He’s suffered a stroke and multiple heart attacks over the course of 5 years. He has lost so much of his mobility as he’s an amputee as well. He also can’t make basic decisions on anything. Before he became ill he was a drug addict for several years. He has always been problematic growing up, and now with all these issues I can’t handle him. He is lying, sneaking out verbally abusive to my family members and he doesn’t understand the word NO! My parents have created this problem and now I’m trying to help my 74-year-old parents with him. I wish it was easy to get help or place him somewhere but he won’t go and he can’t be forced. His body has been through so much and yet he continues to cause so much stress. Any advice.

Yes move out if he won't be Placed in a group home with supervision .
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to KNance72


I could write a book about growing up with an addict.

My happy and stable childhood morphed into a life filled with confusion and many other emotions.

As a child, I certainly didn’t have a choice about where I lived. When I grew up, I swore to myself that I would never live with an addict ever again.

My mother asked if my brother could move in with us, to avoid becoming homeless.

This is what I said to my mother.


I didn’t have a choice other than living with my brother when I was a kid. I do have a choice now.

I will never put my husband and children through what I went through.

Do you want to see your grandchildren go through the same confusion that I experienced as a child?

For once in your life don’t go after the ‘lost sheep’ and think of your other children who aren’t addicts.

My answer is NO. If my brother becomes homeless that is NOT my problem. Nor, is it my fault.”

Mom wanted to hear me say that my brother could move in with us. She was upset at first. She was never a person who screamed and yelled. She sat quietly for a while.

Mom spoke with my other brothers and heard the same message from ALL of us. She finally got the picture.

She told us that she was sorry and that she understood how we felt. She realized that we were right not to subject ourselves to living in misery with an addict.

Mom never asked any of us to take him in ever again.

My brother did become homeless. He died from HepC in 2013 in a hospice facility.

It killed me to see mom lose her first born child. It really hurts to see a man who had enormous potential in his life literally lose everything.

I loved my brother but I hated what the addiction caused in all of our lives.

Life stinks sometimes. Who knows why some people can achieve recovery and manage mental health issues and others cannot?

Honestly, I am done with trying to figure out all of life’s problems.

I just want peace now. There is no substitute for peace in our lives.

I truly don’t give a damn about what others think, say or do. That’s their business. I can’t control anyone else’s thoughts or actions. I don’t want that burden on my shoulders.

I am NOT going to make anyone else’s problems my problem. As soon as I see that someone doesn’t want to receive help, I will not waste my time or their time. I will place my energy where it’s appreciated.

My advice to you is. WALK AWAY! Live life for YOU, not your parents, not your brother or anyone else in this world.

Wishing you all the best in life.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
LilyLavalle Apr 6, 2024
NHWM, you are a wise and brave person. What you said to your mom was both bold and compassionate at the same time. Thank God your brothers agreed with you. Most families, especially parents, continue to enable the person at their own peril.

And I’m very sorry for your loss. My brother was my hero growing up, a very remarkable and intelligent man. Now substances and mental health issues have made him a completely different person. It’s heartbreaking.
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You and husband moved into your elderly parents' home knowing full well that brother was there and a problem. What did you reasonably think would happen? I'm so sorry you're all in this situation, but I can't help being curious to know what your expectations were before I wax eloquent on the subject.
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Reply to Fawnby

I don’t see anything that says your brother wants to change or have anything be different. And why would he? Being abusive and manipulating his parents is working out fine. Unless your parents are willing to make a change and refuse to accept his behavior, nothing will change. One of my wisest college professors always said “you never help anyone by feeling sorry for them” and it’s so true. Actions help, feeling sorry never does. If your parents continue the pattern of choosing to participate in this, make the wise choice for yourself and distance yourself. I have a dysfunctional sibling too, and know it’s hard to watch. I’ve also accepted what I cannot fix
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Daughterof1930

His/your state probably has many programs that would not only help him, but your parents as well.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to cover9339

To recap, your Brother is 50, has brain injury/cognitive impairements, challenging behaviours + mobility problems. He is unable to live independantly & relies on family for much support.

He is currently living with your parents. You feel this is unreasonable / unsustainable & unhealthy (even dangerous) for them.

Is that right so far?
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Reply to Beatty
StephanieGONS Apr 5, 2024
Yes, 100 percent correct. But my husband and I moved in to care for them.
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The first question is where is brother living – with you or with your parents? If he is living with your parents, it’s up to them to start the process of removing him from their house. You can’t do it unless they agree. They must at least be willing to go along with any steps you take to get the eviction in process.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
Beatty Apr 4, 2024
The parents may need help to understand the situation. A Social Worker experienced in this area may be needed.

- They have a middle-aged son with complex disabilities.
- He will need an appropriate plan for his future.

Ignoring this major issue will create a burden for their other children.
I’m so grateful for all your words. Some easy and some are hard to swallow but I truly appreciate everything. I’m in such a bind but something has to give. I’m not sure what, but something will change.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to StephanieGONS

Al Anon for you. It is for friends and family members of alcoholics (and drug addicts)
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to brandee

Walk away. Just walk away. It’s too much for you to handle and you can’t make them all change.

All you can do is get uninvolved and walk away.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Southernwaver

Your parents need to legally evict your brother. If he refuses to get out, the police can escort him off the property. This sounds harsh but step one is to extricate him away from parents.

Before doing this you can consider speaking with a social worker for your county to see what his options are once out of the house. Section 8 housing, a group home, etc.

Then he’s the captain of his own destiny. May require a restraining order to keep him from further manipulating your parents.

Or, “someone” in the family pursues guardianship for him. This will require a discussion with an attorney experienced with this. And, it is costly. Then he can be forced into a facility or other living arrangement.

Dr. Laura also is known to say that we can “love our child right into prison”, meaning parents enable them to the point of keeping them “sick” and selfish.

Mostly it’s your parents that need to be changed. If they don’t, you may need to walk away completely. We went through lots of crap with one of my sons, so I get how hard this will be for them, but they are the biggest part of this entire problem. They need to go to a support group to hear the success stories of parents who had to “tough love” their sick children who eventually “righted” themselves on their own, voluntarily, once all other dysfunctional “support” was yanked.

Have them read the responses on this thread so they’re not just hearing it from you.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Geaton777
cover9339 Apr 4, 2024
All good ideas until the group home suggestion.
I'm sorry you're going through this. My mom enabled my brother for the last almost 20 years, including providing him rent free housing and giving him money. Now she has died and he moved into her house making it a nightmare for me, the executor, to sell it.
My brother has health and mental health issues as well. I know it's hard to say no, but as Alva pointed out, our help is just enabling. And their needs never end. As your parents age you will have more than your hands full worrying about them. My mom was perfectly independent at 74. At 84 she was bedridden and in hospice.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to LilyLavalle

You had another thread where you describe how you and Mom are taking care of both your Dad and your brother .

Were you able to get to an Al-anon meeting ?
Have you gotten a social worker involved ? I think in a reply on the other thread you said that you get paid to care for your brother from the state? Call them and tell them you can’t take care of him anymore , he’s too abusive and needs to go to a facility . Ask how they can help facilitate this.

. Have your brother get help from social services from his county , APS , County Area of Aging , social services for those with disabilities etc. call them .

Keep trying until you find someone to get your brother out of the house . This may mean that you stop being his paid caregiver and step back , not helping him so APS can step in . So long as you keep helping , your brother will refuse to go to a facility.

And find a good therapist because you should not have even taken this on with your brother being he has these lifelong problems and being enabled by your parents. It would have been better for all of you to tell the hospital you and your parents can not take care of him and made your brother rely on the hospital and social services to find him placement.

Step back , don’t take care of him . Call APS.
If he ends up in the hospital , tell them he can not go home , you can’t take care of him and he’s abusive . No matter what they tell you , you tell them you can’t take care of him , it’s an unsafe discharge . You do not pick him up from the hospital . Stay away .
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to waytomisery
StephanieGONS Apr 5, 2024
Yes, I did. From then things got a tiny bit better but everything has turned for the worse and who knows why? I don’t have a proper diagnosis of what he has but someone mentioned cognitive issues and mobility impairment which is obvious. His therapist did say he has adjustment disorder. We stopped doing therapy since he had another heart attack not so long ago, but we’re definitely having to start that again.
Dr Laura has a now infamous expression that "not everything can be fixed".
Sadly, that is true.
Your parents have enabled, not fixed.
Your stepping in will do the same.
The passage through this life, for some, in incredibly tough. Whether through mental illness or drugs, or a combo we call "self-medicating", they have dreadful lives start to finish. And those families that step into the deep waters with them are taken down with them.

I will be honest. The best place for family in the case of their being relied on by OTHER members of the family, is 1,000 miles away. I am 81. My daughter lives three states away, and hard as that is for BOTH of us I hope it is how it remains forever.

There are governmental agencies to deal with this. Many in this condition do not HAVE family. Some end on the streets, some end in care, and some end taking down entire families with them.

Other than the auspices of Social Services (I am certain he is on SSDI and etc and has access) I haven't a clue what to tell you, and if you are assisting now, parents in their early 70s? Well, I will warn you that you have two to three decades of that ahead of you.
Is that what you want for your own life?
Is that what you will TOLERATE for your own life?
It is time to seek some therapy from either a GOOD cognitive therapist or a GOOD Licensed Social Worker in private practice for counseling on life transitions.

I'm so sorry.
I cannot imagine how helpless you must feel. And the reason for that is that you ARE helpless.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to AlvaDeer

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