How to keep Mom from hording everything in her bedroom? Is this a part of Alzheimer's? - AgingCare.com

How to keep Mom from hording everything in her bedroom? Is this a part of Alzheimer's?

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Growing up our house was lived in but not stacked up. Mom has started keeping things in her bedroom (her brother and his wife lives with her as her caretakers) so that no one throws "HER" things away. So she has piles of newspapers , magazines, food, books and I don't know what else. My youngest sister has been helping to clean her room every couple of months. But it is starting to really get out of control. She has a small path and that is all. I don't understand why she is doing that. My Aunt and Grandmother also did this when they were alive, they also had Alzheimer's. Any suggestions on how to help her not to do this?

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krazy8's my mom saves everything also. when we moved her to assisted living, I cleaned out her house- the trash truck came 3 times in 1 day. now she saves every bag, container from dining room(in AL) and every little pill cup and water glass. when she is not in her room, I go in and throw most away. the other day I noticed she is using the little 1 oz pill cups to store her extensive jewelry collection in(along with all the inserts from chocolate boxes) she will be 95 and at this point, i will let her do this with her jewelry since it gives her something to do. I continue to throw away all else. She sometimes jokes and asks what have I thrown away today!
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my ex mil hoards papers..magazines about health products (so she can tell her son how to lose weight) clothing, shoes, etc. She also spends hours just going through her drawers and closets and touching everything in there. I have found recently that she comes into the other parts of the house (she has one 'wing') while we are gone, which is rare, and takes things to her room and hides them! I found my clothes by accident!!! I only have a very few pieces of clothing, being a single mom of five (four at ) and no job, so when I couldnt find one of my shirts (I have about 5) to wear I finally went to her room and searched and it was there. She also had the microwave plastic cover thing you put over your food, my kids clothes, silverware, mail of ours!!! and other things.
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ahhh, im with christina. someday when i go home im going to have a fork. and a plate. and a bowl. and a spoon. the only decor that was ever in my home was a 5 gallon crock / water dispenser on one side of the dining room table and a fruit bowl on the other. it was / is lean and restive. hate clutter.
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I can totally relate. The day I moved in with my mother, I felt like the house was closing in on me! She had hundreds of different things that she had collected and cumulated over the years. My mother doesn't believe in throwing anything away! She washes and stores away empty food containers, empty cereal boxes, styrofoam cups and lids from restaurants, all the brand new clothes with tags still attached, new shoes w/ matching purses piled to the rafters in every closet in her house... now, she has one favorite dress and a pair if shoes that she wears each and every time that she has to go out, so that narrowing down the wardrobe (lol) Her house was beyond clutter, it was a disaster!... Day by day, little by little, things started to clear out, and she never noticed a thing missing, and she still has plenty of things to keep her busy... As captain said, at some point you will have to help her find things that you will be accused of stealing, and that is exactly where I am at now. Thank goodness for recycling centers and thrift shops!! Wishing you the best, CindyPearl.
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I think part of it is they can no longer differentiate between what my have value and what does not. they are somewhat aware or have a feeling that they can't trust their own judgment so take the "safe" course and just keep it all. I just keep throwing things like the trays from cookie boxes, used plastic wrap, etc. away when she is not there to see. And I don't put it in her trash because she goes through it and retrieve "valuable items." If egress from the room is difficult, it is a safety hazard that you must correct.
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I agree it is a phase and it will pass, as whitesage mentions. It is notable how they go from obsessive to unaware as the disease progresses. I grew up in and cleaned my Mother's cluttered home. In high school, I tried to eliminate many of the items she had on display because I had to dust the damn things. One day she came home to see my minimalist uncreations and had one of her famous tantrums. I often wonder when the dementia actually began because of this behavior. I like to steer clear of anyone who has clutter.
Oh yes, I am critical of "style." So bite me.
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Have someone take her out of the home for several hours and bring in a dumpster and throw the garbage out. Really.
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During the early stage of my Mom's AD, she would become very obsessed with her belongings and hoard everything into her room. We had no choice but to clean out the house of clutter and streamline the whole house. Everything that presented a danger was locked up. Then we let her "play" with her things in her personal space. I am pretty sure this is a temporary stage as the disease progresses. Now, in her advanced stage, she has no interest in her personal items. Hang in there...hopefully, this is a phase in the disease. Not easy to deal with, I know.
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Hoarding and hiding possessions is a symptom of Alzheimer's. My dad had dementia and was obsessed with his belongings as well. He would spend hours going through his closet just looking at things or looking for things.

I wish I had a clever solution for you regarding how you can prevent this behavior. I'm not sure there is one but if there is, you'll find it here.

Good luck :-)
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thats part of dementia. i think they are losing track of possessions and losing control so they hoard their most beloved items near themselves. you should inadvertantly learn where her hiding places are because at some point you will have to help her find things that you will be accused of stealing. dont be surprised if you are eventually accused of trying to kill her and she deems you an imposter. its called the capgras effect and is quite the norm in alz / dementia patients.
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