OCD Behavior and Alzheimer’s

When I was growing up, we didn’t hear terms such as ADD, ADHD, OCD, etc.  I am sure that I knew some people that they applied to, but we didn’t have the names and terms that we have now.  As I grew older, you heard more and more about these behaviors.  The one that intrigues me now is obsessive, compulsive disorder as it relates to Alzheimer’s.

When I look back this is not a trait or condition that I associated with my dad.  I never saw him exhibit behavior that I would associate with OCD.  I considered him to be easy-going and not particularly obsessive over anything.  I have friends and associates now that have mild forms and when we sit down to eat, I see them arrange their utensils, napkins etc.  I have worked with people that had to have symmetry at their desk with pens and pencils lined up and divided equally and papers neatly stacked.

Last year, I noticed that dad started carefully arranging his utensils at each meal.  The staff provides each resident with three glasses at each meal.  One water, one tea and one milk in hopes that at least one will appeal to them that day.  When the three glasses are set down in front of dad, he carefully arranges them right in front of him in a straight row.  His fork and spoon are carefully lined up to the left of his plate and his napkin is folded multiple times.  These are things that he has never done before and has only developed them recently.  Last Friday at lunch, it took him about 5 minutes to get his napkin folded exactly like he wanted  because the edges would not line up perfectly.

And it is not only dad, I began noticing others last year and that is when I researched it (by research I mean I googled it).  Others that sat at his table with him exhibited the same signs of arranging and lining up utensils and glasses.  The man that sits across the table from dad will carefully tap each corner of the huge flowers that are on the table-cloth.  It is a very systematic process for him and he will usually do it several times in a row before he stops.  One resident continuously smooths the table cloth as if it is the most wrinkled fabric in the world.

https://www.verywell.com/coping-with-obsessive-compulsive-behavior-97616    Visit the link that I provide here and learn more about why this develops in Alzheimer’s victims and what you need to do or not to do.  With dad at this time, these behaviors are not harmful or threatening to him.  He seems to take comfort in the routine and he deserves our patience.   I learn something new everyday!


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