Hoarding parents are often ashamed or embarrassed by their behavior and may feel that no one understands what they’re going through. While this is understandable, you can be instrumental in helping them get organized and regain control of their lives. People hoard for many different reasons, but it’s important to maintain patience and empathy as you work with them.
It is easy to assume that we know exactly how our parents have been feeling over the years. However, when dealing with someone who has experienced trauma, these feelings can be extremely complicated and hard to understand. Sometimes, a person needs a little time to find themselves again. It is also important to remember that while you may not always understand where they are coming from, your parents do. Try to keep an open mind. If you don’t, you may miss out on valuable insights about the situation that would be helpful to them.
Don’t Judge the Situation
Another way of how to help hoarding parents is not to judge the situation. When dealing with a parent who hoards, making assumptions about what went wrong in their life is often tempting. It might seem obvious that if something bad happens, they should continue holding onto possessions that remind them of those events. It could also mean that they were abused, neglected, or traumatized. However, just because you think it is true doesn’t mean it is. It may be possible that things haven’t gone that way at all. If you only see what looks like evidence of trouble in somebody’s past, there is a chance that you may overlook some very positive influences. You never want to put yourself in a position where you might inadvertently hurt someone, so it’s best to avoid making judgments until you’ve considered everything.
Another way of how to help hoarding parents is to express concern. One of the most important things you can say to your parents is, “I’m here if you need me.” Whenever you offer to visit or call, take a moment to express your thoughts. This will let them know that you care and allow you to ask questions. Make sure you speak slowly and clearly and use words they will understand. For example, instead of saying, “You really shouldn’t be doing this,” try using something like, “We need to talk” or “Let’s sit down together.”
Offer to Help Them Recover.
Another way of how to help hoarding parents is to offer to help them recover. If you notice that your parents are having difficulty cleaning up after themselves or organizing clutter that seems excessive, it is probably safe to suggest that they hire outside help. Often, hoarders start to feel overwhelmed and disorganized due to physical limitations related to their health or age. By hiring a professional cleaner or organizer to come into their house and provide assistance, they can focus on returning to their normal routine rather than worrying about keeping track of everything. It will allow them to concentrate on other aspects of their lives without being pulled away from the task.
Hire a Cleaning Company.
While it is certainly good to be sympathetic towards your parents, it can sometimes become difficult to maintain perspective when dealing with people who hoard. When dealing with a hoarder, you may feel tempted to interfere with their behavior. If you keep tabs on their progress, working with a hoarding cleaning services company might benefit you to help your family stay organized. A cleaning crew can go through the house easily, providing your parents with the necessary support they’ll need to get started in their recovery process. They can even bring in new furniture and appliances and move items around to ensure that your space stays neat and orderly.
When dealing with hoarders, it’s easy to say “enough already,” but patience is key when helping someone with a problem like hoarding. You must understand that no matter how many times you ask for help or how many resources you provide, hoarding doesn’t just disappear.