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My mom is what I call an organized hoarder. She has lovely things but far too much. Two of the rooms of her home is dedicated to her dolls and related items. The rest of the home is packed with furniture and accessories. All of her drawers are filled with items she will never wear again and has tons of jewelry she’ll never wear. She has 40 wedding gowns in her basement that she insists on keeping.....and it goes on from there. She is in early stages of dementia, and while she has always been difficult she can now be irrational and mean. My dad is getting worn out and would like to move to an AL facility. She refuses. Plus my younger brother and his family are her favorites and she is not shy about letting my sister and I know. When approached about letting some things go....she says they are for my brother, but he doesn’t want it, so it stays. I’m at wits end. Any suggestions would be helpful.. thank you!

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I think you just have to let it go. Its her house, her stuff. At least its organized. I hope someone has POA on both parents. It will make things easier when decisions have to be made.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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NOT FAIR to dad--we so often coddle the person with "the issues" and the other poor soul gets the short shrift.

My mother is also a "tidy" hoarder. Drove my dad insane.

I finally went to WalMart and bought tons of cheap plastic bins. Sorted through her "treasures" and put 90% of that stuff in a storage place. (For her, it's in the crawlspace of the house they live in) Marked "IMPORTANT PAPERS" which actually means,"When mom dies you can burn all this stuff."

Once mother knew she wasn't losing her treasures, she was much more amenable to culling out a few things. It's really a losing battle, but make sure your dad has a room of his own, if possible that is HIS. If all it has is a chair and a TV and he's happy, then do that.

My mother got so angry with me trying to help her de-clutter, she literally went out into the garbage bins in the middle of the night with a flashlight and those "grabby sticks". To retrieve a rotted plastic frog that was 20 years old.

I gave up. She lives alone now and all do is make sure she has no tripping hazards and I take away the dead plants.

IF you do have POA--wow, I wish I had it over my mom--I would wield that mighty power to give your dad (and mom) a cleaner, tidier place to live in.

Just prepare yourself that whatever you do----she's going to be mad.
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Reply to Midkid58
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rovana Dec 23, 2018
I think you are talking about guardianship - POA does not give you that power.
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Can you move dad to AL and resign your POA for mom?

It sounds like your brother would be a much better choice to be mom's POA.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Is there any chance of flattering your mother with the importance of her giving things away? The jewellery to family members? The dolls to a doll museum? If she is Catholic, the wedding dresses to a convent for the 'brides of Christ'? You might need to organise the 'thank you's, but flattery does sometimes work.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Abby2018, hoarders find comfort being around all that stuff, it is their cocoon.

So many times I had read that one parent wants to move to senior living and the other parent refuses. My parents were that way. Dad was ready to sell the house, and move to a nice retirement place. Mom, never, no, nada.

My folks didn't hoard but they had a lot of knick knacks. I tried to get Mom to start giving away items, thus for the hospital rummage sale each year she would give me one item to take... at that speed it would take 200 years to downsize :P

Once my Mom passed, Dad was ready to move. He had to narrow down all of his books. A standing joke became that out of the 200 books that Dad had, he narrowed it down to 199 to keep :P It was just easier to move all the book cases and books as those books were his "cocoon".

Abby, being our age doesn't help, I know was so exhausted when it came time to clear our my parents house to put it on the market For Sale. Our parents don't see us at our age, they still view us as being 20's and 30's with a ton an energy. Well, that ship had sailed !!

At this point in time, let it be. You can't get your Mom to change. Would Dad go on his own to Independent Living? Could he budget that and also keep the house running? I think the only way to get Mom out of the house is to have it condemned somehow [or use that as a therapeutic fib].
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Reply to freqflyer
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Maybe if you took Dad to look at nice assisted living places to move into on his own, it might give her a look at the future, if she doesn’t get on board.
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Reply to rocketjcat
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Thanks for your response.....but my concern is mostly for my dad. He wants out of an overwhelming situation for him and my mom is a adamant about staying. He’s been trying for the past five years to let things go and she is unwilling to compromise. Now it’s at the point where we need to take over due to her health issues, and I’m not quite sure how. I do have DPOA.
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Reply to Abby2018
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You can always start clearing things away without telling her. Don't take her most precious items first but if she has 40 wedding gowns would she notice if 5 of them went missing? Same with the jewelry and anything else she's hoarded. This would be a very gradual process and progress would be slow but it might be better than the progress you're making now which is none.
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Reply to Eyerishlass
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Abby2018 Dec 23, 2018
Great suggestion that was tried. No, she would not miss half of the stuff she has buried in drawers, boxes, chests, wardrobes etc. Problem being she let’s no one out of her sight and is very clear where our boundaries lie. Limited to kitchen and large living area. If needed to use the bathroom she stands guard. She hasn’t left the house in six months, so we can’t even do a quick raid while she is gone. I would like to start this while there is still time to do it in a gradual manner. I am 68 and do not want to deal with all of this at once because it would literally take at least a year, if not longer, to prepare the home for sale should something happen and the proceeds needed for AL. I feel as though I am on borrowed time, but would feel guilty forcing her to do what needs to be done.
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Financially, is there any way of Dad living separately?  Then let mom do whatever. When mom is finally declared incompetent and got out of the house, you can simply hire a crew to come in and sweep everything out, unless this is a situation where very valuable items are mixed in with junk - like money stuffed in books.
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Reply to rovana
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Thank you to everyone for invaluable suggestions. Mom was hospitalized last week in severe pain from several compression fractures in her back from osteoporosis and complications from prednisone for her PMR. She was released three days later and did not qualify for skilled nursing since she was admitted under observation status. She is weak and has been vomiting and eating very little since her return home. I’m sure the Tramadol she takes for pain doesn’t help. In addition we began to eliminate some furniture and moving items that are tripping hazards much to her chagrin. It is now a question of necessity, but I think this has affected her will to live. She has always put her prized belongings before family and outside relationships. My dad is doing his best trying to keep her hydrated and continues with the BRAT diet. My sister and I have been maintaining daily operation of the home ( cleaning kitchen, bathrooms,laundry, etc.), but both of us have our own family commitments and jobs. She is worse now than when she went to the hospital. I will be in touch with her rheumatologist on Monday to address pain management and what to do/ expect moving forward. Curious to know if anyone else has been through something similar...... could this be the beginning of the end?
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