Do you have an elderly loved one who is a hoarder? While, for the most part, there’s not much that you can do to try and stem their hoarding behaviors, when it becomes a concern with regard to their safety, you need to step up and do something. When it comes to senior home safety, collecting things and having them scattered throughout the house can pose a number of risks, not only to your loved one, but to anyone who may come into the home.
One of the most common things that are found in the basements and even the attics of elderly individuals might happen to be newspapers. For some reason, people hang onto newspapers for a variety of reasons. Some people don’t think that they read all of the paper and set it aside to get to all of the sections at a later time.
The only major problem with this concept is that another paper arrives on their doorstep the next day, and they’ll end up putting that one with the others. Or, the person collects them because he or she thinks they might have some value someday. They might have started saving them to wrap glassware in or clean the windows. No matter why they might have been saved, newspapers are a fire risk. If a fire did break out in the home, these old newspapers would be kindling to help the fire spread quickly, putting your loved one at risk as well as any fire or emergency personnel who show up.
Keeping boxes of old items and what someone might consider junk is also common among hoarders. These people don’t view belongings or things in the same way that you might; they see them as having value, or that they might need what’s in one of those boxes any day. They might also believe that they could be valuable and don’t want to give them away.
However, having boxes piled up in rooms, no matter what’s in them, could become a fire hazard, much like newspapers, but if they are in common use rooms, they could potentially tip over and create serious emergencies.
If your elderly loved one is a hoarder, and you can’t convince them that they need to get rid of some of these possessions, you should speak to a professional counselor who can help you figure out the best way to keep your loved one safe now and into the future.