QLD Hoarding and Squalor

What is hoarding and squalor?

People who hoard are different from collectors who deliberately accumulate and maintain specialised collections of objects that are generally well organised and considered by most people to be interesting and valuable (Danet & Katriel, 1989). Instead, people who hoard acquire many things seemingly at random and without regard to available space in their homes.

The acquired objects become disorganised and even chaotic clutter that interferes with everyday living and is often dangerous. Other hoarders can be very organised but have significant collections of objects that can impede daily living.

Australian research estimates more than 600,000 people (2.6%) may suffer from hoarding disorder, putting themselves and their families at risk of squalor and health risks, fire hazards, evictions and homelessness. This is in line with prevalence studies in the USA, UK and other OECD countries that estimate 2-5% of people may be suffering from hoarding disorder and in need of help.

Hoarding is not the preserve of any one group of people and can start at an early age, but collections are likely to grow as people age and so cases are more often seen with older people. Hoarding can be exhibited by people who have other issues that might make them vulnerable, such as anxiety, depression or obsessive compulsive disorders, or it can follow from a traumatic experience.

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Hoarding and Squalor Service Mapping for Queensland by Region