• Can occupational therapy address the occupational implications of hoarding?

      Clarke, Cathy (2019-03)
      Hoarding is often described as a medical disorder, defined by a persistent difficulty in discarding possessions and associated high levels of emotional distress when forced to part with these. This article will discuss how having a different view of hoarding, seeing hoarding as a daily occupation which provides value, purpose, and meaning and with a relationship to self-identity and life purpose, could offer alternate interventions to support an individual who hoards. The article will consider the components of hoarding activity and how these relate to health and wellbeing and doing, being, belonging, and becoming as understood by occupational therapists. The article will consider what occupational therapy, a profession which considers a person’s daily occupations, the things that occupy their time and which give meaning to their existence, could offer as an alternative to current hoarding interventions. Proposals for occupational therapy interventions will be suggested which would support occupational choice, support engagement in activities which have more positive outcomes on a person’s health, and seek to address barriers which limit engagement and occupational performance in activities within the person’s home environment.