Thursday. Peserverence.

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I have a friend and former neighbor who worries me.  I’ve written before about C’s challenges as she’s aging, and it’s really concerning right now as she’s out of her mind.

I thought we were making good progress last week with her ability to deal with the reality of her situation, but yesterday proved that wasn’t true.

While I got her hooked up with a case manager at the senior center, and thought it was a good sign, it’s clear to me that she’s done little to nothing about moving out of her hostile living situation.  Last week, she said her backup plan was to farm her two dogs out to friends, and move in with her sister and (equally hostile) brother in law.  Yeah, progress !

Last night I found out that she’d talked to no one yet.  All these plans are in her brain and nothing has been done in the real world to bring them to reality.  She was asking if my former Roomie could take one of the dogs (no).

She’d lost or misplaced her phone.   Again.

She was walking around with $1,000 in her pocket (from last week’s car / license reinstatement), and had misplaced her wallet, ID, etc.  Again.

She’d paid rent through the 15th of November, forgetting / ignoring / whatever, that she’s been served with a 60 day eviction notice that expires on November 7th.  Again.

I know I cannot help someone who is out of their mind with mental health issues, which is why it was so important to get her signed up with a senior case manager to try and get some professional help with her failing living situation and vulnerabilities.  Clearly, she hasn’t told the case manager what’s happening and asked for help in their initial interview, and she’s under a deadline to find someplace else to live as the 7th is fast approaching.  She’s been without mental health support since she changed medical plans and left Kaiser, so it’s already been a very rocky year.  It’s likely that things are going to get worse before they can get better, and I am clueless about what it’s going to take to deal with this impasse.

After having received a panicked call last night (she was sure the landlord/friend had taken her money and her phone, among other grievances), I got a meal into her and hopefully got her refocused on the fact that the 7th is coming.  The landlord / former friend is likely to call to cops to finish the eviction, and she’s living in denial.  She’s already missed two prior move out dates, and the landlord / friend is becoming angrier and more verbally abusive as (I believe) she’s working up to the point where she feels justified to call to cops and have this vulnerable woman evicted.

It’s a cl*sterf*ck all around.

No answers here, as no one needs this level of stress in their lives.  I’m hoping she’ll get the dogs situated today, so that she can then concentrate on getting herself and her stuff moved out and into her sister and brother in laws (if they will have her).  Otherwise, her next stop is a women’s shelter.  I’m doing what I can to help with transportation and meals, but beyond that, my hands are tied.

Hopefully, she’ll focus today on what’s in front of her that needs attention, vs. concentrating on what’s behind her for things she cannot change.  Winter is coming, and America is brutally indifferent to its people with mental health issues that end up on the streets.

2 thoughts on “Thursday. Peserverence.

  1. At least she has YOU. My question is can you talk to the case manager about what’s really going on with her? Is that allowed? Clearly she is not responsible enough (through the mental health issue – is it dementia or Alzheimers or ?) to deal with her own care. I thought that made it the State’s problem or the government (not that I think they give a sh*t as long as they get their money and yearly benefits). People with that level of confusion USED to be taken care of by workers such as you mention. Maybe that’s not true any longer. APS (Adult Protective Services) might be an option, not because she’s being abused, but because they may have resources that you and she are unaware of for helping her. If she’s moving from one bad situation into another, this same scenario (minus dogs apparently) could crop up again shortly. I don’t like to be the doomsayer, but I am realistic. If the brother in law is hostile now, living together ain’t going to improve anything and will eventually (IMHO) result in an ultimatum. All I can think of is to do what you can, but don’t exhaust yourself. You can’t change the situation and she sounds like she’s beyond the level of your help. I hope for both of you. Take care!

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  2. Thanks for your excellent suggestions, ShyUT. Just got up from my nap after having spent another day running back and forth trying to help her.

    I was hoping the case manager would be more attuned to denial or whatever’s going on, but C has a right to refuse more than the most gentle of help suggestions (which is what she seems to have been doing).

    Luckily, she left a vmail with her sister with my number last night, and N called me this morning since she couldn’t reach C and I gave her an earful, including the fact that C was letting pride get in the way of reality, and that I’d appreciate it if she’d allow C to move in. So, progress on that front. I guess I live to be a busybody.

    Today, though, instead of getting my spare phone and moving on with life, C talked to her Sis and Brother-in-law, replaced her debit card (after I strongly advised her to leave the cash in the bank vs. taking it all out) and then spent the rest of the afternoon at the phone store (vs. the DMV to get her ID replaced).

    By 2pm, I was worn out with my own exhaustion issues and made it back home and to bed for a nap by 4. Not sure what she’s going to do with the dogs, as she’s reversed herself about whether or not she’s going to farm them out short term, but at least her family knows so I’m not working alone to get these matters addressed.

    While she doesn’t like her brother in law, he does seem like a mostly good guy, so we’ll see what happens from here. For now, there are reinforcements to help get her moved out by the 7th, and I’ll try again tomorrow to see if she needs anything.

    Mental health support is pretty iffy in the USA if you’re not hurting yourself or anyone else, and I hope she’ll do a better job tomorrow taking her meds and getting things done.

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