We should be careful not to assume a direct link between these two conditions. That’s because we know of people with the one, but not the other. None the less there are interesting things to learn where both are present. We provide this information in the general interest, not as a medical guide.
Compulsive hoarding is sometimes present in alzheimers and other dementias. For example, people with fronto-temporal dementia may hoard things. They may also constantly sift and sort through things to find objects that give them comfortable reassurance.
At What Stage Does Hoarding Occur During Dementia (If At All)
The early and middle phases of dementia are more likely to associate with hoarding according to the Very Well Health website. A sense of subjective isolation may trigger it, or a loss of memory, friends, or sense of value in life itself.
The afflicted people may hide things, forget where they are, and accuse people of stealing them which can be disturbing for carers. They may even develop an obsession their loved ones want to take their favourite possessions away from them.
In some cases the affected person may have been an avid collector of things with intrinsic value once, like recipe books, souvenir matchbooks, photo albums as so on. They may expand and diversify their collection at the onset of dementia until it takes over their home and their life.
The Commonest Things Compulsive Hoarders Collect
Hoarders collect things that once had useful value just in case they acquire it again. The items may have emotional value, or just be something from their past. Typical items include:
1… Food, despite being past its usable date or rotten
2… Good old-fashioned garbage and piles of it
3… Discarded clothes and used plastic bags
4… Papers with information that could be useful
My Hoarding Friend Has Dementia Why Should I Be Concerned?
There’s a good case for letting people get on with their lives, provided they don’t cause others harm. However, if hoarding makes their living space unsafe, and they are mentally challenged then there are also honest reasons to intervene.
However, we don’t want to take away their independence for as long they can hold on to it. Separate hoards that are truly dangerous in your mind, compared to those that embarrass you or bother you somehow.
Try not to make your problems their problems, or lean heavily on your hoarding friend. Consider gently persuading them to let you resolve electrical risks, remove tripping hazards, improve food storage, and pay their utility bills.
And above all, be compassionate towards people becoming shadows of their past. They may be unaware of their state unless you tell them, and why do that when they are happy living the way they are. Your greatest gift, and perhaps your calling is to help them retain some independence. We have carried out hoarders house clearance in Abbey Wood