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CARENOTES | Past Carenotes | Let's Talk


Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote

How do I begin to clean a house of a hoarder? What supplies should I start with?

From Janet in Pennsylvania

Shared by: Laura
Tennessee till 8/15 now in Georgia

My heart goes out to you, the decisions we must make for aging parents tough. I attended a Caregiver conference in Nashville- at that time my mother had fought us with moving to assisted living, I still remember her pouty face and two days later while visiting her, realized the people she had already seen that morning, kitchen staff bringing breakfast to her room, aid helping with activities of daily living, housekeeper, nurse delivering meds ( and it was only 9a.m.) My mother grew to accept her "New Home", she apologized to the administrator for being such a tyrant just a month before ! My mother lived on the same hall for 6 years, lots of bumps to get over-but one day at a time was our motto! Mother was diagnosed with A-fib April of 2015, declined quickly and was under Hospice Care for 2 weeks, she passed peacefully on May 28th 2015. I got through many days by telling myself "to not make a choice is making a choice"! My 2nd conference was in Marietta, Ga. this Spring. The support and friendship I received from those sitting around me was sweet. Hope this helps, do not feel guilty for taking care of you... blessings, Laura

Shared by: Paul

I'm no expert, but... My immediate thought was, "The first thing to do, to clean the house of a hoarder, is to get the hoarder out of the house." Otherwise, you'll just provoke an emotional explosion.

Shared by: Sandi

Dealing with Senior Citizens I have cleared out several homes, much depends on the general condition, in FL we have bugs, eggs, mold etc., so a mask is essential. Boxes to sort if needed and sturdy trash bags, you may need a dumpster. Social services may be able to assist with a donation from local company. Not sure if you are cleaning post clear out...Generally use vinegar and baking soda...bleach in extreme conditions however that to can cause issues. If the person is still in the home, clear out safety paths to kitchen, bathroom, sleeping areas. It is overwhelming so start a section at a time. Drink water and rest. If the person is still in the home this issue will continue as generally it's a psychological condition that also needs to be treated. Contact your social service agency and person's Dr./HMO. There are wonderful websites to guide you through cleaning and treatment...just use Goggle. GOOD LUCK!


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