Getting Help For A Hoarder – Stacks of boxes, newspapers, books, trinkets and even trash. Each room filled with various items. How do you know when it’s just clutter or something more serious like hoarding disorder?
On our weekly Facebook show, Health Happens, we spoke with Loretta Trujillo, manager of the Chores program at the Seniors’ Resource Center, who is trying to get help for those struggling with hoarding in Colorado. She explains that people with hoarding disorder tend to have difficulty throwing away anything, regardless of its actual value: “Hoarding disorder is about the need to collect things and keep collecting things. They are unable to discard or dispose of things, even if it is empty bottle cans, newspapers, garbage bags, old food.”
Getting Help For A Hoarder
Around 5-7% of the population are hoarders, but Trujillo believes this number is much higher: “It’s a very well-kept secret. Hoarders don’t want anyone to see their house and keep people away,” she says.
Clutter & Hoarding Clean Up Do’s & Don’ts
Hoarding is a mental health condition. When a person has hoarding disorder, things escalate to the point where rooms in their home become unusable and even unsafe: “It can be dangerous for a hoarder living in your home. They can suffer falls and excess items in the house create a fire risk”, explains Trujillo.
Trujillo’s work with hoarders began after she created a pilot project in Denver to provide free house cleanings to anyone over 60. “During this pilot project, I discovered accumulators,” she says.
She now covers six Colorado counties, including Adams, Broomfield, Denver, Jefferson, Gilpin and Clear Creek, with some of the money she receives each year. She works with biohazard teams and waste removal companies to clear homes of hoarders: “When we go to clean, we try to recycle as many things as possible. We want to minimize the number of things in the house, the potential for fall and fire risks,” she explains.
Trujillo is doing her part to do what she can. It is limited to helping people over 60 in the six municipalities it serves, but is trying to expand that. She says she would also like to see more follow-up done with her clients: “I would like to see more mental health counselors who are equipped to go into the home to work with them and figure out why they are hoarding. I would also like to see a maintenance program after the cleaning is done, having someone come back monthly to keep the house in the condition it needs to be.”
Signs You May Be A Hoarder: Health Disorder Is More Than Being Messy
If you have a loved one who you believe is a hoarder, Trujillo says to remember it’s a disorder: “Don’t threaten, shame, or criticize them. It can cause more damage and isolate them more.”
Risk factors for hoarding include personality, family history, and stressful life events. Many people who have hoarding disorder have a temperament that includes indecisiveness. If you have a family member with hoarding disorder, you are more likely to develop the disorder yourself, and some develop hoarding disorder after experiencing a stressful life event that they had difficulty dealing with. such as the death of a loved one, divorce, eviction or loss of property in a fire.
Because little is known about what causes hoarding disorder, there is no known way to prevent it. However, as with many mental health problems, getting treatment at the first sign of a problem can help prevent hoarding from getting worse.
If you or someone you know needs help, please contact Loretta Trujillo by calling the Chore Services Hotline at 303-235-6952 or emailing her at [email protected] . Their contact information is also on the Senior Resource Center website: https://srcaging.org/services/deep-cleaning-services/Hoarding Disorder – is a persistent difficulty disposing of or separating possessions due to a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder feels distress at the thought of getting rid of items. Excessive accumulation of items occurs, regardless of their actual value. (Mayo Clinic)
Hoarders Leave Behind Disturbing Mess For Families To Clean Up
Are you helping a hoarder/pack rat move? Here are some helpful tips to help a collector/pack rat get moving!
When helping a hoarder move, your first impulse is to go into their house and simply throw out everything you find useless. If someone is a hoarder, it is more than their house being a mess and full of trash. Typically, when a person hoards, there is usually a root where it all started. You may or may not be able to dig them up. If they are willing, you may need to hire a therapist for them. International OCD Foundation on their website, you can use the state-by-state map to find a therapist in your local area who has experience with hoarding. The therapist you choose will be able to guide you in finding a local organizer to help you with your move.
You can also use the National Association of Professional Organizers to find organizers with experience organizing hoarder homes.
Just like any other movement; you need time to sort and organize your move. But for someone who hoards, this process may take longer than usual. It may take more than a week to go through all of your belongings. Not only because they have more stuff than the average person, but also because of their emotional attachment to their belongings. That broken light bulb without a plug, which they bought at a yard sale in 1992, may seem useless to you. But they will tell you why it has some sentimental value to them or that they planned to fix the problem (even if they haven’t seen it since 1992). Be aware that this process can be very frustrating for you and even the collector. That’s why you need to hire professional help to be the happy median between the two of you.
How To Help A Hoarder Clean Their House: A 10 Step Checklist
As stated before, helping a collector can be very frustrating for both you and them. Be prepared for the emotional rollercoaster you may face as you help them. You must have the right attitude and pull yourself together. If you need to too, you may need to leave or they may too as you go through the sorting process. If emotions are too intense, it can disrupt the process and shut them down completely. Some hoarders tend not to have people come over to see their home. Many of them are good at covering it up in public and that people don’t know what their house is really like on the inside. You have to understand that this process can be a shock to their system. So be prepared for the ride because there can be a lot of ups, downs and twists.
It’s best to set a deadline. Of course, the obvious one will be moving day, when you officially have to leave the premises. Another way to start the process is to ask your local shelter to come pick up belongings for donations. Having these dates set can also help the hoarder/pack rat move a little faster. Or it could also backfire because of how real it is for them.
Even if the house is clean or they have settled in your house. It doesn’t stop there; It doesn’t miraculously disappear. If they are willing, they can continue to have professional help and/or a good support team with them. If you need more tips, advice, or questions, visit the International OCD Foundation’s page on hoarding.
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What To Do When You Inherit A Hoarding House
This entry was posted in Moving apartment, Moving property, Moving stories, office moving, Tips for stress-free moving, Uncategorized and tagged compulsive disorder, donate, help, hoarder, hoarders, hoarding, hoarding disorder, trash, long distance moving company, mess, movers, Movers in Dallas, moving, moving and storage Dallas, moving companies, moving companies in Dallas, moving company, moving stress, moving tips, moving to Dallas, ocd, pack rat, packrat, planning a move, house move, roommates, storage, therapy. Bookmark the permalink. We all know people who hoard, and in fact, many of us live with them. It can be extremely frustrating to see someone keeping items that are completely unnecessary and rarely, if ever, used. However, hoarders are often reluctant to get rid of anything, which makes it difficult to help them. Spring cleaning season is an ideal time to talk to the hoarders in your life and see if they would be willing to accept help clearing out their hoarding. If so, these tips on how to help a hoarder can guide your interactions as you work on some spring cleaning together.
While hoarding may appear to outsiders as if someone simply hasn’t been able to get rid of the items in their home, it can actually be a psychological disorder. In many cases, people who accumulate extremes are psychologically diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. This manifests itself in the form of compulsive hoarding, and it’s not something you can solve by simply going in and cleaning the house.
If the person you would like to help shows signs of hoarding disorder, you should refer them
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