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Explains hoarding, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family
You may feel very worried if you think someone you care about is hoarding. It may feel difficult to know how to talk to them about it, especially if they disagree with you about whether they are hoarding.
You might have already tried to offer support, but found that the person you're worried about is unwilling or unable to accept help. This can be really difficult, worrying or frustrating.
In fact there are lots of helpful things you can do. This page has some suggestions for ways you can support them while also looking after your own wellbeing.
"I would like some help in working out how to store things to make more room, and in sorting out what to get rid of but past bad experiences put me off asking friends or family for help."
"I stopped asking people round as I was ashamed and it caused me a lot of guilt that I was not hosting family meals. My family wanted to "help" by turning up with bin bags but this caused more upset."
"I feel that my mum is at risk in the event of a fire or if she has a medical emergency. The simple daily tasks that we all take for granted (getting in to bed, cooking a meal, going up the stairs) are all made more difficult (and dangerous) by the amount of stuff in her home, and her attachment to it."
"I am not able to stay with her and care for her or keep her company in the way I wish I could and want to. She is isolated, at risk and lonely and all I can do is visit (but not sit down anywhere) and watch as she becomes more vulnerable. I wish, more than anything, that I could do more."
This information was published in September 2018. We will revise it in 2021.
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