Jackie* has supported a loved one over many years to manage a severely cluttered home. “Watching someone you love gathering things around them, collecting uncontrollably, trying to fulfil an emptiness, take away a sadness, or recapture a time when they were happy is heart breaking. I have tried to talk to her to understand why. I’ve supported her. I’ve helped to get rid of tonnes of possessions over the years, only to watch her start all over again. I watch and feel helpless to ease our suffering… Hers and ours” explained Jackie.
Many carers like Jackie feel isolated and struggle to understand the hoarding behaviour of their loved ones, which is why Housing Justice has stepped in to help. In a first for Central Victoria, Housing Justice (with support from Loddon Mallee Murray Medicare Local’s Partners in Recovery program) is presenting free information sessions for families and carers of people living with hoarding. These sessions are being held in Bendigo, Echuca and Kerang.
It is believed that 2-5% of the population exhibit hoarding behaviours. That may not sound like much, but when you consider that most of these individuals have family or carers who are affected, the wider social impact is clear. Many of these people don’t know where to turn and feel isolated. Our sessions will offer understanding and practical strategies to help people deal with hoarding, as well as offering people an opportunity to share experiences with others who are similarly affected.
Families are often contacted by neighbours or authorities when hoarding becomes problematic. They are often concerned about the risk of fire, eviction and complaints from neighbours or local government due to environmental impact.
Children living in overcrowded and/or unhygienic homes face particular challenges. They often need support to express how their home makes them feel and how they relate to their friends about mum or dad’s belongings.
Information sessions will be held in Bendigo, Echuca and Kerang in May/June. These information sessions will provide insight, strategies and support information for carers and families of people who hoard or live in squalor.
If you or someone you know may be interested please call Denise at Housing Justice on (03) 5444 4364 or email email@example.com to register. All welcome.
Wednesday 27/05/2015 Time: 5-7pm Housing Justice, 54 Mitchell Street, Bendigo
Wednesday 03/06/2015 Time: 10am-12pm Housing Justice, 54 Mitchell Street, Bendigo
Monday 01/06/2015 Time: 6-8pm Echuca Library, 310 Hare Street, Echuca
Wednesday 10/06/15, 11am-1pm, Northern District Community Health, 24 Fitzroy Street, Kerang
*not her real name
Image: Leslie Abraham via Flickr cc