“I just put it down here a minute ago. It has to be here.”

You will have to get used to this as a caregiver for someone living with dementia.

You may find that your loved one has developed a new habit of collecting or hoarding things. They will find hiding places so secretive you’ll wish you thought of them.

My dad loved to hoard any book he could get his hands on. He even had a pile of books stacked where he sat at the kitchen table. However, if it comforts him to eat surrounded by books, so be it.

Eventually, I had to place a shelf along the wall at the table to have enough room for two plates and still see each other.

I have been a bookseller for over three decades. I know where I got it from. He took comfort in some aspects, and pricing books was one. I even found our local yellow pages priced and ready for sale. So, if I was missing a book that was just in my hands, I knew where it went.

I hate to say this, but if you’re caring for someone with a dementia-related disease, a time may come when you’re going to need to lock a drawer or cabinet for essential possessions.

There was a time when I spent a couple of days checking every crack and crevice in my home, looking for my wallet.

After asking my father several times if he had seen my billfold, only to get the same reply every time, I finally asked him to stand up. Patting him down, I found mine in his left pocket, his in his right.

I know you’re probably thinking, why didn’t you check his pockets first? You must be sensitive about handling certain situations, or the day will get even longer.

We need to be careful not to make things worse. Yes, even when we’re in panic mode. Things are going to go missing. We need to watch our tone.  Accusing them, even if they took it, will cause more problems than it is worth.

Dad has been gone 14 years, and I’m still finding some of his best hiding places.