Hoarding Seniors and Walkers Don’t Mix

Hoarding Seniors and Walkers Don’t Mix

HOARDINGA hoarding senior who needs a walker is not a safe combination. As hoarders age, the clutter can make a senior fall. It can be practically impossible for an emergency crew to extract a fallen senior out of living room that is piled high with paper, extra furniture and trash. I know of a senior in my former senior living community that was wedged in between tiny pathways of books, magazines, unopened mail and clothing.

A friend of mine is dealing with a senior hoarding situation. Her father-in-law can only navigate through four rooms and has to climb over stuff to get into his bed. This gentleman is 98 years old with dementia and requires a walker.

Recently he injured his leg on a lawn mower that was in his living room. (You can’t make up this stuff.) More trip hazards included extension cords laying on the floor and throw rugs. Whenever his son tries to get rid of stuff the dad refuses. So there are three sofas in the living room and none are accessible. The son bought his dad a new flat screen TV and VCR. The new gifts were duct taped on top of the broken TV and VCR. When the dad received a new recliner for Christmas, it was positioned next to the old run down model. Every attempt to declutter is met with an irate senior who refuses to part with anything.

He should not be in this cluttery filthy home with a walker. A daughter is enabling him by bringing him groceries and medicine. There are piles of crap everywhere and you can barely make it from the chair in the living room to the kitchen.

Hoarders do vary. Some have the kitchen counters covered with expired food items. Green stuff is growing in the refrigerator. It’s a sickness. You cannot correct the problem by cleaning up for them once or twice. You can help make their environment safer on a temporary basis. But hoarding is an illness and they cannot stop until you get to the root cause of the hoarding. You cannot project your common sense on them.

Is your parent a hoarder? My mom collected bags and napkins. When I cleaned out my mom’s home, she literally had 17 black trash bags filled with bags. Wow! Have you had a hoarder move into your senior living community? What happened?  Were they able to downsize their stuff?

Photo by Melody Komyerov.

With experience as both an industry expert and a loving daughter, Diane Twohy Masson is passionate about helping seniors find the retirement community that fits their price range, lifestyle, and needs. Her new guidebook offers a proactive approach to navigating the complex maze of senior housing options. It will help you understand the costs and consequences of the various possibilities, from home care to independent living, assisted living, group homes, memory care, and skilled nursing-care facilities.

“Your Senior Housing Options,” will be coming soon to Amazon.com. If you sign up for my weekly newsletter on the right side of this blog, you will be notified when my new book becomes available. Check out my new website: Tips2Seniors.com or please follow me on Facebook.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available at Amazon.com with a 5-star rating.  The book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum.  Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy.

Moving A Lifetime of Memories (Part 2)

Moving A Lifetime of Memories (Part 2)

They Moved And Placed Everything Except The Cat!

They Moved And Placed Everything Except The Cat!

Easiest move ever?  Yes!!!  It was a picture perfect move thanks to a senior friendly company called Helping Hands in California.  They literally pulled out their smart phones and snapped “before pictures.”  Then in the new home each mover referenced their smart phones to recreate a room, a bookcase or any area that had knick-knacks.  Moving a Lifetime of Memories (Part 1) is about my decision to hire a senior moving company.

An army of men arrived at 9:00 AM and the move went so fast.  The same person that packed up the kitchen unpacked and organized the kitchen in our new home.  This one fact alone was awesome and took tremendous stress off of me.  The same mover that packed up the bathroom reorganized it in the new bathroom.  It was amazing.

Here is the completion level of each room on the day of the move:

  • The kitchen is 100% done (just need to buy groceries and we are ready to cook).
  • Living room is 100% done (including pictures on the wall).
  • Dining room is 100% done (including pictures on the wall).
  • The master bath is 100% done (everything is in it’s place).
  • Office/music room is 95% done (books on the book shelves, pictures hung and still need to rightsize the closets a bit more).
  • Coat and towel closet are 100% done.
  • Master bedroom is 90% done (still need to reorganize the clothes hanging in the closet, buy two lamps and figure out what pictures to hang).
  • Second bathroom is 0% done (only two boxes to unpack, because our two cats were crated in this room during the move).
  • The garage is 50% done (all the garage stuff is in the garage, but we could not have the team of men put everything away because the garage was too dirty).

Our biggest move challenges?

  • Downsizing in general, so I focused on rightsizing.  It was easier to stomach rightsizing.  It is an attitude.
  • Arriving the day of the move to find a dirty garage with stuff left from the previous owner.
  • Realizing our master bedroom has zero light.

The good news is that I loved Helping Hands, because instead of months to settle into my home, I am already settled.  It should just take a couple of days to go buy lamps and then clean and organize the garage.

I highly recommend this senior moving company and this type of service for seniors moving into retirement communities.  Yes, it does cost more than two man and a truck, but it can literally take the stress away from moving.

Please share your successes, failures or comment below to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available at Amazon.com with a 5-star rating.  The book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum.  Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy.   Masson developed this expertise as a marketing consultant, sought-after blogger for senior housing and a regional marketing director of continuing care retirement communities in several markets.  She has also been a corporate director of sales and a mystery shopper for independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled care nursing communities in multiple states.  Currently, Masson is setting move-in records as the regional marketing director of two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  Interestingly, this career started when she was looking for a place for her own mom and helped her loved one transition through three levels of care.

© Marketing 2 Seniors| Diane Twohy Masson 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. You may share this website and or it’s content by any of the following means: 1. Using any of the share icons at the bottom of each page. 2. Providing a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 3. You may quote extracts from the website with attribution to Diane Masson CASP and link http://www.marketing2seniors.net For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.
Wouldn’t life be simpler with less stuff?

Wouldn’t life be simpler with less stuff?

Wouldn’t life be simpler with less stuff?

Wouldn’t life be simpler with less stuff?

This thought stuck me today, when I saw a homeless man with nine carts of stuff.  I had to take a picture of it.  How could he ever move to a new location?  It would be no easy feat to roll nine carts of stuff along.

Prospective senior residents considering a retirement community or assisted living have to feel the same way.  It is so overwhelming to think about moving years of memories and stuff.  A frail senior may feel it is easier to just struggle in his or her home with navigating stairs, managing a walker, asking neighbors to transport them to medical appointments and eating TV dinners.

The quality of a senior’s life in this frail condition is not good.  But the flip side is they get to live amongst all their stuff.

It is interesting to watch the adult Boomer children get into the mix.  Some want mom or dad to continue in the family home and either can’t see or ignore the reality of the parent struggling to just eat, bathe and take medications.  Other children see the danger and can’t sleep worrying for their parent’s safety and health condition.

This is our reality as senior living professionals.  We must never forget how hard it is to move and what a chore it is to downsize our stuff.  Our compassion is what compels many seniors to move into one of our communities.  Thank you for each senior that you personally helped facilitate move into a retirement or assisted living community.  I believe they have a better quality of life with more nutritious food, a greater feeling of independence if they no longer drive and a support system for medical emergencies.  How do you feel?

Please share your successes, failures or comment below to join the conversation and interact with other senior living professionals on what is currently being effective to increase occupancy on a nationwide basis.

Diane Twohy Masson is the author of “Senior Housing Marketing – How to Increase Your Occupancy and Stay Full,” available at Amazon.com with a 5-star rating.  The book is required reading at George Mason University as a part of its marketing curriculum.  Within this book, the author developed a sales & marketing method with 12 keys to help senior living providers increase their occupancy.   Masson developed this expertise as a marketing consultant, sought-after blogger for senior housing and a regional marketing director of continuing care retirement communities in several markets.  She has also been a corporate director of sales and a mystery shopper for independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled care nursing communities in multiple states.  Currently, Masson is setting move-in records as the regional marketing director of two debt-free Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Southern California – Freedom Village in Lake Forest and The Village in Hemet, California.  Interestingly, this career started when she was looking for a place for her own mom and helped her loved one transition through three levels of care.

© Marketing 2 Seniors| Diane Twohy Masson 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog post may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author, unless otherwise indicated for stand-alone materials. You may share this website and or it’s content by any of the following means: 1. Using any of the share icons at the bottom of each page. 2. Providing a back-link or the URL of the content you wish to disseminate. 3. You may quote extracts from the website with attribution to Diane Masson CASP and link http://www.marketing2seniors.net For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author Diane Masson.