Every now and then, a sad story comes along of a reclusive old person found living -- or not -- in unspeakable squalor.

There's the usual intervention by social services and animal welfare, and a public outcry about how such a thing could happen. And then it fades away until next time.

But the phenomenon known as Diogenes Syndrome (DS) is coming out of hiding through the attention of such television shows as Hoarders, How Clean Is Your House? and The Oprah Winfrey Show.

And increased incidences of the baffling condition -- characterized by appalling living conditions, personal neglect, hoarding and reclusiveness -- has resulted in the establishment of more identification and treatment programs, such as Hamilton's Gatekeepers. The program has been overwhelmed with clients since it was developed five years ago by Catholic Family Services to intervene in suspected cases of Diogenes..." More