Hoarding can be a sensitive subject to discuss, especially with older adults. It requires tact and care when approaching this subject. Hoarding is a compulsive behavior characterized by the excessive acquisition and inability to discard possessions, resulting in clutter that can significantly disrupt a person’s living space and quality of life.
Hoarding can be a sensitive subject for seniors because it may be linked to complex emotional issues, such as anxiety, depression, or trauma, and addressing hoarding behaviors requires a compassionate and non-judgmental approach. You may think something is trash, but it may have sentimental value for your loved one. It is crucial to help in a supporting way with little to no pressure. If you need more help, hire companion care at home who has experience dealing with seniors who are hoarders. Here are some tips on addressing a loved one with a hoarding issue.
Bring Up Safety
If your loved one has many items on the ground, start there. Bring up the fact that this clutter could be detrimental to aging in place. Too many wires on the floor could trip them, too many items could cause a fall, and too many obstacles could make it hard for them to move around the house. This is not only a dangerous environment for the elderly, but it can also be dangerous for those helping them age in places like companion care at home.
You will want your loved one to feel in control of this process because it will help keep them happy and more willing to work with you. However, if you leave them in charge of throwing out things or donating things, they may never do it. Sometimes, things are too painful to sort through alone, or sometimes they can’t move around well enough or can’t drive, so they think it’s a waste to go through this stuff. This is why being there and present during this process is so important. You can offer to go through the emotionally difficult things, and you can also offer to drive things to a donation center.
Never Rush the Process
You may want results immediately, but life doesn’t work like that, especially not for seniors sorting through their belongings. This delicate process takes a ton of time, so it is crucial to remain patient and reassuring. Make it a weekly goal to get rid of one box of items. This will allow you to keep track of progress and allow the senior to adjust to fewer things in the house. Most importantly, start with safety and then work your way up to those random items lying around.
Control All of Your Reactions
You may find things that your elderly mom is keeping, and you have no idea why. You may think it’s gross or disgusting, and it’s important to not let any harmful reactions show. You must remain calm throughout the process and handle things carefully. Just because you don’t understand doesn’t make it a wrong choice on your loved one’s end.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Companion Care at Home in San Francisco, CA, please contact the caring staff at Aviva In-Home Care today (415) 463-1400
Aviva In-Home Care provides exceptional senior home care in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Burlingame, San Mateo, Hillsborough, Atherton, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Berkeley, Lafayette, Orinda, and surrounding areas.
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