How to Keep Your Older Parent from Hoarding

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Tips to Keep Your Older Parent from Hoarding in Columbus, OH

As your loved one ages, the possibility of developing unhealthy habits may increase. Hoarding can be a particularly difficult habit to break, since dementia or Alzheimer’s sometimes triggers it. However, you can clear your loved one’s clutter while still respecting his or her needs. Here are some effective ways to help an elderly loved one who has a hoarding habit. 

Encourage Hobbies

Some research suggests hoarding may be caused by deficits in the brain’s frontal lobe. These issues can affect motivation, planning, and social behavior and cause some seniors to become distracted. Help your loved one find new and interesting activities to prevent him or her from focusing on hoarding. Activities such as organizing stamp collections or photo albums can encourage mental stimulation and be less disruptive than hoarding. 

Older adults often require assistance with daily activities to age in the comfort of their homes. The type of in-home care seniors need can vary. Some need assistance a few hours a day, while others require more extensive around-the-clock assistance. At Home Care Assistance, we tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual care needs, and the plans can be adjusted at any time.

Be Kind

Remember your loved one isn’t trying to upset you with his or her hoarding and that this condition may be the result of decreased functionality in the brain. By remaining patient and speaking gently, it’s possible to reason with your loved one and convince him or her to remove some of the hoarded objects. 

Older adults with cognitive issues or dementia may have difficulty managing the activities of daily life. Columbus respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

Clean Slowly

Anxiety about needing an object in the future can prevent your loved one from discarding it. By taking the decluttering process slowly, you can alleviate some of these worries. Talk to your parent about storing any items not currently being used. If the items aren’t needed for six months, suggest he or she donate them to a charity. 

Focus on Safety

Hoarding can create unsafe living conditions for your loved one, making it important to try to discourage hoarding tendencies as much as possible. Try explaining to your loved one that too much clutter can cause him or her to be injured in a fall or lose important bills and medications. By focusing on your concerns about safety instead of trying to control his or her actions, you can encourage your loved one to stop hoarding. 

Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional elder care Columbus seniors can trust and rely on. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (614) 481-8888 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.


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