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AIBU to call social services to help neighbour

(11 Posts)
cheekyfunkymonkey Fri 20-Jan-17 17:16:55

I think one of my neighbours may be a hoarder, or otherwise in need of support. We moved into the street about a year ago. I assumed the house was derelict. Dirty curtains always drawn, weeds everywhere, no curtains upstairs and disable crap piled high. I never saw any signs of life until one day I noticed a man sat on the front step next to a wheelchair. Since then I occasionally see the front room curtains open. The man appears to be using it as a bedroom. A bed is visible, a Christmas tree, and more piles of 'stuff'. The house is so rundown. I don't really think it is fit for human habitation. I don't want to interfere but I am worried he is not managing and don't want to be a bad neighbour if he need serious help. I am considering calling the council but not sure if this is the best way to go.

TiredBefuddledRose Fri 20-Jan-17 17:25:21

Have you tried starting a conversation with him?

VladmirsPoutine Fri 20-Jan-17 17:28:52

Knock on door, ask him if he's in need to help.

MsMims Fri 20-Jan-17 17:29:34

The best way to go is to approach him and ask if he wants help in the first instance. Although your intentions are good I can imagine him feeling upset that a neighbour has reported him without even having a conversation first.

cheekyfunkymonkey Fri 20-Jan-17 21:13:59

I have considered this. Not quite sure how I would broach it. ' Hi I noticed you seem to be living in one room and your curtains need a wash, not meaning to be nosey but do you need help shifting all your stuff so you can actually move in there'.... Clearly I wouldn't actually say that but I would struggle with where to start. What if he says he is fine. The situation clearly isn't. I would still feel I should report it and then he would know I went against his wishes. I am not saying I won't talk to him. He may say he does need help. Maybe I could go armed with contacts for where he could get help? He may use one of them.

TatianaLarina Fri 20-Jan-17 21:19:31

He may well be known to social services. Other neighbours may know.

If you're concerned then call them. There's not much you can do for him yourself.

SanitysSake Fri 20-Jan-17 21:20:46

Having a relative that is identical to this and having first hand experience of attempting to help, I would tread very carefully. My relative went ballistic when help, or what they perceived as interference, was attempted.

The hoarding is a psychological condition and they get incredibly attached to their rubbish. My relative was screaming when we attempted to clear out just all the old newspapers they had collected which were piled high.

Personally, outside of trying to gently gently form a neighbourly relationship which will take a very long time to do to enable you to be even able to step into their space and evaluate things - I'd be likely to make a gentle approach to the council to see if this person is on their radar.

Do you see any relatives or friends attend the property at all?

toconclude Fri 20-Jan-17 21:26:39

As a social worker, please ask him first. We can't actually intervene if someone doesn't want us to. Of course as others have said, he may already be known.

toconclude Fri 20-Jan-17 21:29:40

P.S. " I don't really think it is fit for human habitation."

Haven't seen it so can't say but believe me, homes need to be indescribably bad for this to be the case and even then the powers of LA to do anything about it are very limited unless it directly affects neighbours or the property belongs to the housing assn.

suchafuss Fri 20-Jan-17 21:35:30

Before you contact social services you really could do with knowing if he is unable or unwilling to look after himself. Try to strike up a conversation and thread gently!

Cantusethatname Fri 20-Jan-17 21:52:01

All depends whether he has mental capacity, whether it is his choice to live like this, and whether he is affecting anyone else (smell, fire risk etc)

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