The Challenges of Cleanliness, Clutter, and Hoarding with Older Adults and Their Families

9:00 AM - 12:15 PM
CEUs: $50.00
No CEUs: $25.00
3.0 CEUs available for:

  • LSW/LISW/SWA (CSWMFT #: RSX069601)

  • Nurses ​(via reciprocity with the CSWMFT board)

  • Pending LNHA (BELTSS)



One of the current challenges of working with older adults and their families is keeping households functional for as long as possible. Most older adults desire the highest level of independence possible while their families are concerned about the safety of day to day living arrangements.  An issue which influences this dynamic in families is the amount of “stuff” in the house or apartment.  In addition, service providers are often challenged to provide quality care in environments which may not be ideal from a cleanliness or clutter standpoint.  This workshop examines the issues around cleanliness, clutter and hoarding.  It looks at the psychosocial dynamics of each as well as the possible causes and reasons for the behaviors when they become a barrier to care.  It will provide practical suggestions for assessing situations as well as providing quality care while respecting individual rights.     


  • Provide a uniform definition for the terms we are using to describe behaviors.

  • Identify the psychosocial components surrounding cleanliness, clutter in households and hoarding behaviors including the DSM-5 definition of hoarding disorders. 

  • Describe the assessment tools which look both at the person and the living situations.  Provide tips and suggestions to use in assessment.

  • Describe 3 strategies for assisting families to communicate about these issues more effectively.

  • Identify 10 practical suggestions to continue to provide quality care in situations where the cluttered conditions are a barrier.

About the Speaker: Paula Taliafero

Paula Taliafero works part time at the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging as an Outreach & Education Specialist. As such, she has presented over 900 workshops in the last decade.  Paula holds a Master’s Degree in Gerontology from Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University and a License in Social Work in the State of Ohio. She is a PAC Approved Trainer under Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care. She is developer of the “Aging In Ohio” course which is required of many professionals who work with older adults.  In addition, she is one of two developers of the “Fundamentals of Guardianship” course sponsored by the Ohio Supreme Court’s Judicial College and she is a Affiliated Trainer with the National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices.


Class sizes are limited, so register early.  Classes with low registrations may be canceled.  If the class is canceled or moved, participants will be contacted via email at least 24 hours in advance.

Classes start and end on time.  To ensure a quality experience for all, please arrive (in-person) or log in (virtual) at least 15 minutes prior to the class start time.  CEU credits will be adjusted 0.25 credit hours for every 15 minutes not in attendance; adjusted certificates will be emailed to participants within 3 business days after the training.  Hard copies of certificates will be mailed upon request.

It is difficult to control room temperature to everyone's comfort level.  We suggest you dress in layers that can be adaptable to warm and cool temperatures.

For auditing purposes, arrival and departure times and signature are required on attendance sheets.