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My name is Brigitte Hoare, I am a working Mum, living in Hampshire with my husband and children. I have worked in adult mental health services for over 10 years and qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2017. I have both a personal and professional interest in individuals affected by hoarding behaviour.
Personally, a good friend has hoarding difficulties and I wanted to understand hoarding behaviours more. Professionally, throughout my career I have known and worked with people who have hoarding difficulties and an associated mental health problem. I set up Red Squirrel after working on placement with Adult Services, where it became clear there were no services to support those with hoarding behaviour difficulties.
I have carried out research into hoarding disorder and activities of daily living, and hope to publish articles on my research within the next year.
When working with individuals affected by hoarding my primary goal is NOT to persuade individuals to rid themselves of their possessions but to establish a safe and meaningful life. I encourage and support the individual to set their own goals, meaningful to them. If it is clear your environment is the barrier to you achieving your goals then I will help and support you to make changes to your environment.
As an Occupational Therapist working with people affected by hoarding, I am able to build rapport, explore a person’s occupational identity, help to develop roles and routines, use a strengths’ based approach, recovery principles, environmental reorganisation, community social inclusion, psycho-education/self-help, aid decision making, improve organisational skills, and advise and support family/ carers.
I work in collaboration with the client, using evidence based tools and practice. I recognise every person affected by hoarding is unique. If I feel I am unable to help an individual I will advise the best course of action to meet the needs of that person. I am compassionate and caring and wish to reduce the stigma that surrounds hoarding disorder. I am a member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and am registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC). As such, I adhere to a strict code of conduct and professional regulations. People with hoarding difficulties are often embarrassed by the clutter and state of their homes. Red Squirrel is a discreet and confidential service.
Red Squirrel adheres to the Government guidelines in relation to Covid 19. We always risk assess prior to home visits and meetings and take the necessary precautions, for example washing our hands, wearing gloves and masks. Please see here for the latest Government Guidelines