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I’m in desperate need of some help. I’m 21 and my boyfriend is 25. We have been dating for quite a while. His parents are both disabled, have had strokes, cancer, diabetes. Basically, they need a lot of care. He moved back in with them before we started dating to “help” them. When I entered their house I was absolutely appalled by the smell. They must be nose blind because it is horrendous. Their elderly dogs poop and pee in the house frequently. They are hoarders and you can barely move in the house. There is trash everywhere. My boyfriend usually isn’t home with them and when he is, he is usually sleeping. He works about two hours away and then when he gets back will usually go to the bar. I have seen him grocery shop for them and do their laundry but other than that, nothing. He’s convinced they will die if he’s not “there helping”. I convinced him and his parents to hire an in home care aide FINALLY!! But, she was bit by one of the dogs so she stopped coming. I asked him how often they bathe and he said maybe once a month (I asked because I noticed boxes in the shower). I’ve tried everything to get him to go to a Human Services office or something. It’s horrible living conditions and they need specialized care. The father ends up in the ER almost weekly now. Does anyone have any advice and would this be considered neglect? Thank you so much.

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There should be a local council for the aged in your area. They may send a case-worker out at your request, just for an interview. They can discuss options and resources with the parents, with the son in attendance or not. Or they can guide you over the phone to your next step(s). My own experience with a hoarder, though, is that it's a choice, albeit through mental illness, and one that they do NOT want to change until and unless they're ready. The son has undoubtedly been affected by their hoarding (as children of hoarders ALWAYS are, in one way or another), which definitely didn't happen overnight, and he will surely need counseling; hence, he doesn't currently see the reality of the situation.
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You gotta wonder about people who refuse help, especially when it's offered with no strings attached. Maybe they are getting some kind of payoff from their circumstances that you can't see or why else would they continue this way. Some people thrive on sympathy. They complain and whine but really are enjoying the attention.

If they truly don't want your help, then don't offer it anymore. As for your boyfriend's idea of the two of you moving in there, I would turn tail and run if I were you.
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Hon, I am afraid you’re going to have to make some decisions here with your relationship. I was rereading your posts and it sounds to me like you are the only voice of reason in this group of people . Every suggestion you make gets ignored or shot down. These are stubborn, uncooperative people who do as they please, no matter what the consequences are to themselves or others. Dear heart, when I was 21 I thought I could fix the world too. My husband (then fiancé) has a mentally challenged sister who was hidden away and pushed through regular school. Even back then, there were programs for mentally disabled people, but they hid her away and expected family to take care of her. She should have been in these programs. She is friendly and kind-hearted and could have been successful in a sheltered workshop and even living in a group home. But instead, she was hidden and any of my efforts to suggest these things were met with resistance.

Sometimes you have to know when to say “enough”. I know you said you adore them and love your BF. But I believe if you don’t want to p**s off your boyfriend by calling in help, there’s not much you can do without their cooperation. They’re lucky to have you, but it’s sad that they won’t let you help.
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My parents have not said much about it. I know my grandfather is pissed about it because he’s said some things to him when we have all been together. They just think the whole situation is unnecessary.
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Oh my..

Look up "parentified child".

He has a good job? Presumably with mental health benefits. Tell him he should use them.

What do your parents think about this situation?
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I told him asking for help doesn’t mean that you are giving up. It means that you are going to allow them to get the care they deserve. He told me just the other day that he plans for us to move in there and live there until they die and it’ll be our starter home. That was not our original plan at all!!! And they might not die for another 20 years?? How will it be a starter home when we will be 40-50? I think he just doesn’t want to listen to me because I’m younger and must not know what I’m talking about. He’s cut off most of his family, but I did reach out to his cousin and family friend. I basically just begged if someone could please talk to him and guide him. The friend didn’t respond to me and the cousin offered to keep them at her house for a few days. I just wish I didn’t have to be the bad guy. I feel like nobody wants to stir the pot. 
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My boyfriend is an only child yes. They have had medical issues since he was 10. I’ve witnessed his dad telling him to quit his job (he has a very good job) and his dad admitting to not being able to take care of himself and his wife. They owe a lot of back taxes and almost lost their properties. He needs guidance, but counseling isn’t free. I think if you make an appt at a Human services department they will discuss free options but I’m not certain.
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First off if your boyfriend knows he can't give his parents the help they need then morally I think he should be looking to outside sources for help. I don't live in the states so I don't know about costs but surely there must be some free services of some kind there is there not? Granted, free government services may not be of the caliber that you would want for a loved one but from the sounds of it, things are not ideal now so they couldn't get much worse.

As for your boyfriend going to the bar all the time whether it is avoidance or not, do you really want that type of partner in your life? Someone who uses alcohol to avoid reality?

You sound like you have a heart that is in the right place. Use the guidance that good heart gives you.
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Ariasyole I agree that your boyfriend must be both frustrated and depressed by what's going on with his parents. You've suggested outside help and counselling, you've asked relevant questions, and his response is avoidance - he goes to the bar, he goes to bed, he says they can't afford it, he says he can do a better job = he knows nothing at all about what the professional job actually is. So what *does* he think is going to change things? And if his answer to that is "nothing" then what does he think is going to happen if things continue as they are?

You might have to harden your nose a bit, but look at it this way. BF thinks his parents will die if he is not there "helping." Well. He is there "helping" and his parents are continuing along the path that has already made them diabetic, disabled and living in conditions of utter squalor. Bluntly, it looks as if they will die if he *is* there "helping," at least in the way that he has been doing so far.

And these people are in their sixties. I know it doesn't seem like it when you're 21, but that is not old.

Is your BF an only child? I ask because, if he is, he must have been a late-ish baby, which makes me wonder if there were problems long before he came on the scene; and if not maybe he could get input from his sibling(s)?

Meanwhile, though; you say you don't want him to find out you called APS. Why not? You shouldn't be afraid of standing your ground when it comes to doing what you think is right.

If you like your BF's parents and you hope to continue the relationship, you really don't have any choice but to make this a line in the sand. Tell your boyfriend that if he doesn't call APS and get advice, you will. Better if he does, but somebody has to.

Will he be in trouble with the authorities for neglect? - no. His parents are in their sixties, competent adults, and he has had no authority to organise their lives and therefore cannot be held responsible for the condition of the household. But as Jeanne says, morally he must do what he can to help, and that means asking for help.
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I don’t want him to find out I called Adult Protective Services. Also, I have suggested counseling, assisted living etc. He always tells me they just can’t afford it. Is there someone he can go to that can help him with the costs? 
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Contact Adult Protection Services. To not do so, it seems to me, is morally elder neglect (whether or not it is legally). If the caseworker comes out, shrugs, says "they are competent to decide that this is the way they want to live" and closes the case, then you will at least know you have done your best to help this family you adore.

As you know, BF is simply not able to effectively help his parents to the extent that they need help. Not His Fault. And it doesn't make him a Bad Son or a potentially Bad Boy Friend. But it does mean he is in a situation way over his head and does not recognize that, and he is dealing with this largely with avoidance. Drinking is part of that avoidance. This would worry me a lot if I were thinking of marrying this man, and even more so if I hoped to have children with him. His behavior here is certainly not Evil, but it isn't Healthy, either.

Call APS. And discuss the possibility of couple counseling. An objective, trained outsider could help you both see things more clearly.
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What a mess! BF will not change. He cannot care for his parents that need professional help. He provides better care than the pros would? Yet he has a two hour drive to work, and home or to the bar (another red flag), so that is 12 hours he is gone each day plus bar time, that is not caring for them. You need to accept that this relationship is not going anywhere and get on with your life.
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You adore this family!? No offense but it’s sounds like there is mental,illness here along with many other problems. This is not your responsibility. Unless you want to be drawn in and consumed by this family notify the authorities and walk away.
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Adult Protective Services will send a caseworker out to assess their situation. A file will be opened on them and I believe someone will monitor them and try to help. They are the professionals that you’re seeking. Have a heart to heart talk with your boyfriend and tell them what you wrote me, that you love his parents and you’re afraid something bad will happen to them. Hoarders live with the threat of tripping and falling, breathing polluted air from animal waste, becoming sick from eating spoiled food, and in the worst cases, being bitten by insects or rats. Tell your bf you know he wants the best for his parents, but one person can only do so much. And be aware that if he refuses to help them get medical care or other help, he could be charged with elder abuse.
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Hugemom Oh I have grown to adore this family. I also laid down my ground rules on day 1 and said I wouldn’t be moving in to help, mainly because they need PROFESSIONAL help, which I am not and neither is he. Problem is he thinks he can do a better job of any doctor or assisted living facility. What happens when you call them?
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You need to ask yourself how badly you want to stay in this relationship. Everyone seems to be ignoring the elephant in the room. If it were me, I would be calling Adult Protective Services first thing in the morning.
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Freqflyer. His parents are still quite young (60s). Unfortunately, his mother is very out of it and we think may be developing dementia. His father, on the other hand, I thought was of sound mind. But, the more I talked to him and got to know him, I think he is in denial of the problems. Every time an incident has occurred we have called the ambulance. They both can’t walk (they hobble sometimes, but it is very difficult for them) and mostly stay in bed all day. I don’t blame the home care aide for leaving either. I wonder if there is any other services I can suggest. Price is also a factor because they are tight on money.
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Ariasyole, this is a very complex situation. Your boyfriend's parents created the household to be the way it is, and this didn't happen overnight. I bet they refuse to have someone come in to help clean up the house, it would only return back to the original hoarding state within months. If the parents are of clear mind, they can create their household any way they want until it becomes unhealthy and a danger to them.

At first I was thinking your boyfriend was very uncaring, but now I am thinking he is totally frustrated at his parents that he stays away as much as he can. Bet a day doesn't go by when there isn't a fight over the condition of the house. Sounds like boyfriend has given up, and I don't blame him. Hoarders rarely listen to advice of their own children.

It's nice that you convinced the family to hire an Aide, but seriously, what Aide would want to work in those conditions? Being bitten by a dog is serious, I bet the dogs haven't had yearly rabies shots.  Chances are the "bite" was a nip, otherwise if the Aide went to a doctor for treatment, the doctor is required by State law to notify the authorities of an animal bite unless the Aide has a copy of a recent rabies shot for that dog.

How does the father get to the ER? Does the son drive him? I would have 911 come out to the house. They could be the "bad guys" who report the living conditions to the authorities, and maybe that would get the ball rolling.
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