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Tips on Dealing with Hoarding Parents

September 20, 2017

Approximately 3 – 5% of adults experience hoarding and 15% of older adults experience depression as a result of hoarding (UCSF). Here at Spaulding Decon, we offer all-inclusive hoarding services, from dealing with cleanup to setting you up with counselors, remediating objects damaged over the years and remediating the home. When it comes to your parents, hoarding becomes a very touchy situation. How do you help someone who may not believe they need help? Many times, they are in situations that severely affect their standard of living and as their child, you feel like you need to take steps to help them. If you’re reading this, you may already need our services, but in the meantime, here are some tips on dealing with hoarding parents.

  • Be sensitive. Many hoarders understand that they are in a hoarding situation but do not know how to stop or handle it. Hoarding is usually caused by an underlying traumatic occurrence and if that isn’t resolved they will continue to hoard. Understand that the hoarder is hurting too.
  • Don’t judge the situation. No one wants to hoard and live in a home cluttered with stuff, but hoarders can’t help it. The hoarder sees their items differently than you do. Don’t just try to throw it out or call it junk. Be neutral with your words.
  • Express concern. Let your parents know that you are concerned about their way of living. Your parents may not realize that their lifestyle affects them and the whole family. Letting them know that you are concerned and being affected by their hoarding is an early step to recovery.
  • Offer to help your parents recover. Sometimes they may just need some help moving past this stage in your life. Offering to help them remove items from the home and clean may help the problem.
  • Understand they may not want to change. The saying goes, “you can’t teach old dog new tricks,” your parents may have become comfortable with their lifestyle and you alone may not be able to change it. But no worry, that is why there are professionals.
  • Hoarding is a mental disorder and as with any medical condition, it is always best to seek the help of a professional. Seeking the aid of a counselor or doctor can help you and your parents get to the heart of the problem and the hoarding may stop.
  • Hire a company to clean the home. Many times, hoarding goes on for years and the house may begin to grow mold, items may deteriorate, and often-times bugs and rodents find ways into the home. Hiring a professional will ensure that your parents’ home is cleaned safely and properly.

If you’ve gone through this list and thought, “I’ve tried these things I don’t know what to do,” it is time to call us at Spaulding Decon. Our compassionate team of highly trained technicians will work with you, your parents and counselors to ensure a smooth transition back to normality. Don’t let hoarding control your life. Learn More about Spaulding Decon. Today