Participants Wanted For UNO Hoarding Study

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UNO Hoarding Study

Looking for pairs of individuals comprised of a person who has difficulty with excessive clutter and a close family member or friend.

Requirements of both participants:

• must be 19-100 years old

• must be fluent in English

• willing to go to UNO for a 1.5-2 hour interview

• willing to be audio-recorded during the interview

Contact: Jen Baker (402)554-2921 or jabaker@unomaha.edu

 

Omaha researchers are breaking down stereotypes and changing the way municipalities respond to hoarding. They're working to find individuals impacted by the disorder to take part in an ongoing study.

"We have this perspective that nothing can be done, and it's just this kind of oddity that has some entertainment value," said Jennifer Baker with UNO's Grace Abbott School of Social Work. "Know that there is really truly suffering for individuals and their family and their friends."

The psychological disorder impacts the greater community more than most people realize. Baker says an estimated 12,000 to 21,000 people hoard around the metro.

When it becomes such a concern that agencies are called in to clean up, the bill can run as high as $16,000. Researchers say that expense falls on taxpayers, and the traumatic experience of purging rarely gets to the root of the issue. "In a matter of months, the stuff accumulates again because it's a person problem, not an object problem," Baker told WOWT.

It's a sensitive subject to tackle, but one that should be approached with compassion and care for the individual, rather than concern over their possessions. "A lot of people who hoard have been approached a number of times by family and friends over the years, but if you take that perspective of 'I really want to be a support to you'" that is the point, Baker says, when efforts prove most successful.

The Omaha Hoarding Task Force was created almost a year ago. It includes more than 30 agencies. Frequent meetings are held to improve the metro-area's response to hoarding and helping those with the disorder.


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