People with dementia may hide objects, or put objects in strange places, such as keys in the sugar. Is there a name for such erratic behaviour? The lexical field could include verbs such as "wandering" or "rummaging."

  • Are you looking for a clinical term or a general one?
    – choster
    Nov 11, 2014 at 23:46
  • Either would be fine, both would be interesting :) Nov 11, 2014 at 23:46
  • "Disordering" kind of means "misplacing," so maybe "Ordered disordering" when suffering from "Ordered Disorder Disorder."
    – Papa Poule
    Nov 12, 2014 at 0:34

1 Answer 1


Mindlessness and memory slips are the common reasons for losing or misplacing objects.

  • The problem for most people is that we mindlessly go about our day's activities, often preoccupied with several concerns at once. We all dissociate to a certain extent ("multi-task") and so the part of our brain carrying out routine activities doesn't connect with the part of our brain responsible for conscious thought.
    • As a result, you park the car, thinking not about which row you left it in, but instead thinking about how much of a hurry you are to get your shopping done. Or you pick up your cell phone while walking around the house, stop to wash the dishes, and then never realize that you put the phone down near the sink, behind the detergent.With luck, you've left the sound on, so you can call it. The bottle of detergent gives off a happy "brrrring" and you and your phone are reunited. Unfortunately, many objects that we misplace don't have ringers at all, so the search for the misplaced item can be far longer and less fruitful.

In case of pathological problems like dementia, they are usually referred to as behavioural disorders:

  • Misplacing objects is of course also very common as people age, and some have well established, life-long histories of losing things. Often, with such people, what is different is that they have no idea where an object might be and no idea of how to efficiently go about finding it. Misplacing objects can also be a problem if it is coupled with suspiciousness, which is also common in Alzheimer's disease

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