Clutter Control to the Rescue!

by Nicole Bruce

The need for professional organizers is growing, and we are happy to announce that Your Eldercare Consultants has just launched a new Clutter Control and Organization
Service. With a focus on efficiency, CJE’s professional organizers can help work through clutter-related issues. They understand the reasons seniors are prone to clutter.

You enter your dad’s home and are stunned by the stacks of stuff everywhere. There are piles of newspapers and mail, containers of spoiled food in the fridge, the medicine cabinet is overflowing with expired medications and a mountain of dirty laundry camouflages the bed. How did it get this bad?

While clutter is not a problem unique to seniors, aging can lead to more advanced disorder and chaos—often referred to as hoarding—that can threaten a senior’s home safety. A lifetime accrual of belongings, plus daily junk mail, can quickly overwhelm seniors who may already be struggling physically and emotionally.

The need for professional organizers is growing, and we are happy to announce that Your Eldercare Consultants has just launched a new Clutter Control and Organization Service. With a focus on efficiency, CJE’s professional organizers can help work through clutter-related issues. They understand the underlying causes of why seniors are often prone to clutter such as an extreme emotional attachment to possessions, fear of loss, anxiety, loneliness, depression, fatigue, changes in health, the need to conserve and the inability to discriminate
trash from valuables. Also, people who hoard are typically oblivious to the problem. It can go undetected until another problem develops. One clear signal is when home care providers deny services until hoarding is resolved.

As our population ages, hoarding has been increasingly recognized as a complex mental health problem that threatens the health, safety and dignity of older adults. Clutter can be problematic both physically and psychologically for seniors. Problems include increased risk of falls and fire hazards, asthmatic conditions exacerbated by dust and mold, lost medications, and misplaced bills and documents. Clutter can interfere with family relationships; caregivers become frustrated with older loved ones’ accumulations and their desire to hold on to seemingly meaningless things. These issues can also affect neighbors. Here are some signs that indicate clutter could become a problem:

  • Piles of mail and unpaid bills.
  • Difficulty walking safely through a home.
  • Frustration trying to organize.
  • Difficulty managing activities of daily living.
  • Expired food in the refrigerator.

Your Eldercare Consultants can facilitate many practical solutions. For example, they can sort through piles of newspapers, clipping the important articles to save and scan them for digital files. They can also set up organizational systems for record keeping and bill paying. By helping to understand hoarding, they can promote more therapeutic interventions, including on-going psychological support. Starting this process may seem overwhelming, but helping loved ones de-clutter can have a positive impact on their future health and well-being.

Call 773.508.4920 for information about this new service.

For more information about Your Eldercare Consultants, visit our website www.YourEldercareConsultants.com(link is external)

 

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2014 issue of LIFE, CJE SeniorLife's quarterly magazine.