The “Did You Move That” Syndrome

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Ten Signs It’s time for your aging loved one to be evaluated for additional care needs.

#5 – The “Did You Move That?” Syndrome

Have you ever stopped by to visit your loved one and the first thing they say is“ You know that book I was reading, well someone moved it and I can’t find it anywhere.”
Or another good one, I don’t want that girl coming here anymore, she keeps moving things and I can never find them. I think she is breaking things or she is stealing from me. This is definitely paranoid talk. But don’t despair, it is very normal in our aging seniors. This is one of those onset dementia symptoms. They begin to think people are taking things, or bringing things and leaving them.

I first witnessed this when Mama found a book on a bookshelf (of all places) that she swore was not hers. She had never seen it before and was concerned someone had been in the house. This was normaI. I was not alarmed and told her I would check the locks and make sure they were working. Then I asked what the book was. She couldn’t remember, but she knew it was not there before.

My one piece of advice to you, ‘Do Not Argue’ with them. Go to their world, become their advocate, become the person they can trust. Tell mom or dad you will check it out and make some inquiries. Maybe it was just Mary who stayed with you. Maybe she just left it accidentally, or maybe she thought you would like it. Calm them and assure them you are with them and they will not have to worry alone. You will get to the bottom of the matter.

This is just the beginning, you will need to discuss this with the family and make sure everyone is on the same page. Go to their world. Then meet with family if you have family, and create a care plan. Discuss it with mom or dad if you feel they are capable of handling it. You don’t want to alienate them.

The unfortunate part of this stage is that they become fixated on that item. Believe me that wasn’t the last conversation about ‘the book’. The next step is blaming specific people for doing these unthinkable things (like bringing a book) or possibly stealing clothing. I can laugh now about it, but it is a serious sign.



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