Hoarding Woes: Pissing into the Wind?

“Your energy/patience have been astounding. My heart goes out to you for all you have done for her! Although I have a hard time understanding why you would think a hoarder would go back into her home (after a unbelieveable hurculean effort to clean it) and not re-hoard all over again, Unabaited. Has she had therapy to addresss said issue?
She does not sound like she would be able to take care of herself if left alone. She seems frail/prone to falls?
I just dont understand the effort to get her back home? Perhaps she is more capable than I understand? Hoarders will re-hoard in clean areas. And if you go in there to clean again, she will become unglued.” Athena Comments

We have no illusions that my aunt will gaze upon the cleaning efforts and be thankful and content. I know she will be anxious and seek where the stuff went to. The proximity of her stuff was comforting. But…….it was a constant antagonist too. A constant daily response to ‘What are you doing?’ was ‘Oh, you know thinking.’   ‘About?’  ‘About how did I get myself into this mess.’ I know she anguished over and over on where  to put stuff. Where to gain storage room. Athena is right, my aunt will delve into boxes and pull stuff out. She will draw it near.

The Den was a showplace when I was a young boy. It actually still is. It just has a gazillion items in it. Team Member Darly has done an extraordinary job of consolidating the stuff, from countless plastic bags stacked on high, into boxes. It made a big difference.

It will be a tough day to day site assessment. Respect for her privacy balanced by my independent assessment of her safety. The safety considerations will center around the stove, falls down the basement and front porch stairs, and alternative heating sources (two previous fires from electric heating pads: front of house destroyed; fingers melted, collapsed in shock and pulled a mountain of stuff atop her). You are right Athena. It seems pointless. It seems obvious to everyone but me. My tipping point is not apparent to me, for whatever reason. Because when I make the call, the stand, it will be a last stand…I don’t believe my aunt will sit in resignation and comply. The message will not be pleasant or accepted. I am putting it off…..

The den floor has not been this open in years. My uncle laid this floor in 1952. The room & furnishings are a perfect retro motif from that era. There was no access to this room via the dining room.

Oh, therapy for hoarding? For a 94 y/o woman? A gynormous generation gap here. No such thing exist to this generation. Too late. A self contained woman (left home as a teen, the Depression, factory work WWII, husband died young, no children, mental depression and then the acquisitions…with my mom for years) will not go lightly into contemporary therapy concepts or certainly not into arm twisting. We shall see……

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2 thoughts on “Hoarding Woes: Pissing into the Wind?

  1. Aewl

    It’s looking much better. I love the floor motif. I know it’s going to be rough on everybody when your aunt comes home. From all that you have been through, I’m sure that you have learned to be patient more than most people.

    Keep up the posting, I look forward to them.

  2. Wren

    Do you think that part of your thought process (conscious or not) is that you don’t want to have regrets, after your aunt is gone, about what you did or did not do to help her? With the heating pad incident, you got a really clear picture of the possible consequences of doing nothing–she could have died! It’s very legitimate and understandable to want to prevent that kind of terrible occurrence, even if that means running the risk of alienating her or having her re-hoard. Regret is a terrible thing to live with. At the same time, it’s important to recognize that you don’t have control over the outcome and that whatever happens, you did your best under the circumstances. You have already done so much, and you did it out of love. A part of her knows that, I’m sure.

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