Hoarding is a real problem. However, it goes unrecognized primarily because there is very little information about the condition in the public domain. In this two-part series on hoarding, we will cover the top issues to watch out for when dealing with hoarders.
Most hoarders will deny having a hoarding problem. It is not entirely surprising since most people with a psychological emotional problem tend to refuse to accept their condition. Acceptance however, is the first step towards finding a solution to the problem. While this is easier said than done, it is a step in the right direction. For people who are in contact with hoarders for any number of reasons, there are not only telltale signs of hoarding, but more importantly, there are a number of issues that crop up when dealing with someone who has a hoarding condition.
Here are top 4 issues you need to aware of if you are in contact with a hoarder.
Safety is Compromised
The home of a hoarder is a like a minefield. There is stuff everywhere and you never know what can cause harm or presents a real danger. Navigating through all the clutter and heaps of potential debris both inorganic and organic is never an easy task. In addition to health risks posed by organic debris such as rotten food or any other bodily fluids/waste, there is also danger from inorganic debris such as electrical wiring or fire and water hazards.
Partial and or Complete Lack of Trust
One of the biggest challenges when dealing with hoarders is the issue of trust deficit. Fearing a judgmental attitude, or loathing for the clutter in their homes from others is one of the leading reasons for the trust deficit. This also presents the biggest challenge when dealing with hoarders. If they sense any kind of negative response, getting them to trust you can become next to impossible.
Unwilling to Part with their Collection
Creating a bond of trust is crucial when dealing with hoarders. However, even then, getting them to cooperate with you and part with any of their stuff can prove to be a challenge every step of the way. In addition to constant positive communication and appreciation for being co-operative, it is also important to stress up on the danger to safety not just for the hoarder, but also family member, friends and others who come into contact with the hoarder. This kind of constant but positive affirmation can help the hoarder trust in your advice and make them more accommodative to parting with their items.
Potential and Real Health Risks
When you step into the home of a hoarder, there is always the danger to health in the form of feral pets or vermin that harbor disease causing germs. It is not uncommon to find all kinds of insect life, rodents, as well as animals sharing the property of a hoarder. In fact the danger to life is greater when dealing with animal hoarding as the cleaning is particularly dangerous. There is also the danger of being attacked by animals. Unless you are highly-trained, and or a certified professional, dealing with this kind of situation on your own is not advisable.
To Be Continued….