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Enabling  ​Spaces CIC 's Hoarding Therapy Blog

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Changing our Practice Due To COVID 19 Crisis.

July 12th 2020

Changing Our Practice To Meet The Needs Of Our clients,

Due To COVID-19 Crisis.

Global events in recent months had changed the way we have worked and interacted with our clients, many of our clients are elderly, vulnerable and in poor physical and mental health. 

The majority have had to shield and self isolate themselves from their community.

In ‘normal times’ our clients, many who live alone and who may not have had visitors, family or friends entering their homes, due to the condition of their property. Would socialise outside their homes and seek other people, by visiting supermarkets, cafes, book holidays to escape their cluttered or hoarded homes, browse around shops (I know, to buy more stuff…. but we will put that to one side for now….). Other clients who have no close family or friends, engaged in other social contacts such as belonging to support groups, visiting community centres, places of worship. For all of our clients, these were all now closed to them, due to the sudden forced lockdown.

This proved quite challenging for them and for us, it was important for us to ensure our client's mental health and their wellbeing did not suffer or deteriorate during this crisis. Furthermore due to the forced social isolation we were aware that this pandemic could exacerbate their existing issues and compound the feeling of sadness, anxiety and depression brought on by loneliness.

As Occupational Therapists, we are aware of the significant impact of loneliness that comes from social isolation, and the effect it can have on an individual, we also wanted to try to alleviate this. Even before the lockdown we were already  using social network platforms with some of our clients, such as WhatsApp, FaceTime, therefore we continued to use them. However some of our clients, do not have smart phones or  are even connected to the internet, therefore their only interaction with us was face to face meetings at their property, cafes or phoning them on their landline,

so how did we get around this?

Occupational Therapy is known as a creative profession, so we had to think of an intervention that could benefit are clients and ourselves. So we put our heads together, (social distancing adhered too…) and got creative and inventive in deciding how best to deliver our service, in a manner that our clients remained engaged, motivated and allow them to focus and take responsibility for their mental health and wellbeing and most importantly, helping to reduce the loneliness.

We developed our ‘Self-Care Wellbeing Boxes’, in consultation with our clients, we were able to put together their unique Self- Care Box based on their needs and their abilities. Mindful activities and products were placed in these boxes and we were able to work through the activities  with them ( client who required face to face where seen from a safe social distant)  and they were able to address and document their thoughts and feeling they had written down using the mindful journal books... 

What our client say about the boxes…

‘Christmas has come early’…

‘Thank you both, for caring’

‘Love the tea…oh and chocolates’

These boxes have now become part of our therapy to address the hoarding too.

Boxes can be purchased from our online shop  and will raise funds for our vulnerable clients. 

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Panic Food Hoarding 2020

March 27th 2020

Panic Hoarding by Enabling Spaces CIC

We seem to have entered a new kind of normal in recent weeks. The world has changed beyond measure. We are being asked to socially isolate, socially distance and shield ourselves, just some of the new terminology being added to our vocabulary. Many fundamental daily tasks have changed, going to work and school, taking a walk and even the way we shop for food and household goods.

It has been well documented in the press that there has been an upsurge in people panic buying leading to the need for strict measures to be implemented to ensure that everyone can shop for what they need. Many have witnessed queues of people lining up with their shopping trolleys filling them to the brim with groceries including tinned food, pasta and even a few toilet rolls and this has had a nationwide impact.

Some have called it hoarding and in some ways it is. They felt compelled to panic buy out of fear, fuelled by anxiety into fear purchasing…fear that they may run out of something, fear that they can’t live their lives or meet their obligations to others as they would want to, thinking that buying more things will make them feel better and secure. They acquire as much as they can ‘just in case’. They have stockpiled it in cupboards, in their spare rooms, in the corners of sitting rooms and have cluttered their normally clear worktops.

Did they ask themselves if they REALLY needed it? Did they consider the needs, and the feelings, of those people coming into the store after them who found nothing on the shelves.

We all sit somewhere on the Hoarding spectrum, we use our decision making skills to organise and sort our belongings and under normal circumstances we purchase what we need. Those affected by Hoarding Disorder constantly feel that compulsion to purchase and acquire, combine that with a lack of decision making and organising skills, this leads to hoarding. Hoarding Disorder doesn’t discriminate between gender, race, socioeconomic status or age. It can affect anyone!

In the work that we do, we encounter clients every day who have been subjected to judgement and even verbal and physical abuse because of their hoarding behaviours. Perhaps this recent spate of panic buying will open further discussions about hoarding and develop better understanding of Hoarding Disorder.


If you are affected by hoarding and need support please do get in contact with us.

Jo and Yvonne 

Company Directors and Founders of Enabling Spaces CIC

01926 935055

#staysafe #WorkSafe #Stayathome

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Sentimental attachment

November 6th 2017

Hoarders do have a sentimental attachment to objects, it is a significant element of hoarding. Even though this is dissimilar to the official definition of hoarding.

Objects become part of the hoarder's identity or their personal history... objects come to define their identity... their uniqueness

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New Facebook page

November 6th 2017

Follow the link below, visit our page share and like please

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