Spring Cleaning: Senior Hoarding

Spring Cleaning: Senior Hoarding

It happens more frequently than you may think? As parents age so does the amount of accumulation in their homes. You walk in and notice immediately that pile of newspapers on the table, stakes of unopened mail, old toiletries not thrown away and the heaps of paper towel packages awaiting use. How did it get like this you ask yourself?

All the research shows that people are slow to recognize the problem. It can be a lifetime accumulation of possessions combined with a daily influx of junk mail, bills and newspapers that quickly overwhelm seniors who may already be struggling mentally, physically and emotionally.

According to experts, seniors may be more likely to allow clutter for a variety of reasons, including fear of loss, anxiety, depression, not knowing how to get rid of possessions, or even memories associated with specific items that to anyone else hold no intrinsic value. It’s a tough situation to face and for seniors, the risks of living in clutter is real, from slipping on loose papers to the threat of fire to the health effects of mold and mildew. Clutter can also interfere with family relationships and leave adult children wondering if they should go over to visit or will they be embarrassing their parent.

While there is no easy answer, spring is naturally the time of year when the topic of cleaning comes up. Take the opportunity to assist the senior in your life by rolling up your sleeves and bringing in the boxes. Working with at least three boxes per room/area is a good start: One for items to keep, one for items to donate, and one for items to throw away.

Spring is a good time to help seniors de-clutter for their own health and well-being. A little help is all they may need!