If your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has a hoarding problem it can be an added stressor for caregivers and other family members.
While many material items represent good memories, there are many ways to stay organized while still keeping memorabilia in an organized manner. Here are some tips for caregivers who deal with loved ones that have a hoarding problem;
Encourage your loved one to re-gift items, particularly those keepsake items that have a high level of sentimental meaning. Passing on possessions to children or grand-children is a good way to ensure those things stay in the family while lightening the load for those who hate to throw things away.
Transform items such as that beloved wedding dress by taking a swatch and preserve it in a shadow box and consolidate photos in boxes on a DVD are other ways to keep treasured keepsakes while clearing out space in your loved one’s home.
Consider setting up online bill payment instead of keeping stacks of paper bills and while you are at it, put your loved one on a no junk mail list to keep the amount of paper at a minimum. Use a shredder to shred any paperwork with personal identity information.
Keep in mind that if your loved one is in a wheel chair or is otherwise mobility impaired, cleaning out trash may be difficult or impossible so he/she may rely on family members to help. If the job is too big, consider hiring a cleaning agency and/or professional organization service.
Don’t forget that hoarding is a serious issue that has to do with a false sense of security that hanging on to material things may lower a sense of fear and insecurity. Give plenty of support and loved to those with hoarding issues who are faced with letting go of their “prized possessions.”
Learn more about topics for caregivers by joining our 25 lesson program written for caregivers at AlzU.org by CLICKING HERE.