How can you help family members who have hoarding issues?

I was recently asked this question and this is certainly a huge challenge that I am sure would not be easy to deal with.  Often the individual does not see that there is a problem and family members who mean well want to help but the individual is defensive and does not trust anyone.  That is why it is a good idea for individuals to have other supports and in more severe cases they may need a wrap around team approach.

There is a great book that is directed at family members called “Digging Out” and it takes a harm reduction kind of approach.   So, when a family member is resistant, it can be a matter of helping them to get to the point where they have done the minimum requirements to be safe and in some cases to keep their apartment or home.  The Fire Department specifications are that people need to have three feet pathways, piles no higher than three feet, all heat and ignition sources clear as well as entrance or exits clear to name a few. 

So, how do you get your family member to be motivated?  Are they having difficulties on a day to day basis with remembering appointments, paying bills, finding things, having their belongings falling over, etc.  What are the challenges they are dealing with every day? They might be feeling overwhelmed enough that they are willing to accept some help.  What does your family member want for their life?   What are their goals for the future?   These are the clues for you to help them and to see how motivated they are to work on their issues.   
Please stay posted for more info on this subject.  Enjoy this beautiful day!! 

About Kimberley

I am a Case Manager at My Sisters' Place which is a program of the Canadian Mental Health Association London Middlesex. My Sisters' Place is a program for vulnerable women. I love my job and all the wonderful women I work with. I am very honored to do this work with women who have been through so much and are so open in sharing their stories. I initiated and designed a Clearing Clutter Support Group which I have been facilitating since 2007 with a co-worker. I love running this group and learn so much from the participants. We offer this eight week program three or four times a year. I started my business Space For You in 2010 and work with individuals in their homes as well as offer some workshops in the community. I am available to speak to groups on "De-Cluttering Your Life", "The Magic of De-Cluttering", "Space Clearing" or really anything to do with clutter and hoarding.
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