People in the early to middle stages of Alzheimer's tend to hide and hoard things. The theory is that these behaviors are a result of a fear of being robbed.
As a caregiver, I often found personal care items, food, newspapers, books, and garbage hidden in bags, boxes, sugar bowls, suitcases, under the bed, in closets, hampers, drawer and purses. However, these items weren't the problem.
The real frustration came when important items went missing. Car keys, remote controls, power cords, food about to be cooked, and everything else you can think of, would suddenly go missing.
The worry with this behavior is that the food, valuables and medications could be missing for days.
At the first sign of hoarding, put valuables where the person with Alzheimer's can't access them. Important documents, jewelry and other family treasures aren't at risk if they are stored somewhere else. You will save yourself a lot of grief if you decide to do this early in the disease. Think about medications and other important items, too. Put things you don't want to lose in a secure place.
It's okay to lose six pairs of socks. It's not okay to lose the house keys, medications, or legal documents.
Oh, and by the way, don't underestimate your person with Alzheimer's. They will take something from your easy hiding place and put it somewhere you may never find it.
Consider yourself warned. Good luck.
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