Hoarding Woes: “I didn’t fall. I was looking for something”

Last night was a heartbreaking, jaw dropping encounter with my aunt. She has seemed different of late. Ever since her birthday, there has been an edge. Last night spiraled into an encounter of accusations against me that were shocking, but pissed me off too. I had spent the earlier part of the day at her primary physician’s office trying to get advice re this increased agitation and risk taking. Was there any meds that might calm her down? I know, I know…not trying to stupify her, just reduce the anxiety while she mends.

The doctor’s nurse was as far as I got and no prescription was authorized. The nurse did advise me that elderly people suffering traumatic incidents and confined often devolve into depression and dementia. The nurse said I should anticipate it and be prepared to to charge. Hmmm….surely we weren’t at that point yet.

As I sat there listening to my aunt accuse me of locking her out of her home with the intent of not letting her return…as I listened to her accuse me of stealing her things…as I listened to her put me into a larger conspiracy with the care providers, medical staff, and family to keep her away from her home and things….I thought is this what is going on? Is she at a turning point now and I am staring at it or is this a temporary blip on the screen, soon to vanish.

Today, when my wife arrived to help patch up any damage I had done (I was a bit testy), she also encountered the same accusations and hurtful tone. Also, the staff took my wife aside to advise once again my aunt had not requested assistance to get up and get to her walker. She got up on her own…they found her face down on the floor. Not even near the walker (last night she told me to not mention the ‘damn walker’) she was attempting to walk without help or device.

When my aunt was asked about this, my aunt said the staff was lying. Lying? Yes, lies…everyone is telling lies to keep her from her home. She had not fallen she was on the floor looking for something. Of course the followup question as to what for was met with a sneer and scoff. This it truly not my aunt. She is very agitated and it is obviously alarming.

No amount of reasoning works. No amount of step by step explanation and backup written notes on a calendar work. She is hell bent on leaving whether any doctor says she is ready or not. She is an adult. Her decision? Not a pleasant evolution here. What did I think? Spend a couple months in a care facility to mend, go home, hobble around with her trusty quad cane and die in peace sometime out in the future. Thankful we had made her home safe. 

Whoa Nelly! I can see that no amount of I cleaned this and put your stuff there is going to really satisfy her. I moved her world. I moved her stuff. The driveway is not bothering her. Imagine the kitchen. Imagine the living room, her command post. Well, there you go. A boss I once had displayed a plaque on the wall in his office. It read..”No good deed goes unpunished” Odd saying I thought at the time. I get it now.

No pity party here. I am doing what is right and in her best interest and I will have to seriously learn to bite my tongue and remember to not spar with a 94 y/o, 4’11” dynamo. ‘Looking for something’ hey?


5 thoughts on “Hoarding Woes: “I didn’t fall. I was looking for something”

  1. Mary

    You have my sympathy. After your weekend of cleaning on the drive, this is most discouraging. Just hope this strong-minded dynamo doesn’t decide to call a taxi and go home when the staff is busy elsewhere! Based on her mental state and her demands to go home, she just might try it. I hope you are able to get thru to the doctor and see if you can get something for her agitation. Hang in there. I think you are a remarkable man to do all you have done for her and this is the first time you have gotten “testy”. Most people would have lost their cool long ago. Please keep posting so we can keep up with your long journey of care.


  2. annietiques

    If I can offer a different perspective; your Aunt has lost control over everything in her life, where and how she lives and decisions are for all intents and purposes made for her. This has to be frustrating & difficult for her. She probably realizes that she may never go home again………and that must be discouraging for her. In Emma Horton’s words “That deserves a good pout don’t you think”?

    What you are doing you are doing for her…….her safety……her health……has merit beyond words! Don’t give up the good fight!

  3. Wren

    I’m not a hoarder but do have hoarding tendencies, so have been checking out blogs on the subject. I ran across yours, went back to the first post, and read all of them in order. What you’ve had to deal with is incredible. You’ve worked so hard and accomplished so much! Your kindness and compassion in dealing with your aunt is really heroic — I could never have that much patience. This latest setback in her mental state is heartbreaking and no doubt you’re dreading what will happen when she finds out what you’ve done at the house. But you absolutely did the right thing in taking the opportunity to make big strides in the clearing-out. Hang in there! And be sure to take care of yourself.

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