Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hoarding, American Pickers and the fine Art of Actually Helping Someone rather then Helping Yourself...

A & E has some great programs. I like Hoarders, Intervention and their newest program American Pickers. After watching several episodes however, it has come to my attention that these guys are a couple of Greedy Bastards who look for Hoarders, gain their trust , then try to walk off with as much merchandice as they can- usually ripping off the person they "befriended" They revel in finding stuff the person put away many years' ago & give them some low-ball figure, then go & sell the stuff at Top price & laugh all the way to the Bank!

I want,instead of that model of bad behavior, to look at Hoarders. While those folks are Extreme, the show just doesn't tape them & go home. ?They send in Professional Therapists & Organizers to help before, during & After. They Pay to clean out the houses & for subsequent therapy. I consider that both responsible & reasonable. Remember, with any luck, we will all get old- which way do we want to be treated? Below, I copied a posting from one of the show's Organizers & hope you'll taks a quick look at it.

The experts say...
"Many hoarders live alone and face mental illness or disorders. Because of this, by the time they are in the court system, there is an assumption that they are not able to care for themselves or their finances and belongings. The court then assigns a conservator and while understandable � it is completely overwhelming, sad and frightening for the hoarder."

- Dorothy Breininger

Help For Hoarders: Ten Small Steps
If you want to help the hoarder you need to remove the threat of being judgemental - instead look at situation from their point of view. Every hoarder feels that their collection, clutter, trash is valuable - nearly every disintegrated book and newspaper circular is viewed by a hoarder as though it were a "diamond in the rough."

1-"Trust is essential." When they know that WE know all this trash and clutter represents their identity, they are less defensive and are able to relax and trust us so that we can help them.

2-Don't throw anything away without the persons approval.

3-Excavate one tiny area at a time - one tabletop, one corner, one drawer, one shelf in the medicine cabinet.

4-Sort before discarding anything. It's hard to relinquish one scarf, but less hard to get rid of 20 out of 40.

5-Donate items instead of throwing them away, since it's a comfort to know they can find a good home with someone else.

6-Make contact face-to-face and use a soft, gentle approach and let the hoarder tell his/her story.

7-Treat the hoarder with respect and dignity -- remain calm and factual but caring and supportive.

8-Evaluate the situation for safety then refer the hoarder for medical and mental health evaluation.

9-Go slowly and expect gradual changes and be sure to involve the hoarder in seeking solutions.

10-Avoid being critical or judgmental about the hoarder's environment.

Present ideas for behavior modification - for example: Don't buy a book unless you spend half an hour with it in the bookstore. For every book acquired, relinquish two books that you've already identified as dispensable.

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