Alzheimer’s Home Safety – Rummaging/Hiding Things

Return to the prior page:  Alzheimer’s Home Safety – Wandering

  • Lock up all dangerous or toxic products, or place them out of the person’s reach.
  • Remove all old or spoiled food from the refrigerator and cupboards.  A person with Alzheimer’s may rummage for snacks but may lack the judgment or taste to rule out spoiled foods.
  • Simplify the environment by removing clutter or valuable items that could be misplaced, lost, or hidden by the person with Alzheimer’s.  These include important papers, checkbooks, charge cards, and jewelry.
  • If your yard has a fence with a locked gate, place the mailbox outside the gate.  People with AD often hide, lose, or throw away mail.  If this is a serious problem, consider obtaining a post office box.
  • Create a special place for the person with AD to rummage freely or sort (for example, a chest of drawers, a bag of selected objects, or a basket of clothing to fold or unfold).
  • Often, safety problems occur when the person with Alzheimer’s becomes bored or does not know what to do.
  • Provide the person with AD a safe box, treasure chest, or cupboard to store special objects.
  • Close access to unused rooms, thereby limiting the opportunity for rummaging and hiding things.
  • Search the house periodically to discover hiding places.  Once found, these hiding places can be discreetly and frequently checked.
  • Keep all trashcans covered or out of sight.  The person with AD may not remember the purpose of the container or may rummage through it.
  • Check trash containers them before emptying them in case something has been hidden there or accidentally thrown away.

See the next page in this series: Home Safety – Hallucinations, Illusions and Delusions


Acorn wishes to acknowledge the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center that were the sources for this valuable content.