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Is Your Senior Loved One Hoarding?

By Lee Nyberg, 9:00 am on

It can be difficult to determine whether a senior is truly hoarding or merely attached to their personal possessions. Many homes are cluttered and untidy, but hoarding is an actual disorder that is characterized by a person’s compulsive need to collect and store non-essential items. At-home caregivers in Lincoln may be able to determine whether or not their loved ones are hoarders if they notice some of the following signs.

Rooms Are Almost Unusable

Homes of hoarders tend to have a few common features. Often, necessary furniture like couches and tables are huddled together in small areas where piles and stacks of clutter surround them. A hoarder will often create small narrow pathways through the hoarded materials in order to reach different areas of the home.

Unwilling to Get Rid of Unnecessary Clutter

If a live-in Lincoln caregiver suggests throwing out hoarded items, a hoarder will typically become distressed, agitated, and upset. Hoarding is actually a type of anxiety disorder, which is why hoarders often get nervous when they even think about their items being taken away.

Isolation from Friends and Family

Many hoarders feel ashamed of their habit and try to hide signs of hoarding. Often hoarders will come up with excuses to avoid allowing people, even close friends and family members, into their homes. This isolation can eventually lead to the hoarder isolating himself or herself at home and avoiding social situations. 

Excessive Number of Pets

Hoarding is not just the collection of inanimate objects. Many hoarders find themselves with large numbers of cats, dogs, birds, or other small pets. This can lead to unsafe and unsanitary conditions for both the hoarder and the animals, especially if the senior has physical limitations or chronic illnesses.

Compulsive Accumulation of Items

Plenty of people have some clutter that they do not bother getting rid of, but hoarders actively and compulsively increase the amount of clutter by shopping online or going to yard sales. They often come back with stacks of newspapers or broken bits of junk and try to justify it by saying that these items are salvageable.

If you notice these signs of hoarding, it’s important to seek help from a psychologist and not confront your loved one directly. Additionally, you could hire a reliable Lincoln elderly care agency like Home Care Assistance to help your loved one around the house. Our trusted caregivers are expertly trained to safely and efficiently help your loved one with housekeeping, laundry, medication reminders and more. Contact a knowledgeable Care Manager at (402) 261-5158 today to learn more about our comprehensive services and schedule a complimentary consultation.