Life Advice



Hubby undermines plans, wife goes ALL CAPS

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Can you get the word out to your readers, please?

-- Frustrated

Dear Frustrated: A giant RV is the ultimate photo-bomb.

I'm happy to spread the word.

Dear Amy: Thank you for your thoughtful reply to "Needs an Intervention," the woman whose daughter appears to have a hoarding disorder.

As you stated, this is a complex, chronic condition that requires patience and the ability to try lots of options.

In addition to the mental health conditions you list, people with hoarding behaviors may also be challenged by executive function deficits, such as chronic disorganization seen with ADHD and other processing problems. This is acerbated in older age.

The biggest challenge will be to find someone low cost who can work side by side with the daughter to teach her how to make decisions about belongings and what is OK to discard, and how to organize the rest.

This is especially true for those people who do not have HD, but Chronic Disorganization -- they literally don't see it. This type of help is very difficult to find.


If there is a "Buried in Treasures" workshop near her, it can teach skills and help reduce acquiring behaviors and clutter by up to 30 percent, while providing a supportive network of people who "get it."

I work with people who have clutter and HD in their lives. Rarely does anyone want to live that way; they are overwhelmed with the process of how to dig themselves out. Thanks for helping this family get started.

-- Mallory von Kugelgen, RN, PHN

Santa Clara Senior Center

Santa Clara, CA

Dear Mallory: I applaud the work you do with seniors. Thank you so much for the recommendation.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)



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