Law Office of Steven M. Katz, PA
401 East Jefferson Street
Rockville, MD 20850
WHEN IT'S MORE THAN JUST "CLUTTER"
It is most unfortunate, but some individuals cannot throw anything away, especially when it comes to paper. This includes old newspapers, magazines, junk mail, empty boxes, even empty food containers. Often, the mail sits unopened and the stacks of papers are piled high on every surface and the floor. It is not unusual for unopened mail, merchandise, checks and other valuables to be mixed in with the trash and lost in the mess. In extreme cases, the piles can reach the ceiling and even block the door. Sometimes the residence may become so filled with paper and miscellaneous items that the person has to move to a second apartment or house, which, of course, is eventually also filled with “stuff”. The fire marshals, if they learn about it, will force an immediate clean-up as it's a fire hazard, or may even evict the resident. Sound ridiculous? It's not. It is far more common than most people realize.
Aside from being unhealthy, a breeding ground for insects and rodents, and a fire hazard, unopened mail may contain unpaid bills, financial information, uncashed checks, and even law suits.
There are many reasons for hoarding. The person may have dementia and not realize the consequences, or may be younger and simply a hoarder – a recognized psychological disorder. They may be depressed, overwhelmed, or just not able to move about sufficiently to deal with the many facets of modern life. In the elderly, this may be a sign that they are no longer able to live independently.
Usually, these individuals will not – or cannot – solve their own problems. These individuals need help, although they will rarely admit it and will often refuse to let anyone in the house, for fear of embarrassment. They then distance themselves from friends and family, when they may need them the most.
If you have a loved one living in this situation, give HoardControl a call. You are not alone. HoardControl can help. Do not wait for your loved one to solve the problem themselves, they are most likely unable to do so. Someone needs to intervene, even if your loved one says they do not want or need help. It is an unsafe and unhealthy situation, and will only continue to get worse.
HoardControl recognizes this as a sickness and that each and every individual deserves to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect. After the residence is cleaned out, HoardControl can help organize the paperwork and even take over bill paying, if necessary. If the person is elderly and has no dementia issues, our help may enable them to continue to live independently for a longer period of time. If there are dementia issues, this may be a sign that they can no longer safely live alone and other arrangements need to be made.