Is Your Loved One a Hoarder - Senior Alert Medical

Is Your Loved One a Hoarder

by Charlie Kimball · 0 comments

Caring for a loved one means that you’re taking on a lot of responsibility. Most people can grasp the needs for caring for physical disability, but if mental illness steps in the consequences can be quickly overwhelming. One of the most difficult mental illnesses for a caretaker to deal with is hoarding.

Hoarding is a psychological disorder driven by the need to keep objects around. This isn’t just one or two things. Hoarders try to retain everything that comes into their lives. Are you having trouble with your loved one because of the stuff that they have in the home?  They might be a hoarder.

Hoarding affects up to 5 percent of the American population.  It can be seen through all economic classes, though there are some hoarders who had a trigger (like poverty or The Great Depression).  That fear can also be accompanied by ADHD and depression.

There are several signs of hoarding behavior, including:

  • Isolation from friends and family – This is also a sign of depression, but your loved one might be too embarrassed to admit that there might be a problem with hoarding.

  • Confrontational when asked – They might have a good justification or might become confrontational about the items that they’ve hoarded.

  • Trails Through The Trash – In order to navigate through the home there have to be trails cut through it.  This makes caretaking for your loved one nearly impossible in the process.

  • Unwillingness to give up anything – No matter what the item is, your loved one isn’t willing to give it up, attaching a sort of sentimental value to it even when there is none.

  • Have Plenty of Unused Items – They might allow their mobile GPS help button on their mobile GPS medical alert systems to go unused because it’s part of the collection of things.  It might also be sitting next to the unused Cuisinart and paper shredder.

The biggest issues that hoarding presents are practical ones.  If your loved one presses the mobile GPS help button on their medical alert bracelet or pendant, emergency personnel aren’t able to easily come to a hoarder’s aid.  The number of minutes that the EMTs have to spend clearing the way out are minutes that could be spent helping your loved one.

Even before that issue is presented, if there’s clutter and stuff in every part of the home, navigation becomes a nightmare. The chances of having to use the GPS enabled medical alert system rise because of falling hazards.

Hoarding behavior can be alleviated in your loved one through behavioral therapy and several other methods, but it must first be identified.  If you believe that the loved one you’re caring for is a hoarder, seek professional help and advice.


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