Hoarding is when a person collects objects and things and never gets rid of them. These objects will fill up a senior’s home, and it can be dangerous because it can create chaotic paths and even impact the cleanliness of a senior’s home, encouraging pest infestation. There are so many reasons why your seniors may hoard, and they may not even know they are doing this toxic behavior. So, how can you help them and help them get rid of things so they can live independently? Here are some tips to help you address your senior’s hoarding, and how senior home care can help them work through the process.
Learn What Signs Are of Hoarding
Most of the time, you may clearly see that a senior is hoarding, but if you don’t visit often, it can be less obvious. Sometimes senior home care may mention issues, or they may be denied access to certain rooms due to the acquisition of stuff. Here are some other signs to look for.
- A Growing Collection Of Things– The most obvious sign is the collection of things without getting rid of other things. Sometimes these things are of no value and can be junk to you but special to the seniors.
- Spaces Becoming Cluttered– There may be so much stuff that their normal living spaces become cluttered. When things become too cluttered, it can be dangerous for your loved one and even for senior home care who is helping them.
- They Can’t Throw Things Away– If your senior has collected things and they are trash, it can be hard for them to throw things away. Even if you ask them to throw something away, they may refuse, believing that they need it in the future.
- Losing Items– Among all the cluttered objects, your loved one may start losing important things necessary for everyday life. When it becomes too much senior home care may not even be able to help.
There may be more signs of hoarding, but these are the main things to look for.
How to Treat Hoarding Behavior
It can be easy to judge your loved one when they are collecting too much stuff that you don’t think is worth keeping. However, the best thing you can do is encourage and support your loved one through this hard time in their life. There are multiple ways to help your senior treat their hoarding behavior, but it will take time and patience.
Set Small Goals Together
Instead of going through their house and throwing everything away, start with one drawer at a time and then work on one room at a time. Small goals will lead to a huge outcome in the long run. This may seem like a slow way to get rid of things, but it will help a senior get used to throwing things out.
Focus on Safety
One thing you should be doing is focusing on safety for your senior. If they want to live alone, they need to be able to move around their house. Doorways, hallways, and floors should be clear of clutter. If they can’t keep the floor cleaned off, you may need to help them. This can be one of the small goals to work on.
Always Be Understanding
Seniors hoard for many reasons, and you must try to understand their side without judgment. Some seniors hoard because they can’t move around enough to get rid of things, or maybe something has a good memory for them. Either way, you need to help them throw away trash or moldy things and allow them to hang on to things with good memories.