The game of finding things is challenging at times. My mum constantly asks me where something is. I thankfully have some idea as know where she generally keeps her purse, her watch, her rings etc. But if we put something down that is a bit unusual it might be lost forever. There is a pair of glasses that we have not seen for a while. Thank god for back up spares.
My mum loves tidying up after me, she thinks I am untidy. She is correct. But then she or me will ask where something is and she will have put it somewhere different and we have a mad moment trying to find it. My mum gets upset at her inability to remember, she chides herself that “it is just stupid”. It is just that short term memory vacuum.
She put her rings in a dish on the coffee table the other day. Then one went missing. She remembers that she has them all together most of the time. I know she keeps them in a box most nights. Luckily today she had not put on this particular ring and it was safely still in the box. This must be a nightmare for care home staff who often get accused of stealing but it may well be the person themselves secreting it away.
“Have we made a list for the shopping?”. “Yes, it is on the pad” I reply. But I have to show her that this is true. She worries about forgetting something while she is out shopping. She herself can no longer write the list. Her handwriting now is something like a tiny spider. Unrecognisable from her previous script. She got upset again when trying to sign my birthday card. All of this is very challenging I don’t like my mum crying.
My mum remembers where she has always put things not necessarily where she has put them now. Her drawers are kept the same to help her find her clothes. There are different things in wardrobes so she generally knows where her coats are, etc. But there are several drawers with tops in so I can hear her going from drawer to drawer trying to find a particular top. Then along the way she forgets what she is looking for and continues around. “What am I looking for?” she asks. We talk constantly about downsizing her wardrobe but she is scared she will need something she may throw away.
My mum has been washing up for years. No dishwasher at our house. Things have been in the same drawers and cupboards for years. But alas she has a daughter and occasionally a son who move things or use unusual items. For some reason my mum cannot remember where the unusual item goes, as she may have not used it recently. The colander, the grater, the salad bowl cause her great distress. I reassure and say I will put them away. It is just great she has washed up. But it irritates her she cannot remember.
Some things were moved when the new central heating was put in. This caused great upset for my mum who really couldn’t remember where something went if there was a query. We tried very hard to put everything back as it had been before but silly me did not take photos. It has taken two months to find a home for a plate that “just wasn’t right”.
I sometimes ask her where something is and she looks back very frightened and in a small voice she say’s “I just don’t know”. She is worried and concerned that she can’t remember. Terrified she will forget something important. I reassure her she has three brains trying to remember now, her, me and my brother. But, we are all over fifty, there are no guarantees.