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Help for Hoarding Not Enough so People Buried Alive


Hoarding is a serious psychological condition where people acquire too much stuff, have difficulty getting rid of stuff and may be disorganized. Hoarders end up having their lives taken over by clutter.
Recently I did some home visits and the houses were no longer functional as homes. They had turned into storage units. Unfortunately the residents homes were health hazards as they had been cluttered up for many years with some rooms packed to the ceiling with items and all rooms not being functional. One can’t cook in the kitchens, can’t wash in the laundries or sleep in the bedrooms etc. I wish politicians could see the conditions some people are living under as then they might realise the importance of allocating more money to help for hoarding.


Hoarding is a chronic condition., yet in Australia Medicare allocates only 10 individual sessions of clinical psychology per year. When Medicare rebates for psychology were first introduced, people with severe conditions could access up to 18 sessions but then it was cut back to twelve.


The old saying is that prevention is better than cure. Well, providing adequate funds to treat hoarding would save governments money in the long term. Hoarding leads to chronic illnesses. Furthermore many sufferers may not take their medications properly (because they misplace them amongst all the clutter or lose the scripts) which leads to medical conditions worsening. People with hoarding issues may not eat properly as their kitchens are no longer functional and it is easier to resort to take away food than try to tackle the mess. Many hoarders cannot sleep in a bed as it has become buried under possessions.


Hoarders are also at risk of tripping over their piles of possessions or of items falling upon them. Elderly people often have osteoporosis and a fall can result in a broken hip and being moved to residential care.


Clinical Psychologist Catherine Madigan provides help for hoarding so call 0429 88 3671 or email anxietyaustralia.com.au@gmail.com

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