Link Between Hoarding And The Elderly

Many people suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorders, which can not only lower the quality of life, but pose a serious health threat.

Hoarding, a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder which can be categorized as over-collecting, often results in piles of trash accumulating in an individual’s home, according to the Prescott Daily Courier. Psychotherapist Rosaleen Runnalls told the news source an example of a woman who died when firefighters could not save her due to the mountains of garbage in her living space. In an effort to raise awareness of the illness, Runnalls will be holding a free mental health talk titled, “Packrats, Hoarders and Everything in Between,” at the Prescott Adult Center.

Runnalls told the Courier that she has seen hoarding become a growing problem in homes across the country, especially among the elderly population. Experts say that the condition differs from collecting because collectors put their items on display. Hoarders allow their objects to pile up because they are unable to rid themselves of the emotional attachment to the mess.

Approximately 2 million Americans are diagnosed with an obsessive-compulsive disorder annually, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Rehabilitation facilities and therapy can help, but personal organizers may be able to reduce clutter as well.