SGill2012 Asked December 2011

My aging aunt lives next door alone and is letting her house fall apart. What do I do?

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and she won't allow anyone to come in and clean up. She has covered her windows with black trash bags, and is allowing trash to pile up in her home and won't allow anyone to come in to fix hot water spicket, the stove. Numerous cats are deficating throughout the home. What do I do? I am her niece; not a daughter.

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graceterry Dec 2011
Okay, I'm the person who posted the response above, responding only to the first two sentences of your post. Having now noticed the rest of the post - call Adult Protective Services ASAP and also research Baker Act procedures. Whether you were her daughter, niece, or an unrelated neighbor - I would encourage you to take action ASAP. Your aunt obviously has seriously impaired judgment and probably a diagnosible/treatable mental illness. Hope this is helpful. God bless you for your concern for your aunt.
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graceterry Dec 2011
IF the cost of maintaining the home is an issue, contact your local Area Agency on Aging and find out if there are social service programs locally that help seniors maintain their residences. Also, contact nearby churches, particularly the larger ones. Sometimes churches have volunteers who will help with home maintenance projects. I am assuming you have spoken to your aunt about this and expressed your concern. If not, do so immediately (before taking any other steps.) I expect she will appreciate your concern. She is fortunate to have you as her niece!
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Eddie Dec 2011
Seems like the poor woman is so severely depressed she's given up on life altogether. Night is her cover; and is probably so ashamed of her condition she doesn't want anyone to see her like this. Which might explain the black trash bags.

When my wife passed (I was 28) all I did was drink my problems away, hoping to fade away in my sleep. I had that "gone with the wind" look; scarecrow-ish, skinny as a rail. Black paint quickly replaced the newspaper taped to the window panes. Voice-mail messages helped me realize I was committing slow suicide while everything else bloomed all around me. Took a while to get off the pity pot, because instead of picking myself up I kept digging a deeper hole.

I couldn't imagine life without her. ... She was my world.
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195Austin Dec 2011
That is a good answer -start with social services -some people call the police but social services will be better at taking care of the problem.
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NancyH Dec 2011
She is mentally ill I would say, and needs to be seen by someone. She sounds like one of those people we see on the news that has 40 cats, and lives in squaller. If this is totally out of character for her, then start making some phone calls and get her help. I'm afraid you're going to have to force the situation, since someone acting like this is NOT thinking clearly anymore. Sorry.
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