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Perceived beauty can lead us down the garden path by Tina Y. Gerber-McCurley

With spring just around the corner, I want to be healthy and happy so I continue following God's Word. I live with gratitude, appreciating and using what I already own. I know God provides me with what I need but sometimes I may not realize this and so may not want it.


I have been happily and methodically decluttering our home over the last two years and have noted a sense of relief with less stuff. The World will tell us we need to buy this and that to make us happy, which many believe to be true.

I am not a typical hoarder, but I did love my stuff, whether it was saving my kids' artwork, toys, books, and clothing. However, why had I saved every bill in the last 20 years?

My Mother was an organized hoarder like I am now. She kept expired food, just in case, along with every bolt, nut, and screw she ever found. I understand she was from that era of keeping and saving everything, but it can get to the point where the clutter in your home makes it unsafe and moving around puts a senior at risk of falling and severe injury. The unsanitary living conditions, growth of possible mould, and stacks of newspapers and magazines will also put the elderly at risk.

Diagnosing a hoarding disorder can be a difficult task. Saving some items for reuse may not be a problem but hoarding can also

indicate an underlying problem in seniors, or in anyone for that matter. Hoarding can be a way of holding onto the past or maintaining a sense of control, which can worsen over time becoming driven. A hoarder has difficulty letting go of personal possessions, regardless of their value. The distress of letting anything go can send them into a tailspin.

Often, we tend to hoard items which we compulsively buy but do not use and which have little benefit for daily living. These items can also interfere with daily relationships, and the consequences can be emotional, physical, or financial. Hoarding may also cause loneliness and social isolation from and for your loved ones.

If you believe your elderly parent or family member is a hoarder, avoid shaming them because hoarding is a mental and emotional condition, not a physical one. Talk to your doctor or to mental health professionals to get the required help needed to battle this condition. Remember, untangling someone from hoarding is a slow process, but with guidance and help, you can be successful in overcoming hoarding behaviours and help yourself or a loved one maintain a healthy and happy space. Happy Spring.

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