Help me Help Them
May 24, 2010 9:10 PM Subscribe
Complicated question involving hoarding, ad/hd, and a disabled relative.
posted by alltomorrowsparties to human relations (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My sister has a fairly advanced case of MS and very limited mobility. Her husband is a very loving and hardworking man but he has serious problems with adult ad/hd and hoarding behaviors.
To be blunt, they live in filth and disorder. He buys everything in bulk and there are jumbo packs of everything all over the house. He is also obsessed by composting and leaves rotting vegetable matter throughout the house and deck area. They have three cats and he does not change the litter regularly (or perhaps at all). I was there today and removed over 150 pounds of sodden clumping litter. Because of this, the cats have taken to crapping on the floor of the basement.
My mother used to go over on a regular basis and attempt to clean, but on every visit, things had reverted to their previous state of total chaos and filth. Now, my mother is not so well and can no longer do it. I have been going over to help also but it just can't be fixed. He is very secretive about the basement and I was only able to do the cat litter today because he was out of town. The living conditions are just not acceptable.
My sister also is given to hanging onto things and together she and her husband are just a nightmare. I know that he came from a family of hoarders and that perhaps he doesn't smell it (it smells awful there) or notice the chaos and disorder. You cannot get the man to throw anything out.
I am going to be leaving to live in another city and I shudder to think what it will become without my small help. I usually can only clean one area per visit, as it takes so long and the basement is strictly off limits. We live in Saskatchewan, Canada and I would like any suggestions for dealing with this very serious problem. The debris on the floor is dangerous for my sister, who cannot lift her feet at all and the filth has to be bad for anyone, let alone the immunocompromised.
So please any suggestions for interventions, social agencies that could help or other strategies would be greatly appreciated because I love them very much and am so worried about what will happen to them. ( I'm pretty sure they have both had some serious bouts with food poisoning already although they call it stomach flu). In order to do a proper cleaning it would require several weeks of work and a large dumpster and he is absolutely dead against anyone throwing things away.