Health and Social Work
Although hoarding has been studied in adults, little is known about problems of hoarding by elderly people. This study used a structured telephone interview with elder services providers to investigate hoarding behaviors in relation to functional impairment, cognitive deficits, and physical and psychological conditions in 62 elderly clients. Most elderly hoarders were female, unmarried, and lived alone. Extensive clutter was associated with significant impairment, interfering with basic hygiene, and posing a serious physical threat for many elderly clients. Clients were rarely insightful about their collecting and often resisted change, rendering interventions generally ineffective. Never-married status was associated with more severe hoarding and greater impairment and possibly with worse outcomes of intervention efforts. Health and mental health implications of hoarding by elderly people and implications for treatment are discussed.
Clutter, Collecting, Elderly people, Hoarding, Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Steketee, Gail; Frost, Randy O.; and Kim, Hyo-Jin, "Hoarding By Elderly People" (2001). Psychology: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.