Advice Needed
Posted by Mary Lou English (+13) 10 years ago
I think my parents are hoarding. I haven't been back to see them for 18 months and I am in town visiting for labor day. I was shocked when I saw their house. They have started saving every Miles City Star. When I asked my mom why, she told me that "she might need to read one of the articles." When I pointed out that they archive those articles online. She said, "that is a terrible website and it is never updated."

My mom also saves all the empty cat food cans that she feeds her twelve cats. She washes each one with soap and water and re-uses them to store leftovers in a box on the counter.

My mom has exhibited this kind of behavior before, but apparently she has gotten my dad in on things. He has started hoarding deer antlers in the garage. Not just nice looking antlers. There are several sets with deer parts attached to them. This has caused a terrible bug problem.

I have seen a couple of episods of "Hoarders" and I am concerned. I simply do not know what to do. Any advice?
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Posted by Mary Lou English (+13) 10 years ago
I'd say my folks are at about a IV.
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Posted by Jan Warn (+205) 10 years ago
Have they had a medical checkup lately? Not to scare you but these can be early symptoms of dementia especially unhealthy treatment of food.
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Posted by Toni Rentschler (+1511) 10 years ago
I agree with the health check ups. Might not be the problem, but to make sure that they aren't having breathing problems from keeping things in th home. If there are problems that can be linked to hording... Then there is a step that you can go to after. But you need the harsh reality of somethingworng befor they might stop. But a loving person helping will be a great help too.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6171) 10 years ago
I think you should contact their physician and ask him what he thinks about their behavior. If the house is unsafe to live in the health department could condemn it and they would have to clean up or move. Perhaps they don't realize that their behavior is abnormal. Hoarding is a serious mental illness but I'm not sure what kind of resources are available in Miles City. You certainly don't have to stay in the house with them. It might wake them up a bit to realize how their behavior is affecting others.
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Posted by Mary Lou English (+13) 10 years ago
I don't think it is dimentia, both of my parents are in their early 40s and they both hold down full-time jobs.
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Posted by Matt Smith (+789) 10 years ago
Your watching to much TV.

I have seen hoarding and what your describing is not it.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6171) 10 years ago
I think anyone who has 12 cats and does not run a shelter is on the verge of hoarding. If the antlers are attracting bugs it's a sanitation issue. If your dad won't recognize that, it's just a matter of time before the hoarding gets so bad it becomes a health hazard. You need to speak to them. It will only get worse without intervention.
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1432) 10 years ago
I wouldn't worry whether you're watching too little or too much TV.

What do you think? Is this getting out of scope for how your parents normally are? Do you see some of the issues raised (sanitary conditions, food unsafe to eat, etc.) sliding up the scale of personal concern?

If so, talk to a doctor, keep researching, etc. If it gives you a chance to talk to your folks about your concerns you may get a better understanding of how they see things. Maybe you'll glean something from their perspective - that'll give you more to go on, too.

If you're thoughtful about the process nobody will be hurt by your being concerned and checking into it.
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