Almost everybody has an "Uncle Charlie" in their family who has been collecting things forever. Is he a hoarder? Does he need help? If he does need help, how can you help him?
Even if you don't have a direct connection to a hoarder, you can be affected...
- If your town has to condemn the property of a hoarder, it will cost the town $40,000 (i.e., your tax money at work).
- If there is a fire in the home of a hoarder, the first responders are at greater risk of injury or death due to quick-burning rubbish, toxic fumes, and the fact that the towering piles of these items could fall on a first responder and trap or injure him/her.
- There is an increased mold and infestation potential at the home of a hoarder.
I recently co-sponsored a seminar to train persons with a sphere of influence about the realities of Hoarding. Attendees included social workers, County placement workers, and elder care advisors and providers.
Hopefully, we will be able to better understand this condition (which was recently declared to be a mental illness). This reminds us that it is difficult to simply "stop."
I also connected with the other sponsors who offer services to deal with the aftermath of hoarding.
If you think that you or a loved one might be a hoarder, call or email me so I can help you figure out a course of action, and put you in touch with one of the many hoarding disorder experts that I work with.