My Mom's companion is a hoarder. Her room is a horrible mess. I think I have a moral imperative to step in. Advice? - AgingCare.com

My Mom's companion is a hoarder. Her room is a horrible mess. I think I have a moral imperative to step in. Advice?

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She has recently begun to leak urine and her mattress is soaked. I do not know where to turn except social services. I am unable to get through on the phone to social services. I am willing to wait until she is confined to the hospital but I must have her removed from our home at some point. I hate to have her forcibly removed from the house. Or do they even remove people who have nowhere to gob the nursing home? She has been living with us for 4 years and she is 76 years old. My mother will be traumatized by her leaving. Yet I do feel morally obligated to put a stop to this. Should I wait till she is hospitalized to act? What are my options?



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Some options depend on whether mom and/or companion are competent to make their own decisions. If APS cannot or will not do anything, the legal route is the one to take. Companion's hostility is probably based on her accurate perception that you value your mom's well-being ahead of her need for room and board and she will undoubtedly try her best to get you out of the picture so she can keep doing what she is doing and comfortable with. Your mom likes her and will want to defend her despite her behavior being indefensible.

If you try and find yourself blocked out, at least you will have tried. Sorry to see you having to try to deal with a mess like this. There is a strong predisposition in the system to let competent adults live life as they choose until it is well beyond the point of danger to self and others, for better or for worse.
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Could be a matter of landlord tenant law...if the "rent" was services instead of money...you, as "landlord" have the role of keeping the place habitable, and many places not only permit but require an annual saftey inspection. Not habitability can be grounds for eviction....while it might not be the answer to turn someone out, that could be a means to let you legally assess the situation...I would check that route, in addition to calling APS...any other housemate would have been gone a long time ago , if it was just the fact of renting a room...given the caregiving aspect, if it was me, I would check both. And also what labor laws cover these situations in your area.
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You don't have to wait to ask Adult Protective Services for their evaluation. There are unsanitary conditions in your opinion and probably fire hazard in your opinion. They will have their own opinion, and it may or may not rise to their level of concern. So, waiting for hospitalization may not help you. APS may not agree that things are bad enough for you to refuse to let her back in, especially since you do not have ownership of the home, and have no current legal standing. My sisters and I thought our Mom's home was terrible...but APS said they had bigger fish to fry after seeing it. No windows or exits were blocked by the buildup, and there were no dead animals. They did not see it as a fire hazard overall. But if you are right, then you will have support for beginning to address changes rather than waiting for a disappointing opinion when the hospital stay happens.
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Maggie: Wait, how can the room be the hoarder's property? It is the home owner's.
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Betrayed: You have just answered your own question in that you don't want your mom living in these conditions.
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The inappropriate urinating and hoarding are going to breed disease, never mind the stentch! There has to be another solution b/c she can't continue to live there.
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What no one seems to remember is that Hoarding in itself is a disease. That doesn't mean I would want my Mom living around it but it does mean the companion has mental issues along with her physical ones. It is difficult for me to believe there wouldn't be lots of help available. I believe the others have given great legal advice and direction and I hope you will follow it. One more thing, when you pray for your Mom don't forget to pray for her companion. Bless you all!
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Boy, when u read back what u wrote. I have a small window on my tablet so hard to see it all at once till its posted. Sorry
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First, talk to a lawyer. If thi woman has no money you may get her into a nursing facility under medicaid. If she does go to the hospital if she goes to rehab haveher ealuated for a longterm nursing. Explain tht she is not a relative and you can not take care of her with the care of your mother. Its nice that she was a help to you but things have changed. You allowed her to live there rent free so she was paid. Do not take on a POA or MPOA for her. You should not get legally involved. If no family or money the state can take over her care. But, ask a lawyer I just giving u some ideas.
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My advice is to speak with an Elderlaw attorney. Was this tenant hired by your mother as her personal companion and caretaker? If so is she independent or working for an agency. This is a red flag. Independent caretakers may be good and others are not. If she is here illegally you may be able to get some help in removing her. Did your mother hire her when she was of sound mind. Has your mother's condition deteriorated? If she has dementia in any circumstance you need to seek legal assistance. Do you have Power of attorney over your mother's person and property? If so you can take charge of your mother's care and move her where she would be safe and well cared for. If not your next step may be court appointed guardianship of your mother. Either way the Elderlaw attorney can help you. Also, you need to call the local health department to document the home's condition and help with your case. The tenant/caretaker will be evaluated and possibly needs medical care herself. I would act sooner than later. Look online for elderlaw attorneys in your area as well as senior services through the state your mother resides. Best of luck, I hope you can get the appropriate care for your mother and the tenant is also assessed for health related issues.
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