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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

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Sister needs intervention!!!

My oldest sister has lived on her own for years and raised 3 of her 4 boys. She always opted to live at least a few hours away. She did not like that our mom would get after her for her lack of cleanliness for herself, her children and her home. We are not talking that she was expected to keep her home spotless but she did nothing which caused her husband (also blind but who worked long days) to leave her. She actually lives in filth. She won't let us in her apt. unless there is an emergency. She does not shower, rarely washes her clothes etc. I am ashamed to take her out because of the way she smells. She hates our mom & feels mom doesn't like her because of her weight & blindness. My mom can't deal with the dirt and total lack of wanting to do for herself. How do I approach the subject of personal care and explain I would love to have her over more or go places with her if only she would bath and wash her clothes (yes she has a washer/dryer in her apt). She is of sound mind so I don't think Adult Services is the answer. What do I do? My other sister is as stuck as I am. Do I bite the bullet and take the chance of pushing her away? Two of her sons live out of state and the one who does live with her is starting to avoid her and won't answer his cell when she calls. I feel I could talk to the oldest but not the nephew who lives nearby. The son who she did not raise will not visit either. He opted to live with his dad because he couldn't stand the mess. He no longer visits because he just can't deal with it. Any feed back from I can get would be appreciated.

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Anna, from Germany

Welcome to my new gallery>

Re:Sister needs intervention!!!

Your sister's problem is not really a blindness issue. But you might be able to get some help from state and local agencies for the blind. You can find them by going to AFB's home page and sculling down to the FIND button. Click there and you will get to a query screen. Select Rehabilitation Services in the Services box and fill in your state and you will get a list of all organizations meeting that description . Many of them do have counseling services or referrals.
And even though you don't feel that right place for her, they may be able to suggest somewhere that can help.

Eviction from her apartment on the grounds of neighbor complaints sounds as though it might be a possibility and a concern. Perhaps that would be motivating. There was a documentary on television once on "Grime in the City" about companies that help people clean up and get out from under serious mess , often under pressure from landlord and neighbors,. I'm not sure how you find them. That would only work if she would be willing to keep it up afterwards.

You’re a good sibling and I hope everything works out for you and your family.

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