*Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.
A couple of months ago, AlliedHealth had the opportunity of helping transform the lives of one of our participants in Sydney. When you meet John* and see his home today, you would have never thought that he had lived isolated in squalor and hoarding conditions, moreover in a state of neglect. Today John possesses more self-confidence and demonstrates a willingness to participate in new life experiences, develop life skills and a drive to regain control in his life.
However, unlike tv shows such as Hoarders may suggest, this wasn't a one-week affair. In John's case, the process began six months before any major cleaning took place. AlliedHealth worked alongside a multidisciplinary team with the NSW health department, a nurse, support coordinator and law enforcement- to determine the nature and parameters of the hoarding problem and squalid living environment. With this knowledge, a proactive program was designed to provide John with the adequate supports and strategies in place to better his quality of life in a stable, feasible manner.
Furthermore, It's critical to understand the complexities behind the before shots, rather than criticizing the individual or their home. Hoarding entails the excessive accumulation of items along with a failure to discard them. It may be described by a persistent struggle with letting go of possessions, some which may not seem to have value to an outsider. Such behaviour causes clutter to collect to the point where it creates a safety risk or interferes with daily activities. Squalor, on the other hand, is an unsanitary living condition that has resulted from severe and continued neglect. Each case is different and requires different strategies and supports.
AlliedHealth understands that dealing with poor living conditions does not begin or end with the home makeover. Relationships need to be built and maintained with the participant and based on genuine respect, compassion and understanding. John's health and mental wellbeing remain our top priority, and as we continue monitoring his condition, we work towards a pathway of independence.
If you or someone you know are facing similar difficulties, please do not hesitate to get in touch on 1300 70 22 16. We are here to help and vow to treat every case with the utmost respect and care.