Plenty of seniors have untidy or cluttered homes, but true hoarding is a serious personality disorder that can be very dangerous. Hoarding can result in accidents, injuries, and unsafe living environments, which is why it’s important for family caregivers to identify hoarding behaviors and stop them before they become a real problem. Here are a few signs your elderly loved one’s habits may have crossed the line into hoarding behavior.
1. Entire Rooms Are Off-Limits
Everyone wants privacy, but you might need to be concerned if your loved one is suddenly very cautious about letting people see certain rooms. These rooms may be completely unusable because they’re filled with hoarded items. Hoarders frequently try to hide the items they’ve collected because they feel ashamed about their compulsions.
2. The Home Is Unsanitary
One of the reasons hoarding is such a problem is because stacks of items that aren’t regularly cleaned harbor dust, mold, and insects. If your loved one is willing to live in unsanitary conditions to keep his or her possessions, he or she may have a hoarding compulsion. Such conditions are dangerous, and they could lead to pest infestations and other dangers that could result in huge fines from local authorities. In many towns, local health agencies will order cleanups in hoarding situations. Your parent might benefit from having a professional caregiver help him or her keep the home organized.
Some seniors may need assistance with daily activities and housekeeping tasks. The type of at-home care seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time.
3. There’s No Storage Space
Most hoarders find it increasingly difficult to sort out their growing number of items. Instead of putting things on shelves or in closets, seniors frequently place hoarded items in stacks or piles that ultimately overwhelm the house.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elder care. Calgary families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
4. Collected Items Aren’t Valuable
One of the most obvious signs of hoarding is not being able to throw items away after they’re no longer needed. For example, your loved one might have stacks of old newspapers, unusable food containers, old clothes, and broken appliances. Hoarders tend to hold on to old, broken, or worn-out items because they think they might possibly fix them one day. If you think your loved one is starting to hoard, suggest tidying up the home instead of simply throwing out old items he or she isn’t using.
5. Your Loved One Gets Defensive
You may notice your loved one get angry, agitated, or defensive when you mention the clutter or offer to help him or her clean. Hoarders often feel personally attacked when a family member suggests something is wrong or makes an attempt to remove possessions. If this happens with your parent, prevent the situation from escalating by taking a step back. Approaching the issue aggressively could make your loved one even more defensive.
The longer hoarding continues, the more difficult it becomes to stop, so don’t wait to reach out for help. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Calgary, AB, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. Trust Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 403-301-3777.