5 Signs of Hoarding to Watch for in Aging Adults

By Pete Lane, 9:00 am on

Hoarding is a behavior that becomes more prevalent as a person ages. There are many reasons why a senior may hoard. For instance, dementia may reduce reasoning abilities and make it harder to understand when it is time to let things go. Since hoarding begins slowly, it is important to be aware of the signs to protect your loved one from the dangers of this condition.

1. Recent Changes in Health

An illness or injury sometimes precedes hoarding behaviors. Be alert if your loved one has recently had a traumatic brain injury. Health issues that limit your loved one’s mobility may also contribute to hoarding. Providing your loved one with housekeeping services during and after recovery can prevent trash from piling up.

Seniors often require assistance with daily activities to age in the comfort of their homes. Living alone at home in the golden years can present a few unique challenges. Trust in Centennial home care professionals to help your senior loved one maintain a higher quality of life while he or she manages an illness and performs the daily tasks of living.

2. Overflowing Stacks of Mail

Seniors sometimes hoard paperwork out of the fear they might throw away something important. Help your loved one organize personal papers in a filing system, and talk about which types of documents must be saved. You can also have a caregiver work with your loved one to scan and save important papers digitally so he or she can throw away unnecessary papers.

3. Recent Loss or Isolation

Loneliness is a common cause of hoarding, and seniors may cling to belongings that bring back memories. Your loved one may hoard a deceased spouse’s clothing because he or she fears having to face the loss. Talk to your loved one about ways to preserve memories such as starting a scrapbook, and arrange for a compassionate caregiver to visit and help make new memories.

For families living in Centennial, CO, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

4. Difficulty Getting Around

A senior who is exhibiting serious hoarding behaviors is at risk for fall-related injuries. Be wary if your loved one falls at home in an area that should be easily accessible. Visit your loved one’s home regularly, and consider hosting a cleanup day if his or her home is untidy or cluttered.

5. Expired Food in the Kitchen

Seniors sometimes hoard food because they fear not being able to get out to the store. Check your loved one’s pantry and refrigerator for expired food or signs that he or she has been compulsively buying more than required. Seniors who have difficulty with grocery shopping can also benefit from a caregiver who helps them with meal planning and transportation to the store. Having this type of guidance reassures seniors they do not have to hoard food since they will always have a way to get something to eat.

Aging adults who need help around the house, transportation to medical appointments and social events, and assistance with exercise can benefit from having an in-home caregiver. Centennial seniors can enjoy greater independence and receive regular mental and social stimulation when relying on a trusted professional who is expertly trained in various aspects of senior care. To learn about our high-quality elderly care plans, give Home Care Assistance a call at 303.957.3100 today.

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