SAGE, the Senior’s Association of Greater Edmonton, offers two types of help for people with hoarding behaviour problems. They focus on seniors, but I believe anyone can participate, at least in the drop-in sessions. This group meets once a month on the last Thursday of each month throughout the year except summer. These are called “Full-House Drop-In Sessions” (“Full-House” being a kind euphemism). Each month the facilitators, who are trained in helping people with hoarding, lead a discussion about some aspect of hoarding behaviour. These facilitators are very kind and supportive, and help people understand why things got this way, and how to go about making it better. It’s a long process, but the first step is admitting the problem.
There is also a hoarding workshop where participants commit to working through a book about hoarding, called Buried in Treasures, a copy of which is provided. This group meets on Tuesdays every other week throughout the year, except summer. Again, the facilitators are very kind, helpful, non-judgmental, and supportive in helping people understand the “why” and “how,” and then in helping them take action to overcome their hoarding situation. There is a lot to understand about why people let this happen, but the first step is to recognize that you have a problem, and to begin to understand why. The drop-in sessions will help you recognize and admit the problem, then you can take the workshop to help you overcome it. Both of these helpful groups are funded through Mental Health Canada.
Joanne McNeal is a McCauley Senior.