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I want nothing more than to move my parents into a safer place to live. They are fine to live alone (with each other) for the time being but they need to live on one level and/or make other improvements such as moving the washer/dryer upstairs from the basement and install a safer tub, but even though my mom has already fallen more than once my dad refuses to see that there is a problem and he refuses to spend any money to make improvements and he, of course, refuses to move. I just don't get it. The house is small and filthy - they stopped cleaning long ago and started hoarding (not TV-show-bad but not pretty, either). Even though (or because?) it is the house I grew up in, I absolutely despise even setting foot in that house, and when I do they get angry with me for trying to clean the whole time I'm there - I mean, really angry - yelling and screaming angry. But I just can't look at that filth and clutter and not try to clean it, but it's so nasty you can never tell I did anything much at all, and their anger about it makes me give up and leave before there's time to make a dent, anyway. And there's no clean place to sit down and relax and just "visit" with them, anyway, so what else would I do while I'm there?? Also, they always still offer to feed me when I go in... It has been at least four years since I've had a meal (or even a snack) in their house because it is so dirty. They know why I won't eat, yet they keep offering like I'm suddenly going to just change my mind and decide I don't mind eating food from a filthy kitchen at a filthy table. I pretty much just don't go there at all anymore - and they know why - but they keep asking... complaining... "you never come over anymore". I HATE IT THERE. Dad has some sort of dementia - can't find his words, forgets everything, loses everything, and NEEDS me all the time - constantly calling me asking me to do crazy things and just talking irrationally about random subjects and it drives me crazy. He doesn't do this to any of my siblings - just me - and I have a very stressful job that takes a lot of my time and he doesn't seem to understand that at all - calls me at all times of the day and evening, and makes doctor appts without checking with me first even though he knows I have to take him. He still drives a little and so does Mom but neither of them understand what the doctors are saying half the time and/or they simply don't remember. Mom's memory is going, too -- she's better off than Dad in that department but physically she is much worse off. ANYWAY... my whole point was meant to be that I am desperate for them to move someplace safer and cleaner and it just kills me that Dad refuses. Mom would be all for it, but Dad's "in charge". I've even offered to help them get a little place much closer to where I live so I could see them more often and where none of us would have to worry about Mom falling down the stairs, but Dad shuts me down every time I mention it. Does anyone have any advice? Sorry for such a long... rant, more so than a question. I am just so frustrated and lost. My siblings DO NOT care. Whenever my parents need or want anything it's me they call... it's me that Dad screams at because he's mad at the whole world.

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Boy! Do I GET you. My mother is/was a hoarder. Let me tell you that inevitably everything is going to fall in your lap anyway, so you might as well do what you have to do now. I lived out of state and would visit every vacation and holiday break. I'd spend the entire time cleaning, spraying roaches, etc. She protested everything I did, but I just kept cleaning and secretly tossing crap. She'd threaten to call the police and I'd tell her go ahead. But she never did and I knew she would not. When I'd leave, my mother would thank me. Surprise! I'd cry on my way home because I wanted so much better for her. But she refused to leave her home and for the most part was functional. What I'd also confessed to myself, and I'm sure you have, too, is wondering what other people think: "How could a child let her parents live that way?" I tell you to forget about them. They've got family secrets, too. With the dementia your parents are going to become fully dependent on you sooner or later, so you might as well edge your way into taking control now and do what you KNOW is best. I prayed a lot asking God to help me do the right thing. If you need them to sign papers like power of attorney, tell them it's something else, just get it done by any means necessary. I am telling you from experience YOU will be left with the mental, physical and financial burdens. I had to get over being the obedient child and become the parent. You are entitled to your life, too. If you don't make the mental transition to becoming the parent/caregiver ASAP, later you will resent that your parents' folly has overtaken your life and you have none.
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Call your local Human or Social Services and ask to speak to their Adult Protection Unit caseworker. They will help you get a handle on this. The sooner you contact them the better off you will all be! Good Luck!
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I moved in with my folks. Old farmhouse lots of stuff... too big for them to care for. I had to empty out a room to live in. I did not let them see me do that, I'm sure they would have had a fit. Rented a dumpster and told them we would get rid of junk. house needed a good cleaning as well. Convinced them attic and cellar needed cleaning at least. I too would try to sneak garbage out the door. It surprised me how difficult this was for my dad. He would go through everything and ask why I was getting rid of this or that: "Seriously dad... it's a broken lamp." "I can fix it," he would answer. We ended up arguing over garbage that he had not looked at in the past 15 years! One day he yelled at me, "I'm not dead yet!" That's when I realized that things were not the issue. He was trying to hang on to his abilities, his, hobbies, his independence; much of which he had already lost. So... I had a small storage unit that I moved my own belongings into when I came here. I got some bins and said, "we will pack what your not using in these, and put them in storage. If you need anything here, we can go get them anytime (yes, even the broken lamp). After starting this way, my folks became more open to moving the stuff out. It made them feel in control to sit and sort their own belongings. When they had a hard time deciding on something, it was designated to storage. This spring some of that stuff is leaving forever, woohoo! Since they have not missed it in the past 8 months, they have agreed to donate some, and trash others. I have learned to develop even more patience, and to leave the dignity of choice in their hands. You are very loving to try to help your folks. My siblings are also not involved, take it as a compliment that they call you. It's because they trust you, and are reaching out to you for help... even if it doesn't sound that way. As they have become more dependent on me they have given me more freedom to make choices for them. It's a long road your on, and won't be fixed overnight. Make sure you get support from agencies, healthcare workers (These have encouraged my folks to listen to me), friends and family. I had a family day where my brother, his wife and kids, came to help me remove a really gross, cat stained carpet, from a a room in the house. They haven't been back since, but hey... spring is coming!
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In order to protect them and yourself please get a Power of Attorney, covering both financial and medical issues for both of your parents if possible. I can relate and understand your frustration with the situation, I have had my fill of clutter and filth. Until something forces your dad's hand, you may just have to protect yourself by enforcing your boundaries.
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My parent's also live in filth and allowed my 53yo sister to move in. she is a hoarder of the first degree. I had to seek professional help to deal with the guilt of letting go of my care for them since they disreguard my advice and I refuse to visit while my filthy ,abusive, irresponsible sister lives there. BUT these are the choices they have made. I am not responsible for them, nor am I going to waste my life trying to get them to change. Take care of yourself. Let everyone else live with the consequences of their actions, Find your own peace.
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Dear didnotsignup ~ I, too, have a parent who is an AWFUL hoarder. Not kidding, she makes some of the people on the TV show look like amateurs. When her husband was alive, they were both in filth, but since his passing, it's just her and it is even worse. I have talked to case managers, adult protective services, county health department (and I work for Aging & Disability Services) and I have gotten the same answer: if she is of sound mind and can make her own decisions, then it is her decision to live in the filth and mess. It isn't easy, but knowing she has a bad heart and won't live as long as I would like her to, I have had to make peace with the mess and just hold my nose and go on in. I sit on a little wooden stool when I visit because I won't touch her nasty couch. I never eat anything there even though she offers every time (I won't even drink a soda because something else nasty may have been on it). I pick up the dog poo off the living room floor and take out her trash; keeping things down to at least having the rotting/stinkies out in the refuse can. The point is, there really may be nothing you can do. You have to decide what is more worth to you; your stomach/senses/sanity/etc or trying to enjoy them while you have them (by them I mean your parents, lol). My mother would get so angry when I would barge in on her and throw out her things. I thought I was doing the right thing, but it was hell for her. It caused her more grief than it was causing me and why should I keep trying to fix it? Cleaning up after a hoarder only works if they have decided they want to live differently. Otherwise, it is like digging holes at the shoreline at low tide. I know it is hard, believe me I do. For me, as I said, I would just rather enjoy the time I have with her and do whatever makes her happy while I have her. Believe it or not, she now will actually let me throw things out now, probably because I stopped trying to force her. I wish you the best, take care.
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You cannot tell Adult Protective Services that you will not be involved. I have gone through this and each adult child no matter where they live are equally responsible for the health and well being of their parents (according to Indiana law) and if we do not heed the recommendations of the department we can each be charged equally with neglect and or abuse of an elder. The last thing you want to do is contact Adult Protective Services. Make calls, talk to other people that you know that are goind through the same situation. We learned from our mistakes. We got our Mother 24/7 care and believe me we went through many caregivers and I am not pleased with one of them at the moment. It is like the saying it takes a village to raise a child, it is the same with an elder parent. Remember one thing, you must take care of yourself and your family first. It is terrible to say but our parents have lived their lives and with modern medicine they are living a lot longer and you cannot put your live on hold indefinetly, it will eventually take a toll on your physically and mentally. I wish you the very best and good luck.
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Can you use the yellow school bus for storage, and then when the time comes, trash bus,contents and all? ((((((hugs)))))
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A friend at work had this same situation. Her mother was in the early stages of Alzheimers, and her Dad had emphysema and was on oxygen. The house was a wreck, her mother wouldn't bathe or use the toilet, no one cooked or cleaned. And dear ole Dad went everyday and bought take out. My friend, who lived five hours away, finally had enough. She made an appointment with her Mothers doctor and she explained to them on the phone the situation. Apparently, you have to have the doctor on-board and he has to diagnose the Alzheimers. It was a stressful day trying to get her Mother to even go to the doctor. My friend told her mother it was a routine yearly check-up. Anyway, the doctor did diagnose her mother with Alzheimers, and that is what laid the ground work to get these folks into assisted living.

Her Dad knew her mother was losing it, but he didn't care. He wanted to stay where he was and very difiant about it. Well, my friend took time off from work to make appointments and get social services involved. After six months of working on this, finally, these two were put in an assisted living home. The mother was eventually transferred to a facilty for Alzheimers patients. And Dad is happy as a clam. He found buddies to play cards with and he has no more worries about cleaning and cooking. It was a win-win for everyone. My friend had to sell their home and belongings to help with costs, but in the end, she was satisfied that her parents are in a much better situation. She doesn't have to worry anymore. It took a lot of courage and love to do this for her folks. But she can sleep at night and she can finally enjoy her family.

God Bless and good luck to you in this journey.
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I agree with contacting Office Of Aging in their county, they can direct you on who to call for help. I have used them in the past and they have been of great help for me. My mother was a hoarder and to this day still is. I would spend my entire weekend cleaning her place and for what to turn around within 2 weeks be back to the way it was. I finally gave up, it was mentally exhausting and she wasn't going to change this late in life. Now she does have a caregiver that comes over during the day and does keep her place neat & clean. Thank God for these caregivers, they will have a place in heaven. Please get help, if not your siblings then unfortunately, you will need to take care of this on your own. There will be hurt feelings with your parents, but you have to decide what is best for their safety. Take care. :)
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