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 mom's jewelry: WWYD? 
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:41 am
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Post mom's jewelry: WWYD?
a couple of months ago my mom gave me her jewelry and told me to distribute it among myself and my sisters as previously agreed. it was in her jewelry box in a cupboard, instead of locked in her filing cabinet as we had arranged for her to do.

i put the jewelry box in my safety deposit box, until i could arrange a time to get together with my sisters. it's been a while and that hasn't happened yet.

in the meantime, mom's dementia is worsening. she's still pretty good, but she does misplace things and sometimes gets frustrated. she just had my sister and her son over on sunday to do a massive, full scale search for her glasses.

other times, she blames the staff(she is in assisted living.)

well, now she wants her jewelry back. i told her that was a bad idea, and took her shopping for some costume jewelry.

but, now she says she doesn't like it. (this is her favorite game-go shopping, buy something, decide she hates it, demand that it is returned. )

we are talking about a lot of very expensive jewelry here. i am not very worried about the staff (although it could happen) but i am worried about her. just the other day she nearly lost a necklace because the clasp wasn't fastened correctly. a few months ago i was down on my hands and knees scouring the place for a lost earring(i did find it.) her hands are very bad and i think it would be difficult to get this stuff on and off her by herself.

she says now that she never told me that we could have her jewelry and she is really mad. well, it is her stuff. she does get pleasure out of wearing some of it. most, she does not wear. should i bring it back and the heck with it? i've already told her it's a bad idea. i know she won't keep it locked up because she has a hard time with the key and lock, and forgets, anyway.

i anticipate that something will go missing and she will accuse staff. i'm not in the mood to deal with that, whether the staff took it or she just lost it.

i'm, thinking about bringing it back, letting her select a few of her favorite pieces, and keeping the rest in my custody, if she will let me. and telling her specifically that if she loses anything, she is not to accuse staff, nor expect us to help her look for it. (and this may involve more reasoning than she is really capable of.)

WWYD?

p.s. of course my sisters and i would like to get our hands on her jewelry, so we do have a bit of a conflict of interest, and feel guilty about keeping it away from her. we need an objective opinion.we are all agreed that she shouldn't have it.

the other thing, of course, is that she really isn't capable, and i dread it when i have to be the adult and say, "NO."


Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:45 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3122
Location: Vermont
Post Re: mom's jewelry: WWYD?
These situations are so unsettling because no matter what you do, you and your sisters will probably wish you'd done the opposite! I have known several elderly folks who have had dementia and had similar issues about expensive jewelry. What happened in all 3 cases was that "someone" (not family members) ended up with a lot of very expensive jewelry. Here are a couple of things I can think of:

1. I would NOT let her keep expensive jewelry in any sort of facility.

2. Take 1 or 2 things with you that you think were favorites and have her wear them while you are there. Before you leave, tell her that the ALF cannot be responsible for expensive jewelry and wants you to keep it for her, tell her you know she doesn't want it to get lost, caught up in laundry, whatever, and that you will put it in safe keeping and bring it next time you come so she can wear it for a while.

3. She may get to the point where she forgets about it entirely and then you don't need to worry about it.

Although it wasn't all that expensive, I was struggling over taking my dad's cell phone away. I felt horribly guilty about it every time I wanted to take it away but he was calling me and his friends many times per hour per day (27 calls one night within 3 hr.) and sometimes even multiple times in the middle of the night. I was lucky - the aides laundered it in his pants pocket by mistake and he asked about it a few times. I had to lie to him and say that I was working on getting him a new one. Within a few weeks he entirely forgot he had a cell phone and stopped asking for it.

If he'd had an expensive watch I would not have left that with him at the ALF. I did buy him several watches and clocks while he lived in the ALF but I bought inexpensive ones. There are just too many people in and out of those rooms and although 99% are probably good honest people, all you need is one "lost" piece of jewelry and you'll probably wish you'd never left it there. If she were in her right mind, she'd probably recommend NOT having it there either.

Let us know how it all turns out. Your experience is likely to be helpful to someone else. Lynn

_________________
Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:08 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3178
Location: WA
Post Re: mom's jewelry: WWYD?
I think what I would do is bring her jewelry to her periodically, letting her examine it, etc. then put it back in the safe deposit box, explaining, as Lynn has suggested, that the ALF requires that valuables be locked up for safekeeping because they cannot insure it on the premises.

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:37 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
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Post Re: mom's jewelry: WWYD?
I would take the above advice if it were me, my mom was in a ALF for 5 yrs before she passed no dementia and she had things disappear and when she passed there is much of her jewelry that is gone that over the yrs I have thought where is this or that since her passing. You could also take pictures of it and keep on hand when you visit if she asks to see it too !

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Irene Selak


Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:12 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:00 pm
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Location: Fayetteville, NC
Post Re: mom's jewelry: WWYD?
Ted would put his rings in strange places and I would have to hunt them down. I couldn't find his wedding ring for the funeral. After an exhaustive search, I now have it again--it is precious to me. I still can't find one ring, but there's hope. He would sometimes talk about missing them, but I would always say I was still looking for them (which was absolutely true). During his more lucid time, we'd discussed his Rolex watch, and, although we'd already taken a couple of links out, it was too big to wear. We bought him a replacement inexpensive watch that he wore to the end and that made him happy. He said he wanted me to sell the Rolex and take our girls on a trip after he was gone. I'm not sure at this time I'm going to do that--it means so much to me now. But, for the times he was asking about his rings, just the reassurance and redirects to other things when we were talking helped a great deal.


Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:45 am
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Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:00 pm
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Location: Fayetteville, NC
Post Re: mom's jewelry: WWYD?
Oh, and I must clarify that he'd done the ring "hides" before we went into the NH, so jewelry wasn't an issue. We did, however, keep his earring in always and he's wearing it now - makes me smile every time :lol:


Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:48 am
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:41 am
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Post Re: mom's jewelry: WWYD?
well, about 2 weeks ago i called mom to tell her goodbye as i was going on vacation.

she asked if i would stop by her place with the jewelry. i told her i didn't have time but we would discuss it when i got back. she got really mad.

i got back on sunday, and yesterday i went to see her and take her to see the doc, and then out to dinner. we had a wonderful visit, really. she had some mild confusion here and there but was basically "with it" most of the time.

not a word about the jewelry, and she was wearing some very nice costume earrings.

fingers crossed.

as an aside. this is a woman i have never gotten along with, my whole life. she could be really mean. i do not like having to take care of her.

but yesterday, she was so small, and vulnerable, and sweet, and grateful.(WHAT HAS SHE DONE WITH MY REAL MOM? LOL!) she held my hand firmly before i left.

my poor little mommy. so lonely and frail.


Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:47 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
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Post Re: mom's jewelry: WWYD?
bjr,

I am so glad that your mom didn't ask about the jewelry, so it shows we just need to re-direct sometimes. I am glad even a little late that she is being a true mom to you, as they say better late than never, I hope it continues !!

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Irene Selak


Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:17 pm
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:41 am
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Post Re: mom's jewelry: WWYD?
irene, you always say the right thing. thanks.


Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:32 am
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
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Post Re: mom's jewelry: WWYD?
I have been at this a lot of years !! Most came from my own trial and error in the disease,I lived it just like the rest of the people here !! Thanks for the kind words !

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Irene Selak


Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:53 pm
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Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:04 pm
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Post Re: mom's jewelry: WWYD?
bjr, I owned an ASL for dementia for nine years. They hid items, swallowed them, lost them and yes I believe they may have been taken. I tried to convince the family if it has value, of any kind dont leave it here. Redirect, be "forgetful" about bringing it, bring little gifts. Good luck


Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:36 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3122
Location: Vermont
Post Re: mom's jewelry: WWYD?
BJR - glad your mom at least momentarily forgot about the jewelry. She may bring it up again in the future, but you have lots of great suggestions here about how to deal with it. And, as time goes on, she may totally forget that she even has any jewelry.
My dad eventually forgot about his cell phone that got washed in his pants by the ALF staff by mistake. I felt too guilty about taking it away from him and he was driving people crazy with it, calling all times of day and night, dozens of times in a few hours, etc. But after it got washed I was visiting him one day and he saw my cell phone and said "I think maybe I used to have one of those." He never asked for another one and my guilt was gone...
So, don't worry, don't feel guilty, keep her stuff safe, she doesn't need expensive stuff at an ALF. Lynn

_________________
Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:05 pm
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