Diogenes syndrome, also known as senile squalor syndrome, is a behavioral disorder that most commonly affects adults above 60 years old. Those afflicted with Diogenes syndrome show signs of severe hoarding, self-neglect, and social isolation and usually live alone in unsanitary conditions. These conditions could lead to health complications like pneumonia, mental illness like dementia or depression, or accidents like fires or falls. Typically, a specific traumatic incident like divorce or death of a loved one triggers this syndrome. Medical conditions such as stroke or depression also may cause the onset of such symptoms. Read on as we go through the symptoms of Diogenes syndrome and how to prevent it.
Diogenes syndrome tends to manifest through extreme hoarding. Those affected will could either allow garbage to pile up at home or display obsessive-compulsive disorder-like symptoms and collect and compile their waste neatly together. Hoarding is an especially dangerous health risk as it makes the house difficult to navigate, causing falls and creates a fire hazardous environment. The accumulation of waste also attracts insects and rodents which bring along harmful diseases with them.
Seniors with Diogenes syndrome will stop looking after both themselves and their homes. You may notice their self-neglect through their unkempt appearances, body odor, torn clothes, skin rashes, or malnutrition. Whereas neglect for their homes can be seen in unclean furniture, buildup of garbage, and pest infestation. Such conditions may lead to more serious health complications down the line.
Those with Diogenes syndrome will suffer from social isolation due to their actions being affected by the syndrome. They will become reclusive and start avoiding family and friends, cutting ties with them altogether. They can also fear, distrust or be aggressive towards medical professionals, caregivers, and other figures.
One of the most disconcerting symptoms about Diogenes syndrome is that seniors are in full denial of having it. They have little awareness and shame about their current lack of hygiene and terrible living conditions. They will also be unwilling to accept any help or interventions.
Preventing Diogenes Syndrome
In most cases, Diogenes syndrome is caused when stress-related trauma, be it death of a spouse or loss of mobility, is not treated and left to propagate. Noticing signs of trauma is the first step of preventing Diogenes syndrome. With a supportive group of family and friends in your community, they will be able to realize any odd shifts in behavior. This inclusive and pleasant environment of people will promote your emotional and mental well-being. Frequent checkups at the doctors can also catch early signs of symptoms before they fully manifest.
Emotional and Mental Wellness at Country Club At Woodland Hills
Here at Country Club At Woodland Hills, our residents’ health is of utmost importance. Our Dimensions Health & Wellness programs provide specially designed curriculums for every resident to support and better their physical, emotional, and mental health. In addition, our passionate and dedicated team of health professionals are on site to check and care for all of your healthy needs. With a combination of exciting physical activities and state-of-the-art medical care, we guarantee our residents a robust and healthy life.