Should Your Senior Keep Her Wallet if She Has Alzheimer’s Disease?

People with Alzheimer’s disease sometimes develop some odd habits, like suddenly carrying around an old wallet or bag. Is that really something that you should let your senior do, though? It might not be as big a deal as you might think, especially if you find some ways to make it useful. 

Familiar Items Can Be Comforting

Elder Care Northbrook, IL: Alzheimer’s Disease

The big thing to remember if your senior is insisting on carrying her wallet or even a purse around is whether that’s an item that is a familiar one for her. Familiar items are comforting for anyone, but for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, familiar items can be a touchstone. Even if your senior can’t tell you what the item is, when she got it, or anything else about it, there’s a part of her that remembers it and associates it with comforting feelings. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it can be a way for her to self-soothe. 

Carrying Her Wallet Can Ensure She Has ID with Her 

You may have been trying to figure out how to make sure your senior has some form of identification with her at all times. If she’s insisting on carrying a wallet or purse, this becomes a lot easier. Keep a copy of her identification in her wallet. Make sure that it’s easy for someone else to find if they find her wallet or if your senior wanders and they find her without anyone else that she knows. It could also be a good idea to include your contact information along with your senior’s identifying information. 

Put Things in Her Wallet 

Your senior is probably going to love finding new things in her wallet now and again. You can put pictures inside or things like old gift cards. It might also be a good idea to put items in there that she can use, too, like coins for vending machines, a little bit of cash, and her library card. Mixing useful items with items that can entertain her can be a great way for her to explore a bit, especially if you have to wait somewhere. Occasionally swapping in new objects can give her something fun to find. 

Sometimes things like a familiar wallet are really important for your senior to have with her. Elder care providers can help you to find other projects and items that can help her to feel safe and comfortable, too.  


If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care in Northbrook, IL, contact the caring staff atCompanion Services of Americatoday at(847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas. 

Jamie Shapiro