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How to Help my Hoarding Relative

December 20, 2017

In the United States, 1 in 50 people is affected by hoarding. How does this affect you? For many, this means an immediate family member or close relative could be affected by this disease. Hoarding is a mental condition, as with any ailment, it is important to seek professional help and care, but what about the physical side of hoarding? For many, this means a home filled with trash, papers, animals, rotting food or other objects, that is when you need Spaulding Decon. The professional, compassionate, team at Spaulding Decon is highly skilled in taking care of hoarding situation beginning with helping the hoarder themselves and moving outward to the family and home, Spaulding Decon helps you with it all.

It is important when a relative is hoarding to make sure you come to understand them and understand hoarding. Hoarding takes its toll on the hoarder, being angry or upset with them will not get you closer to a resolution. Hoarders can often understand there is an issue, but play it down by saying things like “I will clean up soon” or “It was clean yesterday,” or anything to try to divert your attention from the problem, but it is important to act.

Oftentimes, as people age, they may begin to hoard items. Most commonly, hoarding is the result of trauma. Whether it be the loss of a loved one, a natural disaster, or other traumatic, when someone begins to hoard, there is a reason. Understanding that hoarding is a disease and not a choice is the first step to helping them, if possible, try to identify when it began and trace that to a traumatic event. Was there an illness or death in the family? Did they lose something important to them? Once you understand a hoarder you can begin to take steps to help them.

Once you realize that your loved one is hoarding, talk with them. Let them know you are there to support them, that you see they need help, and that you are going to help them get it. Oftentimes, hoarders do not understand that there is a problem or are not willing. As a loved one, offering your support and care is often a huge step in recovery.

As a family member, we understand you are very close to the situation at hand, whether your mother, father, or grandparent is hoarding, it has an effect on the whole family. We suggest seeking professional counsel for support. After you address that there is a problem, reaching out for professional help is the next step. This is not something you can tackle alone. To you, it may seem that your family member is just holding on to trash, but to the hoarder, each piece of rotten food, or paper, or animal has a significant meaning to the hoarder’s life and throwing items away could have the opposite of the intended effect.

Understand that helping a loved one who hoards is a process. It will not be fast and it will not be easy, but it will be worth it. Spaulding Decon can help you through the process by setting you up with councilors and helping to remediate your home. Don’t go through this alone, visit spauldingdecon.com for more information on helping a hoarder and our hoarding cleanup services – let us be there for you.