When a Person with Alzheimer’s Rummages and Hides Things, from nia.nih.org

August 22, 2017

Someone with Alzheimer’s disease may start rummaging or searching through cabinets, drawers, closets, the refrigerator, and other places where things are stored. He or she also may hide items around the house. This behavior can be annoying or even dangerous for the caregiver or family members. If you get angry, try to remember that this behavior is part of the disease.

 

In some cases, there might be a logical reason for this behavior. For instance, the person may be looking for something specific, although he or she may not be able to tell you what it is. He or she may be hungry or bored. Try to understand what is causing the behavior so you can fit your response to the cause.

 

Rummagingwith Safety

You can take steps that allow the person with Alzheimer’s to rummage while protecting your belongings and keeping the person safe. Try these tips:

Lock up dangerous or toxic products, or place them out of the person’s sight and reach.

Remove spoiled food from the refrigerator and cabinets. Someone with Alzheimer’s may look for snacks but lack the judgment or sense of taste to stay away from spoiled foods.

Remove valuable items that could be misplaced or hidden by the person, like important papers, checkbooks, charge cards, jewelry, and keys.

People with Alzheimer’s often hide, lose, or throw away mail. If this is a serious problem, consider getting a post office box. If you have a yard with a fence and a locked gate, place your mailbox outside the gate.

 

How to Help

You also can create a special place where the person with Alzheimer’s can rummage freely or sort things. This could be a chest of drawers, a bag of objects, or a basket of clothing to fold or unfold.

Give him or her a personal box, chest, or cupboard to store special objects. You may have to remind the person where to find his or her personal storage place.

Keep the person with Alzheimer’s from going into unused rooms. This limits his or her rummaging through and hiding things.

Search the house to learn where the person often hides things. Once you find these places, check them often, out of sight of the person.

Keep all trash cans covered or out of sight. People with Alzheimer’s may not remember the purpose of the container or may rummage through it.

Check trash containers before you empty them, in case something has been hidden there or thrown away by accident.

 

Remember, this behavior is part of the disease and no one is at fault for it.  Learn how to best manage and cope and you’ll all be happier for it.

 

For more information about Alzheimer’s and related dementias, call 1-800-438-4380 to reach the National Institute on Aging’s ADEAR Center. (Alzheimer’s Dementias Education And Referral) or go to www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers

 

Feel free to contact PA HOME CARE with any questions or for help at home.  We’re here to make your life easier and we’re committed to helping seniors age in place, safely and securely, in the comfort of their own homes.

“With Hearts and Hands, We Care”

call 717-464-2006

email PAHC@PA-HomeCare.com

 

 

Six tips for managing sleep problems…from NIH

August 1, 2017

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Though the following deals specifically with people living with Alzheimer’s, these are good tips to follow for anyone with disrupted sleep patterns.

Alzheimer’s disease often affects a person’s sleeping habits. It may be hard to get the person to go to bed and stay there. Someone with Alzheimer’s may sleep a lot or not enough, and may wake up many times during the night.

Here are some tips that may help caregivers manage sleep problems in people with Alzheimer’s disease:

Help the person get exercise each day, limit naps, and make sure the person gets enough rest at night. Being overly tired can increase late-afternoon and nighttime restlessness.

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Plan activities that use more energy early in the day. For example, try bathing in the morning or having the largest family meal in the middle of the day.

Set a quiet, peaceful mood in the evening to help the person relax. Keep the lights low, try to reduce the noise levels, and play soothing music if he or she enjoys it.

Try to have the person go to bed at the same time each night. A bedtime routine, such as reading out loud, also may help.

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Limit caffeine.

Use nightlights in the bedroom, hall, and bathroom.

Learn more about sleep and Alzheimer’s disease on the NIH website.

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/alzheimers/caregiving

 

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