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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  /I Hoard it on the Grapevine/  Editorial List

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I Hoard it on the Grapevine

On my return home from the land of Lincoln last week, I started thinking about my lessons learned from the caregiving experts I met while in Nebraska - the family caregivers.  I was there last week to keynote two events held in the area.  I always think that any MBA types wanting to learn about the demo-psycho-social-markettrending- kind of stuff relating to caregiving only need to spend time listening to the family caregivers.  A few years ago, every time the topic of conversation in the Q and A sessions at our Fearless Caregiver Conferences came around to Senior Driving, all other talk came to a screeching halt.  Then a few years ago, the show-stopper was Medicare Part D and last week, I heard the first new attention grabbing topic of conversation in a long while. The subject was Compulsive Hoarding. 

According to WikiPedia, compulsive hoarding (or pathological hoarding) is a term which is used to describe extreme hoarding behavior in humans.  It involves the collection or failure to discard large numbers of objects even when their storage causes significant clutter and impairment to basic living activities such as moving around the house, cooking, cleaning or sleeping.

In the compulsive hoarding cases cited by members of the Lincoln audiences, the hoarders they were dealing with were mostly their senior loved ones.  This topic also caused one of my favorite moments at these events, which I call "Stump the Panel."  Although the experts on our panel were well-renowned and extremely knowledgeable, in this case the best responses actually came from the caregivers in the audience who have dealt with their loved ones compulsive hoarding.  One suggestion that seemed to work with a gentleman's father was organizing a session where his dad was able to take charge of the distribution of his hoarded goods to his family members.  Not only did this work well to help him in his move into assisted living, but the local Salvation Army recorded record donations that month. 

If you have any hoarding stories of your own, please don't hoard them from us.


Gary Barg

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