Do you support an older person with hoarding behaviours?

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At Anglicare, we know it’s important that older Tasmanians are supported to age well and safely in their own homes.

Anglicare’s Social Action and Research Centre (SARC) is calling for Tasmanians who have a personal experience with someone who has challenges with hoarding behaviours and/or maintaining a healthy home to take part in the Treasured Lives project.

We are currently running an online survey to gather information from family members and carers.

Treasured Lives is seeking the participation of people who care for or who are related to someone aged 50 or over (or 45 or over if they are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage) who display  hoarding behaviours. It also welcomes the perspectives of people working in the community services sector.

SARC Social researcher Lindsey Fidler explains the terms used by the project team.

“When we say ‘hoarding‘ we mean when someone is unable to resist acquiring items, and/or has challenges sorting or discarding things, even when this leads to cluttered living spaces,” she says. “It may also lead to living spaces being unsafe and them being unable to use rooms in their home for the purposes they are meant for.

“When we say ‘challenges related to maintaining a healthy home‘ we mean when someone is living in an environment that has become unsanitary and may impact on their health and wellbeing. This could be because there is an accumulation of rubbish, or decomposing food, or excessive grime, dust and mould. This may lead to things like cooking, bathing and sleeping becoming difficult because of the condition of the home.”

The online survey will take between 10 – 40 minutes to complete and has a deadline of the end of October 2020.  Participants will remain anonymous.

Those who would prefer to talk about their experiences can approach Lindsey to be interviewed.

“We encourage this option for those people who may have more than one family member affected by hoarding behaviours – but those who are thinking of just one person can be interviewed, too,” said Lindsey.

These interviews are expected to take between one and two hours and can be conducted in person, over the phone or via video conferencing facilities. Again, participants will remain anonymous.

We’re really excited about the potential of this project to deepen our understanding of what is a very complex issue.

The next step will be to talk to service providers and government agencies about how we can work together to support this group of Tasmanians to stay safe, well and happy at home.

This project has been approved by the University of Tasmania’s Social Sciences Human Research Ethics Committee.

Access the online survey here Download a paper version of the survey Information sheet for families and carers


If you would like to know more about the project, or to arrange an interview, please contact Lindsey Fidler at lindseyf@staging-anglicare.kingsdigital.dev



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