The Times Republican recently reported on a hoarding workshop which has been set up in Marshalltown, Iowa, to provide help and advice to hoarders so that they can start to regain control over their destructive habit. The workshop is run by a retired social worker, Ron Palumbo, and is held at Iowa Valley Continuing Education. This is an excellent way to provide knowledge, support and awareness of the mysterious condition of compulsive hoarding. Although the condition has got more awareness over recent months with programmes such as A&E’s ‘Hoarders’, it still remains relatively misunderstood.
In the article, Palumbo said that hoarding is a type of OCD, and that in his 30-year career as a social worker he had only seen one hoarding case. But despite the relative rarity of the condition, awareness is increasing and every week new cases are reported. The problem with hoarding is that the actual hoarders rarely seek out help themselves. Instead, it is often left to friends or family members to get help and support. The article also quoted Michelle Spohnheimer, who is the housing and community development director in Marshalltown. She said that she encountered cases when performing home inspections, and that she has realised that hoarding victims can be anyone, irrespective of their social background. For her, the biggest problem with hoarding cases is the safety issue that they create. Mould and vermin are two common but serious problems that can arise from hoarding, and then you cannot overlook the safety issues posed by the increased risk of fire.
Hoarding is a very serious and still misunderstood condition, but with workshops like the one offered in Marshalltown, hopefully hoarders in the area can start to get back control over their lives and stop hoarding for good.
For confidential advice call Jeffrey Avery on 0800 567 7769