Hoarding is a severe situation and one that can quickly get out of control for your senior. Even if you think that she’s got her clutter situation under control, you might need to get an actual look at what’s going on in your senior’s home. Understanding the difference between clutter and hoarding is vital, because hoarding could cost your senior dearly.
Pests Are a Huge Problem
One of the biggest issues that your senior is definitely going to encounter is pests. At first, those pests might be limited to bugs and insects, like cockroaches. Eventually, though, the pests become bigger. Mice and rats are almost guaranteed to be come a problem in a hoarding situation. There are tons of places for these pests to hide and they can make your senior incredibly sick, even if she never sees the actual pests themselves.
Your Senior Is More Likely to Fall
Falling is always a big concern for older adults. That concern is even more vital in a hoarding situation, though, because there are far more obstacles than are typically present in a home. Your senior may also be more likely to pile or stack items around the perimeter of rooms and create hallways of sorts to walk through the house. That is even worse, though, because those items are often unstable and can fall onto her, trapping her in her home.
Her Food Stores Might Not Be as Helpful as She Hopes
If your elderly family member is a food hoarder, she may not be creating the bounty that she thinks she is. Often people start to hoard food in the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry believing that it will remain healthy to eat for long periods of time. But if that food expires or becomes damaged in some way, it’s no longer safe to eat. If your senior doesn’t believe you, she may try to save and eat that food anyway.
Your Senior’s Home May Develop Issues
One of the worst aspects of a hoarding situation, even beyond all the other problems, is that it’s impossible in a massive hoard to keep up with home maintenance. Structural problems become insurmountable and your elderly family member may find that the home that she owns with no mortgage is now completely unsafe for her to live in, no matter how badly she wants to. That’s an emotional blow that she may not recover from.
Dealing with a hoarding situation sooner rather than later is definitely preferable. It’s very common for former hoarders to need help staying on target afterward. Home care providers can help your elderly family member to stay on top of regular household cleaning and also let you know if the hoarding habits are making a comeback.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE IS CONSIDERING HOME CARE IN SMITHFIELD, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.