Help with Hoarding
In his first blog post, our resident hoarding expert, Rich Ciarletta, talks about the beginnings of a disorder that grips many of our elderly population.
LIFE IS MESSY –
I have been to many losses caused by water, fire and natural occurrences. Most of the time the loss occurred due to external circumstances beyond the clients’ control. Hoarding Disorder, on the other hand, is a mental health diagnosis that happens slowly over time and prevents the disposal of items. The severity can be mild or extreme. The client may be somewhat aware that there is a problem according to their definition of what a hoarder is, or in complete denial that a problem exists. My interaction with hoarding clients occurs after an event has uncovered the hoarding. Their home is now either unsafe or unsanitary and some action is needed. Each case is different and each has its own unique beginning.
The journey to untangle the causes and aftermath of this disorder, however, is just beginning. A great resource has been written by Eileen Dacey LCSW, who has vast knowledge on this subject, and works at the North Shore Elder Services in Danvers, Mass. Her book, Reclaim Your Life from Hoarding, is available on Amazon.com.
We work closely with organizations such North Shore Elder Services, providing the packing and cleaning necessary to make their homes livable, while trained health professionals provide the emotional guidance. Understanding the emotions behind the disorder can help pave a smoother path to resolution. If you know someone that struggles in this area, getting support is key to a successful transition.