Support for hoarders

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Support for hoarders

Published on May 15, 2017

The definition of hoarding is ‘an act of collecting extreme quantities of items’. It is generally an irrational behaviour but has a serious effect on the hoarder, their families and their neighbours. Other definitions inclue:

  • The Acquisition of, and failure to discard, a large number of possessions that appear to be of useless or limited value. (Frost)
  • Living spaces sufficiently cluttered so as to preclude activities for which those spaces were designed. (Hart)
  • Significant distress or impairment in functioning caused by the hoarding. (Gross)

There are physical and psychological effects of hoarding including; health problems such as breathing problems, injuries from accidents, increased compulsive behaviour and, anxiety and depression. However the most common side effect is isolation. Hoarders are also often compelled to keep unsanitary or dangerous objects. These can cause health problems including respiratory infection and asthma.

Is it easy to help someone who hoards?

The simple answer to that question is NO – A compulsive hoarder can be a challenge to support and work with, as most of them do not accept that they have a hoarding problem.

What are we able to offer in the way of support?

We have developed a series of self help leaflets for residents to help themselves:

For further information on hoarding, contact Jenny Cook by email at jenny.cook@optivo.org.uk or call 0330 123 0220.

 

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