Is Your Elderly Loved One Hoarding? Here’s How to Tell

As your loved one ages, it is likely to become increasingly difficult for them to keep their home clean and tidy. They may need help with chores like dusting, vacuuming, taking out the trash, and putting things away. Because of their inability to tackle heavy cleaning projects and your busy schedule, you may find that clutter tends to pile up more easily. If you’ve noticed that the clutter is seeming to grow, or that your loved one is adding to it, you may be wondering if it is just some harmless clutter or if your loved one is hoarding. Unlike having a bit of clutter, hoarding is an actual mental illness that requires treatment. If you are worried that your loved one’s clutter problem is evolving into hoarding, here are some signs to look for to tell if your loved one may need medical attention.

Your Loved One Can’t Find Important Items

Elder Care Buffalo Grove, IL: Is Your Elderly Loved One Hoarding?

Have you noticed that you loved one is unable to find important items such as bills (that consequently get left unpaid)? Routinely not being able to locate important items due to too much clutter can disrupt your loved one’s daily activities and quality of life. If you find that frequently misplacing important items has begun to cause your loved one emotional stress, it may be time to seek help from a doctor.

Your Loved One Keeps Things That Have Little Value

Recycling is one thing, but holding on to large amounts of items of little value is another. Does your loved one keep unnecessary amounts of things such as plastic grocery bags, newspapers, rubber bands, etc.? If they seem to be unreasonably attached to these items, it could be a sign of hoarding.

There are Rooms/Spaces in Your Loved One’s Home That are Unusable

Does your loved one have entire rooms that are filled to the brim with clutter, so much so that they have become unusable spaces? Similarly, does the home have narrow “walkways” in between piles of clutter? Holding on to clutter that makes the home increasingly less comfortable to live in is a sign of hoarding.

Your Parent is Too Embarrassed to Have Visitors

Hoarders often feel shameful when it comes to their hoarding and out of control clutter. Because of this, they may feel reluctant to have visitors come to their home. If your loved is displaying this behavior, it may be time to seek help for them so that they can get their home cleaned out and be on their way to having a better quality of life.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care in Buffalo Grove, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.



Jamie Shapiro