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Brother is mentally retarded, very strong, lives at home and parents won't let him live elsewhere. I am also living at home to try to help parents without causing brother to go to jail as he threatens suicide if jailed. I recently confronted him on another issue and he was taken to a local hospital for a psych evaluation, but he was diagnosed with "stress disorder", not the OCD that keeps him in the bathroom washing constantly. Parents are afraid of him and mother won't call police ever or back up my stepfather or my claims. Any ideas?

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Sandwich is right. However, barring the invention of a time machine, we can't go back and make the mother get services for her son when he was a child.

Having worked with autistic teenage boys when I was in my early twenties, I know what it's like when a six-foot-two, 190-pound young man loses it and starts throwing punches. They're not loose apes, but they're scary when they're out of control. Dignity and consideration are great, but when chairs start flying and threats are being screamed, you call the cops, pronto.

This family needs help now, before someone is seriously injured.
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say what you want. I did not disagree bout there is sadness regarding brother. however, there are plenty of dead people who might not agree with this. read the newspapers: hardly a day goes by without some piece on folk murdered by these folk. the real problem is there is nowhere to put them. we have shut down the mental hospitals because, frankly, it is cheaper to let these situations stand. so what if some people die, the state has saved god knows how many dollars if they had been in a mental ward. and during the trial they are not guilty by reason of insanity, so they end up right back where they started from. yes, it'ssad.
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I see the Brother as another victim of this situation. And a helpless one at that, not having the ability to get himself help and out of it, or to perceive the need to break away from mom's control. Regardless of his age or size at this point. He is still a human being who deserves dignity, consideration, and kindness to make things better. If he had been able to receive proper services from childhood on, he might not need a "place to be put". He's not boat to be stored over the winter, he's a person. It's not 1950 anymore where anyone with a disability or special need is warehoused away from the world so we don't have to see or deal with them. It has nothing to do with the government, but more to do with the mother's decisions his whole life long that have gotten the family to this point of crisis.

The lack of empathy for all members of this family is really unfortunate. The Brother is not some loose ape who needs to go back to the zoo. He needs as much help as anybody else.
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I agree with everything, save for referring to dear old brudder as 'poor guy'. Yes, in certain aspects, it is pitiful. However, from reading the original posts, I think this male was the golden you know what and they did nothing to curb his violent tendencies. A) they do not get this way in one generation and B) they do not get this way either over night.
Sadly, due to government 'screw the public' there are very few places to put these people.
I say 'move out' simply as a matter of self preservation. Brother will eventually go total schizoid and progress to murder.
you do need outside help.

two cents ¢¢
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MOVE OUT. Move out move out move out. This is key to getting the rest of them setup to receive/be made to take help. You need to *not* be in residence there as a live-in caretaker. I know, it will be hard but necessary.

The police will not let your brother commit suicide. He makes this threat to avoid a scary unknown change. Don't worry about this when you ultimately will have to call the police in for help.

So here's some info gaps -

Who doctors your mom, brother, and stepdad? They have a responsibility here to help you out, to connect to services and assistance. If there is no doctor, that is a HUGE PROBLEM. GET DOCTORS.

How has there not been a caseworker involved yet? My God, you have TWO maybe THREE vulnerable adults under one roof! If APS has their finger up their exhaust pipe, demand to speak to the next supervisor up the chain until you get somebody out there NOW. This home enviornment is wholly inadequate and dangerous to all.This is what they need to document. They need to help you out by providing the paper trail on conditions, mental stability, and recommendations for placements.

You are going to need this paper trail at court to get guardianship & powers of attorney of everyone. Or to get the state to step in and provide a guardian and conservator.

StepDad must go to a facility intended to care for Parkinsons patients ASAP. Immediately. Yesterday. To leave him in place will ensure his quick demise. The situation is DANGEROUS to him and no judge in their right mind would make him stay.

Brother needs to be placed somewhere appropriate for his disabilities. He is a danger to others and himself and is being woefully underserved in this setup. From what has been described, he has not ever gotten therapy, or been in programming geared to develop skills in people just like him. Poor guy.

Mom-wow - she needs a psych eval PRONTO.

You need to step back, call in authorities, even if you have to be a total butt to get attention on this. Get the neighbors to call APS too. Create a paper trail thick as War & Peace with them so it's inarguable that you have tried everything.

At the same time, connect with your local advocacy groups - they will probably help out more and faster than APS. Here, it's called ARC (formerly Association of Retarded Citizens). There are lots of others, like Hammer.org, arcgreatertwincities.org, etc. who do advocacy, case management, support planning. These places are INVALUABLE. Use them.

This is going to take some persistence on your part, but step one is to MOVE OUT.
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Sounds like they are not happy with you there, and your not happy being there, the question is, are you able to leave or a place to leave to? Also I agree with what someone else wrote to you about your Mom is hurting your brother's chances of getting the benefits of learning to manage himself when she no longer is able to. That is something to really consider and bring up when talking with APS. If nothing else I do hope you take care of yourself and there truly is power in prayer... best wishes and hope for you and yours...
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Maybe leaving will bring the situation to a head (sorry, unintentional pun). After a couple "accidents" and cleanups, it may seem like more of a problem to your mom. Ask APS what would happen if you leave them and don't come help with cleanup.
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I visited with APS and they said that as long as parents deny that brother is preventing dad's access to bathroom there is nothing they can do. Unfortunately it seems it will take a crisis for any changes to occur. I tried the adult potty chair idea but mom nixed it as "humiliating" for dad and said brother would pester dad on the chairs also. This situation feels utterly impossible to fix reasonably. I feel despair but thanks to this forum I dont feel alone and i dont feel as bad if i decide to leave. Thank you so much.
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Call APS now. They will tell you the next steps.
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Calling Adult Protective Services is a good idea. In the meantime, does your home have more than one bathroom? If so, can one be designated as brother's bathroom? You can put different kinds of soaps in there and some towels that he likes to make it inviting for him. If you've currently got only one bathroom, can you put in a half bath so your father can use the toilet undisturbed?
If it's just hand washing that your brother is obsessed with, can he be induced to wash his hands in the kitchen sink? You could give him a little reward each time he does it, until it becomes a habit.
On the other hand, if it's more than the lure of washing that keeps your brother gravitating to the bathroom, in other words, if he's going in there to have fun with himself, then maybe you could talk to his occupational therapist, if he has one, or someone from social services. But yeah, call APS right away. Brother and mother might get mad at you, but it sounds like someone's going to get seriously injured if this situation continues.
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I know it is a hard thing to go through and trying to keep the peace, and it sounds like that is what you are trying to do. There is not a lot of information provided to go on here concerning the situation, but the adult potty chair, but there may be a place that you can rent one or even get one through his Dr. with his medicade or even have one provided to him. Is there a possibility of maybe a small rv trailer or camp trailer to put in driveway to create a separate living space for you or your brother? (still together but separate)... What are the age groups of parents, your self, your brother? Do you have the means to move or does your brother? Is your parents under medical care? If it comes down to it and they are adamant on having your brother and as long as you are living with them, it is my understanding you have to abide by their rules and it may just come down to that you will have to be the one to leave until things change. Sorry but for now, yep, a potty chair... Much luck to you and HUGS...
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The potty chair is an excellent idea. I will see if i can acquire one reasonably. Any change is traumatic here but its worth a try. If brother flings the pail at me (a very real possibility), i could duck, videotape it (a great idea BTW), call the cops, and go somewhere safe while cops are still here. It is wonderful to have such compassionate input, and especially people who see how sad this mess is for each individual involved. Am still trying to find an agency to help. Because it is complicated, the crisis seems inevitably the solution. I do hope to do some good, thanks so much for the support.
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Until you do find outside help, maybe an adult potty chair for your Dad would ease some of the stress? If possible create a safe space for your Dad apart from most of the drama but still part of family setting and for you as well and is there some thing that you can try to connect with your brother to help ease his stress and be supportive with your Mom, a favorite game or movie time or something?... and if it comes down to it, if he is a danger to himself and/or others, your Mom has no more say in the matter but I can see you want to help rather than hurt so I would certainly find away to create personal safe spaces within the home for you and your dad. HUGS!
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arkaren, I agree with other pposters. Get. Out. Now. Just because dear old brother is retarded doesn't mean he can't go 'postal'. Call cops when brother assaults dad and stand by your guns, but be prepared to 'abandon ship' immediately. especially while the cops are there. if you can, have an emergency alternate place to go if something like that happens.
Ultimately, which is more important: trying to care for people who are as messed up as brother in their own way or your safety. (this thought occurred to me before I saw the posts recommending it: got a very bad feeling).
Also, brother has been allowed to get away with things his entire life, I'll wager a paycheck on that one. You will not get past that: both your parents have been enablers of this individual. I also do not buy that these people cannot control their behavior. Some can't, but I see far too many will change behavior when faced with REAL punishment.
I reiterate: get out now

two cents ¢¢

two cents ¢¢
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Braida's suggestion is a good one. Some communities have loan closets of assistive devices and equipment, so you might be able to just borrow a commode. Just make sure it's sturdy and has a pail.
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Oops. I mistakenly referred to your Dad as Stepfather. Sorry. Mistake.
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One of the FIRST, and EASIEST immediate remedies to help your poor stepfather who is being thrust out of the bathroom in the middle of urinating, is to get him a portable potty chair that he can urinate in peacefully. Since there is obviously only one bathroom, and your unstable brother spends most of his time in it, at least for a temporary fix, get a potty chair for your abused stepfather. If you could afford it, you could possibly get a privacy screen to erect around it, so he would have a modicum of privacy. And you could have hand sanitizer, etc. At least he could go to the bathroom in peace. Of course the other issues must be dealt with, but temporary peace for for your stepfather's bathroom necessities is paramount. Good luck. I agree with Smithkrsm1, stay strong, and God bless you for being there in such troubled times!!
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Your poor brother. To be dealt a hand of mental handicaps and then to have a parent who is not preparing him to be as independent and integrated into society as he can be -- an awful double whammy. I hope you can find loving actions to take on his behalf, without putting yourself in danger.

Your poor mother. Having two sons with cognitive/mental/emotional impairments is a huge emotional burden. Having lost one of those sons it is perhaps understandable she is in denial about the other. But that isn't good for her or for him. I hope you can take the steps that need to be taken without losing compassion for her. She is making matters worse, but not intentionally.

Your poor father. One son dead, one son cognitively impaired to the point he is dangerous, and a wife in denial. And it sounds like this has been going on for years.

And poor you! You are the ray of hope in this dismal picture. You can only do your best, and that may not be enough to fully overcome the complicated dysfunction in this picture. But your best can make a difference. Your love can change things. They are all lucky to have you on their sides, even if they don't recognize that.

Protect yourself. You can't help anybody from a hospital bed. But keep up the good fight. Right now it is you or nobody ... but work to change that so that you are coordinating a team of people working to make life better for all involved.
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Thank you all so much for your thoughtful responses. I am pouring over them several times so i can hopefully integrate them for a next step. BTW, brother is not Downs. He has vision and hearing problems and acts OCD and autistic, but is high fumctioning, around 70 IQ. I agree that professionals need to be involved but my mothers denial is a huge barrier to them helping, until there is a crisis. Thank you for affirming my fears of said crisis while giving me advice on dealing with it. I wish there were other family members to help, but there are not. My only other brother died in 2004 at 49 from complications of diabetes and schizophrenia (not a good combo). So its me or nobody, and after many years of avoiding it i have finally understood that i must try to do my best for them to feel right about my own life. I feel it is Gods will that i do my best. Of course I'd much rather survive the crisis so i appreciate your suggestions for my safety. If you have any more thoughts please continue to tell me, and i wish you the best in whatever you are facing in your own life. :-)
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Videotape his assault on Dad with your cellphone. Call 911. Play the video for them. Pictures don't lie.
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I would call APS and report that your father is being endangered by Brother. If they don't take action, I would call local political officials and ask for their help. You could also walk away with your father and leave mom and brother to flounder without you; that would precipitate a crisis sooner. Because that's what you want...a crisis. Depending upon your state, you might be able to get your mom involuntarily committed for a psychiatric evaluation; leave with Dad and then brother would be left to his own devices and THAT would eventually precipitate a crisis. I'm SO sorry that you are dealing with this. Please take care of yourself.
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Call Adult Protective Services. One concern is that your mother is preventing your brother from receiving appropriate care which might be considered abuse of a disabled person especially if a doctor has recommended medications and/or treatment in the past and she has prevented him from doing that. The state or county could take over guardianship of your brother, and seek placement in a specialized type of home environment. ARC is the organization that usually helps people sort through these issues, you could also contact them to get an idea of what is out there. But in any case, keep reporting incidents to APS.

The other is that your brother is a danger to you and your father, and is preventing your father from using the bathroom. This might be considered elder abuse. You could become your father's POA if he would like that. Again, continue to report incidents between your brother and father. Have them explain which types you should report. Individually they may not be significant enough to create protective investigation, but collectively they might.

Where I live the county has an agency for intellectually impaired, I don't remember if there is an age limit, but if there is then the individual with a mental illness also would be managed by a mental illness related department, probably still in the county of residence.
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I don't know it's Down's Syndrome. Maybe the OP will let us know. I thought it might be from other experiences I've had.
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How do you know the brother is a person with Down Syndrome, Vegaslady? Did I miss something?

Arkaren, I think you should put down all of the information about all three of these very vulnerable people, send it in writing to APS expressing your concern about an imminent crisis, and perhaps copy it to a specialist attorney if you have access to one. Your brother needs provision for his later years, when your mother isn't able to look after him; and the sooner the ball gets rolling on that the better. Meanwhile your father is at risk, and in that she's trying to manage a situation that is now beyond her so is your mother. This is all about to blow up in your face.

So I totally agree with Foxxm. and AlwaysLearning that you have got to get objective professionals to work on this. You cannot do it alone.
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I agree with vegaslady response. I'm sorry you have to deal such a heart breaking and very stressful situation. You are not alone in this situation. There are people who have similiar situations. Continue to search the internet regarding other families who have dealt with mentally handicapped abusive family members to find out what was done to help thier situation.

I have a few suggestions that you may or may not have thought about :

(1) If you can afford to secretly video tape conversations on a video recorder or video several conversations on your camera with your mother and seperately with your step-father regarding your brother's behavior regarding how they are afraid of your brother, this may help you when you talk to mental health professionals since your parents wont say anything bad about your brother to a case worker. Tape a private conversation your brother as well regarding why he does certain things and if he thinks anything is not right about himself, etc.

(2) As a precauction - since things may get worse before they get better - you must protect yourself from your brother - even if it means locking your door or putting a slide lock on the inside of your bedroom door to protect yourself when you sleep at night. Also think about getting rid of -or- hidding sharp objects or blunt objects such as a hammer - if you can. Try to do this gradually -over a week- so that the objects may not be missed by your brother.

(3) You should also consult with a lawyer about possibly getting power of attorney over your mother's affairs and what this involves since she is not totally in her right mind. If you have control over your mother - then you will probably get control over your brother's guardianship.

(4) I dont know what state you live in, but you should continue to locate additional state and county services for help assigning your brother to a mental health facility for a long period of time - if not permanent. If one agency does not provide a lot of help to you, try another - and another - and another until your brother is out of the house.

(5) Take care of your health ! Eat right, take multi-vitamin with iron tablet, try to get plenty of sleep and take walks to keep fresh air in your lungs.

(6) Seek out other family members- relatives- and explain the situation to them. Invite them over to your house so that they can see the situation. You may need to invite the same relative(s) over to the home several times throughout the month ( maybe once a week or once every two weeks). They may also be able to provide help and /or ideals. At least they will be aware of the situation and may come to your aide when needed or can give social services a statement of their experience as proof to what you are saying.

(7) And most of all - Pray, pray, pray to Jesus for guidance and deliverance in your stressful situation and somehow, He always reveals the best solution. Prayer has always worked for me !

Stay strong and God bless you for hanging in and trying to best resolve a situation where most family members , now-a-days, would have turned their back on.
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Call "Adult Protective Services" in your area. NOW....
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wow. Didn't expect that. shoot. Someone help this woman!
I guess the other comment is best. Get out of the situation immediately and maybe you can take your dad with you!
Seems like your mom and brother have painted you into a corner and once you are risking your own safety it is time to head for the hills.
Please let me and the group know how you are doing in this situation and what you decided to do...
You can come back to this post anytime and write again...
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Does your brother have a doctor he sees? It is my understanding that people with Down's Syndrome are at a very high risk for developing dementia early in life (40s, if I recall correctly). It may be that your brother has two problems now, rather than "just" the retardation. Could you get him evaluated for dementia? If you aren't able to get him to the doctor, research the connection between retardation and dementia, then talk to the doctor yourself. Doesn't brother have a legal guardian who can get him placed elsewhere? If mom is the guardian or there is none, I suggest you get one in place in and get him placed pronto. He is a danger to all around him. Try contacting an organization that deals with the mentally retarded for advice on guardianship and a lawyer knowledgeable about this type of situation. You are not alone in facing a strong violent retarded family member. I've seen a 9 year old girl who tried to drown her sister. Don't try to set up a situation in which you then call the cops....the situation will happen on its own eventually. Just know what to do then during the emergency. Keep your cell phone on you, remove any firearms now. Do you need to restrict access to knives, etc? It will be hard to find a solution. You may also need to have mom evaluated. She may need some antidepressant medication and counseling, or a psych/neurological exam herself. Good Luck and don't delay.
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The bad news is, this situation is impossible and can't go on without a crisis occurring eventually. The good news is, the crisis will trigger change. What you need to do is first and foremost make sure that you are safe. Your brother is mentally disabled, your mother is enmeshed in the situation in way that she can't keep up, and your father is demented. If you get hurt, there's nobody. And anyway it's your most profound responsibility not to become another victim, yourself, of this situation. Step back and spend some time thinking about how to stay safe and sane. If you want to help, keep researching services and sounding the alarm, so that these services are identified and standing by when your family members are finally forced to permit them into the picture. What will force it is some kind of train wreck, and it's pretty horrible to wait for a train wreck, but sometimes we have to recognize that we can't prevent train wrecks by ourself. And DO please make sure it's not you that gets hit by the train.
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Thank you for your responses. Have contacted social services three times. Problem is mother who has mental issues and wont allow him to leave or take meds and who has emotional control and guardianship over brother. Brother wont allow strangers in house to help me care for parents. County mental health agency recommended that i confront him so he could be taken by ambulance to psych facility, which i did and received minor injuries, but police took him to local hospital instead because he went voluntarily (they offered him jail or hospital, he chose hospital me naturally). Now he is back, mom and he both furious at me, and he kicks dad out of bathroom while urinating. Dad has Parkinsons and dementia and one kidney, totally depends on mom so he wont rock the boat. Do i again risk injury next time brother kicks dad out?
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