Mental Health Challenges

October 2021

Condominium managers are not psychiatrists, psychologists or sociologists trained to assist people struggling with their mental health.  Yet they can be the first line of support for residents suffering from dementia, addiction or other mental health challenges.

These individuals can be more prone to forgetting about a pot on the stove, chicken in the oven, or running water in the sink.  Hoarding may be a problem.  They may cause disturbances if they choose to hang out in common areas for extended periods of time.

Hoarding may be discovered during a fire inspection.  There may be odour complaints or pest problems.

Any problems or lapses that can pose fire or flooding risk to, or complaints from, building residents needs to be addressed.

While the condominium corporation should not be caring for any individual there may be no other option for helping protect them and other building residents.  This may require the condominium manager to get involved in personal issues.

Legal action may not be effective when dealing with an individual posing a threat to themselves and others because of dementia or hoarding.  When hoarding is identified the corporation can clean out a unit and charge costs back to the owner although permission or a court order may be required.  For other problems any solution is less clear.

A more effective approach may be to reach out to family members, if available, or agencies that can assist in supporting individuals struggling with mental health challenges.