My mum is a serious hoarder and I'm worried she needs help

DEAR DEIDRE: MY 80-year-old mother is a serious hoarder and lives in squalor. I can barely get inside her front door.

There are piles of papers everywhere, plus books, crockery and clothes. She never throws anything away or cleans.

She lives alone and is becoming increasingly confused, and I’m sure the mess isn’t helping. I’m also very worried about her hygiene.

The house is filthy and there are mouse droppings everywhere. If there was a fire, the entire place would go up in flames in minutes and she’d never get out.

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I’m her only child, now a 52-year-old man, and it’s really getting me down. My own mental health is fragile.

I can’t deal with this alone and when I try to talk to friends about it they don’t take me seriously.

DEIDRE SAYS: If your mother is getting confused you need to talk to her GP, as she may need medication and even a carer.

Extreme hoarding can be a sign of depression. Contact which supports people affected by this sort of behaviour.

You also need help, especially if your friends don’t understand. Contact (phone 01708 765 200) to get confidential emotional support.

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