What Can You Really Do if Your Senior Has Started Rummaging?


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What Can You Really Do if Your Senior Has Started Rummaging?

If your elderly family member has started a behavior called rummaging, you might find yourself getting frustrated and upset about her going through bins, drawers, and random items and shuffling them up. But rummaging is comforting for people who have dementia, and your senior can actually benefit from this activity a great deal. The trick is to make this a safe and useful activity.

Put Some Limits on the Rummaging

You don’t want to take something away from your senior that helps her and that serves a purpose, but you may want to put some limits on the activity. Keeping specific items in a container, like a bin or a bag, so that your senior has everything in one place can be really helpful. It’s also portable, which means your elderly family member can use her rummaging kit anywhere in the house.

Make Rummaging Safe and Deliberate

Something else to remember is that safety is always first. That may mean that you create specific tasks and activities that allow your elderly family member to rummage to her heart’s content. If you can combine the rummaging behaviors with tasks that you’re working on, like sorting items or folding socks, that gives your senior a sense of purpose while also allowing her to self-soothe.

Look for Other Ways to Keep Her Brain Stimulated

If your elderly family member is spending a lot of time rummaging, she may be feeling bored or anxious. There may be some other things that you can do in order to stimulate her brain. You may find that you don’t have as much time or ability to spend one-on-one with your senior, and that can have an impact on this behavior, too. Bringing in senior care providers to help your senior and to offer companionship can help quite a bit.

Pay Close Attention to Important Items

You may also want to make sure that you’re keeping a close eye on anything your senior might decide to sort and search through randomly. This is a great way to have something really important get mislaid somewhere. Make sure that there’s a specific, safe place for keys, wallets, and anything else that you don’t want to lose or have to replace on short notice.

Your senior may enjoy rummaging with different items periodically, so it’s a good idea to change things up once in a while. This also helps to keep her brain stimulated and more active.

If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Broadview, MT, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare Billings today at 406-839-2390.​​​

Shanna Tourtlotte

Shanna Tourtlotte has been the owner of SYNERGY HomeCare Billings since 2011.

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