Hoarding Awareness Week

News Date: 
Monday, May 20, 2019

Hoarding – Knowing the signs and help available

It’s National Hoarding Awareness Week 20th May 2019.

A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of items in their home. The awareness week helps to talk about hoarding, the affects and what you can do to help.

Hoarding is a recognised mental health condition and is commonly linked to other mental health conditions like depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. Hoarding can also be a symptom of dementia. In other cases hoarding is a condition associated with self-neglect.

What to look out for?

If you notice a gradual build-up of clutter in living spaces and find someone is having difficulty discarding items, this can be the first sign of hoarding.

That person may find it irritating to be offered help from you for fear that you will remove their possessions. They may feel the need to save items however important or have a tendency to be indecisive when making a decision about what to get rid of.

There are serious risks involved in hoarding:

  • They might fall and trip;
  • get injured or be trapped by shifting or falling items;
  • fall out with members of the family;
  • become lonely or socially isolated;
  • live in unsanitary conditions that pose a risk to health; and
  • cause a fire hazard (more combustible material increases fire loading and blocks the exits).

How to prevent

Additional storage space will only temporarily solve the problem. Getting support early on is important!

If you think someone may be hoarding you can contact their GP who may be able to refer them to a community mental health team.

You can also contact OCD UK for more detailed advice.

Support from NPH

Northampton Partnership Homes Support Team provides specialist support and outside agency referrals for people affected by hoarding. Tenants can be referred to the support team via their Housing Officer or a member of the public.

 You can contact the support team directly at: www.nph.org.uk/supporting-you.