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My patience is running out I feel depressed at times.


All he does is watch tv and follows me around all day. Thank god for a few hours of respite.

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Unload things quietly, privately, and with hired help if need be, place ads, give things away. He will not miss them. If he mentions them just say "I don't really remember what happened to that; I haven't seen it in a while". Just slow but sure and what you are able to. Make use of friends, Church, whatever. If you need to take him on a brief motel trip while someone get's rid of some boxed and marked things, someone you trust, then do so and make it "fun vacation". If things look different when he returns just say it was cleaned and somethings "in the attic" in the shed or whatever. You are going to have to prevaricate a bit, I am afraid, or continue to negotiate through the jungle.
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Musicismymuse Jul 14, 2019
One of the hardest lessons I had to learn while caring for Mom was that I had to LIE to her sometimes. Because I never lie (well, hardly ever) and because she taught me so well and I continued to believe she could always tell when I did, I bungled the first few tries.
As the years went by, I became a master at it.
My best 'fib' was when she'd ask where her mother was. Initiallly, I was shocked when she couldn't recall, and she suffered with grief when she learned her mum had died in 1947. But Mom adored classical music, and in the end, I'd answer by telling her that, "Your mother's with Beethoven."
Who knows, maybe it wasn't a lie. And now I tell myself that Mom's with him too. ;-)
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As the adult child of a hoarder, I had to deal with this quite a bit until I quit. You can't change a hoarders irrational desires - it is a mental illness. However, you can redirect the wrath.

For example, where'd the fence posts go? Don't you remember, that young man needed them for the charity and you were so gracious to him! He was so thankful for them and you made it possible for that charity to complete their work! (That's for a donation to Habitat for Humanity of anything mildly related to construction).

I agree with the black plastic bag answer - the washer is broken so I"m taking the laundry. We'll get to fixing it, but right now I have to take care of these. Thank you for noticing me working so hard for you! That makes me feel appreciated (just for stopping you and asking what in the Heck are you doing with those bags?)

If you make him look like he's the hero of the story, even if you are fibbing, you are enabling him to let go of something he does not want to get rid of. And you need to get rid of a lot.
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PandabearAUS Jul 15, 2019
I don’t think he is a hoarder. I think he is like my father was. A handyman who just knows he’s going to need a particular screw that’s in one of those jars
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I have been dealing with an OCD hoarding mother with anciety issues for over 15 years. It has taken me a long time to adjust and learn how to deal with her while maintaining my sanity, especially as I live across the country. Even though I have siblings near mom, they are of minimal use so I feel like I am on my own. Here is my priority:

1) Safety first...is it a danger to you/them/others?
When I first realized the gravity of her condition I cleaned out 8 large garbage bags of plastic bags, napkins, straws, old flyers etc. (stuffed in every cupboard, nook & cranny) If there had ever been a fire the fuel provided by all the garbage would have accelerated the fire and no doubt put the neighboring townhouses at risk.
In my current visit (as a result of a minor stroke) the clutter was out if control again, now to the point of impeding her path for her walker, putting her at fall risks. Now with the (fortunate) loss of her driver's license less clutter should come in.

2) Health risk to you/others.
Are things getting so bad that rodents, bugs are invading your space? If you can't convince hubby that stuff has to go for sanitary/health reasons maybe it's time to call the city health inspector/fire dept on yourself. Then you can legitimately tell him this stuff has to go because you gave no choice. Or if comfortable with it, lie to him and tell him there has been complaints & the city says the stuff has to be moved or you will be fined. (In most locations this IS true, however the reality is that it can be dfficult to get offenders to comply & it can take awhile) If your husband's Alzheimers is bad enough he probably won't be able to argue the point.

3) Start moving stuff out slowly when he can't see you. Especially garbage/stuff that is irrelevant, won't be used. I do this when mom is napping or late at night. He is not in a position to make rational decisions anymore. I lost my "real mom" many years ago and it has taken me a long time to realize that. I am left with my "true mom" 10-20% of the time. Not Alzheimer's but dementia, cignitive decline. The majority of time she is in the "terrible twos", very self centered and angry (tantrums) if I try and push her too far/too fast with her current downsizing. (5 weeks since her stroke, 2 weeks to her move). It's a very slow process and though I have donated a lot of her clothes/stuff without her seeing them, I be sure to leave several for "her" to make the decison of what to donate and what to keep.
She doesn't remember a lot of what she has, so she won't miss what she hasn't seen. If she does bring it up I say "don't you remember we donated that" and she's happy.
Sometimes I have to convince her to donate so other people can enjoy, get use out of it.

4) Distraction....I just discovered this and maybe it will work for you too. If my mom asks me about something I might have gotten rid of, sometimes I can change the topic or I can ask her about it & we discuss the memory behind it. I end up saying "I'm not sure where it is right now, but I'm sure it's around somewhere" (which is in fact true)
Hope this helps because the hoarding mentality never changes, just the way we deal with it does.
Good luck...to both of us
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Can you take him to Day Care once or twice a week to give you some time off? I would consider this option, then while he is there I would start unloading the stuff.
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Take photos of things that he can view on your laptop, or print them out into a little book. Tell him you've packed them away in the attic, and if he wants them, you'll go get them (then procrastinate). He may become so interested in looking at the book, he'll forget he actually wanted to DO anything.
I am sure this is true as I am 68 and I act the same way. I saw that when I flipped through the photos of my mother's home and belongings that we had to give away or sell. It somehow soothed me to simply remember. I am now working on relinquishing the 5,000 books I've accumulated over my lifetime - many of which I have read, and more that I've set aside for my 'someday/retirement' days, But I'm now retired and I'll never read them. Listing them out seems to allow me to give them away as even the titles remind me of my past.
I think that is the key. Who are we without the memories? It is frightening to imagine.
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Do it little by little. Start with things he hasn't touched in years. Maybe, put them in a different place and if he never asks for them, get rid of them. Sometimes out of sight, out of mind works for the good.

He remembers because he sees it. Maybe someone can take him out of the house for awhile. Then you can clean out. Do not put them in your trash. Ask a neighbor, way up the street if you can put ur trash with theres.
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It's difficult to deal with hoarding, overbuying, and just plain greed. I hope your respite of a few hours recharges your batteries and if your husband loads up the refrigerator like mine does, I've found a small hack. The things at the back of each rack are old cans with withering or moldy contents and suchlike, so when I throw them away, I place tall acceptable containers in the very front to present an unbroken row. Many times Spouse seems to need to fill up each space without realizing that it's difficult to find anything before it gets dangerously out of date. If you make sure the items make the space look "crowded," then anxiety seems to be satisfied.

I've also found lying to be useful and since I'm also elderly, I use that to my advantage: "I don't remember where X is" and I do, actually. It's disturbing how easy and fun lying is.

If it's lumber that your husband is saving, maybe use the same rationale? Prop up a few of the bigger pieces and jumble them to make it look as if a huge amount is there as you discard the smaller pieces. Best of luck to you.
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DesertCatlady Jul 14, 2019
"I've also found lying to be useful"..., lol. I do the same thing with hubby, but have learned to hide things in trash too, he will go looking for things if he finds them missing.
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I'll be the one dealing with the aftermath of the hoarders "stuff". Hundreds, if not thousands of tools from when he was a mechanic. An old moped bought for the kids (the kids are in their late 40ies). His garage is full of usless "stuff" he took when relatives died (christmas decorations, toys of no value, etc.) Other stuff he took from the curb that a neighbor threw out. Old clothes he hasn't worn in years. When I visit I have to remove tools from the sofa to have a place to sit Can't eat at the table because it's full of stuff he's picked up from the street, I'm talking about small sticks, bottle tops, empty cans. His pantry is full of canned foods that expired years ago. So, for those of you asking "what's the rush?" I'll tell you the rush...I'm 78, although I'm in good health I'm concerned about what this will do to my health. This is someone I care deeply about. How do i tackle all this while grieving at the same time. This is a former husband and the hoarding broke up the marriage. I'm the only one this person depends on.
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Have someone take him to lunch or for an afternoon outing that he would enjoy. Then while he is out of the house, get rid of stuff you know he will never need. He probably won't even miss it but if he does mention it, just play dumb and say you don't know whatever happened to it.
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I have started with my stuff. My hubby has lived in this house since 1946. Just think. So, I am getting my stuff down. Then I insist the "public" rooms are kept neat. That is front/dining room and hall bath plus kitchen. Caused a fight but it was worth it. He has the garage and what would be the family room for his stuff. I did it one room at a time. Just moved his magazines to his work room. After all it is his house too. He used to build RC boats and I incorporated them into the decor. It isn't MY house it is OUR house.
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