My dad is getting increasingly confused. We think he has some level of dementia. Does the environment need to be uncluttered to help the mind?

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My Mom is trying to come to grips with the changes in him. But Mom is resistent to making changes in their home to help with his confusion. Am I on the right track that the environment needs to be uncluttered to help the mind?

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If only uncluttering a house could improve the dementia our loved ones suffer. Uncluttering would be beneficial to avoid falls and it looks nicer but I'm not sure it has any effect on someone's dementia.
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I don't know if this will help because I don't what you mean when you use the word "confused" to describe your dad -- I'm confused (wink, and a smile). My two cents worth... This is a trick that worked for my father-in-law for many years before he died of heart failure. He kept a small notebook in his pocket and wrote *everything* down. No one, and I do mean no one, knew he was struggling with memory and cognition until after he died. The notebook was in his belongings the hospital returned to the family -- everyone was shocked! He knew he was confused and his short term memory was failing but it didn't stop him. This is a brilliant strategy for someone who is struggling with memory and cognition; they can privately maintain their dignity and stay "on-top" of things for a very long time. I have no idea if he decided to do this on his own, or if he spoke with a doctor but worked flawlessly.

My family is a family of "clean freaks", but my husband's -- OMG -- if I had known then what I know now I would probably still be single :) As a side note, I've been married 40 years. My husband's family lived on the same family farm for 150 years ( really, 150 years). When my husband and I chose to renovate the farm 28 years ago I had no idea what I was in for. I had to clean and "organize" for my own sanity -- that's who I am, it is not who my husband is. EVERY outbuilding was full (10 outbuildings at that time) -- plus another farm with 4 more outbuildings. The old Victorian home has 4 floors and all were full; a basement, 2 living floors, and a walk-in attic. Clutter is too polite to describe it -- hoarders before the word hoarder was used to describe people who accumulate too many things they don't need. However, "clutter" didn't have any impact on my father-in-law whatsoever; zero, none. It's who he was and how he lived his life.

Being smart enough to deal with the challenges of a failing memory was the key to leading a fulfilling life until the very end. My father-in-law was smart; a pilot, college educated, etc. His personal struggles must have been overwhelming, but he persevered and learned how to deal with them. All of us will face challenges in our lifetime. It's how we choose to deal with them that will make or break us.
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Yes. A clutter free home is healthy for all. However, unless your mom is a horder or your dad is living in an unsafe environment, clearing the home might not be the first thing on the list.
Have you had your dad to a neurologist for extensive testing? How about even to his primary? A trip with dad to an elder attorney might also be a good first step. He needs to assign a power of attorney to someone to help make decisions for him as he loses the ability to do so. This would be for medical and financial. Does he have a will?
You might want to soft pedal the changes you would like to see made in their environment until you get these first issues resolved. Especially if you feel you will need to protect your dad from an unsafe environment.
How old are your parents? What health issues do they have besides dads confusion? Are they able to pay for care in an AL or memory care or will they need Medicaid for when dad and/or mom need more care?
Read all you can on this site. Use the search engine to look for threads on hoarding if you suspect that is the issue.
Protect your dad. If mom has a problem and refuses to acknowledge it, try to get help for her too. Come back to this site. You will find help here.
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The environment needs to be uncluttered to help for several reasons. Also, I would search this site for articles about dementia so that you can learn more about it. Knowledge is power. Also, I suggest that you have him see a geriatric doctor to evaluate him for dementia and the doctor can give you some education about your dad's situation and what needs to be done or not done.
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