Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Maybe They're Just Lazy

My parents had come to terms that a condo wasn't going to work, that just moving to another place wouldn't make it easier for them to function as they got older. So my father had given me a pullout from the newspaper of assisted care facilities for me to look into. Not a day later, by Saturday night he was asking me  if I had answers and if I had looked into things.
"No," I said, "I did not. It's the weekend and nobody would be there. I need some time and space, probably when I get home and have an internet connection I can send emails and get answers."

A couple days later, I landed at home and the next night started doing research. I called all the places from the newspaper insert and did some internet research, giving me a pretty good idea of prices and services available in such facilities. They are pricey, starting at around $3200 and going up to over $5K a month.

I sent him the information. "This is what you want, right?" I confirmed with him.
I offered him to hookup with a free organization that would take him to see some assisted living/independent living facilities first hand. He accepted.
My parents went to visit several independent living facilities.
After I talked to them about this, and their options.
"We're going to live with your sister. She is going to set us up a room in the house she is moving into."
"So you don't need anymore information from me?"
"Ok so you will help her out with the new place?"
"Yes, we'll help her out. We'll pay for groceries. We could even help out if her husband gets laid off or loses his job. But she says that she doesn't want money from us."
He didn't give any hint to details of how this plan would unfold and what would become of the hoard house.

I came into the house and told my wife I just got off the phone with my parents. "They're going to live with my sister. They plan to leave in 2 months."
"What about the veteran's funding for the independent living?"
"They don't want to hear anymore about it. My dad just changes the subject, saying he needs to do some cleaning."
"Well then maybe is really aware of the mess in the house, and this hoarding behavior isn't a mental illness, maybe they're just lazy," my wife said.
I looked at her, and for a moment I felt completely alone, like no one understands.
"We'd like to think that way, but that's just not the case. I'm sorry but it's just not like that. They're behavior and thinking is beyond rational, and maybe they say things like 'I have to clean' but that is just to confuse us, to throw us off their trail and make us think just that, that maybe they are really aware of horrendous conditions they are living in and it is just a matter of laziness that it stays that way. No, sorry, that's not the case."
My wife wanted to discuss this further. I guess I could have let it drift, and agreed, but even if I wasn't understood, I couldn't let go of what I knew and had experienced.


  1. Wow! I know you sound calm but this a lot to carry around emotionally. You and I both know this isn't over. I wish I could help

  2. Thanks for your support! Maybe after years of communicating with my parents like this, I have become used to keeping them at a distance and not letting them frustrate me. But it does. The one night a week I call them, is usually the night that I am the most touchy and edgy.