The impacts of hoarding behaviours on the safety of people's homes is being examined in a groundbreaking Tasmanian study.
Anglicare Tasmania wants input from North and North-West Tasmanians for its Treasured Lives research project.
Lead researcher Lindsey Fidler of Anglicare's Social Action Research Centre said the input of people aged over 50, or 45 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, with lived experience of hoarding behaviours, from all regions of the State, was vital.
"It will assist us to understand how and why older Tasmanians experience these challenges, and the impact it has on their families and support networks," Ms Fidler said.
"It will also help us to work with government to design services that will support this group of Tasmanians to stay safe, well and happy at home as they age."
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Ms Filder wants to hear from anyone who cares for or has a family member who experiences hoarding behaviours, or who finds it difficult to maintain a healthy home.
"When we say 'hoarding' we mean when someone is unable to resist acquiring items, and/or has challenges sorting or discarding things, even when this leads to cluttered living spaces," she said.
"It may also lead to living spaces being unsafe and them being unable to use rooms in their home for the purposes they are meant for.
"When we say 'challenges related to maintaining a healthy home' we mean when someone is living in an environment that has become unsanitary and may impact on their health and wellbeing.
"This could be because there is an accumulation of rubbish, or decomposing food, or excessive grime, dust and mould. This may lead to things like cooking, bathing and sleeping becoming difficult because of the condition of the home."
Families and carers can remain anonymous and have until January 31 2021 to participate via an online survey that takes about 20 minutes to complete, or they can opt for a more in-depth interview either over the phone, by video conference or in person.
Ms Fidler said the Treasured Lives project was leading the way in this "complex field" and formed the basis of Anglicare Tasmania's submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
She said the research team was pleased to see the inclusion of a recommendation on funding for hoarding services included in Counsel Assisting's final report.
Already 20 people have participated so far with most from Southern Tasmania.
An interim report will be prepared in March with an initial set of recommendations. A final report is expected at the end of 2021.
To contact Ms Fidler please call, 1800 242 232 or visit the Treasured Lives page on the Anglicare website, www.anglicare-tas.org.au/treasured lives