Of all the outcomes of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, perhaps one of the most concerning is the individual’s tendency for wandering, together with the potential dangers which may arise in the event the senior becomes disoriented or lost. Wandering may occur when the older adult is: Continue Reading →
If an older adult you adore has been diagnosed with dementia, your top concerns are probably his / her safety and wellbeing. The good news is that with a couple of adjustments around the house, it is possible to create a dementia-friendly environment that encourages continued independence for your family member, while keeping safety top of mind. Continue Reading →
Medications can both enhance and save lives, but there is a hidden risk that can lead to dire consequences — the threat of medication non-compliance. Continue Reading →
With more than 10,000 prescription drugs available in the U.S., it’s no surprise that so many older adults – approximately one in three – are taking at least five of them each and every day. And family caregivers understand firsthand the difficulty of managing these medications for seniors. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that approximately 55% of prescription medications are being taken incorrectly for a variety of reasons, and the results can be exceedingly harmful. Continue Reading →
Do you know an older adult who struggles with hoarding? Is the situation becoming more and more challenging to manage? Are you worried about the senior’s safety?
Compulsive or pathological hoarding, also known as disposophobia, is a great deal more involved than simply collecting or living with clutter. It is an extreme accumulation of items, regardless of whether or not these objects have any use or value. The idea of giving away or getting rid of any of these items, even if they’re trash, leads to extreme anxiety and stress.
At New Horizons In-Home Care, we recognize that senior hoarding leads to a number of difficulties. An excess of objects in a senior’s home may lead to issues with hygiene – both in the home itself and with personal hygiene if cleaning facilities are blocked. Extreme clutter can exacerbate social isolation, resulting from the senior’s shame about the state of the home along with his or her inability to clean up enough to go out. And, the clutter may raise a significant safety hazard. Clutter can cause falls, damage home foundations, and block exits in the event of an emergency.
Helping someone who has problems with senior hoarding is a challenge. Older adults who hoard attach an exaggerated degree of value to the belongings they own, regardless of how worthless they may appear to others. Getting rid of anything at all can be tremendously painful.
If a senior you love is struggling with hoarding, these tips can help get things under control:
Never judge the senior. Although it may be difficult, if the senior does not feel judged, she or he may be more inclined to work with you on the hoarding issue. Avoid statements such as “What a mess!” or “How can you possibly live like this?”
Use only encouraging language. If you see progress of any kind, no matter how small, such as a pathway from one room to the next that is wider than it was before, point out to the senior how proud you are that the area is less dangerous now. If you notice a trash bag ready to be taken out, tell the senior that this is excellent progress. Whenever there is an opportunity to offer a compliment, do so: “I can’t imagine how hard it was to fill that trash bag. I’m so pleased that you were able to do that.” You can even point out the nice things in the home, such as a pretty painting, or a unique knick-knack.
Never argue. Those who hoard have their reasoning, and arguing will often lead to them ending the discussion. You do not have to agree with what the senior says, but by arguing, the person may become defensive, moving further away from a solution. If an argument is imminent, it may be time to take a walk around the block or call it a day.
Realize that some things are just too important for the senior to part with. When cleaning up a home, it is essential to bear in mind that not every single item has to go. Most of us have certain possessions that are especially meaningful to us. Acknowledge and accept this.
New Horizons In-Home Care, the Oregon home care professionals, understand firsthand what hoarding can do, and our knowledgeable care staff know how to help. We offer a full range of in-home services that include friendly companionship to help older adults feel accepted and socially involved. Contact us for a professional in-home consultation and to learn more about how we can help a senior you love.
April 1, 2019
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If you are becoming the caregiver of a loved one who has Alzheimer’s, you know you need to make some changes. One of the first places you’ll need to start is your home. Use these helpful tips to help make your home safer and more secure for your loved one Continue Reading →
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Providing care to a loved one is a rewarding experience. You know that you are giving her the best possible care and that she will spend her remaining days surrounded by loving family. When serving as a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, make sure that your home also is Continue Reading →
Across town or across the country, it’s tough to look after an aging parent when you left the nest years ago. But sometimes, moving home or having elderly parents move in with you simply isn’t an option and you’re left to navigate caring from hundreds or thousands of miles away Continue Reading →