If your elderly family member has started to create a hoard in her home, that can quickly snowball into a bigger situation. It’s important to address hoarding as quickly as possible after you recognize what’s going on.
Talk with Her Doctor.
The very first step in helping your senior recover from hoarding is to talk with her doctor. There may be medical conditions which are contributing to or making the hoarding situation worse. From there, you can determine what other sorts of assistance are needed.
Clean up the Home.
It’s easier said than done, but you’ll need to start digging through your senior’s hoard. Some hoards are physically dangerous for your aging adult. She may have allowed trash to accumulate or she may have piled her hoard so that there’s no safe space in which to walk. This can take a lot of time and effort.
Follow up on Any Additional Therapy.
While most people look at hoarding as a physical collection of too much stuff, it happens for mental and emotional reasons. This is why therapy can be a huge component of helping your elderly family member to break free from hoarding. If she needs additional therapy, it’s vital to help her to get there and to complete that course of treatment.
Consider Hiring Elderly Care Providers.
Once the house is cleaned up, it’s important to keep it that way. Elderly care providers can help you and your senior to do that because they can handle those daily household tasks. They can also keep you posted about whether additional clutter is creeping back into your elderly family member’s home so that you can tackle it when it’s still small.
Hold Your Senior Accountable, but Understand Her Issue.
You’re going to need to hold your elderly family member accountable for her actions, but you need to do so in a loving and supportive way. This is a problem that doesn’t get resolved overnight. You’ll need to balance your support for your senior with making sure that she sticks with her treatment plan so that she continues to make progress. Encouraging her to slip back into hoarding behaviors can prove devastating for the progress that she’s already made.
Every hoarding situation is different and occurs for different reasons. Your senior may find it difficult to deal with her new, uncluttered situation, which means that ongoing treatment may still be necessary for a while.