Alzheimer’s Dementia and Hoarding Behavior

By on December 12, 2014
scattered clothes and shoes

Anna of  Lodi, Calif writes in about a mom with Alzheimer’s dementia and hoarding behaviors.

I saw things with my mom now at 87 years old. When I was 11, she would save cash receipts from the food for end of the year taxes.

She never used them ,there would bags of them in the closets . She would buy more fabric then she needed.

Out of her 9 children, 6 are having problems with hoarding behavior. I have spent 6 months clearing papers and trash out of her house to sell it.

Most of the work by my self no help from my sisters or brothers. The work has been so hard.

I will want to save something so I don’t forget something about her. She saved her tax papers since 1973 in files , check stubs, boxes of papers, so much just junk.

She had to go in a Nursing home 9 months ago because she wasn’t eating or paying bills.

Alzheimer’s dementia was a for sure thing going on with her.

I had to get her out before I could start.I am seeking help for my self. My life will be changing.

advice - word in letterpress type

Oh, Anna 

My heart goes out to you. Having a parent with Alzheimer’s dementia is so hard.  Dealing with hoarding behaviors is even more difficult.  It sounds as if she had gotten into the later stages of dementia. Hoarding behavior is a problem with dementia patients, especially  if it has been a lifestyle.

Caring for a family member that hoards is very difficult. This is a problem that is far more common than most people realize.

You said that your mom collected papers. That is the most common form of hoarding behavior.

You also brought up an important fact – that 6 of your 9 siblings are hoarders. Scientists now believe that there is a genetic component or a gene that may cause individuals to hoard things.

I do not know how far along in her illness our mother is, but do not be surprised if she continues to try to hoard things in the nursing home. It is a habit she will not be able to break.

As you start on your new journey from hands on caregiver to advocate, you too will have some adjustments.
Make sure you take time for yourself. Do something fun. Try to find balance in your life. Let us know how you are doing.