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I have an elderly friend in her 80's who recently survived brain surgery. She does not have dementia but has limited vision. She is somewhat frail, and doesn't clean her apartment which is quite filthy with roaches. We are thinking of getting her a social worker to help her find a caretaker to help clean. But some of us are worried that the social worker may notify the building staff which would result in her getting evicted. Is this a legitimate concern?

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Where do you propose to find a social worker?

I think in your shoes, I would call the local Area Agency on Aging and find out what they recommend in situations such as this.

I think she is far more likely to be evicted by management if she DOESN'T have the protection of an agency/care worker who can advocate for her.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Isthisrealyreal Nov 8, 2019
So true.
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Diana, roaches will travel to other apartments in the building, and once the tenants complain about the pest, management will bring in a pest control company. Even a spotless white-glove tested apartment can have insects.

As for being evicted, one would need to read your friends Lease. As for a place being filthy or not, it all depends on the person's personal reference. If you feel the place is in need of a good scrubbing, can your friend afford to have a cleaning crew come over and give the apartment a good once over? If she cannot afford that, maybe a group of her friends could chip in and gift her a professional cleaning. Hopefully she will accept it.

I tried to gift my Mom [in her 90's] a house cleaning and my Mom was insulted. Oops, that wasn't my intentions. The dust bunnies were multiplying but Mom couldn't see it with her limited vision, and my Dad never noticed it.... [sigh].
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Reply to freqflyer
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Isthisrealyreal Nov 8, 2019
I lived that white glove and insects.

It was managed by monthly treatment from a professional exterminator.
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I used to manage apartments--way back in the day when DH was in college and I was home with baby #1.

Roaches in an apartment? Those things don't have any sense of boundaries, once they have gotten in a bldg. there are there for good. One nice apt I managed became infested 40 years ago and is STILL on a monthly 'spray' regimen, 40 YEARS people.

Yes, she can be evicted, but the 'hangers on' will always be there. There's almost no way to control roaches in a large bldg.

A SW? I think a family member is going to have to step up if they want this lady to retain her apartment. A SW is far more likely to call in the apt manager and who knows what the dynamic is going to be like?

She needs a lot of help. Does she have family who can/will step up? And I am sorry to have to say this, but you HAVE to report the roaches. You can't prove they came from her apt but you need to have them dealt with.

And yes, you do have a real concern for her to be evicted. One has to hope they will give her some time to get her act together--sounds like she really needs to be in a better living arrangement, but that's probably not your call.
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Reply to Midkid58
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Diana5230 Nov 11, 2019
Thanks for your helpful answer. Thanks to everyone who replied. This woman is actually the friend of a friend. We all decided that since she doesn't want anyone she doesn't know in her apartment, her friends would have to volunteer to do minimal cleaning for her. At least take out the garbage and don't leave food lying around. She seems to be able to live independently (for now). She always lived in a messy apartment--even when she was younger. I think she has a hoarding problem.
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I would also be concerned about her health and safety in those conditions. I think I might also be concerned over whether my assessment of why the place is dirty is correct. Is her vision loss recent? Did she clean up prior to the surgery? I find it difficult to believe that they discharged a senior after brain surgery who has limited vision, with no home care plan......so, I'd wonder if there might be other issues going on. If she knows she is in this situation, why does she not seek help? You're kind to offer help. I hope she will accept it. It seems like I read about there being special services for those who are visually impaired.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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The 80 yr old woman obviously is unable to care for her self. Low vision and dirty house with roaches is a red flag. She might need more care than she is able to provide for herself. I reported an elder who lives alone and w/c bound, with a rabbit who has free roaming privileges in her house. Her husband and son died, they were members of our church. I made something and dropped it off, I could not believe the place, feces all over the place, it stunk, walls open with electrical wires exposed. I immediately reported this to the Board of Health, RN and Senior Center. They told me they were aware, and are working on the situation. Fast forward: Rabbit is gone, but house still filthy, and has not been evicted or placed in facility. I am not 100% sure an elder can be evicted for a dirty apartment with roaches. I think tenants do have responsibility to keep their place clean,otherwise it can become a health hazard for them, and other tenants. Elder services should be involved ASAP.
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Reply to earlybird
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I lived in an apartment and I am OCD about cleaning, I had to call the management every month to get the building treated. I don't know what the reason for the tiny critters was, but none of my neighbors ever moved in the 5 years I lived there.

I am sure that they were happy to see me go because I was always making them deal with the problem.

Can you set some roach motels or whatever is the best to kill roaches in her apartment for her?

I think that Barb is right about her having an advocate to protect her. So contacting your area on aging should start the process. She may need facility care if she can't take care of herself safely, so be prepared for things to change for her.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Dirty? Roaches is not dirty, it so far beyond. I don't think this is something to keep secret because it is unsafe for her and others in her building as well.
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Reply to againx100
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Her landlord can order her to clean up the unit and get rid of the roaches and if she doesn't comply then the landlord has the right to start eviction proceedings. Leases are written to protect the property and the owner of the property. Eviction clauses are written very broadly for a reason. A landlord can start eviction proceedings for most any reason that he or she feels violates the lease agreement.

Nothing can stop her landlord from filing for eviction. She will have to appear in court and a judge will determine whether or not she is in violation of the agreement and whether or not the landlord gave her reasonable notice to fix the filth. To head all of that off at the pass, offer to help her hire a "Move In/Move Out" cleaning from a reputable cleaning service and a visit from an exterminator. If she's offended, oh well, it's better than being evicted. Time for a dose of truth that only a good friend can deliver.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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Go over and Clean the house the best you can. Maybe set Roach Traps, Sprays, This will help. No problem Now, angel.xx
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Reply to Parise
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Roaches are usually not limited to 1 apartment but hers may have the most "food" so are abundant there. Most apartment complexes prefer to keep their places rented. If you are addressing the cleaning and they address the roaches, she shouldn't have a problem staying. it seems easier to have a cleaning service come over at least weekly rather than go through a social worker - whom you will have to pay as well.
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Reply to Taarna
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DizzyBritches Nov 12, 2019
The roaches in my old building hung out in the laundry room - I swear they ate laundry soap. But it was always nice and warm there.
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