How To Get Help For Hoarding Disorder.

There are evidence-based treatments which can support changes in hoarding behaviors for those who agree to such interventions and supports. Hoarding disorder does not improve without some form of intervention, and even then change is challenging.

Ideally, the person with hoarding disorder is eligible for funded, specialized treatment and agrees to participate in such treatment over time in order to impact their condition. If funding cannot be located for the person, other interventions of natural supports, community resources and code enforcement personnel may be helpful.

Coordinated efforts are necessary in order to be successful, including between: those working with the person in the home setting to facilitate, gradual progressive clean out; any other person who might be providing office based therapy; housing code enforcement persons and/or court representatives, if there is involvement; and family members, friends and other natural supports of the person.

Therapy should consist of an evidence-based model that includes at least some of the treatment appropriate occurring in the home setting. In addition to a licensed therapist who has expertise and training, a community health worker who has training in hoarding disorder can also be helpful to support the in-home efforts.

Therapy may last as long as six months or longer to be effective, and follow up may be needed to sustain gains made through clinical interventions.

Depending upon what the individual will agree to, a referral can be made to the Saginaw County Community Mental Health HUB/Care Management Unit for intervention. Before such a request is made though, the hoarding condition needs to be confirmed. Saginaw 9-1-1 non-emergency number (989-797-4580) may be contacted to request a well-being check, so that first responders and/or other governmental contacts can make the initial contact to confirm the diagnosis and eligibility for treatment. The Saginaw HUB contact number is 989-498-2266 to make a referral. The person must consent to services unless there is court involvement that requires treatment.

If the person does not agree to treatment initially, they might agree to the involvement of a community health worker to assist them in their home. If they have one or more chronic health conditions they are eligible for community health worker-community living supports services if there is Medicaid or other funding to support this service.

If the person does not agree to treatment, the offer of services can be presented at a later time again; especially if code enforcement concerns have been raised, the person may be more motivated to engage in clinical intervention if their home is at risk for a legal citation.

There will be persons who will not have the needed funding support cover such treatment. The Saginaw HUB can advise regarding applying for benefits that might be able to be of assistance. If the person is not eligible for funding to cover services, family and friends could still seek to support the person to make changes in the home, including risk mitigation by moving clutter away from heating sources or promoting pathways to move in the home. The housing code official for the municipality of the person's residence might be able to assist with some of this encouragement and intervention. In addition, registering the residence's address with the Saginaw County 9-1-1 system can also help to mitigate risk by informing first responders that the home has evidence of hoarding conditions, and law enforcement may be able to make periodic wellness checks at the home. Registering the home with 9-1-1 will also be helpful, in circumstances where the person is willing to accept treatment but no immediate funding is readily available; then if funding does becomes available, SCCMHA can reach out to the person to offer treatment.