Care recipient (cr) might save scraps of cooked food in places where food is not usually kept or stockpile packaged or perishable food that is outdated understanding the cause of hoarding is part of choosing a response

Try: #a caregiver concerned about food hoarding should be able to describe the hoarding behavior for example the cr keeps leftovers in a dresser drawer versus the cr has bugs in the apartment #in preparing a response to hoarding it is useful to know when the behavior began is it new and perhaps a symptom of dementia or has the cr stockpiled food for decades hoarding food is sometimes a behavior of people who have survived severe deprivation a conversation with family members may be useful ask what behaviors are the same and which have changed #if a caregiver thinks the cr is at risk of falls food poisoning or harm from pests make a call to the closest senior services agency for a home assessment or a call to the cr’s doctor can be made outlining the problem and requesting a mental health evaluation #if hoarding is a symptom of dementia or a psychiatric illness it is possible medication or counseling can decrease the problem #if the cr and the caregiver can negotiate over the hoarding they can make a plan that includes storing food safely and getting rid of outdated food perhaps in exchange for new food #if the cr’s hoarding is part of advanced dementia and involves hiding half-eaten food the caregiver may have to keep an eye out for hiding places cleaning them out when the cr is absent some caregivers suggest giving the cr a clear plastic box with a lid to be used specifically for modified hoarding behaviours if the cr is willing or able to agree to keep individually wrapped foods such as crackers in it negotiating this with a cr will depend on the cr’s mental health and relationship with the caregiver

Materials: Small individually wrapped crackers food items clear shoeboxes medication if helpful a food management plan if helpful a caregiver a home services or senior services assessment

Categories: Behavior Challenging, Cognitive Intellectual, Emotional Psychological, Independence, Maximum Supervision, Cognitive Awareness, Fully Aware, Somewhat Aware, Long-Term Memory, Good L T Memory, So-So L T Memory, Poor L T Memory, Short-Term Memory, Good S T Memory, So-So S T Memory, Poor S T Memory

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*This information is listed as a Tip and is not explicitly medically licensed

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