5 Causes of Hoarding Among Aging Adults

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Hoarding can affect people of all ages. However, compulsively saving or acquiring objects can lead to severe safety and health issues for the elderly. Seniors hoard things for a variety of reasons. Some hold on to items because of sentimental value, while others claim things will be worth something in the future. Here’s a list of common reasons your senior loved one may turn to hoarding.

1. Sense of Loyalty

When seniors receive gifts from family and friends, they’re often reluctant to get rid of the items, regardless of how old the objects are or whether they have any emotional or financial value. In the mind of an elderly hoarder, parting with the items may be an act of disloyalty. Encourage your loved one to donate unused items to charity or give them to a grandchild or other family member who could actually use the objects.

2. Changes in Health

Seniors who have experienced various medical issues such as dementia, strokes, and physical injuries are often unable to manage household duties as well as they did in the past. If your loved one is no longer physically or mentally able to take care of his or her home and has no one to maintain it, this can easily lead to the development of clutter. Hoarders often have difficulty organizing items. If you notice excessive clutter in your loved one’s home, volunteer to help him or her organize it.

Some seniors may need assistance with daily activities and housekeeping tasks. The type of senior home care seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time.

3. Fear of Change

Seniors may be afraid of giving up items for a variety of reasons, but change is the most common. Collecting objects provides a sense of control and security for some aging adults. If your loved one is holding on to items he or she doesn’t use, explain why it’s okay to let go. Reassure him or her that nothing bad will happen if an object goes away and that removing the clutter is the logical choice.

4. Companionship

Sometimes the things seniors collect in their homes become substitutes for companions. Depression and loneliness can cause some seniors to create imaginary relationships with these items and associate them with people. Consider hiring a caregiver to provide companionship for your loved one while you’re away.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality at-home care. Vancouver families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

5. The Love of Shopping

Some seniors hoard because they have a shopping addiction. Excessive clutter in the home may cause some seniors to purchase duplicates of items they already have because they can’t locate the original items. Convince your loved one to cut back on his or her spending and urge him or her to say no to free gifts, especially those with no important uses.

The longer hoarding continues, the more difficult it becomes to stop, so don’t wait to reach out for help. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Vancouver, BC, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. If you need compassionate, professional home care for your loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (778) 279-3634.

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