Misplacing or Losing Objects
| Management Strategies
- If your parent has a tendency to lose things, get in the habit of checking through trash receptacles before taking out the garbage.
- Diaries and calendars with room to write on and notebooks can be very useful in coping with this problem - particularly when used in an organized and routine way. The person you care for may find it helpful to get into the habit of writing what you need to remember and what you have done in one and referring to it throughout the day.
- It is a good idea to keep your belongings, irreplaceable items and important papers in locked drawers or cabinets to prevent them from being borrowed and lost.
- Have duplicates of essential items such as keys, address book or eyeglasses in locations that are not accessible to the person you care for. Also keep a stash of duplicate items which are used and lost often such as toothbrushes, scissors and pens. Having these duplicates handy will help to avoid frustration and anxiety when the original item is misplaced. As well, it may help to reduce accusations from the person you care for that the item was stolen or hidden.
- Reduce clutter by clearing shelves, tables and countertops. This will eliminate many possible hiding spots, and to decrease the number of items that can be misplaced.
- It may be helpful to visually cue the person you care for. For example, put pictures on drawers or cupboard doors of the items inside to help remind the person what belongs there.
- If the person you care for is visibly distressed searching for something, try and prompt them to describe the location or situation in which they last used it. Help them look for the lost item to speed up the process so that they can move on to a new activity.
- When the person you care for is compulsively searching for a non-existent item, it is helpful to try and distract them with chores, hobbies or recreational activities. This will help to reduce feelings of frustration and anxiety.
- Replace cupboard doors with see-through doors, label cupboards, make items that are more commonly used easier to find.
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