Robert A. Ray, M. Div. – Recognizing the signs of hoarding and finding solutions in the process
Robert A. Ray, owner of “Caring Transitions” has a background as a Baptist minister, that led him to a new career that focuses with the emotional transition of moving and downsizing. He gave and informative talk on recognizing the signs of an individual who is hoarding, and understanding how to provide help.. Rev. Ray explained that there are three components to a hoarding personality: First, the person acquires possessions compulsively, such as free items or buying things at garage and estate sales, second, refuses to discard items insisting that they may have value in the future or that they have a sentimental attachment to it, and third, the items are not organized and are scattered around the home haphazardly.
Rev. Ray stressed the need to be sensitive as you handle this person. If there is a diagnosis of obsessive compulsive behavior, perhaps medication would help. Support groups are also helpful, and it can be helpful to get an independent source to make a reasonable assessment as to which items maven have value. In closing, club member Ellen Gillis suggested that since Rev. Ray could intervene on our behalf he could make it possible for us “to take it with us.”