By Invitation

How hoarding crowds out family members

Those with family members who have hoarding disorders often react with a complex mix of resentment, concern and anger. Usually there is no fairy-tale solution, only acceptance.

Her mother was still in hospital for a foot infection when I met Mariam (not her real name). She is the main caregiver of her octogenarian mother who has diabetes and dementia.

The doctors have recommended that her mother's foot be amputated, but the thought of it made Mariam's insides heave, and sickened her for a week. Warm and pleasant, she has an open expression and an easy manner of talking.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 22, 2018, with the headline 'How hoarding crowds out family members'. Print Edition | Subscribe