Sometimes you win. It's a good feeling.
When I left Atria the other day, I stopped by the front desk to make a reservation for brunch on Mother's Day. For once I was in time to get a spot and I felt good about that. (The last two holidays I tried to get a reservation for they were full up and weren't taking any more reservations.)
Then Sandra, the girl at the desk with whom I have become friendly, told me that my mother had brought another bag of clothes that "didn't belong to her" to the front desk a few days before.
Well, of course they belonged to her, so I spent an hour yesterday going through photos and found the one at the left. It's her wearing one of the shirts she says don't belong to her (it's from a Cousins Day in 2011). She had also brought two pairs of pants and I found a picture of her wearing one of them. I printed both pictures off.
The last time this happened it resulted in a very angry argument between us, her insisting she had never seen the clothes she brought, me telling her that I bought some of them for her, her insisting she had never worn them. I told her I didn't see what a big deal it was because even if they weren't hers, all of her clothes were second hand anyway, purchased at the thrift shop where she worked, so she is used to wearing second hand clothes. But she was adamant. She didn't want anybody at Atria seeing her wearing their clothes and think she had stolen them.
It was classic dementia talking and I got caught up in it, trying to bring rationalization to it, which was, of course, impossible. I ended up giving the clothes away, after trying to sneak them back in a couple of times.
After that I started bringing her laundry back in a laundry basket, rather than just piling it on the bed for her. I made a big deal about "here is your laundry and I will pick the basket up later." Since that time we haven't had any problems.
Until this week.
I figured that the problem was that her last load of laundry was small and so rather than bring it in a basket (which makes my back ache when I carry it), I brought it in a bag and maybe that was what caused the mix up.
Anyway, I was prepared this time. I took out the sweatshirt and said that she had returned it to the desk, but really it was her shirt. She spread it out and said "I don't ever remember wearing this shirt." I whipped out the photo and showed it to her. She could not deny it. Then I showed her the photo of the pants. And as she stood there with a blank look on her face, I suggested that the next time she doesn't recognize her clothes, she should realize that her mind is playing tricks on her again because nobody is going to be bringing strange clothes into her house.
I don't know if it worked, but there was no argument. She took the photos and she kept the clothes, but whether they will get back out to the front desk or not, I don't know, but I figured I had handled things much better this time. And from now on I will never bring her laundry back unless it is in a laundry basket!