In today’s society, it’s not uncommon for seniors to have cluttered or untidy homes. However, when it comes to hoarding, a serious personality disorder, the situation becomes more complex and potentially hazardous. Hoarding behaviours can lead to accidents, injuries, and unhealthy living conditions, making it crucial for family caregivers to recognize the signs and take action before the problem escalates.
This blog post aims to shed light on the indicators that your elderly loved one may have crossed the line into hoarding behaviour and provides insights into ensuring their safety and well-being. By addressing this issue head-on, we can create a safe and supportive environment for our ageing loved ones.
1. Certain Rooms Are Off-Limits
If your loved one is becoming overly cautious about allowing anyone to see certain rooms, it may be a cause for concern. Hoarders often hide their collected items out of shame and embarrassment. These rooms may become completely unusable due to the overwhelming presence of hoarded possessions.
2. Unsanitary Conditions
Hoarding creates unsanitary conditions as accumulated items accumulate dust, mold, and attract insects. If your loved one is willing to live in unsanitary conditions to preserve their possessions, it could be a sign of hoarding compulsion. These conditions pose significant health risks, including pest infestations, and can lead to fines from local authorities. In such situations, it may be beneficial to engage a professional caregiver who can assist with organizing and maintaining a clean home environment.
3. Lack Of Storage Space
Hoarders often struggle to find storage space for their ever-growing collection of items. Rather than organizing belongings on shelves or in closets, hoarders resort to creating stacks or piles, which eventually overwhelm the house. This lack of storage space contributes to a chaotic and unsafe living environment.
4. Valueless Collections
One telltale sign of hoarding is the inability to discard items that are no longer needed. Your loved one may hold on to stacks of old newspapers, unusable food containers, worn-out clothing, and broken appliances. Hoarders tend to believe they might fix these items in the future. If you suspect hoarding, suggest decluttering and tidying up the home instead of simply discarding unused items.
5. Resistance ToAssistance
When confronted about the clutter or offered assistance with cleaning, hoarders often respond with defensiveness, anger, or agitation. They may feel personally attacked or believe their possessions are being threatened. If you encounter such defensiveness, it’s crucial to approach the issue with empathy and understanding, avoiding aggression that could exacerbate the situation.
Hoarding becomes more challenging to address the longer it persists. Seeking help at the earliest signs is vital. Whether you need respite from caregiving duties or your loved one requires live-in care in Calgary, AB, Saige Homecare can meet your family’s needs.
Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to appointments, medication management, and assistance with various tasks at home and in the community. Trust Saige Homecare to deliver high-quality, compassionate, and professional care for your ageing loved one. Contact one of our friendly Care Managers today for assistance.