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Is this an adult safe guarding issue?

ShaunieShaunie EnglandPosts: 1,673 Postholic
edited June 7 in Home, Law & Money
I think my mum is mentaly ill with maybe OCD- hoarding. She lives alone but is in a house that is absolatly cluttered and she doesnt have a washing machine, a bathroom that is usable, heating, some windows are missing, no bed to sleep on because theyre all ended up cluttered, and she has a celling that is falling through from a weak, above the part of the celling that has fallen through is the bath and im thinking that it has been leaking for 2 years now - surely that is making the upstair floor wet and sooner or later the bath may fall down from all the damp. 

I lived there when i was younger for 16 years and the we couldnt go in the bathroom because it was always wet and we was basically deprieved and neglected. It was hell to try to get clean. But anyway so  would be a safe guarding issue as children. So im wondering if this is something adult social services should know about as it may not be her fault as may be mentaly ill and no one is helpig her and the celling could fall through and kil her? Ive also read that its dangerous to be in a cluttered house anyway for fire reasons. I dont like my mum but i wouldnt exactly want her to die aswell as knowin i may of coud of done something to help

and also my older sister works in a menta health hospital and she said she works with people like her and she goes to houses that are neglected and its an issue. But she has never seen a house as bad as my mums. She was unsure too - on if she would get in trouble for never pointing it out to anyone if soemone found out

Wondering if anyoen would know what to do in that situation? Do i ring adult social care or ? But my sister would hate me. My my refuses to admit how she lives is wrong and rejects any help from family

“If we could look into each other’s hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us face, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care.” ~ Marvin J Ashton


  • ShaunieShaunie EnglandPosts: 1,673 Postholic
    edited June 7
    Sorry. There are few mistakes in there and partly doesnt make sense.  Hope still readable

    Anyway so ive actually found this out through reading online. Im not too good at searching specific stuff so still unsure. But ive read that hoarding & self neglect on its own is actually a safe gaurding issue and could be taken against their will and even be detained under mental health act for assessing. But not always and local authoraties can intervene as they need to keep people safe. And i feel its more than hoarding when the bath could potinetally fall through soon and she could be under it

    Now i have no idea what to do cause my sisters & dad would hate me it i got soemoene else involved as theyre ashamed too even tho they dont live there and dunno if my sister would get into trouble for not raising it up with someone as she is an Occupational Therapist in a mental health unit so should know. ?
    “If we could look into each other’s hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us face, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care.” ~ Marvin J Ashton
  • MaisyMaisy CymruPosts: 151 The Mix convert
    You are right in that the situation with your mum seems like a safeguarding issue. We tend to think of safeguarding as protecting children from abuse and neglect, but it actually extends to elderly and disabled people too...or anyone who is vulnerable and at risk of harm. 

    I think you are entirely within your right to contact someone, on behalf of your mum. I know none of us here are professionals, but it is likely that the hoarding is OCD related, and regardless, anytime something gets in the way of a normal, healthy life it becomes a problem. And things can only get better with help!

    At the same time, I am aware that those with hoarding issues tend not to see anything wrong with how they live and often refuse help from family and friends. Sometimes hoarding starts because of other mental health issues or previous unresolved trauma. De-cluttering can be a scary time for those that hoard because they need that control that hoarding gives them, even though it can escalate to dangerous levels. But professionals should hopefully understand this. I'm not entirely sure what help you could get for your mum, if she doesn't co-operate, but given how you have described her house, it is possible that help could be given. 

    I'm not sure if your sister would get into trouble or not, but I think it's unlikely. I think it shouldn't really matter too much as it can be very difficult to get help for hoarders and it puts a lot of stress on family relationships. Many families and friends of hoarders either don't know the extent of the hoarding or just cut themselves off from the hoarder. The focus is on getting help for your mum, not that your sister is an Occupational Therapist and knew about your mum. Especially if you can talk your sister around, and that way then, she could be helping you to get help for your mum?

    Does your mum have neighbours or a garden? I ask because another thing to watch out for is anything that might affect a neighbours property, as they can take legal action. Just this morning we received a letter from our neighour's solicitor wanting to take action against our overgrown garden. Our house isn't as bad as your mum's, but we struggle with clutter and many things in the house need doing, so the garden gets neglected. 

    I think being ashamed is a natural response. Your mum is struggling and unfortunately can't see the extent of her illness and how much she is struggling. Especially with something like hoarding, there is a lot of stigma attached and many people don't fully understand hoarding. Mental illnesses are often seen as invisible, but hoarding is the opposite. And it makes it harder when the person refuses help. Shame is a normal feeling, but unfortunately, it doesn't do much to help the situation. Maybe you could talk to your sister and dad, and let them know that you worry about your mum? It's okay to be ashamed, but shame keeps you silenced and unable to reach out for help, and so the situation continues. 

    Usually, it's recommended to talk to the person and ask them to get help via their GP (or even a house visit), but that can be difficult. You could try making a referral to your local community mental health team, but not sure how far you would get without a GP or your mum's co-operation. You could try adult social care though. You could also contact Mind or OCD-UK http://www.ocduk.org/adviceline to see what they suggest. 
  • ShaunieShaunie EnglandPosts: 1,673 Postholic
    Heya Maisy

    Thank you very much for this. V helpful

    my mum does have neighbours and a garden. But the only thing she does take care of is the garden. Which is weird as she says that has to look the best as its what everyone see. Yet she has windows missing. And i think that makes the area look a bit trappy and devalues some of the houses there? Mayb not i dunno. But it doesnt look nice anyway

    My sisters would just hate me anyway as they HAte her so much because of how she made us live like. But like i still hate her as it was hell to live there but she clearly needs help. 

    She does do ocd things like tapping things a certain amount of time so she clearly is mentally ill and needs help and would think my sisters would be concerned about that. But they hate her and couldnt care less and doesnt see it as a “problem” as such but a life style she wants as she doesnt say she feels depressed

     Ive actually just emailed that site youve link. Pretty scared as im parniod theyd need to tell soemone else or somethin. Dunno when theyd reply as is nearly weekend. And may try to find an email i can send to Mind about helping someone else. 

    “If we could look into each other’s hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us face, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care.” ~ Marvin J Ashton
  • ShaunieShaunie EnglandPosts: 1,673 Postholic
    edited June 12
    Just sent the same email to Mind info - as it says can ask about where to seek help. Hopefully one will reply. Will update back here if any of them reply back 🙃. & Hopefuly ive sent them to apprioate email adresses ah
    “If we could look into each other’s hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us face, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care.” ~ Marvin J Ashton
  • MaisyMaisy CymruPosts: 151 The Mix convert
    It kind of makes sense that the only thing your mum would look after is the garden (even if windows are missing!). I guess perhaps deep down she may feel ashamed or on some level is aware that being neglectful isn't the norm, and so makes an effort with the garden because it's what everyone else can see. Or it could also just be that she doesn't want help and a neglected garden may be cause for concern, so if she puts effort in, it may deceive others into thinking everything is fine.  

    I think all your family members are entitled to their own feelings. I can't imagine what it must've been like for you all growing up. Living with a parent with a severe mental illness can be very challenging because it's not fair on others to get neglected, but equally, the parent is ill. It's a difficult situation to say the least. That said, you are all perfectly entitled to how you feel towards your mum. 

    It makes sense your sisters feel that way about your mum, especially if she refuses help and is in denial. It can definitely come across as a 'lifestyle choice' even though I don't think anyone would actually choose to live that way. 

    Good on you for emailing! Hope they can help you. Keep us updated! :)
  • ShaunieShaunie EnglandPosts: 1,673 Postholic
    thank you  

    i dislike my mum as much as my sisters as she is a horrible person aswell which yeah i dont think is part of her illness. But dont want her to exactly die but do really dislike her. So can see why they wouldnt wanna help her

    Anyway, Mind replied to my email and said is basically self help stuff. And said that if she is not at risk to herself or others- she doesnt have to engage with services. But surely this is a risk to herself. Maybe will reply back idk. i don’t know i guess ill just leave her. She does have physical heart problems that she says disables her and has a pacemaker. But she hasnt had that all her life and it doesnt disable somene and idk tbh its like she uses it as an excuse to stop living. But maybe she does feel physically rough all the time aswell and phyically cant look after herself. But has been a haorder & self neglect before she knew had heart problem but maybe she had the symptoms idk. 

    But think ill just leave her be. Theres no way she would enage with any service 
    “If we could look into each other’s hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us face, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care.” ~ Marvin J Ashton
  • MaisyMaisy CymruPosts: 151 The Mix convert
    Hmm, I see. Nothing wrong with disliking your mum. While some difficulties can be part of mental health issues, it can also be a trait of the person as well. But equally, you wouldn't want her to die. Your feelings make sense, and it also makes sense that your sisters wouldn't want to help your mum either. 

    If you wanted, you could always print off the emails and self-help stuff and post it through your mum's letterbox and let her decide what to do. But otherwise, it makes sense that there might not be much you or anyone can do unless she engages with services and help herself. 

    Hope you are okay  <3
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