Plenty of seniors have untidy or cluttered homes, but true hoarding is a serious personality disorder that can be very dangerous. Hoarding can result in accidents, injuries, or unsafe living environments, which is why it is very important for Cincinnati, Ohio, senior care providers to identify hoarding behaviors and stop them before they become a real problem. Here are a few signs that your elderly loved one’s habits may have crossed the line into hoarding behavior.
1. Entire Rooms Are Off Limits
Everyone wants privacy, but you might need to be concerned if your elderly loved one is suddenly very cautious about letting people see certain rooms. These rooms may be completely unusable because they are filled with hoarded items. This is because hoarders frequently try to hide collected items because they feel ashamed of their compulsions.
2. The Home Is Unsanitary
One of the reasons that hoarding is so dangerous is that stacks of items that are not regularly cleaned harbor dust, mold, insects, and decay. If your loved one is willing to live in unsanitary conditions in order to keep their possessions, he or she may have a hoarding compulsion.
3. There Is No Storage Space
Most hoarders find it increasingly difficult to sort out their growing number of items. Instead of putting things on shelves or in closets, hoarded items are frequently placed in stacks or piles that ultimately overwhelm the house.
4. Collected Items Are Not Valuable
Hoarders tend to hold onto old, broken, or worn-out items because they think they might possibly fix the item one day. Commonly hoarded items include piles of paper, old clothes, and broken appliances.
5. Your Loved One Gets Defensive
You may notice that your senior loved one gets angry, agitated, or defensive when you mention the clutter or offer to help clean. Hoarders often feel personally attacked when a family or live-in Cincinnati, OH, caregiver suggests that something is wrong or makes an attempt to remove possessions.
If you notice your loved one is exhibiting any of the signs above, seek help immediately. Hoarding is often the result of emotional trauma and can be treated with help from a professional therapist. Additionally, your loved one might benefit from having an in-home caregiver around to keep your loved one’s home safe and tidy. Home Care Assistance is the leading provider of stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s home care in Cincinnati that puts your loved one’s safety and wellbeing first. Call 513.891.2273 today to learn more about our services and set up a no-obligation consultation.