She is covered in feces and won't get in the shower. She resisted me for hours about changing her clothes and she sits and won't move for days on a dirty, dirty couch. She leaves her poise pads on for days at a time, won't shower for weeks at a time. She is here with me all day and my mother is here all night. I'm at a loss. I'm pregnant with my first kid and I can't be around these overwhelming smells of urine and feces. I've tried everything but social services, but I'm at that point. She used to have accidents but now she just blatantly doesn't care and it is becoming a SERIOUS heath concern. She also isn't eating, smokes a lil over a pack a day sometimes with copd on top of I'm sure other chronic lung disorders, and receives no treatment. She has osteoporosis and had hairline fractures in her spine years ago and was specially fitted for a back brace and as soon as we got home she took it off. At this point she has no hygiene she has no diet and she is refusing any type of health related help and I just dont know what to do. One thing I won't do though and sit here and watch her kill herself. Please if anybody has any advice or any contact information I live in the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania... Please reach out.... Thank y'all for your time...

Find Care & Housing
You've tried everything but social services...

Isn't that a bit like having the house on fire and saying you've tried everything except the fire brigade?

You have an elder whose health and wellbeing are at serious risk because of self-neglect. She is a vulnerable adult at risk. Wouldn't it be a really good idea to get an opinion, at least, from Adult Protective Services?

What makes you so hesitant to do that? Is it the stigma?
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Countrymouse
Writingjulie Feb 24, 2021
But she hasn’t tried everything.... No one has mentioned that often family cannot get an elder to do something when a professional caregiver can. It’s their job. Often they can convince the elder when family can’t. Of course I don’t know if they are financially able to do this but obviously they care and are trying.
to the poster I say 1. Please know she is refusing because she has some form of dementia. It’s NOT her fault though it’s so hard when she refuses! Try to have sympathy. 2. please try a caregiver and 3. call her family physician and see what sort of “home health” options they can provide that Medicare will cover! Start with nursing- and Occupational Therapy (they evaluate what assistance someone needs to toilet?. explain the situation may me they can help.

lastly, people are freaking out too much about your health my god it’s just diapers, you will have plenty soon enough;)

I have a toddler and my mother woth dementia who just passed was 88. I FEEL YOU
You say in your profile that grandma has dementia. She can no longer carry out ADL’s. (That is Activities of Daily Living)
It sound like this is getting to be more than you and your mom can handle.
You have a couple options.
Get help in that can help you care for grandma
Look for a Memory Care facility where she can be cared for 24/7.
Neither easy decisions. While grandma may want to stay at home and or not have “strangers come in to help” sometimes it is not possible.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Grandma1954

Grandma has some form of dementia & needs placement
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to lealonnie1

The OP is stressed and suffering. I assume that that is why she misread Josie's post and wrongly supposed that Josie was criticising her, whereas I can't put any construction on Josie's reply that wasn't entirely sympathetic to the OP - Josie regretted that the OP was not being give due - or any, really - consideration by her mother or her grandmother. Even the suggestion to make plans to find another place to live is only sensible, it's not criticising her for not already having done so!

Heather, it is quite true that social services including APS can't force your grandmother to accept care or treatment if she refuses it and is of sound mind. But they can at least assess her situation, assess whether she can in fact be said to be of sound mind, and talk to her about her options. Her severe self-neglect has causes, she isn't prepared to discuss those causes with you or your mother, and she's fighting you. You need professional allies!

I'm perhaps more used to be sworn at than most posters - I'm only surprised that more of the clients we work with don't resort to cursing considering what they're often going through - but I have to agree that it won't help. But more to the point, don't attack people who are on your side!
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Countrymouse

You have been reported for the use of very foul language--frankly, I don't know how you snuck that post past the admins.

NOBODY attacked you or your mothering skills.

This is a serious problem and a bad situation you've gotten into. You need to either A: deal with what it and accept it and not complain or B: get some help, through APS or whomever.

Grandma is more than incapable of caring for herself. If she is not bothered by sitting in her own feces for a month, then that's NOT Ok, not by anyone's standards.

You state you came up 'here' to get help and to give it.

I highly doubt you can do anything for grandma. Save yourself. And that baby. I am glad you quit smoking--it's one of THE worst things for a developing baby.

And--don't bite the hands that feed you. We're trying to help and you blew up.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Midkid58
worriedinCali Feb 17, 2021
To be fair, the comment from Josie that triggered the OP ought to be reported and removed by the mods too as it is a personal attack. Sorry not sorry but you can’t attack someone like that and not expect a reaction from the other side. Edit to add—the reaction from the other side is inexcusable as well but i am just saying that if you are going to attack someone’s parenting like that and say they don’t care about their mother/grandparent either, don’t be surprised when they bite back.
See 1 more reply
"What do I do?" was asked.

I would do 3 things:

1. Remove myself.
I would immediately start moving out - to a friend or relative's couch until I found more permanent safe, clean accommodation.

2. Have a family chat. Go visit when Mom is home & have a serious chat. Is all this new? Or steadily gotten worse? Maybe Grandma just wants to die at home...? What they tell you may influence the outcome.

3. Seek help.
Get professionals involved as CountryMouse advised.

To do this I would not hesitate to call EMS for an urgent health assessment.

Hospice assessment.?

Geriatric mental health assessment?
(Although unless Grandma is violent to self or others she may not be admitted for that).
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Beatty

This is not a safe situation for you and is untenable place for an infant.

have you called her doctor to report the issues?

Has your granny prepared her Will and POA?

I do not know whose house you and granny live in, but it is time for you to move away. If CPS was called and told you had an infant in this filth, your newborn could be removed from the home.

And yes a needs assessment is required and a call to APS.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Tothill

I’m guessing nothing is going to change. It’s so tiresome to see people here ask for advice... then flip out when it’s not the advice they were looking for, ignore it entirely, or say they can’t/won’t do any of the suggestions given to change their situation.

Josie was correct in that OP’s mother and grandmother evidently don’t care that she is pregnant and can’t be around smoke, pee, and poop. A baby definitely can’t! It’s a bad situation all around.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to LoopyLoo

Standing back and applauding you all for your reasonable, compassionate, well thought out replies.

And yes, it CAN be a little frustrating around here once in a while, but as I ALWAYS SAY, decisions (comments) based on love and respect can’t ever go too far wrong.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to AnnReid

Having read the other posts, I think your first commitment is to your unborn child. This is not a healthy environment so you need to find another place to live asap. You indicate that you recently came from another state for better care for yourself and the baby so I presume that you had no inkling from your conversations with your Mom about Grandmom's living conditions and hygiene which is unfortunate but can't be changed at this point so the best you can do is find new living quarters (I am assuming that the current housing is owned or rented by either your Mom or Grandmom).

If Grandmom is not diagnosed as incompetent and is not posing an immediate threat to herself, you are quite correct in that APS will not be able to "force" her into a facility although it is possible that they might be able to get her a 72 psychiatric evaluation which could be helpful to all involved. Not sure how many facilities will jump at the chance to tackle Grandmom and of course, there is always the question of how a placement in a facility would be handled (particularly if she is not on Medicaid). It would definitely be worth your while to at least call APS (but move out before you do). You could also call the Philly Office on Aging to see if they have any suggestions for your Grandmom but they are definitely going to suggest that you leave that unhealthy environment.

Wishing you luck and peace in this journey with your Grandmom and hopes for a bright future for your unborn.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to geddyupgo

See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter