Background: Dementia and its associated problem behaviors remain bothersome to family and professional caregivers. Exploring characteristics and the underlying meaning of disruptive behaviors in elders with Alzheimer's dementia can be a first step to pursuing patient-centered care. Although hoarding is relatively harmless, unattended excessive hoarding can create health and safety issues for both patients and caregivers. Purpose: This study examined the characteristics and underlying meaning of hoarding behavior among Taiwanese elders with Alzheimer's dementia from the perspective of family caregivers. Methods: We used an exploratory research design and purposive sampling. A total of 12 family caregivers of elders with Alzheimer's dementia received qualitative interview. We used one-on-one in-depth interviews to collect data and content analysis to analyze data. Results: Three main characteristics related to hoarding behavior emerged from the data were "influence of former and current symptoms," "recurrence of the original personal characteristics and habits," and "re-experiencing past economic crises." These three characteristics reflected patients' past social and family background and the current life situation. We elicited "a desire for security" as the underlying meaning of hoarding behavior. Conclusion: Findings of this study provide a reference for family and professional care providers to understand dementiarelated problem behaviors. Improved caregiver understanding of dementia patient behaviors may help improve caregiverY patient interaction and communication and help caregivers better meet patient needs.
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