At RestoreCore, we know the extent of damage that disasters, such as flooding or fires, can do in a home. Hoarding is not only a behavior problem, but can also cause physical harm for the hoarder and those close to them, aiding in a disaster, should one occur. With the help of the Mayo Clinic, here are a few examples of how hoarding can be dangerous:
Unsanitary conditions that pose a risk to health: Hoarders often keep garbage and dirty dishes around and might even have sinks and showers filled with items they hoard, making cleaning almost impossible
Increased risk of falls: Stacks of boxes line hallways, making it easy for a person to trip. If an emergency response team is forced to enter the house, they would have a very hard time moving around.
Injury or being trapped by shifting or falling items: Hoarders often have their items thrown in a haphazard way, with no organization. Stacks can easily fall over, causing serious injury.
A fire hazard: Besides making it hard for firefighters to move around, the stacks of newspapers, magazines, mail and cardboard boxes are fuel for a fire.
Job and financial problems: Hoarders hoard and think about hoarding and what they’ve already hoarded. This makes hard to keep a job, causing financial problems.
Loneliness and social isolation: People might gravitate towards hoarding because they are lonely. The hoarding prevents them from friendships because they don’t feel comfortable leaving their things to go out and they can’t have people over, due to the embarrassment and inconvenience of the clutter.
Legal issues, including eviction: Neighbors can complain about their hoarder next door, especially if animals are involved. This leads to police investigations, possible eviction.
If you know someone who is a hoarder, keep reading to find out how you can best help.