After four years of providing a service to seniors and hoarders who need to get rid of their clutter and junk, I’ve realized one of the most common problems these people face is loneliness. We are social beings and we are meant to spend time with others. Human touch and interaction are a necessity. We are not meant to be alone.
Once isolation sets in, it is a tough battle to fight. The beast is ever present and your mind can cause you to say things to yourself that are not healthy, productive or at all truthful. Just because a person has a messy house does not mean they have nothing to offer!
I know my clients substitute social interaction with eating, drinking, spending, watching tv and porn. Yep, I’ve seen it all! I don’t judge and I understand the battle they face.
Because the problem of hoarding didn’t happen overnight, the clean-up process doesn’t always happen overnight. We spend time on a regular basis and get to know each other very well! We develop friendships, trust and end up laughing and having fun at times! As with any relationship, there are moments of frustration and anger as well.
On many occasions my clients get attached to me, develop “crushes” or just crave the interaction. I understand it’s because I provide the hug, the pat on the shoulder, the interaction, communication and the friendship they have been longing for.
While most hoarders won’t allow others in their homes, it would be beneficial for them to get out and join clubs, groups and attend events; anything to avoid complete isolation.
In a sense this post can be a public service announcement to anyone who has a friend or family member they suspect may be isolating themselves behind closed doors. Give them a gift of time and friendship. Do something fun, interact and entertain them. Bring out the very best that person has to offer, because it’s there, sometimes it is just hard to find! (pun intended)