Hoarding: De-Cluttering Your Loved One’s Home


Many people outside the senior care profession are surprised by how prevalent hoarding actually is. In fact, senior care professionals are keenly aware of the physical, emotional, and mental damage that hoarding can cause, and are often tasked with assisting elderly individuals in de-cluttering their homes. Take, for instance, the hoarding case of Margot in Columbia, South Carolina. Margot had lived in her home for forty years and, over that time, had accumulated rooms upon rooms of a wide range of items. From cooking supplies to clothing, these items had not been touched or used in years. Regardless, Margot wanted to keep them as mementos of her past. The senior care professionals working with Margot’s hoarding issue intervened, helping her to de-clutter her home and reclaim the living space she once enjoyed.

Hoarding Involves Emotional Attachment

The task of de-cluttering the home of a senior who has been hoarding items for years is not a small undertaking. In fact, de-cluttering in some hoarding cases can present physical and emotional challenges for elderly individuals. Senior care professionals understand that frequently, hoarders attach sentimental value to the items that they keep, making it difficult to determine which items are to stay and which are to be donated or thrown away.

Advice on De-Cluttering and Reversing the Effects of Hoarding:

By de-cluttering you can assist in creating a safer living environment, one in which your loved one can continue aging in place. Here are some tips from senior care professionals to help you through this challenge.

  1. Speak with your elderly loved one about their hoarding habit before you start rifling through their belongings. The senior care professionals who helped Margot came to her with a plan, and she recognized that they were only trying to help her.
  2. Tackle one room at a time. Margot enjoyed seeing a completed room before moving on to the next, as it motivated her to continue working.
  3. Remove items that are to be thrown away or donated as quickly as possible. Margot tried a few times to reclaim items slated for donation, so her senior care professionals removed these items at the end of each day.
  4. Remember that this may be an emotionally difficult task for your elderly loved one. It is important to remain patient throughout the de-cluttering process.

If You Need Help Addressing Your Elderly Loved One’s Hoarding Habit, Always Best Care of the Midlands is Happy to Help.

At Always Best Care of the Midlands, we understand that knowing when your elderly loved one needs help can be confusing and frustrating, and the accumulation of years of living can be overwhelming. We are dedicated to helping seniors and their families find the best care possible. Always Best Care of the Midlands can help seniors by placing caregivers in your home or independent living facility. Additionally, we can help you and your senior select an assisted living or independent care facility from the dizzying array of facilities available. If you would like more information about recovering from years of hoarding, or other senior care issues please contact Charlene Richardson at (803) 603-6935, via email [email protected] or visit our website at http://SeniorCareColumbia.com.

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