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4 Ways to Help a Loved One or a Friend Who is a Hoarder

4 Ways to Help a Loved One or a Friend Who is a Hoarder - Bio-One of Oceanside

The struggle with hoarding can deeply affect not only the hoarder but also their friends and family. If you know someone who is wrestling with hoarding tendencies, it can be challenging to know how to approach them and provide the support they need. You might feel overwhelmed at what to do, and even a little scared to address the issue. Here are four ways to effective hoarder help.

Support assertion: We understand the complexities involved in restoring a home affected by hoarding. From decluttering to deep cleaning, our dedicated team approaches each situation with sensitivity and professionalism. Not only do we tackle the physical restoration of living spaces, but we also provide channels for emotional support and ongoing help for those impacted. Trust us to be a compassionate and efficient partner in your journey towards a cleaner, serene home environment.

Understand Hoarding Disorder and Its Impact

To help a loved one who is a hoarder, begin by learning all you can about hoarding disorder. Education is the bedrock upon which informed, effective help is built. But what does educating yourself on hoarding involve?

Hoarding is more than just clutter; it's a mental health issue that drastically affects a person's day-to-day life, often resulting in significant distress and functional impairment. Recognize the hallmarks of hoarding, such as the difficulty in parting with possessions, the need to acquire items, and a strong distaste for waste, and how these characteristics impact their life.

example of deeply hoarded house

Approach with Empathy and Understanding

When reaching out to a friend who hoards, it's vital to approach the topic with immense empathy and understanding.

Avoid Judgment and Criticism

Resist the urge to label or criticize their behavior. Instead, express your concerns from a place of love and support, and make it clear that you're there to help them through this.

Listen Actively and Validate Their Feelings

Offer them a safe space to express their emotions, without fear of judgment. Hoarders often feel misunderstood and alone, so your ability to listen and validate their feelings is incredibly powerful.

Offer Emotional Support

Simply being present for your friend can provide a significant emotional anchor. Sometimes reassurance that they are not alone in their struggle can make all the difference.

support group example

Encourage Professional Help

While your support is crucial, the most effective help will often come from professionals trained to work with Hoarding Disorder.

Suggest Therapy or Counseling

Knowledge empowers you to help your friend find the right resources. From cognitive-behavioral therapy to professional organizers with experience in hoarder help, various options can offer meaningful help. Research local therapists or support groups and familiarize yourself with their work.

therapy for hoarding disorder

Help Them Find a Hoarding Specialist or Support Group

Finding the right professional can be daunting, so offer to assist in this search. A hoarding specialist or support group can provide tailored guidance and a supportive community.

Offer to Accompany Them to Appointments

Sometimes the support of a loved one can make it easier for a hoarder to take the first step toward professional help. Offer to attend therapy sessions or support group meetings with them.

Assist in Practical Steps

As your loved one with hoarding becomes better equipped to face their hoarding, practical assistance can be remarkably helpful. Approach the task of decluttering and organizing with patience and sensitivity. Set achievable goals and work at a pace that's comfortable for your friend.

common items that must be decluttered gradually

Take a look at our 4-Step Plan For a Successful Hoarding Cleaning with Bio-One.

Encourage Them to Let Go of Unnecessary Items Gradually

Help them understand that decluttering doesn't mean getting rid of everything at once. Gradual releases are okay; the goal is to make decisions about possessions with increasing ease over time.

Remember, Hoarding Disorder doesn't resolve overnight. It is built on years of coping mechanisms and may take just as long to dismantle. Be patient and willing to provide ongoing support as your friend or loved one navigates their recovery.

Bio-One of Oceanside Can Help

As you embark on this path of support and understanding, remember that sometimes professional hoarding remediation services like Bio-One of Oceanside are the best way to provide a fresh start for your loved one. Bio-One's deep cleaning services are compassionate and thorough, designed to assist hoarders in parting with their items while maintaining their dignity and privacy.

Ultimately, the most important things you can offer are your time, your understanding, and your unwavering support. Together, with the right resources and allies, you and your loved one can work through the journey of overcoming hoarding.