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Housework- do it or leave it?

jasmineflower

Registered User
Aug 27, 2012
335
I haven't posted much recently and it has mainly concerned my MIL who has late stage dementia/Alz. She is now very well cared for in a nursing home locally. It's my FIL that is the problem. We have moved him into rented accommodation near to us. So we are no longer trying to do everything from 200 miles away.

Now MIL is being cared for we realise how bad my FIL has become: he hasn't showered since he's been here (months), he is wearing the clothes he was in over Christmas plus he does no cleaning and refuses to change his bedclothes. I've tried to introduce a cleaner but he stubbornly refuses and says he likes to do his own housework!!! He obviously believes he does it.

My dilemma is do I leave him to his own devices (and possibly wrath of his landlord) and let it descend into the dire mess his other house was in?

Do I sneak in and do it all on Sunday when he's out with my hubbie and possibly cause ructions if he notices? (I do have my own work, house and family to look after).

Is there another option?

To be honest, I'm not feeling particularly charitable towards him as he can be pretty belligerent and unhelpful at the best of times but that guilt monster is there, on my shoulder, tweaking my ear .....

J
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,068
Scotland
If you have access to his funds hire a cleaner to come with you one Sunday a month and gut it. Let him froth at the mouth. You will know he has a clean bed and his washing done and fridge emptied of unhygienic food.

Sometimes you just have to override all this nonsense older people spout.
 

jasmineflower

Registered User
Aug 27, 2012
335
Wise words Marion. It's the tentative conclusion I've been coming to. My husband has access to funds and my friend runs a cleaning/care support business, so it is do-able.

Just that when you see how hands off the authorities are "waiting for the crisis" to occur and the mess they let people get into, I start to think it's too much interference.
 

MERENAME

Registered User
Jun 4, 2013
236
scotland
If he honestly thinks he does it he probably won't notice. Mine didn't notice once in about five years that the cleaning fairies had been in.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
Some landlords/letting agents do regular inspections. If he kicks off, you could maybe tell him this is the case, whether it is or not, and that he'll be evicted if the place is a tip.
 

chris53

Registered User
Nov 9, 2009
2,929
London
Hello jasmineflower, so sorry you are in between a rock and a hard place:eek: a very good idea to arrange a deep clean every couple of weeks with an outside company,whilst you may do the washing,fridge,bed etc..although cleaning company may be able to do this:)the housework standards were probably very high with your in-laws, and because of old age not dementia,these standards change when someone else is trying to help..as long as FiL is not eating out of date food and there are not mucky areas,especially in the bathroom and most of all he is safe living alone:rolleyes: please contact SS and explain how he is now and they will do a home assessment, if possible it would be a good idea to chat to his doctor first who can may do a referral for you for this assessment..it does speed things up if a doctor asks for this! It is obvious he needs outside care especially with personal hygiene and if he does refuse this at least it will be noted by SS.
I hope you can get some much needed practical help very soon.
Take care and let us know how things are.
Chris x
 

jasmineflower

Registered User
Aug 27, 2012
335
Merename and Witzend: both great suggestions. I like the idea of the "inspections". That might work. His landlady is pretty particular so not totally beyond the realms of probability either.

I really don't think that he would notice that any cleaning had taken place. Just don't want to make things difficult for my husband if he does.

Chris: he is safe on his own. One of us visits each day and sorts out the many minor crises and phone calls We try to make sure he comes to us for a few good meals each week. It's just the hygiene of the house that is the worry.
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,946
London
I don't think elderly men have been conditioned to do housework the way women have, plus if you point out their shortcomings, it might be seen as undermining their authority. How about completely stopping any talk about it, hiring a cleaner on the sly then letting them in while you take out FIL for a couple of hours? If he really notices a change, play the innocent and compliment him on his housekeeping skills. I am sure he will gladly take the credit.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
Maybe he just doesn't even notice his own mess and muck. I think some old people don't. My BIL had an old aunt who was a really lovely lady, but her house became so dirty - and she wouldn't have cleaners in - that eventually my sister and BIL said they'd stay at a B&B 'rather than put her to any trouble'. Before that my sister had to attack the loo with industrial weapons before they could use it, and she said the state of the kitchen was eye-watering. But the dear old aunt seemed none the worse. They thought it was partly her eyesight - not brilliant. Must say I don't see the dust up our stairs now unless I have my reading glasses on. :eek:
Have to make sure I go round the house with glasses on now before any guests come to stay.
 

jasmineflower

Registered User
Aug 27, 2012
335
Thanks for all your suggestions and support. You are right about elderly men not knowing what to do when it comes to cleaning. My FIL certainly never did anything to help my MIL around the house.

I guess I'm just giving myself something else to worry about. If he is happy living like that then I suppose it doesn't matter. If it comes to paying cleaners and decorators to rectify the situation when he leaves the rental property then we cross that bridge when it comes.