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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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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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Im the only one my former husband has. He had a mild stroke nearly a year ago but his his health is declining. He's a hoarder and either me or my kids one day will have a mess on our hands. I went thru this with my Mother's house and I will NEVER put this on my kids. Someone said when they are away from home start throwing things out. I'm already stressed off and all that would do would cause fighting.
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Mamiann Jul 14, 2019
Great answer I am in the same boat.
the trouble is he is always around.
I started throwing stuff deep in garbage bags .
He is 4th stage Alzheimer’s with short term memory but he does not forget his old possessions.
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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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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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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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Say you’re doing the laundry 🧺 & that’s what is in the bags...hugs🤗
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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've been caregiving since the 2009 diagnosis of Alzheimer's. I would ask yourself the question, why is it so important to throw it out now? Maybe there are other things you can get rid of, like clothes that no longer fit or will never be worn again. How about "organizing" that pile of wood, maybe even with his help, when what you are actually doing is staging it for easy removal when the time is right. There will come a time when it will be easy to get rid of that pile of wood. Try to find something that you both can enjoy, however small, because you won't be "both" forever. When we decided to downsize before the move in 2013, we contacted his family and gave away all his family heirlooms to his nieces and nephews. It made him very happy to know that his treasures were going to good homes.
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Tothill Jul 15, 2019
Clamcc,

I understand your point of view, but would like to present another one.

Why is it important to do now?

Because I have the next 6 weeks free, and it could very well be the last 6 weeks of free time in the next 10 years.

Because major repairs are needed and there is too much stuff in the way.

Because it is a safety issue, falling piles, spoiled food, fire hazard.

Because once he dies, there will be so much other work to do, that this gets it off our plates for now.

Because we want to be able to enjoy the property (It is not his, it is in a trust to me and my brother).

Because of rodents and insects.

To spread the costs of clean up over time. With 6 derelict vehicles, 2 travel trailers, various boats, 6-8 large appliances, and 4-6 dump truck loads of garbage to remove, it is an expensive time consuming job.

Because we want to preserve the property for the family to use in the future.
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Old stuff... to build a fence or other crazy ideas.

Are we talking about messing with a man's garage and tool sheds? Woah!

Could we go back a bit? - why the need to deal with these things now, where are you moving to, what's the plan, and who might you call on for help?
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lafinbby Jul 15, 2019
Wow...you sound so harsh without reading everything first. Mamian answered many of your questions in an additional post
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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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I get where you are coming from. You want to throw it out now because it will make YOU feel good
advice is to do it by stealth. Don’t know how you handle him following you everywhere. That was the last straw for my father with mother. She went into care after that
are you wanting to start cleaning up in preparation for respite/permanent care
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Just put it in garage out of the way, he will have forgotten about it in a few days and you can get rid of it
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MarieM462 Jul 15, 2019
Oh No, TaylorUK it's my experience they dont forget.
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I don’t know if it’s the dementia or narcissism but my mother remembers and frequently tells me and all onlookers I’m a thief because I threw away food that expired two years previously. You may just exchange one headache for another, . From the reasons you gave, I think maybe it’s not the junk, maybe you need a break. If it’s really a health issue, maybe clear out a little you know he won’t miss. You may need to remove him while you do it. But truthfully, you’ll have more time and probably energy after he’s gone . For now , can you hire a caregiver to give you a break a few times a week? I didn’t understand some of your reasons but it sounds like it’s always been a bone of contention and maybe you are just focused on it now? Maybe getting away will help you deal period .
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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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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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Benign manipulation could be the key to your sanity. I still feel guilty sometimes, but learning to manipulate my 92 year old mom (no dementia - but forgetful), with whom I live, has helped. I pick my spots. After many argumentative discussions, I found that I could get her to agree to putting some of the old junk in the basement. She usually forgets about it and I eventually can give it away or toss it. For us, the key is to only do it a little at a time. A big purge is too much change for her to easily assimilate.

Sometimes, years later she remembers something that got tossed. I frequently don't remember if it was discarded or given away, or whatever. So I deflect and either say I don't know what happened to it, or maybe we gave it to one of my sisters. It was tough getting by the inherent dishonesty, but logical discussions are not her strong point and it gets more difficult as she ages.

I just toss old food and hope she doesn't notice it. That woman has an iron stomach and I've seen her eat spoiled food with no repercussions. However, I kind of gave up on the old spices - no harm, just no flavor. LOL

There is still more clutter in our house than I like, and I'm also guilty of saving too much. I just figure it will be much easier to do a complete clean-out when she is gone.
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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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My 93 year old mom doesn’t have dementia but she runs the whole gamut of “emotions” over her STUFF!
One day she’ll be giving away her things and the next she’ll be saying: “You didn’t throw out that green windbreaker I had in this front closet did you? That came from work and it was my favorite...”

Another day I’ll complain about a garden tool or something that doesn’t work anymore and she’ll say: “I used to have some motorized hand clippers for that. You didn’t throw THOSE away did you?”

Then on the other hand she tells me to quit buying her clothes any more. What is up with that? She’s correct her clothes aren’t completely worn out (that’s because she hasn’t moved around very much for years) but I get tired of seeing her dressed like a pauper.

The family has to add their two cents all the time as well, about how cluttered the garage is. They don’t seem to realize most of the stuff out there used to be in her bedroom! Wall to wall chests stuffed full and boxes under the bed. Chester drawers with boxes piled on top of them.

I don’t see why it matters to them anyway. We don’t have a car and when she did have one she never parked it in the garage. I think she eggs it on with snarky comments to them about it. She can’t even go into the garage anymore because of the steps.

She was a crafty person. Always making something. I try to respect her by not throwing her stuff away even though I know she won’t ever be able to do her projects anymore. I’m just not very good at deciding what things are important to her.

Honestly, I’m as bad or worse than she is because one day I’ll be tossing stuff out left and right, then next day I’ll be out looking for it... but everybody knows: as soon as you throw something out, you need it the very next day.
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I have 2 methods dealing with my Mom. She is in Assisted Living and we cleared out and sold most of her household belongings.

I kept all of the photos, her clothing, and art supplies and put them in a storage locker. When she asks for something I tell her it’s on storage and will bring it next time I visit. She usually forgets about it so I usually am off the hook.

The other tactic I call "squirrel!" I change the subject and hope to distract her. If that doesn’t work I tell her we gave it to a relative or neighbor. That usually satisfies her.
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You MUST be the one in control and not him. Pare down what is no longer needed. Any household accumulates too much "stuff" if you don't purge out items that are no longer needed. Give to the Goodwill or other charitable causes. He may forget that he ever owned the donated items as his mind no longer functions correctly.
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