Hoarding disorder affects 2 to 4 percent of people worldwide, according to the International OCD Foundation. While hoarding can be more visible among older adults, hoarder tendencies often originate much earlier in life. This disorder often manifests simply as an anxiety about throwing out older things, and not just ones that a person has become connected to. As San Diego’s leading hoarding restoration experts, we here at Clean Earth Restorations want to take a moment to discuss how to detect and deal with hoarding tendencies in your loved ones.
Know the Difference Between Hoarding and Sentimentality
Not all clutter is hoarding. There is nothing wrong with keeping an old possession or note from a deceased relative, it is a fine way to remember those that we cherish. The problem is when you can’t get rid of grandma’s used toothbrush for fear that you’ll lose part of her, disrespect her memory, or one day regret that it is gone from your life. A problem like this is when you need help with hoarding.
It’s not rare for physical or mental ailments to make it difficult for older people to properly maintain homes which may have nothing to do with hoarding. Not every untidy centenarian is a hoarder. Look for more extreme signs of hoarding, like saving food waste and disposable products in mass before seeking professional help.
Seek Professional Support
Hoarding is caused by a number of different complex factors and it’s important to look for an opinion from medical professionals before calling in the clean up crew. Professionals who specialize in dealing with anxiety disorders will often be your best resource. They will be able to make recommendations on how you should talk to someone with a hoarding problem, which is extremely important at the beginning steps of tackling the problem. If you are looking for professional mental health support in San Diego County you can consult the resources in this list.
Approach with Caution
As much as it seems like the surprise hoarding clean up you might see on TV is the best option, many hoarding experts strongly recommend against taking this route. Always make sure you talk to the loved one in question before bringing in a clean up crew. We may be great at tidying up messy homes but we are not family therapists. It’s important that everyone involves consents to the clean up before things get set in motion, not doing so can escalate problems and cause more greater anxiety in your stressed loved one.
The Clean Up
After you’ve talked to your loved one about the hoarding issue, that’s where we come in. Here at Clean Earth Restorations we are experts at dealing with carefully and safely clearing out the homes of hoarders. If you have questions about this process or think you may have a hoarding loved one call us today. We have expert team members who are here to help.