Understanding Hoarding

March 21, 2013

The following blog is contributed by my colleague Brenda Critell of Assisting Angels Home Care in Idaho.

Helping people who hoard understand how their problem interferes in living the life they desire can be a powerful motivator, especially as it pertains to being able to live independently. Some suggest that the inability to maintain a safe environment is a reason to consider assisted living.  But since an estimated 80% of seniors desire independence, here are some sensitive solutions to help.

  • Don’t use judgmental language. Like anyone else, individuals with hoarding will not be receptive to negative comments about the state of their home, their character, or their possessions (e.g., “What a mess!” “What kind of person lives like this?” “This is nothing but junk!”).
  • Use motivational language. In communicating with people who hoard about the consequences of hoarding, use language that reduces defensiveness and increases motivation to solve the problem (e.g., “I see that you have a pathway from your front door to your living room. That’s great that you’ve kept things out of the way so that you don’t slip or fall.”)
  • Don’t try to persuade or argue with the person. Efforts to persuade individuals to make a change in their home or behavior often have the opposite effect—the person actually talks himself into keeping the items.

When it comes time to sort through the mess a professional cleaning crew may be helpful..

Filed in: News

What's On Your Mind?

Trackback URL | RSS Feed for This Entry

This service has regrettably been disabled. This message is purely being displayed as to not cause any damage to any website connected to this feature.