FlowersChallenging Behaviors for the Caregiver

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Hiding Things
By Elisabeth A Hinman-Smith M.S.W. & Lisa P. Gwyther M.S.W.

"I have to be sure to get to the mailbox before he does. Last month he hid two bills and we got late notices before I even knew things had come due."

* Limit the number of possible hiding places by locking drawers and cabinets, closets and extra rooms.

* Carefully check clothes baskets, hampers and trash cans before emptying.

* Lock up valuables when possible. Try to limit the amount of money carried by the person.

* Do not scold or accuse the person of hiding things. Do not try to reason with them. Instead, reassure them and help them look for the lost item. In this way, you may become familiar with favorite hiding places.

* When possible keep spares of frequently misplaced items on hand like glasses, keys, etc.

* Try to distract the person with an activity.

* Do not become defensive if they accuse you of taking things. This is a normal reaction to gaps in memory and increasing confusion. Try to remember that the person is not being purposely malicious. They cannot remember what happens to their things, and it protects their waning self esteem to blame it on someone else.

(c) copyright 1996


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