Professional Help For Hoarders
How To Help A Hoarder
Those seeking to learn how to help a hoarder may feel overwhelmed by the task at hand, but there is hope. Helping a friend, family member, or loved one overcome a hoarding condition may seem difficult at first, but with the right approach helping a hoarder sort through his or her collection and cleanup can truly be transformative. The team at Hoarders911 has compiled a list of our most effective methods for people looking for tips on how to help a hoarder reclaim his or her life.
1. Educate. Education is an invaluable resource to solving any problem, and it is the first step that anyone who wants to know how to help a hoarder should take. Hoarding is a complex mental condition that extends far beyond the scope of mere collecting, or a simple refusal to throw things away. Many recent psychological studies have shown that brain scans indicate a lack of problem solving skills, anxiety, trauma, and poor coping mechanisms could all be linked to a hoarding condition. Further, there are many different types of hoarding behavior, with many different causes. Without proper research, a solid understanding how to help a hoarder will not become clear, and it is very possible that in your best efforts you could exacerbate the situation. Talk to a professional, get advice, and most importantly strive to convey empathy when it is time to confront the issue.
2. Support. Although your first instinct might be to intervene or reprimand, the truth is somebody dealing with a hoarding disorder needs a lot of care and support. Many hoarders isolate themselves socially because they become embarrassed of their living situations, and they need to know they are among people whom they can trust will not judge them or make them feel worse. After you’ve educated yourself on how to help a hoarder, showing compassion is the most important step before the cleanup can begin.
3. Plan. The cleanup might seem impossible to accomplish at first, but with the right plan of action even the worst of homes can be transformed. Writing out a check list or a strategy not only makes the cleanup more bearable, but results will be easier to track as well. Being able to track results will give both you and the person with the hoarding condition a sense of hope and accomplishment.
4. Follow up. Because hoarding is classified as a mental condition, the behavior tends to happen in a pattern and it is probable that the collecting may start again almost directly after the cleanup ends. Be gentle, but follow up with your loved one to help them transition into a hoarding-free lifestyle.
Even if someone with a hoarding condition wants to change, it is not an easy path to take alone. That is why learning how to help a hoarder is so important. These tips should point anyone hoping to help a hoarder in the right direction. At Hoarders911 we have over two decades of experience helping hoarders take back their lives, and have developed our methods and tips based on hands-on experience with our clients. If the need arises, give us a call, we would be happy to be of assistance.