We just spent 3 years shoveling out my hoarding In-Law's house, and it is starting again, HELP!

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This is going to ramble, I am so at my wits end...sorry!
We just spent the first 3 years of our marriage shoveling out my In-Law's house to save it from County condemnation. They both suffer dementia but somehow still drive....and even though all $ has been spent on flea market and GoodWill items, over $2 million in flea marketing is a lot of stuff, they are out shopping and filling house up again instead of paying health insurance and buying food. Their rooms are not safe, period. They haven't paid taxes in a couple years and I would hate to see them lose insurance, house, everything because they have no ability to manage money. They haven't spoken civilly in 28 years, but remain in same house, each are afraid that "someone" will favor one over the other and give them more leeway. It is ridiculous. I was raised in a matter of fact environment so to watch this is awful. First, how do you talk to Dr about elderly being unsafe drivers? The MIL has had several "incidents" where she left the scene.

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Oh my gosh wuvsicecream, my husband and I found garbage bags full of juices and exploded milks and yogurts hidden in MIL's NH cabinets. She was taking food off of rolling rack from trays BEFORE they were delivered to patient rooms. I never thought to look for that...THANK YOU!! It just goes to show, you can take the hoarder away from the stuff, but you will always find "stuff" when you are a hoarder. We used her debit card and rented a storage facility to store all the stuff in her room to make is inspectable for APS and County charges that were filed. We will not be bringing it back to house as is, I will take her to storage facility and we will sit and sort, bringing back only items with a "immediate place and immediate purpose". Options being: KEEP, GIVE AWAY, DONATE, SELL, TOSS. She has a tiny bedroom and needed a 4x9 storage unit and filled it to the ceiling with "stuff" only, no furniture stored. That's a lot of stuff that the paramedics had to move before they could get to her, we had no idea it got that bad again, just a few months prior to 911 call we remodeled/painted/floored her room and at her word stayed out of her private space. We won't make that mistake twice! Thank you so much Suzy, you give so many of us a giggle and many good thoughts.
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Hi all, thank you again - we want to give you an update. We haven't moved in with MIL/FIL full-time yet b/c of my health but we live 5 houses away so my husband can go down there to work daily. Their house is re-cleaned and FIL's room is ready for re-inspection by APS but yesterday my husband and I noticed a new "huge blue hill" in the yard....it was all the stuff from his room that we sorted last month (with FIL making decisions) and loaded on the trailer to go to various locations : 100% ended up in the backyard under yet another tarp. FIL history is that when anyone tries to have a conversation with him that he interprets as being "against" him, he yells, threatens to leave temporarily. That doesn't work with me, I tell him that he can leave if he wants but he needs to realize that he is leaving us to make decisions and take action with his belongings for the period he leaves- and if he stays, we will have the conversation and resolve the issue- that gets his attention, my mom used to say "never make a statement you aren't willing to act on". I am telling you, a matter-of-fact tone is priceless tool, not a cure all though....we are finding items shoved all over the property with thrift store tags with current dates so we know he is shopping. We are working on the balance of tactfully but assuredly taking away finances/license from FIL.
As far as MIL-while she has had a clean bill of health since 12/8/2012 she is still in Rehab Nursing Home, did lose her license and we do hold her finances. When it gets close to discharge time she accuses a nurse or therapist of hurting/neglecting her on purpose to keep her there, I found packets of sugar and salt in her laundry that she uses to cause specific medical issues when she feels "caught in a lie". She told us over and over that she LOVES the new audience at NH, loves the sympathy, loves being waited on and really loves that it is free. We tell her that it isn't supposed to be long term, her allotted days are up and whatever it is....IT ISN'T FREE!! We are lost, we are shocked at how the professionals buy into her game, she has been addicted to narcotics many years and they feed them to her like candy, at her request.
Because she and her husband chose to live as divorced since 1981, but never followed through with the legality of signing divorce papers in 1989 both incomes are included when qualifying for assistance and neither person will qualify.
DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY NEW THOUGHTS TO SHARE WITH US ABOUT:
MIL has now been asking for divorce papers to sign but we have a 5 year lookback period so it won't help for Medicaid now, but it might make it easier for the future - what do y'all think?
MIL and 2 other children have accused FIL of "leaving her to die" the day of daughter's 911 call, yet MIL will be moving back in the house with FIL..what a contradiction! He is no Saint in this by any means and I won't state my thoughts about 10/13/2012 event, but how can my husband and I take care of 2 people living in the same house who think the other is trying to kill them? Oh, b/c of past spending, there is no way either of them can move to their own place and other adult children are not interested in helping. We are miffed and appreciate your thoughts.
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treatmenttime I appreciate the hug and Thank You. Hoarding Yikes my Mom is now a clepto and a hoarder in the NH. She thinks everything is hers! Like a 3 year old "THAT'S MINE" I had to clean out her house filled to the max although it was clean hoarding she did part with garbage. I learned not to ask I just took stuff and sneaked removal I had no choice but to have her with me. I should have made a reality show out of that!!!! I'd go out one door to find stuff back in the house. Eventually I figured out if I told her someone that was in great need of the items she would let me remove them. Or if I said it needed repair, or whatever excuse I could get her permission for removing items would work. Or just tried not to let her see. Distraction or whatever. OH yes I'd tell her I was storing stuff in the attic.
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Isn'tEasy If I may make a suggestion sometimes you need to do things for their own good, "Need To Know Basis" it sounds deceitful and dishonest but because your intentions are in the benefit of the one your caring for it's actually an essential duty on your part. So if you do have a D.P.O.A. or a P.O.A. you can go to the bank close out the existing accounts and reopen new ones. Before you do this make sure if he gets direct deposits you can redirect the funds without a problem from the businesses he gets income from. He will still be the bank account holder in name and you sign as P.O.A. no debit cards, just checks. If you don't tell him....and just do it, it's not illegal because as long as your acting in his best interest your actually doing the very thing a PO.A. is allowing you to do. Your protecting him. I suggest using a different bank than the one he goes to now. So he will have no way to access his funds, if the funds are in a bank he does not know of. Keep clear records and copy of all withdrawals and deposits if you are ever questioned about the transactions by anyone you have clear proof of your actions.
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by "they" I mean the paramedics came to get her out of house to ER, and because it was a 911 call the police and fire department came along also.
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Thanks all of you, the reason we got involved was due to County threat to condemn property which is why we were shocked when we saw how quickly it happened again. So since I wrote this something miraculous happened, something my husband and I had warned of over and over. My MIL became ill and she almost died of C-DIFF and sepsis because FIL didn't want authorities to see her bedroom or his, which is on same level. Well, they came, they saw, they took notes and they made reports to Adult Protective Services. Thank you Lord! It took us out of the equation of "telling on Mommy and Daddy and their secrets". She is in ICU and all skin and bronchial cultures revealed unhealthy environment. My husband and I have required DPOA from each of them before we get involved again. I will keep you posted as the psychological separation from his stuff has already been horrible for FIL, and he can be aggressive. We don't threaten them, but we have made it clear that the refusal to clean up when faced with losing the house speaks volumes about their mental well being. We will clean MIL room while she is in hospital and we are required to dispose of her belongings that were not in dresser drawers or closet because of severity of bacterial infection and the contagion. The fact that I am having chemo drug therapy right now has shorten my husband's fuse with them and their behavior and that is a great thing as that fuse was ions long! Thanks again everyone, each of you had a part in this solution and I am forever thankful!
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treatmenttime - I agree with everyone's advice, but I know from personal experience that it's all easier said than done. It took an ultimatum for my father to hand over the credit cards and responsibility for monthly bills. The whole family stood together in telling him that he had no choice. However, he still regularly overdraws his bank account with his ATM card and spends through his money before the end of each month. Banks, credit card companies, and the 'system' in general is not on your side. His bank allows him to make a withdrawal when there's no money in the account (and then charge huge penalties). I've shouted myself hoarse with everyone who will listen at the bank to put a stop to it - no luck. One honest employee finally admitted to me "it's legal for us to do this and we make money doing it, so we do it."
It will take extreme measures to improve the situation and the sooner you resort to them the sooner the situation will become more bearable.
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My father still drives at 97. He had one incident in a parking lot at a shopping center with a woman in one of those motorized store carts. She claimed he was backing out and hit her. She wasn't hurt and there was no damage to his car.
The police were called and followed him home. The officer took his license on the spot. A few weeks went by and he received a letter and a form to be filled out by his doctor. His doctor filled out the form saying he was capable of driving. I honestly couldn't believe it. Then he received a letter from the motor vehicle department with his license enclosed. In my opinion he should have had to have an eye exam and driving test. I feel the system failed EXcluding the police officer who took his license. His eye sight is not good and he uses a cane and at times stumbles around. I noticed he doesn't drive as often and has told me he will know when he shouldn't drive any longer. This brings it to the next point of hoarding. We live in a nice home in a nice area. He will bring home 'stuff' that people put out on the curb to be thrown away. We now have a pink bedroom apolstered chair out on the deck that he brought home in the trunk of his car. Every time it rains he puts it in the breezeway. He thinks it's great. I told him it could have bedbugs in it or something else. Now he realizes it's got to go. Since I have no support from family it will be up to me to get rid of it. He also goes to the basement and brings up old stuff and places them around the house. I could go on and on about this kind of thing. Like everyone, some days it's easier to cope with this then others. Just venting! :-)
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Ditto- you need to be in total charge of their finances. setting that up is the easy part; you'll have to deal with their adjust to an allowance.
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DPOA stands for Durable Power of Attorney. That is what I am for my parents. It means I have control over their medical needs as well as financial needs. I sold their house, car and home goods. I took their investments and put them into one investment to make the draw each month for the ALF. I had them both sign off on this before my mom got too sick too understand why I was doing this. It has been a Godsend. My dad was getting swindled by insurance creeps who took tens of thousands of dollars from them. They probably would have lost more but I was able to step in with the help of a good friend and financial adviser. It is the best way to go if you need to be in charge of all aspects of your parents lives. I ave access to their medical records and no one can lay a hand on them without my permission. You can find out how to get the wording right online.
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