WASHINGTON, D.C. (Erie News Now) -- Today, Senator Bob Casey (D- PA) unveiled a new report detailing the damage caused by hoarding disorder and its harmful impact on senior citizens, first responders and local communities. 

Casey, who chairs the Senate Special Committee on Aging, says the report demonstrates the scope and severity of hoarding while also providing a plan to help people, communities, and local governments contend with this condition. 

Hoarding disorder is a condition that leads people to accumulate more objects than their homes can accommodate. People affected by the condition tend to have difficulty throwing away or parting with possessions and often experience distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Hoarding can create extremely cramped, and sometimes dangerous, living conditions with only narrow pathways winding through stacks of clutter. 

The disorder affects as many as 14 million people in the United States, many are older adults. 

“Hoarding disorder is a heartbreaking condition that is posing challenges to older adults, their families, and their communities across the country,” said Casey. “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.” 

The report suggests the federal government should provide more access to treatment, more guidance and training for local officials and better tracking and research about how the disorder affects communities across the country.