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How can strata managers effectively approach residents about hoarding concerns?

Approaching residents about hoarding concerns requires sensitivity, empathy, and a collaborative approach. Here are some steps that strata managers can take to effectively address hoarding concerns with residents:

  1. Educate Yourself: Before initiating a conversation with the resident, educate yourself about hoarding disorder, its symptoms, and appropriate interventions. Understand that hoarding is a complex mental health issue, and approach the situation with empathy and compassion.
  2. Gather Information: Collect evidence and documentation to support your concerns about hoarding within the property. Document instances of excessive clutter, safety hazards, and violations of strata bylaws or rules.
  3. Choose the Right Time and Place: Find a suitable time and private location to have a conversation with the resident. Ensure that the setting is conducive to open communication and respectful dialogue.
  4. Express Concern and Empathy: Approach the resident with genuine concern for their well-being and the safety of the community. Express empathy and understanding about the challenges they may be facing, acknowledging that hoarding is a sensitive issue.
  5. Focus on Specific Behaviours: During the conversation, focus on specific behaviours or observations that have raised concerns about hoarding. Avoid making judgments or criticisms and instead emphasize the impact of hoarding on safety, health, and community well-being.
  6. Listen and Validate: Listen actively to the resident’s perspective and validate their feelings and experiences. Allow them to express their concerns, fears, and any obstacles they may be facing in addressing the hoarding behaviour.
  7. Offer Support and Resources: Assure the resident that they are not alone and that there are resources and support available to help them address hoarding concerns. Offer information about hoarding cleanup services, mental health professionals, support groups, and community resources.
  8. Collaborate on a Plan: Work collaboratively with the resident to develop a plan for addressing the hoarding behavior. Set realistic goals and milestones, and outline steps for decluttering, organizing, and maintaining a safe living environment.
  9. Respect Privacy and Autonomy: Respect the resident’s privacy and autonomy throughout the process. Avoid pressuring or coercing them into taking action but instead offer support and encouragement to seek help when they are ready.
  10. Follow Up and Provide Support: Follow up with the resident regularly to check on their progress and offer ongoing support and assistance as needed. Celebrate small successes and provide encouragement during challenging times.

By approaching residents about hoarding concerns with empathy, understanding, and a collaborative mindset, strata managers can create a supportive environment that encourages residents to seek help and address hoarding behaviours effectively.