Hello. My mother has vascular dementia. Today I tried to help her removing some of her old clothes from her wardrobe and it turned out as a super big deal. She agreed on the process but just put everything back at the end. Her bedroom is so full, she became an accumulator. :( She also has depression, so it makes everything even worse. We're dealing with her problem since 2017, so it's kinda new. Can you advise me?

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Hoarding is a common behavior for people living with dementia. Unless it’s a trip hazard, I wouldn’t worry about the clothes. Just let her keep them in there. Your other option is to take items that she won’t realize are missing, slowly, without telling her. It’s going to be tough to get her to agree because she doesn’t understand the need for decluttering.

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Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

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