The definition to hoarding has four parts:
1. An excessive accumulation of stuff.
2. Extreme difficulty discarding your possessions, and sometimes trash.
3. Living spaces cannot be used for their intended purpose. You can't use your stove, kitchen table, sit on your couch or lie in bed.
4. It causes stress and impairment.
Definition by: Jennifer Hanzlick See video above.
What should families do to best help their loved one?
1. Step Back and Examine Your (and your Family’s) Behaviour
A first step is to consider things you or another family member might be doing that may contribute to the hoarding problem. For example, a sister might save newspapers and give them to her brother who suffers from HD, or a mother might pay the monthly bill for a storage unit to allow her daughter to store bottles and magazines. “Helping” the person by doing these things is referred to as family accommodation. Usually relatives accommodate because they think it helps or because it avoids arguments. Yet, in reality, accommodation reinforces hoarding behaviour, allowing it to become more of a problem in the long run.
A good way to start reducing these accommodations is to create a list of ways in which you may be accommodating the hoarding. It might be helpful to begin by answering the question “How do I change my routine, or what do I do differently, because of my loved one’s hoarding behaviour?” Baby steps are often required to stop family accommodation at first — that is, it may be important not to remove all accommodation at once. As an example, a family member can calmly tell a loved one with HD that he or she can no longer pay for a storage unit and that payments will cease in three months. Giving that extra time allows loved ones to figure out new arrangements for their stuff. In this vein, involving the loved one with HD in this process is very important.
2. Improve your Family Communication
In addition to decreasing family accommodation, family members can also benefit from working to improve communication. Discussing the hoarding problem in an open and accepting way is an important first step. Respecting the hoarding loved one’s attachments to possessions is critical to being able to hold such discussions. This can help to establish respect for the rights of each member of the household as well. An atmosphere of understanding can help with negotiations to keep certain spaces clutter-free which will help maintain family harmony.
Article reposted from: Hoarding.iocdf.org Visit the site to learn so much more.