Hoarders Hinder Their Own Family Restoration

Hoarding can be a problem faced by numerous individuals, many of them elderly, and has been highlighted by reality television shows recently. Julie Maxey, J.D. 2012 Candidate and Associate Member of the Regent Alternative Dispute Resolution Board plans to practice law in Texas and has written an excellent article dealing with this problem of hoarding. She writes:

"With the elderly population in Texas growing rapidly as Baby Boomers age, the risk of elder abuse also grows. Elder abuse encases multiple types of abuse including physical and mental abuse, fraud and financial exploitation, neglect, and self-neglect. For many years, self-neglect was not considered a form of elder abuse because of the unique character of the abuse. With self-neglect, the elderly person is not only the victim but also the abuser. Because there is not another party involved in the abuse in self-neglect it was rejected as a form of elder abuse for years. In the last couple of decades, the issue of elder self-neglect has gained more attention as a legitimate form of elder abuse across the United States."

Hoarding is a recognized form of self-neglect, and really harms individuals, often isolating them from their families. A&E's Hoarders, as well as TLC's Hoarding: Buried Alive, are television shows that have begun to expose the extreme issue of hoarding. Several of the hoarders featured on these television shows are elderly - an indicator that something must be done to address this problem of elder self-neglect that is plaguing America's growing elderly population.

Julie's article examines whether Texas State Law regarding elderly self-neglect is sufficient when there will be an explosion of the elderly population in the next several years likely yielding a statistical rise in elder self-neglect. Section I discusses the background of the issue of elderly self-neglect. Section II will examine the procedure that is in place now to address the issue of elder self-neglect. Section III analyzes the statutes, procedures, and statistics dealing with elderly self-neglect in the state of Texas. Section IV then presents possible solutions and remedies to this growing problem. Read the entire article here.

Families may need assistance to know how to help their elderly family member from self neglect brought on by hoarding. The law can be a part of that restoration by protection elders from self abuse.

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