If you’ve ever walked into your aging family member’s home and found way more food than you expected her to have, she might actually be hoarding food. Here’s what you need to know.
What Does it Mean to Hoard Food?
Hoarding food is complicated because parts of the compulsion are rooted in wanting to have enough food so that your senior can continue to eat. The other part of the compulsion rests in the fact that there’s never enough to satisfy the urge your senior has to hoard food. Another complication can kick in if your senior’s particular brand of food hoarding isn’t specific about whether the food is still good or properly stored. This is when food hoarding becomes extremely dangerous.
How You Can Tell.
If your aging family member starts to buy food in bulk, say with a ton of coupons, this might be an indication of food hoarding. This is especially true if she’s doing this often with bulk purchases of different foods. Whether she lives alone or not, this might be way more food than she’ll be able to eat before it spoils. Check her fridge and her pantry. Check expiration dates and look at how the food is stored.
What You Can Do.
The key to resolving this problem is partially to make sure that your senior has enough food available that she can eat before it goes bad. You also need to make sure that foods that have a longer shelf life are properly stored. Make a list of what your senior wants to keep on hand and what you can do in order to ensure that food is stored as well as it can be so that you can help her to stock up safely. Make sure that when you store food, the older food moves to the front so it can be eaten before it goes bad.
Enlist Some Help Along the Way.
You may be able to handle this on your own, but most hoarding situations are bigger than just you and your senior. Your elderly family member might benefit from having a professional organizer help her to organize the food that is still good for her to eat. Home care providers can help you and your aging family member to stay on target, even when you’re busy with both your life and caregiving.
Talk with Her Doctor.
Some hoarding situations are a result of physical illnesses or even depression. Talk with your aging family member’s doctor about what sorts of treatments might be able to help her get through this problem. This allows you to approach the situation from all angles.
Hoarding doesn’t always have its basis in common sense, even when what your senior is hoarding is related to food. Your elderly family member may need even more help in order to let go of her compulsion to store more food than she can eat.
If you or an aging family member are considering professional home care in Lindenhurst, NY, please call the caring staff at A Gentle Touch Senior Home and Health Care at 631-647-7622 today.