Determining whether your senior is hoarding or not is complicated and involves a thorough medical evaluation. But if you know what signs to watch for you can get your elderly family member the help that she needs.
She Wears the Same Clothes Over and Over
If you’re noticing that your senior wears the same few pieces of clothing every time that you see her, this might be a sign that her home is hoarded and she can’t get to any other clothes. It might also be a sign that she’s having trouble organizing her clothing or laundering it, too, so the situation definitely requires more assessment.
She Keeps You Away from Her Home
Assessing the situation can be far more difficult if your elderly family member won’t let you into her home, however. If you live far away, this may be less of an issue because your senior knows that you’re not likely to just drop by. But if your elderly family member makes excuses as to why you can’t come inside her home, there are probably some big issues.
She’s Unreasonably Upset if You Touch or Move Items
True hoarders have a complicated relationship with their things. Moving or touching their belongings can result in a shocking reaction from your senior. This usually happens because there is so much more to these belongings than what you can see on the surface. Talk with your elderly family member to see if you can gain an understanding of her reaction.
Throwing Items Away Becomes a Battle
If moving or touching things that belong to your elderly family member is a problem, don’t even think about throwing anything away. For some people who suffer from hoarding, throwing items away is impossible, even if those items are definitely trash. This can be particularly unhealthy for your senior because of the environment it can create in her home.
She Shows No Signs of Stopping
The biggest sign that something more compulsive is going on can occur after you try to talk to your senior about what’s happening. If she shows absolutely no sign of stopping or changing her behavior, even if she’s told you that she will, then that means that you’re both going to need some more help.
Get in touch with your elderly family member’s doctor if you’re worried that she might be hoarding. Finding a solution could involve therapy or it might be a matter of simply organizing her home better and getting her some help from you and from senior care providers. There are solutions, you just have to tailor them to what’s going on.