Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Family Matters: Not much can be done about complusive hoarding

By: Jim May

DEAR FAMILY: We just got home from visiting my aunt and uncle, who live in another city,and I need help to help them. I had not been to their home since I was a teenager and I was shocked. Words cannot describe the filth and clutter they live in. There were old newspaper, magazines, catalogues and what looked like mail stacked everywhere. They had a sort of walkway from the front door to the kitchen and the hallway. I didn't go down the hall but my husband said that the bedrooms were just as bad.

How can they live like that? I called my mother when we got home and asked her about it, and she said that (her sister) wasn't always like that. She always had saved things that they thought were a little strange but it has gotten way out of hand now. My mother said that she and my other uncle had tried to talk to her but it only upset my aunt. They gave up and no one goes to their house, much less eats there. She also said that their children had tried to talk to them and had given up, too. They are pretty well isolated from the family but do come to family gatherings and are active in their church...."