2 years ago
Last edited at 9:19PM on 11/17/2011
I think that is truly a difficult question; because if the person is truly a hoarder, it may be an addiction on the order of alcoholism. There are even Twelve-Step groups now for hoarders - but one of my friends is now 70 years of age and does not even realize she is a hoarder...complete denial.
You can barely enter her home, tiny little pathways, with the electrical wiring going defunct and the plumbing overflowing...it is dangerous.
Here is my suggestion for you, depending on your own situation: Look for a good counselor (for YOURSELF) who understands what you are going through, and the addictive nature of hoarding. Just like the support for spouses of alcoholics, there are ways for you to love the addicted hoarder while avoiding (as much as possible) getting pulled into their dysfunction. I do not know if you have children, but they can be affected/injured also by the compulsions of the hoarding parent.
If you can, keep in mind also that someday it may just become too much...and you will need to leave.
The best way is to look for enough room in which you can store what he collects. Also try to sort out whether things that are brought are of benefit or they are not of any worth. Arrange neatly the goods in a place that is secure and won't cause any inconvenience or injury. You can also try to make sense to the person that some goods are of no benefit at all.