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Living with hoarders

Posted: 21 January 2015 - 11:15 AM
Threatening a hoarder is not helpful to them. It will make them defensive and uncooperative. The best way is to convince them that they could use some help. No one likes to live in a messy space including them. They just have complicated issues that either prevent them from parting with items or they are compelled to acquire objects with out considering where they will keep them. Maybe try referring them to this site.

Setting boundaries might help. try assigning a certain space to them. Like their room. Allow them to keep what they want in their room but not store things in other areas of the house. If they require more space suggest that they rent a storage place to keep it so that the common areas remain uncluttered.
Posted: 05 January 2015 - 09:32 AM
Hey Minervia,

You and your mother are both very compassionate.

Who handles the finances for your great-aunt and her daughter? If that could be turned over to your mother she could limit her cousin's spending and cut down on incoming hoard items. She could also use some of that for a regular cleaning service or needed repairs.

I wouldn't write an anonymous letter to any doctors. I would make an appointment to talk in person. They won't be able to break confidentiality but when you explain the day to day living situations perhaps they could advise you or would be willing in a legal matter to recommend that you and/or your mother be granted guardianship. Your cousin presents a danger to herself in having grand mal seizures in a hoarded area.

Hoards and the problems that go along with them are very overwhelming. It's a relief to be able to talk about that, even if we can't control it very much, with others who understand. Come and post anytime. There is also a chat. Click the red box Online Support Group to the right.

take care, Minervia
Posted: 04 January 2015 - 07:06 PM
Thanks for the advice. My mother and I had talked about going to a lawyer for advice since with the legal documents it makes it more difficult. Its a very complicated matter. To make a long story short the house was quit claimed to my grandmother and her children over 25 years ago. The quit claimed deed shows where my great aunt signed over all of her rights to my grandmother and her heirs. Once my grandmother passed my mother and her brother decided to put the house in my mothers name. The quit claim deed does not mention the lifetime home but the will does. The will was written around the same time as the quit claim deed and was done before the hoarding started. My mother does have the right to sell if she would like to but she really does not want to lose her mothers home. There were not any stipulations about their care just for them to have a lifetime home. We figured a lawyer would be the best choice it's just we hate to have to take that route but it's gets so frustrating not being able to have control over your home. A physical therapist came for my aunt and told her she needed to clean up the room because it was a fire hazard. She asked the man "And who are you?" We know they both have some mental diseases. My aunts daughter has seizures (grand mal) and has been having them all her life and I know they have done damage to her brain. We don't want to throw them out or be cruel we just want a clean home. We even considered writing a anonymous letter to my aunts daughters doctor about her ability to care for her mother and even herself with the seizures and the hoarding but I'm honestly not sure if that would do any good either. I'm glad I found this website. It can get soooo overwhelming at times and I don't have anyone I can talk to about it but this has been very helpful. Thanks again for the advice I really appreciate it. I will give an update once I have one.
Posted: 04 January 2015 - 09:17 AM
Hi Minervia,

I'm sorry you and your mother are struggling with this situation. You might want to talk with a lawyer since there was a will involved.

It could depend on when the will was written and if there are any grey areas that might allow for your mother to amend the situation ~ charging them rent or collecting money for any damages caused by their neglect.

In effect what your grandmother did was to make your mother the lifetime caretaker of her (your mother's) aunt and cousin (if I understand the family relations correctly).

Does your mother have the right to sell the house? Was your grandmother aware when the will was written that her sister and her niece were probably unable to live on their own and incapable of maintaining the home so that's why she left it in the hands of your mother? Were there any stipulations for their care other than they just get to live in the house til they die? Your grandmother's intentions were probably loving and generous. She may not have foreseen the problems that have developed.

It's kind of like being in a landlord situation with tenants who have an unbreakable lease.

I would take a copy of the will to a lawyer and ask for his advice regarding any limits that could be imposed and what the consequences are for your mother in having to house them no matter what. He might also be able to give you advice about how APS could help. I wouldn't discuss any of that with your great-aunt or her daughter right now. No point starting battles that will amp up the hoarding. When you have a better understanding of where you are legally you may be able to set some restrictions and consequences.

You can always get support here if you need it. Let us know how things go.

take care ~~
Posted: 03 January 2015 - 07:30 PM
I am currently living with hoarders and it is starting to really get to me. I am 26 and have lived with it almost my whole life and now I'm to the point I don't know what to do. My mother lives here as well but is not a hoarder but my great aunt her daughter are. My aunt is elderly and can barely care for herself but her daughter is the one who has been doing most of the hoarding. The home belonged to my grandmother and once she passed it went to my mother but in her will she stated for her sister and the daughter to have a lifetime home as long as they live. They have been asked over the years to clean up many many many times but it only gets worse after that. My mother and I have no idea what to do. Now I will say this the entire house is not in a mess. However you can tell a distinct difference from the rooms they occupy to ours. We try to keep those as clean as possible. We are just not sure how to handle it or help. Being that neither of them own the home and my mother is legally responsible for it we don't want to them to penalize her for it while trying to get them help. Some of the things they do are very disgusting and has caused a lot of damage to the home. I really just don't know what to do or where to go from here. I has a friend who suggested calling adult protective services but we are not sure if that's the best option. Any suggestions or help on this matter is deeply appreciated.
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