Four Ways to Tell Your Senior Isn’t a Collector

Your senior insists that she’s just collecting some items, but you have a suspicion she’s doing something else. The differences between collecting and hoarding are pretty dramatic, but your elderly family member might not be able to see them. If you’re not there with her often, you might have a tough time distinguishing, too. These suggestions can help.


Home Care Services in Markham: Collection or Hoarding?

Home Care Services in Markham: Collection or Hoarding?


Collectors Want Everyone to See Their Pretties

When your senior is collecting something, she usually wants to show it off to people when they come to visit. She might have display cabinets that she meticulously maintains or she might have other ways to show off her collection. If the situation is slightly different, such as with hoarding, the items she’s collecting may not be on display and may be hidden in piles and boxes.


Collections Are Well Contained

On that same note, collections are almost always viewed as valuable by the people collecting them. That means that they’re treated and stored with reverence, even if the collection itself doesn’t actually have a large monetary value. With a hoarding situation, items can easily become broken or damaged and that doesn’t really matter as much, because there might not be a value assigned to the items in your senior’s mind. This is especially true in situations where someone is hoarding trash.


Can She Let Go of Some Items in the Collection?

Collectors often love the items they’re collecting, but there’s a special emotional attachment associated with hoarded items. Hoarders might go through and sift through discarded items to reclaim them. Collectors might have a difficult time giving away or letting go of collected items, but there is usually a reason for rehoming those items.


What Is the Relationship Between Your Senior and Her Collection?

One of the biggest differences between a collection and a hoard is how it impacts your senior. Do the items add to her quality of life? If so, they’re likely a true collection. Hoarding situations seriously detract from your senior’s quality of life and often her health, making them an incredibly harmful part of her life.


Hoarding is a true psychological illness and needs to be treated properly by professionals. Once your senior’s home is cleaned up, it can help to have elder care providers stopping by to assist in maintaining cleanliness in the home. This can help to ensure that your senior can continue to live in her home.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care Services in Markham, please contact the caring professionals at  Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at (905)-709-1767.

About Susan Di Michele

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