Helping a Hoarder so she can remain living in her home

So far, this blog has focused on general topics related to senior downsizing, senior living adaptation, and senior home services.

This time I’d like to tell you about one of the clients we’ve worked with recently.

Mary (not her real name) is a 90-year old woman who lives on her own in the Niagara Region. She owns a duplex and rented out one side while living in the other.

Mary is a hoarder. Over time, her floors became covered with accumulated clutter as well as dog and cat urine and feces. By the time the situation became unbearable, she no longer had a tenant, so she moved to the other side of the duplex, which was in the same state before long.

For years people tried to help Mary, but she wouldn’t let anyone inside.

In addition to the unsanitary conditions described above, there were issues with the utilities and the pipes had burst due to insufficient heat. Mary had no water in her home for 3 years. The hydro in the kitchen was not working; therefore the food in the fridge had rotted, and she was unable to cook.

kitchen afterkitchen before









Circumstances unfolded in such a way that Mary was removed from her home and hospitalized. With much pain it was discovered that Mary had a fractured hip; she then had surgery and went to rehab.

Mary had been sleeping sitting up in a lazy boy chair for years, so a bed was purchased and placed on the main floor until such time as she is strong enough to do the stairs.

Several organizations were involved in this case, including Gate Keepers, Public Health, the Fire Marshall, a plumber, and an electrician.  Mary was not allowed to return home until health and safety standards were met.

That’s when Be Clutter Free was called in. Our team of five spent seven days in Mary’s home, during which time we removed three bins of soiled and contaminated items.  We were also careful to arrange the  furniture in such a way that everything was easily accessible for her when she returned to her home.

living room before & after

It was very rewarding to restore Mary’s home to a clean and safe environment where she continues to live independently. Mary is very happy to be home.

To see more photos of this project, please check out our Facebook page.  And while you’re there, be sure to “Like” us or leave a comment!

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