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Aging Committee Majority Staff report details the damage caused by hoarding disorder, which affects as many as 14 million Americans

In report, Casey examines the effects of the condition and issues recommendations for how federal government can help older adults and their communities

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, unveiled a new Aging Committee Majority Staff report shedding new light on the heartbreaking effect that hoarding disorder has on older Americans and their communities. The report, entitled “The Consequences of Clutter: How Hoarding Disorder Affects America’s Older Adults, First Responders, and Their Communities,” details the results of an Aging Committee investigation into hoarding disorder, a condition that leads people to accumulate more objects than their homes can accommodate and affects as many as 14 million people in the United States, disproportionately older adults. The investigation examined the factors that lead to hoarding disorder among older adults and the effects that it has on older adults and their families as well as local governments and first responders. In the report, Casey also issued a series of recommendations for how federal agencies can better respond to hoarding disorder and support affected older adults and their communities.

“Hoarding disorder is a heartbreaking condition that is posing challenges to older adults, their families, and their communities across the country,” Chairman Casey (D-PA). “My new report demonstrates the scope and severity of these challenges and offers a path forward for how we can help people, communities, and local governments contend with this condition. The federal government has an obligation to ensure that Americans can age with dignity, and this report makes clear that obligation must include doing more to address hoarding disorder.”

Hoarding disorder is a serious mental health condition that causes people to accumulate more objects than they need. The disorder impacts roughly two percent of the general population, while it affects about six percent of those over the age of 70. Chairman Casey’s report found that hoarding disorder has serious consequences for older adults and communities around the Nation. For older adults, those consequences include health and safety risks, social isolation, eviction, and homelessness. For communities, those consequences include public health concerns, increased risk of fire, and dangers to emergency responders.

Local communities throughout the United States are already working to address cases of hoarding disorder, including through the formation of hoarding task forces to coordinate response efforts. Unfortunately, the resources available for local responses often do not correspond with the level of challenge communities are facing. Chairman Casey’s report issued a series of recommendations for how the federal government can increase support to communities that are contending with hoarding disorder, including expanding access to treatment for the condition, providing local officials with more extensive guidance and training to support afflicted individuals, and expanding the scope of tracking and research about how hoarding disorder is affecting individuals and communities Nationwide.

Read Chairman Casey’s full report HERE.