Categories: Hoarding

How To Convince A Hoarder They Need Help

Hoarders usually are completely unaware that they have a problem.  Even if a hoarder’s “collection” has overtaken their homes and made it completely unlivable, most hoarders are still convinced that their possessions have value and use or will in the future.  A hoarder also tends to be very defensive about their behavior, which can make helping them very difficult.

Convincing a hoarder they have a problem is a delicate affair, and it may be a good idea to consult with a doctor or a mental health professional to plan an effective approach to the problem.

Gathering friends and family for an intervention – a meeting in which loved ones discuss an individual’s behavior and the impact it has on their life – is often recommended to help convince a hoarder that they need help.  However, the complexity of compulsive hoarding disorder may need to include a different plan altogether.

Family & Friend Support

A hoarder may require a lot of attention and support during the treatment process.  However, it is noted by most doctors and psychiatrists that directly intervening with a hoarder’s treatment program can be detrimental.  A hoarder should never be pressured to do anything they are not ready to do.

Once treatment has begun, it is best to offer nothing more than comfort and encouragement.  Friends and family may also be encouraged to attend therapy sessions or group therapy.  No other direct action should be taken without consulting with the attending therapist.

Helping With The Most Important Treatment

At some point in the therapy friends and family may also be asked to help a hoarder clean, organize, and sanitize their home.  This can be a very traumatic time for a hoarder, and they may benefit greatly from having their support network there to help.

However, a hoarder’s home often contains health risks such as mold, chemicals, waste, and animal infestation.  For that reason it is highly recommended that you take all of the necessary steps to lower your risk of injury or infection – including disposable gloves, goggles, and dust masks – while you are cleaning.

You may also want to consult with a professional sanitation service, such as BioteamAZ in Arizona.  Hazardous waste is best handled and disposed of by those trained to do so safely and effectively.  Contact BioteamAZ today for service or consultation.