I'm posting tonight because I don't know where to turn. My mom and sister are hoarders. The situation is throwing our entire family into turmoil. No one knows what to do and most of the extended family is disgusted and judgmental of my mother and sister. I want to help, although I live some distance away.
My mom has OCD and has been a hoarder as long as I can remember. When I was growing up, there were always random boxes of things "we might need later" cluttering the various rooms of our home. She had boxes of fabric she planned on using "sometime". Mom just couldn't seem to throw things away. My younger sister and I sorted and tossed as much as we could, as often as possible, so that our house was livable. Mom's hoarding caused us to refrain from inviting friends over. We feared bringing boyfriends over, lest they run away screaming.
Over the years, my mom has become worse and worse. She began the downhill slide with her divorce from my father. A few years later, my grandmother died, followed by my uncle. She sank into a depression my younger sister and I have been trying to recover her from. My older sister lives with her to "help mom out," but she is a hoarder too. Together, they have hoarded to the point that the house is unbearable to even visit.
Mold, mildew, dirt and grime are everywhere. Every room of the house is stacked with boxes and trash. You can't even find the dining table or a chair to sit on most days. They have had problems with ants, spiders and mice. The mice have destroyed some of the wiring, so some lights do not work. Many repairs need to be made on the house, but my mom and sister find other things to occupy their time so they "don't have to think about it." To make matters worse, they hoard animals too. They honestly feel they are helping the animals by saving them from the outside world.
At this point, there are 8 dogs and more cats than I would care to count in and around the house. They were even caring for a deer at one point. There are rooms housing multiple cats with multiple litter boxes. Unfortunately, there are so many animals, my mom and sister don't have time to take care of them all. They feed them adequately, which is bankrupting the family, but the conditions are deplorable. The whole house smells of urine and feces. The dogs roam freely and are not housebroken. The cats also have frequent accidents anywhere and everywhere. Things don't get cleaned up right away either.
The state of the house and the unsanitary conditions have caused me to stop visiting with my young children. I cannot, in good conscience, take them into that environment. I fear for their safety. I also fear for the safety of my mother, sister, and the children living there. I know what it is like to grow up in a house with hoarding. Unfortunately, things are much worse than when I lived there.
I am hoping someone can point me in the right direction. I do not have the funds to help my mom and sister, but I would invest my time. My mom and sister don't have the money to invest in help either, since they have spent nearly everything on the animals and things taking up space in the house. I want to get them help before they end up being turned in to the authorities or come to physical harm from living in their disaster of a home.