If any of your loved ones happen to suffer from a hoarding disorder – which is a clinically recognized mental health condition, how do you go about it? How do you offer your help without causing embarrassment or disrespect to the afflicted person? Would it be right to just get him a professional hoarding cleanup service without his consent? These are questions you must ponder over if you want to cause the least emotional harm to your afflicted loved one.
Explained below are some tips that might help you provide the best assistance that your loved one might require.
Talk With The Hoarder
Talking with a hoarder with an open mind and showing no signs judging him is the best first step that you can take to help him. This discussion shouldn’t immediately address the hoarding issue. You must first work on building their trust in you and make them see you as someone they can talk to freely. After gaining their trust, it would be easier for them to talk to you when you broach the hoarding issue.
Provide Him with Options
Hoarding is a mental condition. This means that most hoarders are not aware of the surroundings and how detrimental these items can be on their health. They see it as a norm and might refuse help if you directly tell them that they have a problem and keep insisting on helping them with it. This is why patience and a non-judgmental attitude is very pivotal in handling hoarders.
Hoarders in general need help in two phases. First, they need to get professional therapy, and then, they also need help with clearing out the garbage that they would have piled up in their homes. In clearing out the junk, it is best if you suggest to him that removing some of the items will make the place a better living space. If properly suggested, the hoarder would see the logic of your suggestion and agree to it.
Make the Hoarder Feel Really Involved
If the hoarder is involved in the task of decluttering his own home, he might be more interested in seeing it done. You can increase his involvement by asking him to help you draw up an action plan on how to get all the garbage out.
You can also make him more comfortable with the decluttering by making him feel that what is being thrown away is within his power. You could seek permission for certain items that you feel the hoarder is really sentimentally attached and is safe to keep. If he decides to keep it, fine. No harm done.
Get Professional Help
If you feel the situation is beyond what you can handle, then its best you procure a professional hoarding cleanup service. You can still personally make the hoarder feel involved in the whole process or you can request that the professionals make sure that the hoarder feels like he has the ultimate decision over what is thrown out and what is retained.
No matter what though, the mental and physical health of your loved one is paramount and steps must be taken to make sure that they are well taken care of.