- Mum's house is worse than anything Kim and Aggie do
Visited mum’s house today. First time I’ve been in 16 or so years – she doesn’t welcome visitors (she has car insurance issues so finally we can actually stop her just going home after visiting us for Xmas). Was bracing myself, and had an idea what to expect, but far worse than I expected. House completely full of “rubbish”, kitchen totally disgusting, half eaten and mouldy food all around house – it appears she buys lots of going out of date food, but has no electricity so no fridge to keep it in (amongst lots of stuff we’ve only just found out). Filled two car boots with bin bags of rubbish to the tip, but barely even scratched the hallway – skip next time I think.
Was going to name change for this as clearly I’ve been an awful son, but have had enough whisky (in an attempt to get the smell/taste of mould out of my throat – it’s not working) not to care. Mum is sitting next to me – I don’t think she gets that there was anything wrong with her living conditions, or that she hasn’t had car insurance for 9 months (court summons amongst mouldering pile of unopened post).
Struggling to work out what to think – combination of guilt, anger and pity. Flame away – I feel I deserve it – my only excuse is living 2.5 hours away and knowing she didn’t want us to tell her what to do (so now we’re telling her she’s not ever going to live there again – it needs striping back to bare walls, rewiring etc. before being habitable to anybody normal – not totally sure she’s even up to sheltered housing).
Please tell me I’m not the only person on STW to have experienced this.Posted 4 years agoI_AcheMember
Not had this personally but don’t beat yourself up too much. It is very easy to get used to a bit of mess and even easier for it to get worse and eventually so overwhelmed by it you genuinely don’t know what to do.
Not meaning to offend but do you think she may have some mental issues that have contributed?Posted 4 years agoScienceofficerMember
My parents already live in an unclean and cluttered house. My dad does nothing domestically and my mum does the minimum necessary.
My wife and I change our clothes and put them straight in the washing when we come home.
It’s just about tolerable at the moment, but I foresee my dad dying of COPD and my mum becoming the mad old lady in the big house with the overgrown garden and too many animals. When that happens I really don’t know how I’ll raise the subject.
At just coming up to 60 I’ve already lectured her on leaving her MOT and road tax.Posted 4 years ago
Yes to the mental issues – just raised that with her (at almost 1am) and she says she’s happy, but she’s in denial about everything else, and I have enough personal experience of mental issues.
On the plus side I’m speaking to my sister for the first time in 2 years (yes I’m that shit) – I think today is the first time I’ve spent a day just with her in far, far longer than that (maybe ever).
Actually I’ve realised I don’t want anybody else to experience this, so my sympathies SO – though TBH yours doesn’t sound quite as bad as my parents (dad did less than nothing, mum didn’t do bare minimum). I changed clothes in motorway services on the way home and put both sets of clothes in the wash after a shower – still got the taste in my nose/throat. It shocks me that I know how slovenly I am yet still found that so far beyond – god knows what anybody tidy would have made of it.Posted 4 years agonickjbSubscriber
Might be worth watching a few episodes of c4’s obsessive compulsive hoarders or the hoarder next door. There are quite a few similarities. Might help show this is fairly common and a few ways to deal with it. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/obsessive-compulsive-hoarder/episode-guide Good luck, not an easy situation.Posted 4 years agocinnamon_girlSubscriber
As a matter of urgency I would phone her GP and see if he or she knows anything. Then I would make an appointment and you may have to take her.
Does your mother live on her own? If yes, how long has this been for? Not prying, just trying to work out whether there was a trigger for this behaviour, cry for help etc.
Do hope that you find a way to help.Posted 4 years agoCougarSubscriber
I’ve nothing constructive to add beyond, try not to blame yourself. It takes two people to not talk to each other, and whilst it may sound mercenary most people have their own shit to deal with so it’s easy to overlook the needs of others (especially if they’re at the other end of the country and don’t tell you). You can’t change the past, you can affect the future.
I could easily take the stance that if I’d intervened earlier I could probably have prevented my dad now being in a care home, and my folks live a hundred yards away. I just didn’t realise the extent of the issue at the time.Posted 4 years agowwaswasSubscriber
As the others have said, the main thing is that you’re involved now and that you’re all talking to each other.
I think, for me, it would be concentrating on keeping this dialogue going and not slipping back into silence after the initial shock wears off and you feel you’ve ‘done something’.
I hope things work out well for your Mum and that your family are closer as a result.Posted 4 years agocaptaincarbonMember
Our next door neighbour of 30 years was the same, dont feel guilty for not being there.
She lost her husband 5 years after we moved in, so was rattling around a 7 bedroomed house on her own for all that time. We never went into her house, but would go into her garden to help her keep it tidy etc, share cups of coffee and chat to her every day. She used to come over every christmas for her annual sherry and mince pie, and was at the local churh 3 times a week arranging flowers and helping with coffee mornings and raising money etc.
didnt see her one morning and looked throuh the kitchen window later that night, she had fallen. We broke the door down to see to her and the smell was atrocious. rubbish and waste food everywhere. mountains of unopened loaves of bread, jars of coffee and tubs of butter. The place was filty. She had broken her hip and didnt return hoe, but spent the next 7 years in a residential home and lived to 102!
We took charge of clearing her house so it could be sold to pay all her expenses.
the place was filthy, beyond imagination, but we had no idea this was the case. Saw and spoke to her every day. . . . in the last years she never used the bathroom, she used to wash in the kitchen sink, and the only room in the house that was clean, her bedroom, well, the stench was indescribable, and we had to get proffesional in to remove the tin biscuit boxes full of excrement that were stacked head high in the wardrobes, and also under her bed.
No one knew, no one had any reason to think she was struggling like she was.
She would stop at the corner shop every day to buy a loaf of bread, a jar of coffee and a pack of butter. When we asked the shopkeeper he thought she just had a big family…
We were so shocked and felt so guilty, and thought we could have done so much more for her.Posted 4 years ago
Thanks again. To answer a few questions, last time I was there the house was full of clutter (though not totally full, dirty, cold and unhygenic), so not a place to go and visit, certainly a far worse place to have Xmas etc. than our houses, and I didn’t really have any other reason to be in the area – when my sister passed by more recently she’s met mum but she didn’t go in the house, wasn’t allowed in I think, so mum has visited us instead. More recently when we’ve become aware it’s getting worse my sister has offered to go and help sort things out and been refused – you can’t impose if they won’t let you until you’re in the situation we’re now in where she can’t drive (which she needs to do to live independently there even if she could get home – she is free to leave but we’re not taking her). My sister has spoken to her GP, but not got a lot due to issues of confidentiality – I’ve already taken her to my GP, she was having blood tests done whilst I was opening her front door (taken by mrs aracer)! She’s lived on her own for 19 years, though the house was cluttered before that when we lived there – never had friends round as the house was too messy, though it was far from being unfit for habitation – I think it’s been a gradual process as she’s stopped doing stuff and it’s got a little worse every day rather than being a sudden thing. Summons is being sorted – that’s actually one of the easiest things to deal with (though thanks again to stimpy).
To look on the positives at least we’re doing this whilst she’s living in a warm house and being fed properly rather than in different circumstances. She also somehow managed to avoid becoming seriously ill living there and we will find her somewhere better to live where we can visit regularly with our families.Posted 4 years agocinnamon_girlSubscriber
Sorry, can I just pick up on your point of patient confidentiality – I’ve been there. By explaining to the Receptionist by phone what the circumstances were, it was relayed to the GP who phoned me and was most helpful. Sometimes you have to be persistent, in the nicest possible way.
Well done on what you’re doing, it will be bloomin’ hard for you but you’re clearly doing your best.Posted 4 years agoSmudger666Subscriber
What cougar said about it taking two to not visit/speak.
By the time I realised what was going on, five years since I spoke, a few more since visiting a relative that I should have been more of a relative to.
GP is probably the best that you can do now. You can’t deal with this without professional help, IMO.
Good luck, and as has been said, you are now stepping up, so suck up the guilt, get on with the fixing it.Posted 4 years ago
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