Elderly Care near Drexel Heights, AZ – Seniors Hoarding

Having a garage sale is a great way to get rid of stuff you don’t use or donating the items you don’t want to your local charity. It can help free up some space in your house as well. However, sometimes people have a lot of things in their home that begin to pile up and they refuse to part with any of it. This behavior can often be associated with hoarding, or a person who just likes to live in clutter.

Mary Carlomagno specializes in working with people who hoard or who live in clutter. She says that there is a difference between the two. Hoarding is a mental disorder and the person can feel distress at the thought of getting rid of anything. Hoarding can lead to health and safety hazards in the home if the person doesn’t ever dispose of things. People who tend to collect things and live in a very messy home are clutterers, and they can usually learn to get rid of things with a bit of encouragement and guidance.

The Problems with Hoarding

While anyone can have problems with holding on to so much stuff that it interferes with their life, this problem is more prevalent in older adults. Dr. April Benson, who founded the website stopovershopping.com says senior citizens tend to hold onto possessions for sentimental reasons. Dr. Benson adds it can be difficult for seniors to part with things because it can be a signal to them that it’s more things they have to let go of, when they’ve lost so much already. If your senior loved one feels this way, remind them they still have the memories connected with the item, and the people who were involved. You can even take pictures of the items, scrapbook the pictures and then get rid of the items.

If you think your senior loved one is hoarding or living in a chaotic mess, here are some suggestions:

  • If the person is obsessive about their belongings, they may be a hoarder and often times need professional mental health help.
  • Help them make a list of things they can live without and are okay getting rid of or giving to a friend or relative.
  • Enlist family support. Encourage the senior to give sentimental items to relatives so it stays in the family.

Consider hiring a professional organizer to make the living space neater. Having elderly home care helps too, because a caregiver can smooth out daily tasks in your senior’s home and help care for their health, both mental and physical. Since this directly relates with their hoarding, a caregiver may be able to help you with convincing your parent to let go of some of their unnecessary belongings.

If you or an aging loved on are considering elderly care services in the home, please contact the caring staff at Total Care Connections (520) 447-4711. We provide quality Home Care & Assisted Living Placement Serving Tucson, Green Valley, Oro Valley, and Surrounding Areas!