Are you a neighbor or family member of someone living in the Frederick, Maryland area who has hoarding disorder? In previous posts, we’ve discussed the life-threatening dangers and biohazards that hoarding can bring to the people or pets living in and around the home, so it’s important to take action as soon as possible. If you are worried about a hoarder but don’t even know where or how to begin to get help, then read on!
How to Get Help for a Hoarder
Do not try to tackle a hoarding problem alone! Since hoarding disorder is a mental health problem, the hoarder may have volatile emotions around the problem and a strong resistance to solving it. In light of this, here are some important steps to take:
1. Educate yourself – Do some thorough research on hoarding so you completely understand what hoarding disorder is, the different types of hoarding disorders and what causes it.
2. Be compassionate – Having understood that hoarding is a mental health issue, you shouldl be less judgemental and more compassionate towards the hoarder.
3. Seek the help of a mental health professional– A licensed mental health professional in the Frederick, Maryland area will know how to communicate with the patient and help them understand why the situation needs to be addressed.
4. Contact a social worker – In extreme hoarding cases, there is probably more going on than just hoarding, so you may need to get the help of a local social worker or county adult protective services, who can help with the crisis and provide access to other resources as needed.
5. Join a support group – Join a local hoarding support group so you can talk to others and get the support and guidance you need to deal with a hoarding crisis. Listening to someone who has been a hoarder or who has been through helping a hoarder can be very insightful.
6. Hire a hoarding clean-up service – A professional hoarding clean-up service has a lot of experience with managing the clean-up and any decontamination required in a hoarding situation. They know how to work with families and/or mental health professionals in deciding on the best strategy and solution. They know how to communicate both tactfully and kindly so the hoarder feels respected throughout the cleanup process. They are typically also well-connected to the community so can provide access to other related resources – such as health, housing, and financial services – that will help the hoarder if needed.
We hope these tips will prove helpful in guiding you on the next steps to take in helping a hoarder. The sooner you get the process started, the closer you will get to change – even possibly saving – a hoarder’s life!