Everyone, from all walks of life, should be aware of the role they can play…
Are you, or is one of your colleagues, struggling to work with someone who hoards or self-neglects? Hoarding disorders are challenging to treat, because many people who hoard frequently don’t see it as a problem, or have little awareness of how it’s impacting their life or the lives of others. Many others do realise they have a problem, but are reluctant to seek help because they feel extremely ashamed, humiliated or guilty about it.
It’s really important to encourage a person who is hoarding to seek help, as their difficulties discarding objects can not only cause loneliness and mental health problems, but also pose a health and safety risk. If not tackled, it’s a problem that will probably never go away. The clutter can pose a health risk to the person and anyone who lives in or visits their house. For example, it can:
- make cleaning very difficult, leading to unhygienic conditions and encouraging rodent or insect infestations
- be a fire risk and block exits in the event of a fire
- cause trips and falls
- fall over or collapse on people, if kept in large piles
Have you got a risk assessment in place for this situation?
Are the fire authorities aware of the issue?
Cambridgeshire Fire Service are encouraging those with hoarding tendencies to get in contact and arrange a home fire safety check. http://www.cambsfire.gov.uk/contact-form-577.aspx