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Hoarding among the Elderly is more common than you think

photo by StockSnap- https://pixabay.com/en/users/StockSnap-894430/

photo by StockSnap- https://pixabay.com/en/users/StockSnap-894430/

Visiting the home of an elderly person or senior citizen can be wonderful experience. Their homes can be a treasure trove of stories and items from an era which is quickly fading. However, more often than not, you will also come across a lot of unnecessary items among all the goodies. It can be a jungle out there!

It is difficult to fathom, why anyone would want to hold onto items that are years and even decades past their expiry date! And in a lot of cases, food and medication make it into that list. If you know an elderly person who has been holding on to things that are clearly of no value, chances are they are classic hoarders. What is truly sad is that most people are still largely unaware that hoarding is an actual disorder and that it is fairly common.

Common Symptoms of Hoarding Disorder

  • Difficulty in letting go of personal possessions even if they don’t carry any value.
  • An overwhelming urge to continuously save items.
  • Clearly getting distressed at the thought of discarding personal possessions.
  • Extensive cluttering which impacts the functionality of the house/rooms.
  • No obvious connection between the hoarding behavior and any other medical condition or psychological disorder.

Understand the Condition, Before Offering to Help

As is the case with all psychological behavioral conditions, dealing with someone, especially a loved one with hoarding disorder takes a lot of understanding, patience and compassion. The effects of this disorder extend to the person’s emotional condition, physical condition, financial situation, and in certain cases there could be legal implications as well.

However, if you have an active awareness of the condition, the causes and symptoms of hoarding, you will find it easier to deal with someone with a hording disorder. If you can build a level of trust with the person, then convincing and encouraging them to opt for therapy, assisted living, or both can become easier.

Professional Hoarding Clean-up Services

The biggest problem when dealing with an elderly person with hoarding disorder is that in addition to all the clutter, the actual living conditions can be unhealthy and dangerous. Cleaning up the house of a hoarder is a herculean task. It is best that you seek the services of a professional hoarding clean-up services company. These are professionals who have the experience to deal with extensive hoarding and cluttering.

Professional hoarding clean-up technicians will first carry out an assessment of the situation and provide you with an estimate of the work involved.  De-cluttering a space can also reveal conditions where it is necessary to carry out property restoration. There might be a need to address conditions such as stains, mold damage, odor removal, among other biohazards. These technicians however, have the necessary tools and supplies to sanitize and restore the property to its former habitable condition once again.

Once the clean-up is complete, your hoarding clean-up services professional will also collaborate with the client and their families to ensure the problem of hoarding is actively addressed. Often, this involves working with trained professionals who can collectively ensure that the house remains clean after de-cluttering.