My little mother, the hoarder, has finally gone just too far and YB and I are going to clean her hoard.
(And we are going to catch H3LL for it, too, but I am so glad we're doing this that I can't stand it.)
COVID has had her completely locked down for over a year...she literally has been nowhere, but the inside of the car for that length of time. She has aged quite significantly and now that the Sr Center will be reopening in about a month--she doesn't have the energy to go. She can barely walk and recently has become bowel incontinent. That's something that's hard to hide.
Being home all the time just spurred her catalog shopping and she has bought thousands of dollars worth of clothes, home decor items, puzzles and books. Her hoard has probably doubled in a year.
I was taking out the dead plants the other day and fell backwards over a pile of books-caught my heel on something and went down hard. I was so mad at her, b/c while I was banged up, a fall like that would break her hip. She has the typical little 'pathway' that hoarders make. And she walks so very slowly, that she says SHE never falls.
Anyhow--while retrieving this dead plant, I saw behind the end table and she has piles and piles of old catalogs and TV Guides. All completely covered in thick dust.
I went in the kitchen top get an ice pack and mother yells out to me to NOT USE THE TOASTER. I asked why and she said 'it's full of moths'. By darn, it was. Thousands of them, cooked to a crisp. Then I realized she had gone through her cupboards and has put everything in ziploc bags, b/c of the moth infestation.
I kind of blew up and asked her what was going on--she said she had it under control--no, not by a long shot. Evidently, nobody cleaned her birdcage and the moths get in the food and then take over the apartment. She has moth traps all over her place and they are all packed with bugs. The wall behind the birdcage is covered in poop and feathers and more moths that got stuck in the poop. Then birds are crawling with mites. (I'm gagging now...)
OK, it has been a couple of years since I even attempted to clean and it's obvious. I left her house and contacted YB (she lives with him) and said "WE need to clean. If this doesn't get cleaned, I am just going to call APS and let them see the conditions she's in. I don't want you in trouble, but I need you to take a closer look. You are still sick from COVID (he is a long hauler and will never be much better. Lots of health issues, primarily respiratory and the dust/moths/birds/feathers are making him cough all the time.)
He actually agreed, instead of blowing up, which is what he usually does. He started to cry and said "I just can't do this anymore. She's making me crazy".
Sad as I was to see him humbled and broken, it's opened the door to getting this place cleaned out. We are going to send mother with our sis up to visit her newest GGbaby, and that drive, combined with a stop for lunch will buy us 4 hours. We can do a LOT in that time.
It's going to be awful--but I finally have YB on board and accepting help to clean. Mother really needs 2 times a week bathing help and so I will broach that with mother---in time. YB is finally amenable to 'some' outside help.
I'd always maintained that if she CHOSE to live in a hoard, I wouldn't do anything to clean against her wishes with the caveat that if she EVER had vermin, all bets were off. Welll.......
I don't expect a total cleanout, but if we can simply buy her more space....so she's not creeping around her apartment in narrow passageways--that and get rid of the moths! I will consider it a success. I KNOW she will be so mad, but I know she's crossed the line into filth from just being untidy.
Sorry for the long post. I am a little anxious about stepping on her toes, but I also know that my daddy wouldn't have wanted her to live like this.
Wish me luck!