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5 Reasons Seniors Turn to Hoarding

By Debbie Waddell, 9:00 am on

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. The staff at Home Care Assistance in Placer County has put together a list of common reasons why your senior loved one may turn to hoarding.

1. Sense of Loyalty

When seniors receive gifts from family and friends, they are often reluctant to get rid of the items, regardless of how old the objects are. In the mind of an elderly hoarder, parting with the items may be an act of disloyalty. Encourage your loved one to give the unused items back to the owner or to a grandchild who could actually use the object.

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 like they used to. If your loved one is no longer physically or mentally able to take care of his or her home and has no one to help maintain it, this can easily lead to the development of clutter.

3. Fear of Change

Seniors fear giving up items for a variety of reasons, but change is the most common. If your loved one is holding on to items he or she does not use, you should explain why it is 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 home can become misplaced companions. Depression and loneliness can cause some seniors to create an imaginative relationship with these items and associate them with people. You should consider hiring a caregiver in Placer County to provide companionship for your loved one while you are away.

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 items they already have because they can’t locate the original item. Convince your loved one to cut back on his or her spending habits and tell him or her to say no to free gifts and items, especially those with no important use.

To help your loved one with his or her hoarding problem, it is best to catch the issue in its early stages.The longer the hoarding goes on, the more the volume of items will grow. This can be a deep, emotional issue your loved one will need help with before it progresses. A part-time or 24-hour caregiver in Placer County may be the solution he or she needs. The caregivers at Home Care Assistance can provide your loved one with companionship or help manage any health complications he or she may have. For more information, call one of our qualified Care Managers at 916.226.3737 to schedule a free in-home consultation.

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