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Re: Long Distance Caregiving

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Hi LShar: 

 

That's a lot of caregiving experience for your brother, to have assisted your mom and now his wife.  Your family is so fortunate that you all look out for each other.   

 

It's understandable that things can slip through the cracks, become neglected, or even spiral into a hoarder situation when other matters take priority (namely, a loved one's medical issues).  It sounds like it's severe in their house.  I'm concerned about needles(!), trip hazards in a home that could lead to a fall, air quality, etc., and I sense you are too.    Do they have a community that can help give the home a re-set (church, friends, anyone)?   

 

Dovetailing off Jane's comments, Adult Protective Services can and may intervene if it appears there is self-neglect.  Your brother and sister-in-law sound like they need a plan and more hands on deck.  Do you think that with some help (whether it is meal delivery, housekeeping, respite care so your brother can do house maintenance), that the home can become more stable and safe?  

 

Thanks, LShar.  Please keep us posted.  

Amanda Singleton
All posts are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. The posting and viewing of the information in this community should not be construed as, and should not be relied upon for, legal or tax advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. The information presented may not reflect the most current legal developments. An attorney should be contacted for advice on specific legal issues. Nothing written in this community is intended to create an attorney‑client relationship. An attorney-client relationship may only be established through direct attorney‑to‑client communication that is confirmed by the execution of an engagement agreement.
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Re: Long Distance Caregiving

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Hi LShar:  That's a lot of caregiving experience for your brother, to have assisted your mom and now his wife.  Your family is so fortunate that you all look out for each other.    It's understandable that things can slip through the cracks, become neglected, or even spiral into a hoarder situation when other matters take priority (namely, a loved one's medical issues).  It sounds like it's severe in their house.  I'm concerned about needles(!), trip hazards in a home that could lead to a fall, air quality, etc., and I sense you are too.    Do they have a community that can help give the home a re-set (church, friends, anyone)?   

 

Dovetailing off Jane's comments, Adult Protective Services can and may intervene if it appears there is self-neglect.  Your brother and sister-in-law sound like they need a plan and more hands on deck.  Do you think that with some help (whether it is meal delivery, housekeeping, respite care so your brother can do house maintenance), that the home can become more stable and safe?  

Amanda Singleton
All posts are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. The posting and viewing of the information in this community should not be construed as, and should not be relied upon for, legal or tax advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. The information presented may not reflect the most current legal developments. An attorney should be contacted for advice on specific legal issues. Nothing written in this community is intended to create an attorney‑client relationship. An attorney-client relationship may only be established through direct attorney‑to‑client communication that is confirmed by the execution of an engagement agreement.
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Re: Long Distance Caregiving

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Moved to the appropriate forum. Please click the link to continue

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Re: Long Distance Caregiving

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@Lshar wrote:

My brother does not have dementia and cares very well for his wife! They're just overwhelmed by a large home with no housekeeper.


Hi there, apologies, I the dementia guide is a guide on how to care for someone with a dementia - just in case there is something additional your brother might uncover while caring for his wife. I'm so happy to hear that she is gettng the best care. 

 

I do hope you will find some of the other links useful. Please do keep in touch!

 

 

AARPJen
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Re: Long Distance Caregiving

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My brother does not have dementia and cares very well for his wife! They're just overwhelmed by a large home with no housekeeper.

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Re: Long Distance Caregiving

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@Lshar wrote:

My brother and I cared for Mom long-distance by visits and calls with her CCRC staff and her before she passed several years ago.

Now my brother is caring for his wife, who has dementia and Diabetes I, requiring alot of attention. I recently visited, bringing a folder filled with helpful links to assistance in their community, but they prefer to manage on their own. To complicate this, they have become severe hoarders, which is causing a bad environment (dust, zillions of papers, things to trip over, used needles, etc.). I joined a discussion with their hospital visiting nurse, who agreed they need an organization to assist them, but they still resist!  They have been visited twice by the local health dept. and warned that they may face "unwanted repercussions" if the hoarding isn't addressed. To solve that dilemma, they loaded alot of stuff in boxes which they moved into their basement.  What else can I do to help them?


Hi Lshar. Thank you for reaching out to us. Jane gave you some really wonderful advice. I'd also just like to point you to our Dementia Care Guide, which you can download for free HERE

 

You may consider printing this out and giving it to your brother as a starting point. 

 

I also found these really helpful links on hoarding that you might want to check out. They include many helpful tips and links:

 

Compulsive Hoarder or Pack Rat? 

 

Understanding Hoarding Disorder

 

Tips for Moving a Hoarder

 

De-cluttering tips

 

I hope you find this information helpful. Please do come back and let us know how it is going. 

 

 

AARPJen
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@Lshar wrote:

My brother and I cared for Mom long-distance by visits and calls with her CCRC staff and her before she passed several years ago.

Now my brother is caring for his wife, who has dementia and Diabetes I, requiring alot of attention. I recently visited, bringing a folder filled with helpful links to assistance in their community, but they prefer to manage on their own. To complicate this, they have become severe hoarders, which is causing a bad environment (dust, zillions of papers, things to trip over, used needles, etc.). I joined a discussion with their hospital visiting nurse, who agreed they need an organization to assist them, but they still resist!  They have been visited twice by the local health dept. and warned that they may face "unwanted repercussions" if the hoarding isn't addressed. To solve that dilemma, they loaded alot of stuff in boxes which they moved into their basement.  What else can I do to help them?


Hi there,

Wow. 

Well, what i would do is consult with the local Adult Protective Services at your brother's town or county. We here in America do so dearly prize independence, and people, even people who have dementia and are caring for someone with dementia, has the right to make dumb decisions. And to have a disease called Hoarding Disorder, which falls under the category of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. (I found these two articles that are helpful:  https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/home-care/info-2018/moving-hoarder.html and https://www.psychiatryadvisor.com/obsessive-compulsive-and-related-disorders/hoarding-disorder-objec... Anyway, part of the disorder and many others is the failure to recognize the hoarding as a problem. 

 

So. Is he taking good care of her? If not, either because of the hoarding disorder or some other reason, then he is neglecting her, and APS has grounds to get involved. If he is taking good care of her, then i doubt if threats from the health department is going to budge them, although the visits raise their anxiety sky high. Maybe the APS has a special hoarding team. There used to be a hoarding intervention team in Maryland where i worked as a geriatric care manager, and then as a hospice social worker. 

 

You have a relationship with your brother. The thing about hoarding disorder is that it's very hard to treat. When you visit, can you reach out as sister/friend/helper, and not judge? Talk to him in that spirit? If so, what happens then? What does he say?

 

Please say more. thank you for your post. 

Jane

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Long Distance Caregiving

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Message 8 of 8

My brother and I cared for Mom long-distance by visits and calls with her CCRC staff and her before she passed several years ago.

Now my brother is caring for his wife, who has dementia and Diabetes I, requiring alot of attention. I recently visited, bringing a folder filled with helpful links to assistance in their community, but they prefer to manage on their own. To complicate this, they have become severe hoarders, which is causing a bad environment (dust, zillions of papers, things to trip over, used needles, etc.). I joined a discussion with their hospital visiting nurse, who agreed they need an organization to assist them, but they still resist!  They have been visited twice by the local health dept. and warned that they may face "unwanted repercussions" if the hoarding isn't addressed. To solve that dilemma, they loaded alot of stuff in boxes which they moved into their basement.  What else can I do to help them?

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