Having an elderly loved one who is a hoarder can be frustrating but also dangerous for your loved one. it can seriously hamper both her mobility and her safety at home, making this an issue you really need to address as her family caregiver.
Assess Your Loved One’s Willingness to Clean Up
Some elderly loved ones who have collected a lot of objects are ready to thin that out a bit, but others are extremely connected to their hoarded items. Knowing which frame of mind your loved one is in can help you to figure out the best way to proceed. Open the conversation with your loved one carefully but honestly.
Evaluate Her Safety at Home
Take a good look at how the items in your loved one’s home affect her safety at home. It’s possible that she still has plenty of room to safely navigate her home, even with a variety of hoarded items. More often, however, it’s a significant barrier to safety. let your loved one know that you’re worried about her overall safety and her ability to be mobile in her own home.
Bring in Some Experts
Often family members believe that the best way to handle a hoarding situation is to just dig in and start sorting through items. Unfortunately, that can make your loved one dig in her heels and become extremely agitated. If you can, it’s best to bring in an expert in organization who also deals with hoarding situations. It’s also a good idea to bring in a counselor or therapist who specializes in hoarding situations.
Maintain as Best You Can
Once you’ve got your loved one’s home cleaned up, it’s important to maintain that as well as you can. One way to do this is to hire elderly care providers to help you with maintaining your loved one’s home. You might also devote a set amount of time during the week to taming clutter that builds up. Your loved one might find the new status of her home to be enjoyable or she might be actively trying to recreate her hoard. Staying on top of the situation can keep it from rebuilding.
Hoarding can be a sign of deeper issues, so it’s best to avoid going into this journey with your loved one alone.