Speaking of rooms/cleaning...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Nomad, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Last night I was at work (soooo interesting) and husband took difficult child to her apt. with- the therapist.

    difficult child has been doing a tiny bit better (excuse me...while I cross myself and light a candle). She is working with a social worker trying to get a job. This has been interesting. Even with- assistance, she has not had any luck. She continues to try to get her child care certification, has cut back on smoking is doing a tad better with- staying with-i her budget, has left her alcoholic boyfriend (it seems real this time!!!) and seems to be doing a tad better in terms of friends in general. She came to the house the other day for dinner and a movie and was totally appropriate! HEY!

    When husband picked her up for the t-doctor appointment., he noticed that the apt. was filthy. She asked that we make a load of laundry for her...new place has no washer and dryer and there is no laundrymat nearby. husband does not want her washing clothes at our place (a discussion I plan on having with- t-doctor next family meeting...next month).

    Sooooo....husband comes in to help difficult child gather some clothes. GROSS stuff....as you guys know the drill.difficult child has three cats. Since difficult child leaves her clothes all over the places, the cats use the clothes to sleep in or worse. This does NOT bother difficult child.

    She has a laundry hamper with- a top....but rarely uses it.

    The rest of the place was really messy and dirty HOWEVER, husband tells me she MOPPED! So, bizarre!

    So, he asked her to shake out a few clothing items she really wanted and said he wash them and briefly talk with- the doctor about it...which he did.

    T-doctor made the following suggestions:
    1. We hire a housekeeper one time...a "special" housekeeper who will work along side difficult child to show her how to clean. They do the job together. Housekeeper is to give difficult child "pointers."
    2. Then periodically make surprise inspections (let's say two times a month). If her apt. is clean, we give her $10. Like a bonus. If it is not...we don't give her any money. It will be an opportunity for her to make some money and hopefully will teach her to keep her place clean...ongoing.

    The laundry wasn't really addressed yet...we are going to discuss this in family meeting (we meet once a month as a family) ...in a few weeks.

    What do you think of the possible cleaning plan? Any other ideas?

  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I had to go back and look at difficult child's dxes before I could answer and refresh my memory. I see that she has recovered from a brain anerysm. (forgive misspelling I'm on my 1st cup of coffee still) I don't know how much, if any, damage resulted from this.

    Have you considered asking a neurologist about this issue? One of the areas in the brain where Travis has some of his worst damage is an area that has to do with organization. Once his first MRI came back, before telling me the results, the neuro proceeded to describe my son to me. While I sat there with my mouth hanging open unable to believe my ears, he discribed Travis right down to the letter. Well, at least some of the biggest issues we were dealing with, but I hadn't mentioned as I didn't feel a doctor would really be interested in them.

    His words: Travis's room is a stye, regardless of any reward/punishment system in place. Doesn't matter how many times you demand he clean his room, beg him to clean his room, bribe him to clean his room, show him to clean his room.......if by some miracle he manages to clean some of it.....it's a stye again in a very short time.

    Now there was plenty more, but it has nothing to do with this so I won't go into it now. But this really whopped me upside the head because we'd had wars over his room all of his life.:surprise: The only way he could ever clean it was if I sat on the bed and directed him until he'd finished. And less than 2 days later..........yeah.

    So I asked doctor to explain it. He's seen it so often in his patients that it's common. It has to do with the organization part of his brain. The kid really isn't a slob.

    So we stopped the clean room wars. If I wanted it clean, I sat on the bed and directed him to keep him on task and from getting overwhelmed with the job. Otherwise I kept my mouth shut. Travis never complained about cleaning.......

    I dunno but thought this may perhaps be some of the issue with your difficult child. Travis truely appreciates me helping him.....and the clean room after. He does make an honest effort to keep it clean, but if I don't stay on top of it......it's right back in the same condition in no time.

    Which is why I take on partial blame for Travis' room being in the horrid condition it was in. With school I just couldn't keep up with it like I normally do. Now I never do the cleaning part, but he honestly needs someone there to direct him and keep him on task.

    Just some food for thought.

    The therapist's plan sounds good. But if it's an organization thing, it's just not gonna work even if difficult child wants it to, at least not without constant supervision. And if it's just plain laziness.........I dunno, that's a hard habit to break. But the money may be incentive enough.

  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with Lisa. With my bipolar diagnosis and after my car accident and the resulting problems, then god help me, the meningitis...well...Im having great problems with getting things done. I want them done...dont get me wrong. I dont like living in chaos. I want a clean house. I just have a very hard time getting it done. Laundry kills me. I hurts to even do it. I get overwhelmed with the whole clean a room thing so you can imagine cleaning a whole house!

    I have done very well on cleaning my bathroom because it is small and it is barren...lol.

    I think maybe the therapist is right to have someone in to clean her place. You really can find someone really cheap on craigslist. The person I found there was only 7 bucks an hour. For a small apartment that would not take long. Even if you had to do it once a month, that would give you peace of mind and would be a gift to your dtr. Really...is that a bad thing? Sometimes we have to do things like that. They are our kids. If she had no arms we wouldnt mind would we.
  4. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Hmmm, interesting problem. Sounds like in so many ways she is doing so well.

    Something jumped out at me. She is hoping for child care certification. She would be PAID money to work in that field. Next thing, she would need to PAY someone to help keep her apartment clean.

    SOooooo .... How about a swap? How about if you help her find a ORGANIZED young mom who really could use a break during the week and can't afford the child care? So, difficult child tells this person that she doesn't like a messy apartment but she has issues regarding organization and is in need of ... say 3 hours a week? Of housecleaning services. Her part of keeping it going could be ensuring all clothes are picked up and trash taken out BEFORE the cleaner arrived so that the cleaner could mop, vacuum, dust, do bathroom and kitchen etc. It cant' get out of control too much with a weekly clean sweep by someone who IS organized!

    In return, she can offer x amount of free child care services that the young woman can use, on a schedule, Say a certain night of the week. Or whatever works for both of them???

    In this economy, a barter of services is the new kinda norm for alot of people.

    It may just work! That would just leave the laundry situation. I don't know how that would work without a laundrymat nearby to her. But a clean apartment weekly to start fresh every 7 days would probably be a confidence booster. Maybe she'll keep her clothes better after she gets used to enjoying the cleanliness after the cleaner was in?
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    All good ideas.

    I get behind in my laundry....and I thought about making a deal of sorts with- her.

    I will wash/dry her laundry AND pay for someone to clean her place once a month IF she comes to my place and folds...

    her laundry AND mine

    every two weeks.

    A little complicated...but I suppose we could get it on a schedule of some kind.

    She is pretty good at folding.

    Her problem is rather complicated and I suppose a neuro psch exam would be appropriate....there are cost issues.

    As near as we can figure it...it is a combination problem having to due with some complications involving issues with- her surgery and her bipolar/ADHD diagnosis. There are also laziness issues to be sure.

    When she has a friend coming over...she cleans her place perfectly.

    Honestly, I do not think there are any good reasons here for extreme filth. Period. I just don't see it. She has a high IQ. Was taught differently...understands better. I do understand that it is difficult for her, it is not going to be the same for her as another person...but I feel that the level of the problem is not appropriate.

    Janet/MM....awesome problem solving ideas/solutions.

    In time, if difficult child recognizes that cleaning is overhwhelming for her, I do hope that she will set aside money for cleaning help and finding inexpensive help is not a bad idea at all...as well as bartering. I do see that difficult child is creative and that is fine...a good thing.

    D/L....I suppose I'm doing my best to help her see that she needs to do her part in all of this...I personally have no guilt in this....I want her to do the very best she can with- what she's got. Sometimes it is hard to shake that out and in my humble opinion it is easy for her to fall back on her weaknesses. I don't discount the fact that it is very hard for her and she will not be able to do like others.But it does not do her any good at all, to play the victim/not do her very best. It has not been easy...it seems you have a similar boat....really hard stuff.

    I'm putting in the back of my mind...encourage difficult child to keep her apt. clean as best as she is able...with the understanding that as she is able to earn money...move forward in life...that she will want to make a clean apt. as something more of a priority and if necessary find someone to help her get that accomplished esp. when she is unable to do it for herself.
    Lasted edited by : Sep 20, 2009
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Finding that balance of what they can do vs what they just can''t do can be a real challenge.

    By trial and error I learned that Travis is very able to clean and do it well as long as someone is near to keep him on task and give him step by step directions. (otherwise he gets overwhelmed and just stops and stares at it) He can maintain that level of clean if there is someone to remind him and make sure he follows thru with putting stuff away ect.

    I didn't want to do the actual cleaning because I knew at some point, and hope at some point, he'd be living on his own and I wouldn't be there. So he'd have to know the "how to" part at the very least.

    This isn't the only area this organization thing shows up in. It was also a major issue with his school work and other things.

    So far at college his room is clean and seems pretty well organized. I haven't helped him one bit with it either. But I did tell him that having a stye for a room in his apartment would probably be grounds to dismiss him from school as it's student housing. So he's trying harder.

    Guess we'll have to see how it goes. Also, I've left the majority of his things at home to reduce the clutter factor. And he has very little spending money to add to the clutter on his own.

    The plan for her to repay you in services she is able to do is a good one and just might pay off big time for both of you. :D
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Yes, finding the balance can be a real challenge.

    I have not broached the subject yet with- husband or the therapist.

    The more I think about it all...the more I am changing my mind about it all. LOL!

    I really do not wish to have difficult child at our home for the folding...for a variety of reasons...one of which is I don't think she will live up to her end of the bargain and the other is that I don't wish to be overly involved with- her "stuff." Since she seems to have some special needs, I don't mind helping some as long as she is respectful, has tried to do it on her own AND I have some hope that it might lead to future benefits for all concerned. Her being at my house, only leads to continued involvement on my part.

    Nope...back to the drawing board....but I think the overall thoughts are very good.

    I'm looking forward to hearing input from the therapist, esp. with- reference to the laundry. Will also see what she thinks in terms of a neuro-psychiatric exam (benefits) and how I might be able to get this done in a cost effective way.
  8. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    Okay, so let me get this straight, therapist wants you to pay her to keep her own apt. clean? What was he thinking by suggesting it? Noone pays me to keep my house clean. Noone pays you to keep your house clean. She will eventually either run up against the landlord demanding she clean or get out and learn her lesson the hard way. I don't get it. If you pay a housekeeper to clean it once she'll expect you to do it again. I say don't do it.
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Well, I wasn't there when husband spoke with the therapist and we plan on talking about this more the next time we have our family meeting.

    From what I can piece together, the thought was that difficult child may not have a good idea on how to clean or she forgets how to clean.

    If we were to hire one, for a 1x experience, difficult child would have to help her and the housekeeper would have to be willing to "teach" difficult child some tools of the trade.

    This is because of some slight neurological deficits and really bad problems with ADHD that are not being addressed with medication might make it hard for difficult child to organize herself or remember certain things.

    We don't want to de motivate her by enabling her, so I'm not in favor of paying for a housekeeper regularly. AND I'm not sure if I really want to do the 1x thing. However, perhaps we need to discuss this some more. There are some issues involving sanitation, and laundry, etc.

    We could always say to her "remember when so and so 'taught' you how to clean your place?" This way she would have something to think about. When the place is clean, we could take a photo of it and even put a note on the back of what was done. It could be used as a learning tool...sort of a "jumping off" place and nothing more.

    It would be up to her if she uses it or not.

    difficult child has some minor deficits and sometimes it is tough call as to how much extra care she needs with reference to these type of things.

    None of us are "into" the entitlement thing...and difficult child has felt the sting of tough love many, many times.

    difficult child has been making small inroads of progress with this new therapist. In fact, she continues to take baby steps...but more baby steps in recent times than in the past. I think she has been seeing this new therapist for about six weeks...but there have been breaks due to vacations.

    She (the therapist) has been using a variety of different type of therapies, combined with once a month family therapy.

    Actually, I have been reading about this very topic and studies show that for Bipolar Disorder what seems to have the best results is a combination of therapies (often CBT) combined with Family Focused Therapy and a very strong educational component.

    The one time use of a cleaning woman who is willing to "teach" is probably just seen as part of the educational program.

    by the way, husband told difficult child Fri. morning that he would stop by her apt. over the weekend at his convenience, so that if she wanted the money she should keep it clean. He told her that normally he would not give her any "heads up," but for this first time, he would help her out a little bit. So apparently, she cleaned her place AND kept it clean the entire weekend, 'cause husband was super busy all weekend and didn't get over there until late Sunday night and the place was very clean! So, this was a small little positive. In the future..we decided that one of us would just stop by at our convenience...no warning at all a few times a month, as the therapist suggested. It might motivate her to do her best to keep it clean all the time...we'll see.

    p.s. BIG news...difficult child was finally offered a part time job...starting next month. Fingers crossed, please.
    Lasted edited by : Sep 21, 2009
  10. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Nomad, I think this is an incredibly good idea. Writing down cleaning steps, what to use for what chore, taking pictures of what to do and the end result, just seems downright smart and worth every penny. I hope you find someone who has the patience and wherewithal to do this.

  11. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nomad I am always amazed at how far you have gone to help difficult child. I think this is a great plan and hope it works. I'm afraid my difficult child would not work with anyone who tried to help or teach her anything.

    by the way I just got finished with another layer of cleaning her room and now feel certain there are no hidden drugs anywhere. She came home again this weekend unknown to us, have no idea where she slept, but she came over Saturday afternoon and asked to borrow money to put on her laundry card. I gave her $20, but have decided from now on I will drive to the school and go with her to put the money on the card so I know it's being used for that. She has gone three weeks with no clean laundry.

  12. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Hi Nomad,

    I used to own a Merry Maids. I promise you I've seen it all. ALL. From the most neurotic to the hoarders that could make even the strongest stomached person throw up.

    I liked the idea of a person that would come once a week and work along side of her and give her pointers to clean UNTIL I read that if she has a friend coming over she can clean PERFECTLY. Then that eye brown arched and I thought - Hmmmm.

    So then I am thinking - What if you hired someone to just come and hang out with her and help her period and give her tips on stuff? Do you think that would motivate her to keep her own apartment clean and when this person shows up the reward would be - clean apartment - go to lunch and shopping, or clean apartment - teaches life skill like ironing or how to bake bread or something Susie-Homemaker neat. ??? Or maybe take in a movie or have a pedicure? Go to the park - just fun girl stuff. ??

    That way your daughter is cleaning for herself - the aide is checking on her instead of her parents AND she's getting a reward plus life skills.

    I too am amazed at the lengths you will go to in helping her. You're a fantastic Momma.

  13. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Thank you guys for the very nice sentiments...means a lot to me.
    As you know this is a very very hard, thankless job we find ourselves in.
    And as luck would have it, after many many days of positives, today was really tough...we made a medication change and difficult child was manic. As near as we can tell, nothing very serious has occurred, but she was very ugly on the phone with- us today and its a little touch and go for the remainder of the day. Sadly, she called first, but blew off her therapy appointment. today for the first time and was totally irrational and nonsensical...it's like a different person. We are putting her medications back the way they were tonight and she is not arguing about this (a good thing).

    As a side note...I have fallen a little behind in my work this afternoon and husband is fighting mild depression as a result of observing the sudden change in difficult child this morning. We are a little shocked at how fast things can turn upside down on the rollercoaster. We are BOTH DETERMINED to pick ourselves up again and pronto. I guess we got a little use to the quiet in the last month...there's a sadness when the blackness/chaos/turmoil/trauma-drama returns. However....life moves on...I make sure of this.

    Star, difficult child has actually done some "interesting" things along the lines of what you have mentioned in an effort to help herself clean.

    She has had a friend sit by her side and keep her company. The weirdest thing she has done and this was recently, was "Pay" a friend to clean with- money that she barely had...it went "into" her food money. It was a feeble attempt to help herself...but in my humble opinion food takes precedent over cleaning...I can clean myself...can't grow an apple from my armpit.
    Lasted edited by : Sep 24, 2009