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After months of waiting, I’ve been allowed in my mothers AL apt. We have some great caregivers and staff and I’m grateful. My question is about the state of my moms apt. She has packed boxes everywhere! A rolling suitcase I’ve never seen before? There are papers, dust boxes and bags of things all over. She’s on a walker and I can’t imagine how she even gets around in her room. I have no idea where to even start, bc she won’t let me move anything. Is this something anyone else has experienced? Her apt is a studio and very small.

What spurred this cleaning frenzy?

Is mom moving? Or just needs to have this done?

I'm going to use the awful "h" word: Hoarder.

My mom also has a small apt jam packed with junk. It accumulated slowly over the years (24) and despite my best efforts, I was asked to quit 'cleaning' for her. She phrased it as 'stop touching my things' but she doesn't see well enough to see that my 'touching her things' is cleaning and dusting.

Even with a walker, mother could actually bring in MUCH more stuff than when she was walking with a cane. Plus there is the almost daily deliveries from Amazon, USPS and UPS. Don't discount how quickly boxes will pile up. And mom often doesn't remember ordering anything, so she either never opens the box, or opens it and decides to return an item and can't figure out how. I think most of the boxes she has out in her place are, in fact, empty.

The most important thing in helping a hoarder is to have very LOW expectations as to what you might acheive. Everything she sees is going to trigger memories and perhaps a long discussion as to why she won't give away/ throw away stuff.

I tried, I got OS involved and we tried together and every single time we tried to simply clean a pathway for her to walk, she'd get so upset.

Now, no one does anything for her, other than make sure her bathroom garbage goes out once a week (think a week of sopping wet Depends---but they CANNOT go to the trash until Sat.)

YB checks on her, gets her weekly groceries and once in a great while will force her to cut back on clutter than blocks doors.

I wish you much better luck than we had. A person is certainly entitled to own as much stuff as they want, I guess, but at the risk of making your home a hazard? We had to accept that mother does not want help at all.

Good Luck. I'd sure like to see a 'good' hoarder cleanout story.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Midkid58
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Has she been ordering on line? I would ask the director if she is having pkgs delivered all the time. Do you have access to her Credit Card Statements? Her bank statements if she has a debit card? If you find this is what is happening, you may be able to return the items.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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How long has your mom been there?

Did she unpack when she moved in?

Who supplied the boxes, if she was unpacked when she moved in?

Maybe some more info would help.
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Reply to cxmoody
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Where did the papers, boxes and bags come from, are they not your mother's things? And if she won't let you move anything how do you expect the cleaning staff should handle this?
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Reply to cwillie
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