A lifetime accumulation of possessions—combined with a daily influx of junk mail, bills and newspapers—can quickly overwhelm seniors who already may be struggling physically, mentally or emotionally. Go slowly on the cleanup and consider providing a helping hand each week.
Seniors today have many living options, among them communities that are designed specifically for older adults. And yet, the majority of Americans still say they want to age in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes, even if they need a little extra help.
You enter your dad's home and can't believe the stacks of stuff that have accumulated on every flat surface: piles of newspapers and mail everywhere, the medicine cabinet overflowing with 10 years worth of hair spray (despite his being bald), heaps of dirty laundry on the bed so there is no place for him to sleep. You wonder how it got this bad. Learn steps you can take to recognize and help de-clutter your senior's life.
Taking the approach, just throw the junk out, does not take the senior's situation into mind. It does not address the real reasons behind why seniors want to hold on to items. This list of ten reasons will help you approach the subject of clutter in a more diplomatic matter.
Getting rid of stuff is actually a two-step process: sorting and deciding, on the one hand, and disposing on the other. That's according to University of Kansas Professor Dr. David Ekerdt, who is coordinating a "household moves" project to determine the role that possessions play in older people's housing decisions. But convincing seniors can be a challenge.