OTTAWA — Ottawa’s public health nurses can usually tell if they’re dealing with a hoarder before they even enter the house. Excessive garbage and debris, blocked windows and an overgrown garden can signal chaos within.
Other homes are outwardly tidy and the clues more subtle: cars used for permanent storage or curtains puckering from the pressure of boxes.
As Louise, a self-confessed hoarder, observes: “Houses looking impeccable on the outside are not all roses inside.”
Hoarding is a hidden activity. Hoarders often do not allow even family members or friends past the front door. Until recently, it was mostly public officials in housing, health, fire prevention or elder services who caught glimpses..." More