Hoarding Behavior in the Elderly


Queen City Care staff members often see cases of hoarding behavior with their Elder Care patients. This is a common problem among the elderly as they have accumulated a lifetime of stuff and in some cases have grown attached to these items.  It can become a dangerous situation and difficult for loved ones to deal with.  Hoarders are classified as having difficulty discerning the difference between junk and valuables, and cannot throw anything away.
Caregiverstress.com provides the following signs to look for in someone who may have a tendency towards hoarding:
  1. Old piles of mail, magazines and unpaid bills.
  2. Cannot walk safely through a home.
  3. Gets frustrated when trying to organize.
  4. Difficulty managing day-to-day activities.
  5. Expired food in the refrigerator.
  6. Overstuffed closets and drawers.
  7. Compulsive shopping.
  8. Difficulty throwing anything away.
  9. A health episode such as a stroke or dementia.
  10. Severe loneliness.
If your loved one has a problem with hoarding, it’s never too late to get help. Since hoarding is considered a disorder, the first step is to show compassion and kindness towards the person. Find local help by visiting IOCDF Treatment Provider Database to look for a therapist in your area that specializes in this behavior. Remember, cleanup doesn’t happen overnight so be patient with your loved one. With proper care, hoarding can be treated.
Have you experienced hoarding? Tell us your experience in the comments below.