A hoarder who refused to clear the trash cans for ten years was wearing diapers after 27 tons of trash accumulated in her home and prevented her from getting into the bathroom.
Sylvie from York, who is in her 60s, started using incontinence pads and diapers after the accumulated trash surrounded her with five to six feet of trash in all of her bedrooms, as well as on the stairs, along the hallway, and in the kitchen.
The homeowner, who had refused to let anyone into her house for nearly 20 years, also said the trash influenced her mental Well-being and endanger their physical health.
She said, “I was very embarrassed, it had gotten so bad. But I couldn’t see it from depression.
The hoarder was wearing diapers and incontinence pads after the 27 tons of trash in her home blocked her access to the bathroom
Community Bees volunteers helped Sylvie from York, who is in her 60s, clean her house and installed new floorboards and units in her kitchen. Pictured: The Community Bees volunteers
“The rooms were very bad from floor to ceiling, you couldn’t really get into the house.
“I slept on the trash, I only used the bathroom when I climbed over the trash, and I didn’t have a kitchen because I couldn’t get to it.
“I didn’t have a sink, I couldn’t get to my fridge or freezer. I only sat outside the front door during the day. ‘
Sylvie, who lived in a small room at the top of the stairs, had no access to her fridge and freezer, and kept groceries in the hallway and on the stairs without properly storing them.
Due to the accumulation of trash, stacks of hoarded items also filled the two living rooms on the first floor.
Affected neighbors, who noticed that Sylvie never turned her trash can out for collection and sat for hours on her doorstep, wanted to help.
After regular conversations, Sylvie slowly opened up to her neighbors Craig and Sarah and told them about the condition of their house and how she was feeling.
She told them that she suffered from depression, felt worthless and hopeless, and that she had not let anyone into her house for years because she was ashamed of how bad it had gotten.
Finally she let Craig in with the hope that he could help.
After many phone calls to find the right support for Sylvie, the neighbors called Michaela Shaw at the Community Bees volunteer group.
Sylvie said: “Michaela calmed me down immediately. She didn’t judge, she smiled and was happy to see my situation. ‘
With the help of three neighbors and volunteers Michaela and Pauline, 27 tons of rubbish were removed from Sylvie’s house within a week.
Sylvie had to live in a small living room at the top of the stairs and was surrounded by five to six feet of trash in all of her bedrooms, as well as down the stairs, along the hallway, and in the kitchen
During the cleanup, it emerged that Sylvie’s house had been flooded a few years ago and there were bare floorboards all over the house.
The boards were full of holes made by the weight of the garbage that allowed flies and bugs to get inside.
After a mammoth overhaul that required three big jumps, Sylvie’s house became home again.
New floorboards were laid down, the bathroom, bedroom and living space were tidy and easily accessible, and a new oven, sink and units were installed.
Sylvie said, “I can’t thank Michaela and Pauline enough, and they still come to me and help me every week.
“You don’t just come to me, we talk, laugh and enjoy each other’s company. You can just call them and they are there for you.
Due to the accumulated rubbish, Sylvie was unable to enter most of the rooms in her home. Pictured: The garbage heap on Sylvie’s washing machine
“There aren’t enough words in this world to say how much you’ve helped me, and when people like me are suffering, get in touch with Community Bees, you will never regret it, you will not regret it at all.”
Sylvie now also takes care of her mental wellbeing with the help of health professionals and keeps appointments and medication.
For the first time in years she went to a supermarket by herself and is now doing her housework.
Community Bees volunteers said they were proud of how far Sylvie had come.
Michaela turned directly to Sylvie and said: “You were so brave and I know that many tears were shed, but good ones. You have come to the point in the past four months that you have changed your life.
“It’s so nice to see you every week and tell me how you are and what you have achieved.”