What is hoarding?

Hoarding is a behavior disorder where the person suffers a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived value and need to save them. The distress they suffer just at the thought of getting rid of the items, leads to excessive accumulation and this often creates such cramped living conditions that homes may be filled to capacity, with only narrow pathways winding through stacks of clutter. Countertops, sinks, stoves, desks, rooms, stairways and virtually all other surfaces are usually piled with stuff turning the home inhabitable.

Hoarding and Heavy Duty Cleaning

Hoarding is not the same as disorganized

Hoarding ranges from mild to severe. In some cases, hoarding may not have much impact on everyday life and can be confused with just domestic disorder, while in other cases it seriously affects functioning on a daily basis due to lack to access to basic services in the home like bathroom, kitchen or a space where to sleep properly and the general unsanitary conditions.

Very often, people with hoarding disorder may not see it as a problem until family and friends start worrying about the situation and decide to intervene. Besides the actual clearing and cleaning of the home, psychological support is recommended to help people with hoarding disorder understand how their beliefs and behaviors can be changed so that they can live safer, more enjoyable lives.

Types of Hoarding

When we hear the word hoarding or hoarder, the dramatic scenes in tv shows series and histories come to mind. Besides those tragic situations that often put the sufferers in danger, there is a wide range of variants depending on personal situations and what it’s hoarded. Understanding what is hoarded and why, truly helps to discern risks and strategies to deal with the situation, but in any case, respect and compassion are fundamental at the time to attempt to help the person to start a new healthy lifestyle. Also, as many times hoarding can reveal or imply underlying mental health issues, a consultation with a healthcare professional is recommended.

Squalor:

General massive accumulation of diverse items like paper, rubbish, furniture and like, often leading to unsanitary conditions restricting the habitability of the home partially or totally.

Animal Hoarding:

When the person keeps more animals than the quantity he/she is able to care for properly according to the size of the dwelling, particular needs of those animals and local legal limits. Although cruelty is not intended, the pets are often neglected and the accumulation of biological matter posses a health hazard making it a delicate situation.

Paper Hoarding

Can be anything from old newspapers and magazines to catalogues. This category can be further down into mail and information hoarders to fine tune the adequate solutions to the problem.

Food Hoarding:

Excessive accumulation of food items ranging from cans, packets and fresh items. A special complication with this area is the putrefaction of out of date items turning into rubbish with the health hazard involved.

Shopping Hoarding:

The compulsive acquisition of items whatever clothes, shoes, household appliances, novelties and such can lead to crumped homes (and very depleted finances!)

Rubbish and Recycling Hoarding

The old saying “someone’s trash, someone’s treasure” applied to the limits.

The person has extreme difficulty discarding items that have not real value and even carry sanitary or fire hazards.

Diogenes syndrome,

Also known as senile squalor syndrome, is a disorder characterized by extreme self-neglect, domestic squalor, social withdrawal, apathy, compulsive hoarding of garbage or animals, and lack of shame. Sufferers may also display symptoms of catatonia.

As you can see, every situation is different as the person facing the problem. Is important to address not only the physical aspect and make the home liveable again but also provide emotional support with a respectful and caring approach.

Service Solution:

A plan created just for you

We understand that special situations require special solutions. Hoarding scenarios often imply shame and guilt to the point that the person feels overwhelmed and find very difficult to ask for help. Our approach is respectful, caring and nonjudgmental.  Elite Housekeeping especial APA © program is designed to improve the living conditions and wellbeing of the persons suffering a hoarding disorder and help them to quick start a new, healthy, lifestyle.

Assess

At the moment of your contact, a case manager is assigned and an assessment interview arranged.

While visiting your home, your case manager will use diverse tools will be used to assess your needs, concerns and evaluate the situation like size of the dwelling, type and complexity of the hoard, present health and hazards, possible risks and so forth.

Plan

Using the data previously collected, a Recovery Plan is created. Every plan is unique as the home and situation addressed and may involve any of all of the services listed below

Item sorting. Clutter clearing and Heavy Duty Cleaning. Document shredding and disposal. Rubbish removal. Donation coordination. Storage selection and installation. Trades repair coordination (pest control, handyman, painters, etc).

Act

Our team of cleaners and professional organizers will put hands to work in the execution of the plan until completion. They are specially trained and have a wealth of experience helping people in similar situations.

Maintenance and Follow Up Service

After everything is done and your home looks orderly and smells fresh, a maintenance service can be arranged to look after your housekeeping and cleaning needs in a weekly or fortnightly basis.

Privacy assurance

Our teams arrive in unmarked cars, no logos or uniforms to call the attention of curious neighbors.

Your privacy is paramount and all documents, photos and communications are kept confidential.

Your well-being is our priority and we are here to support you in the journey towards recovering your home and starting a healthier lifestyle. If you or someone you love are experiencing difficulties with clutter and hoarding, give us a call today and discover how can we help.

Below you can find some links to useful information websites regarding hoarding

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hoarding-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20356056
https://www.hsru.com.au/

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