Rummaging is a specific behavior that some people with dementia and other cognitive illnesses may engage in periodically. It involves digging through drawers, boxes, cabinets, and other containers to find something. This can be a disturbing behavior if your elderly family member is rummaging in an unsafe manner or if she’s relocating items when she’s rummaging. It helps to get an understanding of what’s happening.
Seek out Safety First
It’s important that people with a tendency to rummage aren’t in a position to hurt themselves. If your elderly family member tends to rummage just about anywhere, she might pick up something dangerous. The flip side of this is that she might take to rummaging through irreplaceable papers, and that might not be a good plan. Keeping your senior and her important items safe is the first priority.
Understand Why She Rummages
People rummage for a variety of reasons. In your senior’s mind, she may be looking for something specific, even if she can’t tell you what that item is when you ask. Some people rummage because they’re bored, anxious, or have too much excess energy. When you know why your senior rummages, you can put together a plan to help her to deal with that underlying cause. For instance, rummaging can be soothing for your senior’s anxiety. Finding a way to manage her anxiety safely can reduce the rummaging.
Keep Items She Uses Handy
If your senior frequently misplaces items she uses often, it’s a good idea to make those items readily accessible. You may even want to have duplicates of some items she misplaces, especially if they’re inexpensive. This can help to reduce rummaging behaviors and other behaviors that you may find difficult to manage.
Put Together a Rummaging Bag or Box
Sometimes people just rummage because they like doing it. If that’s the case for your elderly family member, consider putting together a rummage bag or box. This can be a shoebox or an old purse that you fill with a random grouping of items. Switch out the items now and then to add some interest to the activity for your senior.
If your elderly family member has just started rummaging, you might want to consider hiring senior care providers to assist with her care. She may need some extra help during the day with activities that help to keep her active and engaged, which can be very helpful with reducing rummaging behaviors.
If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Highland Park, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care today. Call (732) 607-8870.
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