Newsletter Archive

Safety and Public Health Factors Related to Hoarding

Hoarding creates cramped living conditions resulting in homes filled to capacity, winding paths through stacks of clutter. There is an increased risk of falling or of being trapped by shifting for falling items. The house and property may become a fire hazard.  
If a person can’t live safely in their own home, if they are a threat to others, they are hoarders. Unsanitary conditions pose a health risk to the person with the disorder as well as those living in the house and neighbors. Food or trash build up to excessive leads to unsanitary conditions. People may keep dozens of pets inside and/or outside the house.  Because there are so many pets, they often aren’t cared for properly. The health and safety of the person and the animals are at risk due to unsanitary conditions. Measures must be taken to assure the hoarder and family members are safe, healthy, and that the hoarding is not creating hazards that impact them. City codes dealing with unsanitary and unsafe environments, professional organizers and clean-up companies are useful and necessary partners in the work but they do not begin to be the totality of the intervention.
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