Hoarding Woes: Priorities in Crisis

The Guardian Angel is summoned

My aunt was very sweet last night. First, she was apologetic for scaring the  family and care givers and firemen. When my aunt is somewhat normal, she is extremely out going toward others and their well being. 

But, always….always lurking in the mix is a concern about her stuff and her home. This concern travels with her. So, as you are sitting beside her in the hospital room, you really are sitting in her home in her mind. She sees the mess and apologizes. Hallucinations ever more frequent. There is a mix of greed, cherishment (my word) and shame over her possessions.

She is moving in and out (kind of) of dementia, but always carries with her the ‘stuff’. Years and years of hoarding have etched this priority. There is no redemption from this gluttony, at this age (if any age…sorry I am cynical re a true hoarder’s salvation right about now).

This is not a site  to offer hope about hoarders. I write about being someone that is surviving amidst hoarders. My patience is thin. My paranoia a bit elevated (my garage and two sheds are in chaos).

Combine hoarding, dementia and injuries and I thank the Almighty my aunt in not still locked down inside that hoarding home. I am equally thankful my mom gave into the reality of her cancer and hospice and let go of her home to stay with our family in her final months.

That said, my aunt’s partially challenged mess sets there waiting and weighing upon the minds of those that will have to deal. Add in a new element: money. My aunt’s resources are dwindling. There is less than a years worth of resources to sustain the current level of care. We don’t want to have to sell the home. So all that stuff will have to be sorted and sold to make money to sustain her. Not a bad outcome, but it will necessitate many sales to garner enough for but months of care. That will take a toll on all helping in that process. That will commence shortly and be ready for Spring’s warmer days.

Hard to think about that now. On a brighter note, last night my aunt asked my wife to bring the Angel. She remembered the Angel. Now she wants the Angel! Better late than never.

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