I pondered for quite some time over which topic I might reflect on as my first “Reflections from Sharon.” In mulling over the many topics, I decided to touch on Alzheimer’s and Dementia Disease. Many diseases affect our ability to perform day to day activities and the ability to get organized, but Alzheimer’s and Dementia, not always apparent until into more advanced stages, are diseases where the patient does benefit from being in simplified, less cluttered environments task planning tool.
Having “too much stuff” and clutter causes confusion and feelings of being overwhelmed for those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Often one may find things thrown into the recycle or garbage bins that are not at all meant to be there!
In my experience it has become very clear that downsizing and eliminating piles of papers, magazines, mail, stuff, etc., helps to lessen overwhelming feelings and confusion for those with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Having the individual with the disease participate in a small way is also helpful. I find that they feel they are contributing even when taking a box of “must keeps” to a closet or a bag of papers to the recycle bin.
It’s important to have the conversation with your loved one’s doctor to understand why this issue causes the individual such distress, however, that understanding is to help you not the person with the disease. “It is what it is” for them … helping them feel in some control and lessening their confusion is the point of downsizing, decluttering and simplifying. Actually, anyone in the household will find a reward in the process of easing the mind of your loved one … as well as freeing your mind of obstacles that prevent you from having a productive, less stressed day!