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In recent years, severe domestic squalor and compulsive hoarding (also known as Challenging Domestic Environments) has received national and international attention. There has been a growing understanding of the complexities involved in each case and the difficulties presented when aiming to achieve successful, sustainable outcomes. 

There are many different and complex reasons why people display these behaviours. As a support person, the most crucial way of supporting a person is to demonstrate patience, a non-judgmental attitude and be open to learning more about the behaviours.

Risks to the Community

  • Safety risks from fires
  • Health risks as a result of squalid environments
  • Neighbours may face consequences such as damages to common property, vermin infestation etc
  • Poor relationships with neighbours and other community members; stress caused by the difficult nature of these relationships
  • Large financial costs for repairs of damage and clean-up
  • Costs for health care and community well-being involved with people living in Squalor (healthcare is often more expensive as there are a larger number of presenting problems due to long periods of time without medical attention).
  • Unsightly homes contributing to the value and status of a community
  • Minimisation of community pride  

If you feel that you know of someone that may need assistance in regards to hoarding contact the Town’s Health Services for assistance and information on 9285 4300.

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