastic dome and a scented gel inside.

When we got back to his condo - he was driving his big 4 door sedan like a pro down twisting mountain roads, I might add - he opened the louvered bifold door to his little pantry and sheepishly grinned as he pointed to a shelf that was chock full of the same darn air fresheners, all lined up in neat rows, like a store! He knew he was being silly buying even more of them, but it must have given him some kind of "stocking up out in the country" satisfaction in the moment of purchasing, whenever he was in town, so I just shook my head.

(His mother was born in 1903 and told us stories of riding with her mother in a buckboard wagon 30 miles to town and stocking up for a month. That woman ran a boarding house for lumberjacks in New Hampshire. Maybe he thought she would approve, I told myself at the time.)

But later on, I looked back at that behavior as perhaps a marker for when our dad was starting to slide into a mental condition.

If your Mom is like my Dad was, I would not expect she would somehow "see" the money she has wasted on multiples of the same thing.

Isn't hoarding linked to anxiety about life, in general?

posts: 2073   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8840811
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 SackOfSorry (original poster member #83195) posted at 2:19 AM on Wednesday, June 26th, 2024

I don't really know the specifics of hoarding. Like a lot of people, I've watched some of the hoarding shows on TV. It seems to me many of them are linked to depression. Quite a few seem to springboard from some big loss - loss of a child, loss of a spouse, loss of a parent.

I know that people who lived through the Depression really value things that they didn't have, and hold onto scraps. My mom didn't live through the Depression. Her parents did, but I didn't really see them having these behaviours. They lived in a tiny 2 bedroom house, and literally didn't have room to hoard or keep much of anything. Maybe that's why she does it? Simply went hog wild with more room than they had?

My mom lived below poverty level, and this is when most of this stuff was bought. I'm not even sure how she was able to accumulate what she did. I'm quite surprised, actually.

You're probably right. She won't "see" it.

Off to send a note to her shopper friend with a list of "absolutely do not buy" items.

Me - BW
DDay - May 4, 2013

And nothing's quite as sure as change. (The Mamas and the Papas)

posts: 123   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2023
id 8840821
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 SackOfSorry (original poster member #83195) posted at 4:01 AM on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2024

I missed Thursday. She called and asked me not to come as she wasn't feeling well. I was back today.

Got another 5 bags of garbage out, and yet another load of steel. Today I am astounded by the amount of cleaning products she has when she has never been interested in cleaning. I found a spin mop head, but I've never seen a spin mop so I ask if she has one. She doesn't think so? I tossed the head, which was new in its packaging but I was cleaning the cupboard under her sink, and she has had some leaking and even new stuff has to go because a lot of it is moldy or just gross. Then I found a completely different mop head, and it wasn't for her Bee mop, which I know she does have. I ask about this mop head - do you have one of these mops? Oh yes, she thinks so. I mean, I don't even know how she produced this mop but from behind her somehow, from behind her freezer/behind her table, she pulls a mop out and sure enough, it's the one that goes with the head. The mop is still in its packaging. Then she says oh, I have the bucket that goes with it. It wasn't the kind of mop that needs any special kind of bucket but she rooted around, again from behind where she was sitting, and pulls out a mop bucket. I swear it was like magic, her pulling stuff from back there. It was a spin mop bucket. I said that bucket doesn't go with this mop, she swore it did. Of course I had to ask why the need for so many mops/heads. She said it seemed like a good deal. Only if you use it, I said....

I started to find so many cutting boards. Turns out she has 6 of them. I can really see why my brother has 12 motorcycles. I keep trying to make the point to her that you only use one at a time. Therefore, you need one.

Then I discovered that her shopper friend just brought her 9 boxes of Ensure. She drinks one a day. Again, when you have a shopper that shops for you every Thursday, why is she stocking up for 8 freaking weeks? So much for my conversation with her shopper.

I know that she spends a ton of time in her bedroom. She goes upstairs right after dinner, by 7 pm, and she often doesn't come down until 10 or so the next morning. She just mindlessly watches every sport on TV that she can find. I asked her today that if she's sitting in her room for all of these hours every night, could you please start looking at your clothes and separate some for donation. She has lost a lot of weight in the past few years. I hit a wall with that one. She doesn't want to part with the "big clothes". She might "need them again some day." As someone who has been up and down myself throughout the years, I do get this one to some extent. I changed my angle, and said surely you must have some you no longer care for, you could start setting those aside for donation. No agreement there. Just started rambling on about how she wondered if a dress has in her closet is now too big, and maybe she could wear it to her friend's birthday BBQ in a couple of weeks. Never mind the fact that I've only ever seen her wear a dress to a wedding, and her friend's birthday BBQ is not exactly a dress-up event. And there's no way she can even get close to her closet yet especially considering that she won't part with anything piled in front of it! Always that huge disconnect with reality.

My husband and I are having lunch with his sisters this week, one of whom works in senior care. We'll have lots to talk about. I've got many questions for her.

Me - BW
DDay - May 4, 2013

And nothing's quite as sure as change. (The Mamas and the Papas)

posts: 123   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2023
id 8841403
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little turtle ( member #15584) posted at 4:20 PM on Thursday, July 4th, 2024

Glad to read that you're still going every week and helping your mom. ♥ Is your brother still going as well?

For the clothes that are too big or too small - I would suggest that she separate them out and store them in another area. At least with them out of the way, she can access the clothes that fit and possibly make some decisions on donating some of them.

She won't need any ensure for the next couple of months! Hope that her shopper doesn't buy any more. Can you be asked to see the list prior to the shopper going shopping?

Failure is success if we learn from it.

posts: 5612   ·   registered: Aug. 1st, 2007   ·   location: michigan
id 8841491
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Shehawk ( member #68741) posted at 2:21 AM on Friday, July 5th, 2024

Sending ((virtual hugs))

Sadly I and several people I know have dealt with hoarding and or severely disorganized parents and siblings of all ages.

So many of us have struggled with the waste, unsanitary/ safety issues, and pain of whatever this is that we were dealing with.

You are certainly in our thoughts as you go through this.

"It's a slow fade...when you give yourself away" so don't do it!

posts: 1678   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8841525
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