The Aging Population and Hoarding
As we are get older we naturally have more memories and most of them are connected to places or items that we own. The more memories we have, the more items we have that remind us of those happy memories and people can sometime struggle when these items accumulate and begin to overwhelm their homes. As people age it can become even harder to mitigate the clutter due to a lack of ability to do the clean up themselves, or the increased emotional attachment to sentimental items.
One of the first warning signs that appear when people are suffering from hoarding illness is a degree of indifference to the clutter in their environment. As their environment builds up they may stop allowing friends and family to visit their homes, however, they may be overwhelmed or at a loss on how to do the clean-up themselves. This can begin to create a sense of embarrassment or shame in the person who is struggling.
Overtime, additional concerns can arise such as the appearance of hazards. With an excessive buildup of clutter it can quickly turn into an unsafe environment, especially for our aging population. When piles of items build up into the living space tripping over an object that blocks the path from free movement is a major concern.
One of the final warning signs of hoarding is when one starts to place a lot of worth into the objects they own or have collected, even if they are not highly valuable. They tend to feel very connected to them, may not stop talking about them, and may even be purchasing them at the risk of their own financial detriment. When older members of our community live alone it can be very difficult to have visibility to the level of excess that may be happening. For this reason it is important that home checks be conducted on a regular basis to prevent the feeling of isolation that may contribute to hoarding illness.
Recognizing the Symptoms
Hoarding issues can manifest with common symptoms and recognizing them early can save someone from time, expense, and health concerns that can occur from hoarding over time. The first most noticeable symptom is the excessive acquirement of unnecessary items disregarding the fact that there is no more space. Another common symptom is the inability to get rid of items you don't need anymore due to an unreasonable amount of fear associated with the loss of said item. The third symptom is an increased emotional response or getting upset when they are asked to throw out something that they don't need anymore. However, people are different and the signs and symptoms may vary from one person to another so if you suspect someone is suffering try to observe their behavioral patterns more closely and spot any of the symptoms above.
Hoarding can be dangerous toward the mental and physical health of an individual so it's imperative that we try to help that person. The progressive decline of a hoarding situation can accumulate into a biohazardous environment. We are here to help with a team that is careful, professional, and discreet. Our teams at Bio-One of Tucson are completely committed to our motto "Help First, Business Second". If you need any help with hoarding clean up or you know someone who needs help, contact us at 520-771-5960 and schedule a free estimate of our services.