My parents are in their 50’s and have begun hoarding stuff and their quality of life is greatly diminished. They have raccoons living in the attic, there are open holes in the side of the house, both have collected things beyond what can healthfully fit in their space, they have 8 cats and some other little things I am concerned about. The house is a constant mess because they can’t keep up with maintenance and general cleaning. I do know they realize that some things need to change, like plugging holes in the house that raccoons are getting in but when i offer help or suggestions they are super sensitive or just say “i know, but”. There is always an excuse or reason they have not gotten to it yet. I live across the country and can’t physically help around the house. There is a extensive history of self esteem issues with both parents. So how do i talk to them and help them realize I am extremely concerned about their lifestyle without them shutting down or getting extremely hurt?
I would rather see you deal with this directly now rather than wait until something catastrophic comes along. My guess is that the county they live in has social services. So the first thing you would want to do is find out who could do a home visit. Different states have various agencies that may be able to help. The first call would be to the local community hospital nearest their home, and ask to speak to someone who is in the social work department. Brainstorming with these folks is an excellent way to zero in on what agencies and services can be available. Once you find the right agency — they will better be able to help you plan.
Wishing you patience and peace,