New girlfriend's mother has dementia, questions on how to better understand and deal with it and my GF?

As the title states my girlfriend's mother has dementia I have noticed the forgetfulness, the hoarding placing things where they don't really belong. My GF has to live with this and is getting more and more frustrated every time something goes amiss. The mother remembers me even though I only been around for a short while asking where I'm at and wondering when I can come over for what seems to be a security and safety thing.  This is strange to me because when I was over for the holidays she did not seem to remember who her own children or grandchildren were.  Bigger question I have is why are items left in places where they really don't belong; coffee cups in the closet, shoes in the bathtub stuff like that? Also is there any reasoning for doing laundry on two articles of clothing?

Been taking the day so far to read up on this behavior so I can get a better grasp on all this.

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