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A question for those who care for the mentally disabled.............

My sister lives with my husband and I becuase she is mentally about 9 or 10 years old. I have asked her over and over and over to do things like clean her bathroom for example. She knows how to do this and I know that when she finally does it she won't do a good job. I can't get her to shower either. She only showers maybe 3-4 times a month. It has gotten to the point that the house smells bad from her not showering. I am beginning to think she needs to more help then I can give her. I don't know what to do. Help?

note: I don't know what the technical proper term is for a person with her disability. I hope I have not offended anyone. If you can tell me what to call it that would be great.


Asked by Anonymous at 7:17 PM on Mar. 7, 2011 in Adult Children (18+)

This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • First of all I'm sorry, and I really admire you taking responsibility for her. I worked with mentally disabled adults in a group home and it's very difficult. I don't really know what kind of advice to give you because each case is different and sometimes they can be very stubborn. It sounds bad but we had to treat several of our clients like children and if they refused to do something we would take a privlidge away but sometimes that would cause them to have behaviors and if she is violent when she is angry may not work out so well. I wish I could help but I'm here for support if you need.

    Answer by kayaiden8907 at 7:22 PM on Mar. 7, 2011

  • States typically have agencies for Developmentally disabled individuals. Many times services can be offered to assist you. I'm not sure what the office would be called in your state as the name of these offices change when the new 'politically correct' terms emerge.

    Answer by layh41407 at 7:20 PM on Mar. 7, 2011

  • I am thinking she may need a nurse to actually help her shower because when she does finally do it she doesn't do a good job.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 7:22 PM on Mar. 7, 2011

  • I used to work in the field. I ran a day program for mentally handicapped adults. The company I worked for also had Community Specialist that would go into the homes and help with these things. We had staff that would help individuals shower, help them clean up their rooms, etc. People were referred to us by the offices that handled individuals with disabilities. You might be able to Google it to find help.

    Answer by layh41407 at 7:28 PM on Mar. 7, 2011

  • Go to your state's website - just Google your state - and search it for human services, mental disability services, etc. Call or email as many agencies as you think might be appropriate. Sometimes contacting one will lead to other resources. GL and god bless

    Answer by elizabr at 7:28 PM on Mar. 7, 2011

  • you should call the local human services dept they can get you in touch with the proper people that can get you the help you need. sounds like she does need a bit of help and it would also help you. even if they came just once or twice a week.

    Answer by laura970 at 7:28 PM on Mar. 7, 2011

  • Ask your state agency what help is available for her. You may be able to get a nurse or a nurse aid to come in every day or every other day to help her with her daily living activities. That would include picking up and showering. They may say it is to much for you and recommend a group home.  If they recommend a group home you do not have to let them put her in one. You never know what kind of help they will offer though until you ask.  I know I use to go in and care for a disabled women so her parents could go out once in a while and it was paid for by the state. I hope you are able to get a bit of help.


    Answer by Alanaplus3 at 7:28 PM on Mar. 7, 2011

  • You prpbably need outsite help. Someoen who is trained and can help her and you. Ask around maybe at you doctors office what to do or what steps to take. Hope eveything works out fine.

    Answer by LittleBirdFly at 7:36 PM on Mar. 7, 2011