Is Your Senior a Hoarder or a Collector?

You’ve probably met a collector or two and been amazed at the span of their collections. But if there’s a lot of stuff piling up in your senior’s home, you may start to wonder if she’s crossed the line from a collector to a hoarder. What is the difference?


Home Care Services in North York: Hoarder or Collector

Home Care Services in North York: Hoarder or Collector


Collectors Like to Show off Their Collections

People who are really into collecting items tend to collect one or two specific things. They also tend to like displaying their collection to other people. If items are boxed up and stored randomly throughout your senior’s house, it’s possible that she’s not a collector as much as she might be a hoarder.


Hoarders May Not Be Able to Let Items Go

Hoarders can associate strong emotional attachments to specific items, even if those items aren’t something that they should be keeping, like trash. When a hoarder tries to throw something away or is confronted about getting rid of items, they often can’t do it. In fact, your senior might become belligerent or highly emotional in other ways about the very idea of letting specific items go.


Hoarding Can Become Dangerous

The biggest problem with hoarding is that it can become incredibly dangerous. Lots of hoarding situations wind up taking over the entire home, leaving little or no safe pathway from room to room. As items pile up, they can topple over and hit your aging adult. Beyond that, it’s difficult for emergency personnel to get in to offer help in a hoarded home. It’s a situation that can create very bad results for your senior.


Look at the Impact of the Items on Your Senior’s Life

If you’re trying to determine whether your senior is a collector or a hoarder, the first question that you need to ask yourself and she is how the items she’s collecting affect her life. If her quality of life is suffering and she’s not able to use portions of her home, that’s a really bad sign. In order to get her the help that she needs, you may have to work through multiple issues.

Ultimately, you need to talk to your senior’s doctor and possibly to a therapist to determine for sure what your senior is facing. When you’re getting her home squared away, elder care providers can be a powerful addition to your caregiving arsenal. They can help you to stay on top of what is happening with items in your senior’s home.


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

About Susan Di Michele

We have a team of dedicated healthcare professionals. We strongly believe in improving health and wellness of individuals, their families, and communities. Through nurturance, gentleness and compassion, our team strives to shine a light on what it takes to be role models of caring practice.
Our mission is to support a society in which respect for the rights and dignity of people is a practical reality in all areas of life, where discrimination is a thing of the past, and where a positive view of ill and aging people prevails. We strive to ensure that every individual is informed, supported and encouraged to embrace a lifestyle that has continued meaning, purpose and value. Together these actions genuinely empower and respect individuals’ abilities to make independent choices based on their personal interests, capacities and needs.
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