I was sent this article from a Delaware newspaper – the News Journal. The article talks about “hoarders” and a task force headed to Delaware. We know about hoarders now, thanks to shows like “Hoarders” and “Buried Alive”. People who are unable to get rid of certain things, for some it’s clothes, for some food, trash, animals, it’s a serious issue. Hoarders tend to alienate their loved ones and have little in the way of a support system.
In Delaware, where as many as 45,000 people are estimated to have problems with hoarding, the problem has motivated the state to create a multidisciplinary task force to address the challenges these residents create. Last month, state officials and Christiana Care Health System teamed up for a daylong symposium for health professionals on hoarding. The event sold out soon after it was announced.
Notice how they say that as many as 45,000 people have problems with hording in Delaware? Those numbers aren’t real. I mean, yes, the numbers exist, but there’s no way to track hoarders in Delaware, and the state has less than one million people. Those numbers would mean one out of every 20 people in the state is a hoarder. There is also no mention of the definition of “hoarder”.
Hoarder is literally defined as a person who hoards things.
Am I a hoarder? I have a lot of books, I mean, it’s excessive. I have hundreds of books. I got rid of 8 large boxes of them recently, gave them to a local thrift shop, and it was difficult. I wanted to keep them. Does that make me a hoarder? Would it make me a hoarder to this state task force?
The News Journal article is four pages, but most of it is about hoarding. This is the rest of what is said about the actual state task force:
In advance of the hoarding task force, the state is creating an advisory panel to try to determine stakeholders who may be able to offer input into hoarding issues, Weiss said. Representatives from police and fire agencies, local hospitals, code enforcement, the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health and animal welfare are expected to be part of the panel, which should begin next month.
The long-term goal is the development of resources aimed at helping agencies and organizations work with people struggling with hoarding problems, said Gail Weinberg, a social worker and community-based services ombudsman for DHSS. One hope is for the creation of a support group for hoarders so they can meet others like themselves and reduce their isolation.
So what will this task force actually do? Will they search for hoarders? Will there be required meetings for hoarders? Is there going to be a hotline you call if you think someone you know is a hoarder? If you call this hotline, would someone end up getting their home searched for evidence of hoarding? How does the state define a hoarder?
Does anyone else find this alarming?