Understanding hoarding in older adults

J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv. 2012 Mar;50(3):17-21. doi: 10.3928/02793695-20120605-05. Epub 2012 Feb 29.


Compulsive hoarding is a debilitating disorder that is only recently becoming understood. Hoarding has been studied primarily in the general population, with only a few researchers focusing on hoarding in older adults, even though the prevalence and severity of the disorder appears to increase with aging. Hoarding seriously affects the quality of one's life and can also cause safety and health problems for individuals and the community. Established treatments for hoarding are relatively new and often need to be extended over a long period of time. Nurses can play an important role in helping identify the problem of hoarding in older adults, determining the types of safety and health hazards that need to be addressed, and contacting the appropriate community agencies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Comorbidity
  • Decision Making
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Hoarding Disorder / diagnosis
  • Hoarding Disorder / nursing*
  • Hoarding Disorder / psychology*
  • Hoarding Disorder / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Safety
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Self-Help Groups
  • Treatment Failure


  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors