Pathological hoarding: Excessive hoarding of material goods, a condition that affects up to 40% of people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Excessive hoarders, who fill their houses with accumulations of junk, usually newspapers, bags of old clothing and lists, tend to experience more anxiety, depression and social disability than OCD patients with other symptoms. Hoarders are also less likely to seek help.
Some seniors exhibit the symptoms above, stuff piled up everywhere in their homes. Recently in California an elderly husband and wife hoarder team died in a fire ignited by all the debris in their home, as have elderly hoarders in other states and cities.
In a fire, a hoarder’s home can become a death trap with inflammable debris everywhere. Hoarding may appear like a harmless obsession, and usually it is, but there are dangers:
4 Dangers Of Hoarding
1. Fires: Combustible materials laying around hoarder homes may ignite into infernos and make it difficult for hoarders to get out or for firefighters to get in.
2. Safety: Stuff in high piles could fall upon hoarders trapping, injuring, or possibly killing them. Falling from tripping on the stuff is another serious concern, especially for seniors.
3. Pests: Insects and rodent nest in the debris and cause a number of illnesses.
4. Damage: The risk of structural damage from the weight of the piles.