“Elaine” is a 90-year-old woman who had lived alone for over 15 years in her trendy two story town home in an upscale Chicago neighborhood.  She was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder that manifested as a need for her to keep, or “hoard,” all of her garbage.   Her need to keep trash was so intense that she actually collected and hoarded the trash from her neighbors when they set it out.  Over time, her home literally filled up with rubbish.   In addition to creating a tremendous odor, the home became very attractive to rodents, which moved in, in very large numbers.

Lifecare Home Solutions was hired by Elaine’s Trust, as they owned the property.  The city had condemned the home and Elaine was still in residence.   The bank personnel were unable to persuade Elaine to allow them access to the home, as Elaine was distrustful overall and had historically allowed no one to come into her residence.

After gaining her trust and confidence, Lifecare Innovations’  social workers convinced Elaine to move to a temporary facility where her medical and mental health needs could be appropriately attended to. Lifecare Home Solutions went to work restoring this home to provide a safe and healthy environment for Elaine to return.

The entire home was furnished with beautiful oak flooring, though it had become “invisible” underneath the piles of accumulated garbage. In some areas of the main floor and the basement, the accumulated trash was over three feet deep.  Much of the home’s living space was inaccessible without so much as a path through some rooms.  To move in and out of her second floor bedroom, and to access her kitchen, Elaine had to climb over teetering piles. 

After seeing the dangerous bare wires hanging from the kitchen ceiling, the city of Chicago ordered all the utilities to be shut off until the electrical was brought up to code.  While CNH was trying to get bids on the job, two electrical contractors took one look at the condition of the setting and refused to even bid on the job, but Lifecare Home Solutions staff persevered.  Despite the summer heat and lack of air conditioning, persistence and dedication paid off and the electrical project was completed.

Lifecare Home Solutions staff also attended to the neglected area outside of the home, removing trash, rubble, and weeds, in addition to planting new shrubs along the walkway.  When Elaine returned to her home, the restoration of her home and removal of the uninvited four-legged visitors allowed for an environment where she could now safely live.