I have searched and searched and searched for help and for answers and i have come up completely empty with no advice.
My Mother In Law lives in a hoarding house, the twist is....the junk is her sons. Her husband left over 20 years ago and this son (in his 40's now) began to bring his car parts and mechanical trash and anything else he could find in salvage or at a thrift store- into HER home and yard. The problem is, she lives on welfare and has no job and no income. We live in another province, but the son with the issue lives in the same town, so whenever she needs help, he comes to help her. He became the 'man of her house'. Because of this needy relationship, she refuses to ask him to get his junk out of her house as she can't lose him and the help he provides her. The entire basement is FULL to the roof of mechanical parts, tires, car hoods, batteries, gas cans, old furniture, tools, old appliances, etc, etc. There is a 'goat path' to her washer/dryer and another the opposite direction to her freezer. The upstairs has 2 dining sets, 3 sets of chairs, 5 couches...his old bedroom is full to the ceiling, can barely open the door. He 'brings' her things she could 'need' like a new (old and used) mattress then never takes the old ones out, the problem compounds and compounds. He also hoards animals into her home, gifting her pets she can't afford and she can't train or maintain.
The problem now is that her house is in serious disrepair. We suspect mold issues and poor air quality among ammonia and bacteria in the carpets from all the pets. These are NOT her things! She is sick, suffering memory loss and confusion, respiratory illness, weight loss, depression, agitation, anger etc. She will NOT stand up for herself. My husband took the kids over this weekend for only ONE night (and in fact was less that 24hours) to see Grandma since it's been a year. In that short time, he and both kids returned home with headaches, upset tummy, runny nose and coughs....as the day progresses after bathing and laundering all items, they are slowly clearing their symptoms. MIL lives in this condition daily! Anyone who enters that house ends up sick, so of course it's affecting her declining health as well. Her life depends on a clean up.
I understand of course that you aren't supposed to clean up a hoarders house without their consent, but this isn't HER hoard. We have confronted my Brother in Law and brought it up repeatedly over years and years that he NEEDS to clean up her house...he gets agitated, angry and stops talking to us.
What do we do? I feel like the only way to truly help her is to give him a deadline, get it out or we do. We may lose his relationship and he'll abandon the family, but the alternative feels like she'll lose her life. Am I correct to think that being 'pushy' with a cleanup in this situation is the only way? Advice GREATLY appreciated!