When you think of hoarding, you very well may have an image of a person living alone in squalid conditions. While it is true that more often than not a hoarder is an individual that lives alone, that is not always the case. There are a notable number of situations when two people living together hoard. In many such cases, the pair of individuals who hoard are a married couple.
You may find yourself in a situation in which your parents are hoarding. The fact is that this behavior on the part of your parents may have been going on for some time before you realized that it was happening. Like many adult children who have made this discovery about their mother and father, you now face a set of unique challenges associated with a situation in which two parents hoard. There are a number of strategies and tactics you can implement to aid in dealing with the challenges of two parents who hoard:
- Don’t assume both parents are hoarding for the same reasons
- Be proactive in engaging professional assistance
- Take care not to pit one parent against the other
- Strive to initiate better communication with your parents
Don’t Assume Each Parent Hoards for the Same Reason
If you have a pair of parents who are hoarding, do not assume that they are two perfect peas in a pod. Yes, they are both hoarding. On the surface, it may seem that they both have precisely the same issue.
The truth is that each parent may have different underlying reasons for engaging in hoarding. You need to understand that hoarding is a medically recognized disease. It technically is known as hoarding disorder.
There are a number of different reasons why hoarding disorder can occur. There can be a number of different contributory causes that trigger the outward symptoms of hoarding disorder.
Consider depression as an example. It is true that all people diagnosed with depression do have some things in common. Having said that, they also have their own unique underlying issues that gave rise to depression. The same holds true for individuals who are diagnosed with hoarding disorder.
Proactively Obtain Professional Support
If you have two parents who are hoarding, they both require professional support and assistance. In fact, they need different types of professional support and assistance.
First, there are mental health professionals – counselors and therapists – that specialize in working with people afflicted with hoarding disorder. Not only can they be vitally helpful to the actual individuals suffering from hoarding disorder, they oftentimes are also in a position to provide necessary assistance and support to family members of a person (or persons) with hoarding disorder.
You will also want to explore proactively hiring an experienced, skilled hoarding cleanup professional. A prime example of a company that provides hoarding cleanup services is Eco Bear.
Beyond a mental health professional and a hoarding cleanup professional, engaging the support and assistance of a member of the clergy may also be an important step. If your parents are involved in a religious organization, including a clergy person from that organization can be an important supportive addition to the overall team.
Finally, to be prepared to go forward into the future and avoid a relapse into hoarding, you should also consider engaging the services of a home care professional. A home care professional can be a vital addition who can ensure that your parents are better able to maintain a clean, healthy residential environment. As an aside, there are home care professionals that provide a wide array of different types of services, including and beyond keeping the residence in a clean and tidy condition. The work of a home care professional can be tailored to the specific needs of your parents.
Don’t Pit Your Parents Against One Another
Human nature being what it is, the possibility always exists that a family might inadvertently pit one hoarding parent against the other. Even it unintentional, the result of this type of machination can be highly negative. It can render an already challenging situation untenable. You need to attempt to do your best to be as even handed with both parents as you maneuver a situation involving a pair of hoarding parents.
Initiate Better Communication
Communication is fundamental when you need to address the challenges of two parents who hoard. Maintaining open and reliable communication with one hoarder is a challenge. That objective becomes even more complex when you are dealing with two people who hoard, particularly when that pair of individuals are your own parents. In order to best ensure that you are initiating better communication when you have two parents with hoarding disorder you might want to consider seeking professional guidance. There are professionals who specialize in working with individuals diagnosed with hoarding disorder as well as their families.