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Why do my aging parents lose their belongings so often?

Shelley Webb
Nursing
Aging adults with dementia often find the need to hide items away in order to protect them or keep them for future use. This action is referred to as hoarding. It is generally harmless but can be exasperating if the hidden item is one that is important (car keys, jewelry, credit cards) or if it causes them to be concerned or agitated when he or she cannot find the item again. Hiding an item is said to make an aging adult feel more secure. It probably relates back to early mankind when people hunted and gathered our food and stored it away for future use. Some people just keep things because they have always had the tendency to collect things. If this action does make your aging parent or loved one feel less anxious, it's probably fine to let them do so.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.