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Like it or not, they do hoard. One of the early signs of  dementia that I have seen in my practice is hoarding. They hoard a motley of things – from the priceless to worthless.

Shopping bags. Mostly SM’s. I saw a box of neatly folded blue ones and another boxful of yellow ones. Both boxes under the patient’s bed and well kept and away from the prying view of ‘thieving maids‘, by a bed skirt. It’s almost the same story everywhere – whether it’s a private home, a nursing home or a home for the aged – there’s always one or more who would hoard all this plastic.

One patient ordered her son to transfer the freezer inside her room because the maids were raiding her refrigerator especially when no one was looking at night. The next time the son visited, he would see five day to one week old worth of left over food inside the freezer.

A male patient, a former industrial arts teacher had his tool box, yes, the entire cabinet type tool box mounted and bolted into his room because again there might be ‘thieves’.

An old single lady, a patron of the arts and well-known in civic circles in the capital city was cared for by a care giver-niece. The niece came to the center because off the Aunt’s bizarre behavior. Every afternoon, she would be in the laundry room where the kasambahay would be folding her newly washed clothes. She would insist in personally putting all her underwear inside her drawers. There seemed nothing wrong with that except for the fact that she would have with her a logbook where she made an inventory, of all things, her old underwear. Yellow, check. Beige, check. White, check. You see the picture.

Hoarding cash may seem like prudence or foresight on the part of the patient but she withdrew them from the bank for fear that her children would put a fast one over her. She’s blessed to have had a ‘yaya’ who kept a careful accounting of her cash and persuaded her to deposit the money the following day. But in this day and time, she might have thought the bank secrecy law to be leaky she just might be next –  after CJ Corona. This time I’m just kidding!

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