Northern and North West Tasmanians invited to join Anglicare’s Treasured Lives project

Anglicare Tasmania is calling for Tasmanians living in the North (including the Midlands) and the North West and West Coast regions to join its ground-breaking Treasured Lives research project.

Is there someone in your family or someone you care for who experiences hoarding behaviours, or who finds it difficult to maintain a healthy home? Are they aged 50 or over, or 45 or over if they are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage?

Families and carers have until 31 January 2021 to participate via a simple online survey that takes about 20 minutes to complete, or they can opt for a more in-depth interview either over the phone, by video conference or in person.

Participants will remain anonymous. This project has been approved by the University of Tasmania’s Social Sciences Human Research Ethics Committee.

Lead Researcher Lindsey Fidler of Anglicare’s Social Action Research Centre explains that the input of people with lived experience, from all regions of the State, is vital.

“It will assist us to understand how and why older Tasmanians experience these challenges, and the impact it has on their families and support networks,” she said.

“It will also help us to work with Government to design services that will support this group of Tasmanians to stay safe, well and happy at home as they age.”

Lindsey explains how the project defines hoarding behaviours and the challenges of maintaining a healthy home.

“When we say ‘hoarding‘ we mean when someone is unable to resist acquiring items, and/or has challenges sorting or discarding things, even when this leads to cluttered living spaces,” she says. “It may also lead to living spaces being unsafe and them being unable to use rooms in their home for the purposes they are meant for.

“When we say ‘challenges related to maintaining a healthy home‘ we mean when someone is living in an environment that has become unsanitary and may impact on their health and wellbeing. This could be because there is an accumulation of rubbish, or decomposing food, or excessive grime, dust and mould. This may lead to things like cooking, bathing and sleeping becoming difficult because of the condition of the home.”

Treasured Lives is leading the way in this complex field, in Tasmania and nationally. It formed the basis of Anglicare Tasmania’s submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. The research team was very pleased to see the inclusion of a recommendation on funding for hoarding services included in Counsel Assisting’s final report.

You can find all the detail on this exciting project on Anglicare’s Treasured Lives web page. If you would like to know more about the project, or to arrange an interview, please contact Lindsey Fidler on 1800 242 232 or lindseyf@anglicare-tas.org.au

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