82YO Hoarder Lived In 2-Room HDB Flat Amidst Cockroaches & Fleas; Volunteers Took 7 Hours To Clean

Image: Facebook (Rich Sng)


Food can be comforting. So can things.

Lots and lots of things.

An elderly Singaporean man lived in a two-room HDB flat with fleas and cockroaches for many years of his life.

Image: Facebook (Rich Sng)

That is until members of Keeping Hope Alive, a local voluntary organization stormed his house and cleared up the huge mess in seven hours.

Image: Facebook (Rich Sng)

Led by Ms Fion Phua, she and her group of volunteers arrived at the elderly man’s place to get an assessment of how bad the situation was.

Their mission:

To clean up his ultra-cluttered roach and flea-infested flat:

Image: Facebook (Rich Sng)
Image: Facebook (Rich Sng)

It was slow-going at first because it was difficult to move about and the elderly man was unwilling to let go of his items.


Members of Keeping Hope Alive even found centipedes among the clutter.

Image: pinterest.com

However they pressed on as Keeping Hope Alive’s mission is to improve the quality of life of the less privileged.

Volunteers took some time to explain what they were about to do and upon getting consent from the flat owner, the cleaning began.

They managed to get the flat spick and span after 7 hours of hard work:

Image: Giphy

Which led to a really happy flat owner:

Image: Giphy

Speaking to Lianhe Zaobao, Ms Phua brought up the point that it is often not easy for old people to come to terms with the fact that their things are old and should be thrown away.

They are prone to hoarding things because they feel lonely or they feel a sense of insecurity. Some even see value in their hoarded items and intend to sell them.

Keeping Hope Alive does everything from house cleaning, to trimming the nails of the elderly and even ensuring that household bills get paid.

They also coach the elderly on how to keep things neat and tidy.

A very grateful Ms Phua posted photos and videos of the clean-up effort on Facebook and thanked the volunteers for their time and effort:

Some Things Money Can’t Buy

As Ms Phua and her team would surely have experienced time and time again, some things money can’t buy. Like a happy fellow human being whose life you have touched.

That is the very thing that keeps Ms Phua and her volunteers going: Impacting Lives.

How You Can Help

Lots of help is needed and here are some voluntary organizations you can join:

Keeping Hope Alive


You can join the Facebook Group of Keeping Hope Alive to get the latest updates about the group’s activities. As mentioned in the article, they do house cleaning, nail trimming, and basic tidiness coaching.

Habitat for Humanity is another voluntary organization that seeks to impact lives. Apart from house-cleaning they also run house-building missions and a whole host of other voluntary activities. You can read more here.

You’ll never be able to experience the sheer joy of helping another fellow human being until you’ve done it.


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