Hoarding Disorder is a mental and physical health issue. Unlike simple clutter, which is generally confined to particular storage locations like garages and basements, hoarding involves collections of unrelated junk that take over normal living spaces, making normal living very challenging. Even moving through the home is difficult due to blocked exits and narrow pathways through the piles of possessions. Even beds and kitchen appliances can be covered up, and what great hiding places for insects and vermin!


Hoarders rarely use what they have stored up, although they become attached to their possessions and experience great anxiety at the thought of losing them. These collections may have little or no practical value, and there seems to be no logic to their accumulation. As you can imagine, this disorder causes great anxiety for the hoarder’s loved ones.



NOTE: If there is a hoarder in your family, or you are a social worker or medical professional who deals with persons with Hoarding Disorder, you may be interested in Optimize Aging, LLC’s, “Understanding Hoarding Behaviors” webinar. This September 18, 2019, eye-opening presentation will delve into the complexity of hoarding and propose a collaborative approach to dealing with it.


Hoarding Disorder is more common among the aged, although not confined to that age group. Unlike collectors, who seek out specific items, then carefully categorize and display them, hoarders generally just let stuff pile up and lie about, to the point of impeding access to normal spaces and inviting unhealthy conditions. A particularly extreme form of this disorder involves hoarding dozens, or even hundreds, of animals that are neglected and left in unsanitary conditions.


There are many causes and symptoms of Hoarding Disorder, and impaired memory can be just one of the risk factors. In any case, a doctor or mental health professional should be consulted as soon as possible. In severe cases, an appropriate authority — such as police, public health, animal or child welfare services — should be consulted. The safety of your loved one is the most important consideration.


Having safe, secure and comfortable outdoor spaces is an important element in memory care communities, and Bristol House recognizes that. To learn more about our services, and to schedule a lunch and tour, call 215-491-1501.

Conveniently located on Bristol Road, just off of 611 south of Doylestown, Bristol House Memory Care provides resident-centered care for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Amenities, facilities, scheduling, programming, and specialized staff training, are all designed to address the unique needs of those with cognitive impairment. Our community offers private rooms and is based on the “small house” model to replicate home-like living around a kitchen, dining area, and living room.

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