Area Agency On Aging To Continue Tackling Hoarding Disorder Among Seniors

Published: Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 1:01pm

Hoarding affects about 6% of the population, and it’s a disorder that often starts when a person is young. But many people who suffer from hoarding disorder often don’t seek out treatment until later in life.

For the last six years or so, the Area Agency on Aging has been holding therapy groups for people 60 and older who struggle with the condition. It’s called "Too Many Treasures." Heidi Donniaquo, director of Behavioral Health there, says people often seek help when they’re older because that’s when they might experience significant changes such as retirement.

"Depression and anxiety are the, I would say, Number 1 and Number 2 types of mental health issues that older adults face," she said. "You know, some of the underlying causes of depression and anxiety for an older adult might be grief and unresolved issues."

And the collection of stuff, she says, is a kind of coping skill, perhaps to fill a void. The 14-week program is moderated by a licensed professional counselor. 

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