Did you know that percent of seniors are hoarders? Hoarding is a mental health issue where a person places incredible value on tangible items. These items can pose a hazard as they pile up.
Take a look at just a few of the statistics regarding hoarding.
In a typical hoarding situation, access to the sink, fridge, or shower/bathtub is blocked almost half of the time. In 10 percent of the situations, access to the home’s working toilet was also blocked.
Is Your Parent a Hoarder?
Hoarding often runs in families. The average age of a person who admits they need help is 50. It’s most common in people who live alone, which is why you might find your mom or dad starting to hoard items. If your parent’s significant other passed away, that void may become filled with items. The most common hoarded items are mail, clothing, books, and pets.
It’s easy to spot when your parent is a hoarder. You open a cupboard and find it packed with foods that your parent hasn’t eaten in years. You might open a closet and find books spilling out. Bedroom closets have clothing items piled on the floor and spilling into the room because the closet is full.
What Can You Do to Help?
Hoarding and obsessive-compulsive disorder may be linked. It also tends to be prevalent in people with dementia. If you suspect your parent is a hoarder, you need to avoid being pushy. You’ll have to work to help your parent remove clutter slowly and over time. It’s not a one day job that will get done with ease.
When your parent is ready to declutter and clean up, tackle one room at a time. Have your parent help. Separate items into “keep,” “trash,” “donate,” and “recycle” piles. Don’t panic if your parent starts going into the piles and moving things back to the area for keeping things. This is common and may change again by the end of the day.
Many people start hoarding because they’re lonely and feel a deep need to surround themselves with items.
You can help your parent by making sure they have regular companionship from a home care agency. A caregiver can stop by daily or weekly to spend time with your parent. Reach out to a home care agency to talk about this and other beneficial services.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care Services in Sun City, AZ, please contact the caring staff at Home Care Resources at (602) 443-4700