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What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relative?

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What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relative?

Old 01-06-11, 09:09 AM
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What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relative?

This may be just a vent thread, but really I'm looking for ideas, advice, maybe some humor along with the venting.

I have a relative who, as a result of shitty childbirth practices back in 1953, is brain damaged. The forceps likely caused a brain bleed and damaged part of his brain. Whatever it was, it happened and can't be undone so I tend not to dwell on it.

He went through school in special ed classes, which probably diminished his capacity more. Had he been properly educated and not locked up in a broom closet when the public school teachers couldn't cope, he might have it together quite a bit more today. Again, it can't be undone so let's move on.

His dad secured a job for him on an assembly line in an automotive plant, union of course, and he worked there whenever he wasn't laid off until the plant closed. Other jobs include janitorial and food service. That's all he's done, all his life. He can read a little, not much. I remember sitting in the floor with him on Sunday morning while he tried reading the newspaper comics. I was about 7 or 8 and he'd point every minute and ask, "What that word be?" I'd tell him and he'd move on. When I send him birthday and Christmas cards, if I print everything, he can read it as he's familiar with the spelling of his name, my name and other simple words. He's a train wreck with numbers, short of memorizing phone numbers. Like zero math skills short of money counting, which I guess is about all that matters for him.

So he's working with the mental capacity of a 12 year old emotionally. Lots of storytelling and exaggeration and outbursts of emotion. I guess the restaurant he's been working at for the past 8 years is getting sick of this aspect, because they're writing him up left and right in what appears to be an effort to fire him without a discrimination lawsuit. Keep in mind that these f*ckers are the same people who torment him day in and day out with catcalls and all sorts of inappropriate behavior. Someone pukes all over the bathroom stall? "Hey retarded boy, go clean it up!" And that kind of nonsense. They do take advantage of him, he never gets his breaks, they work a nearly 60-year-old man as a dishwasher for 8 hour shifts and then his blood sugar crashes. Yes, there are injustices. I live 400 miles away and can't seem to figure out what to do about calling them out on it.

I don't know if he could go on disability. He's been working for 40 years. What can I say that will make them think he's not able to work now? Just that people have no heart anymore and harass the bejeezus out of an old man with an unfortunate handicap? I want to send him to Goodwill to work, maybe they'll be nice to him there and work with his limitations instead of exploiting them, but it's a big pay cut. Well, after he gets fired, I guess any money at all will do.

Any of you been in a similar situation with a disadvantaged family member? As the eldest of the next generation, seems I've been officially granted the task of looking over a 58 year old whose life savings has been swindled out of him SO MANY TIMES that I've lost track. He lives in a house that is paid for with his holy-freaking-shit-batshit-crazy live in girlfriend who drained the last of his savings (only $1500 left) and berates and torments him, and me by extension, to death. We're waiting for the old bat to die. She's older than his mother! When she does, the house is all his. I estimate it to be worth maybe $35-40K. Half the time I think he should walk away from her and forget the house. All she uses him for is his paycheck and his ability to drive.

Yes, he can drive and no he cannot move in with his mom because the state she's in will not verbally administer the written driver's test needed to change his license from his state to hers. He can't read the English version and giving him the Spanish one doesn't help much either
Old 01-06-11, 10:02 AM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

Wow...sorry for your situation. And sorry for him.

I have nothing specific to offer. But I would think there would be some state agencies that could point you in the right direction. That or try the local churches. Especially the Catholic church.

I would think there were state funded programs that he could get a job at or even possibly live. He sounds like he can be functional with minimal assistance.
Old 01-06-11, 10:07 AM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

I was thinking there must be a sort of half-way house, or open home that he could live at. He would be around others with similar conditions, and would not be mocked.
Old 01-06-11, 10:19 AM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

Very similar situation here with a relative. It's particularly difficult right now with the unemployment that's out there. In his case, he has been working janitorial-type jobs over the years but the past couple years those went away. He got into something entirely new, when his mother passed away. Having cared for her a lot in the process, he discovered that he was good at taking care of old people. Not purely medical care, but the kind of care that so many lack at the end of their life, which is sympathetic and attentive. So he got into home care services for people near the end of their life. People have loved him in that business... a level of appreciation and accomplishment that he never achieved in any previous job. There are positions available for a wide range of abilities.... you don't have to be a nurse in all these positions, they have other people with greater skill sets to fill in there. There are of course some basic skills required, with training to achieve it. We're talking really basic stuff here. Work is still hit and miss right now, but his self-esteem has gone up substantially.

The best part of the thing is his new-found independence of sorts. He's realized there's something he can do in this world that people actually want and it's gotten him excited to get better at it and learn more. Late in life, for someone who has struggled his entire life, that's a real gift.

I don't have any specific answers as to whether that line of work would be appropriate or even interesting in your situation , but maybe it offers some clues in the right direction.
Old 01-06-11, 10:22 AM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

I know there are companies that specialize in finding "people like him" jobs. I did it once because, frankly, it was cheap. Just being honest here. Especially in troubling economic times businesses are looking to save money at every turn. It didn't turn out for me because he had too many limitations and there were too many rules...like we were required to give him a certain number of breaks when the rest of the staff weren't allowed the same number of breaks and all in all he was very limited in what he could do. As it turned out, it made much better financial sense to hire a "non-challenged" person for a little more money that could perform more duties and do those duties better. I tried, but it just didn't work out.

Maybe the guy that worked for me just didn't mesh with us and somebody else would have been better...I don't know. But there are companies that specialize in this and maybe that would be worth a shot.
Old 01-06-11, 10:28 AM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

Lock him in the attic then have guests over and tell them, "Whatever you do, don't go into the attic."
Old 01-06-11, 10:38 AM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

Set up a playdate with these guys...

Old 01-06-11, 10:49 AM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

Originally Posted by PrincessT View Post
I don't know if he could go on disability. He's been working for 40 years. What can I say that will make them think he's not able to work now? Just that people have no heart anymore and harass the bejeezus out of an old man with an unfortunate handicap? I want to send him to Goodwill to work, maybe they'll be nice to him there and work with his limitations instead of exploiting them, but it's a big pay cut. Well, after he gets fired, I guess any money at all will do.
I think it's great that he's been active and working for so long, but nothing is worse than a bad work environment. Despite the pay cut, working at Goodwill would be a different world for him. Given his age, he might qualify for some additional benefits such as a medical card, and maybe food stamps (or whatever they call it now). I know some people aren't crazy about these programs, but this guy has definitely paid his dues, and he deserves to take advantage of the safety net now.

The big problem, of course, if the "girlfriend", and I'm sorry to say I don't have any serious solution, and can only recommend a well placed pillow the next time she takes a nap.
Old 01-06-11, 11:00 AM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

make sure that the girlfriend has no claim on the house 35-45K is a lot of money, I was going to say check in to Goodwill, they will train him and help him find work, check with the state you may be able to get him on disability, but git rid of the girl friend before you do. Good luck to you and him.
Old 01-06-11, 11:02 AM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

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Old 01-06-11, 11:10 AM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

Contact adult protective services for his state, and see what they can do about the abusive job. There may be a discrimination case there for verbal abuse and hostile work environment. They should also be able to offer ideas on legal assistance regarding the house.

I forget age cut off for dept of aging help (65?) but it may be worth a shot.

Depending on the social worker/case manger one gets for both departments, it can either be a shit experience or someone who will light a fire under appropriate asses.

upon rereading, it seems he has "blood sugar issues" so you may be able to get VNS (visiting nurse services) involved in medical management.

Basically the more people watching this and who are involved the less chances of him being taken advantage of . Hopefully that will also alleviate some pressure from you. I also think there were great suggestions above (church involvement etc).

Last edited by Ropes Pierre; 01-06-11 at 11:15 AM. Reason: additional info
Old 01-06-11, 11:36 AM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ



+

Old 01-06-11, 11:54 AM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

We all heard the wise words of the doctor.
Old 01-06-11, 12:46 PM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

It doesn't appear that he lives near you in the Chicago area but you may want to contact these two great agencies and see if they can offer you some help or direction.

http://www.seguin.org/

http://www.misericordia.com/
Old 01-06-11, 12:58 PM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

Ive worked in the DD field for 18 years now... First thing is does he have an official diagnosis of a developmental disability (this is a state thing)? Most likely APS will not take a case with people w/ DD (thats how it is in NY and was in FL). You need to contact your states office of people with developmental disabilities ( may not be called exactly that but something along those lines):
http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=32253
Old 01-06-11, 01:26 PM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

Thor, that is a very motivating story. I might try to have some conversations with him and find out what his dreams were growing up. Gosh I wonder if anyone has even asked him that, ever, in his 58 years. Yes he can irritate the crap out of me, but I always try to remember that he's a person with feelings. I'm always griping to other family members to stop avoiding his phone calls and hey, maybe call and wish him happy birthday or merry christmas or something. He tells me how bad it feels and that he thinks nobody else in the family cares about him. And it's bullshit that I should have to guilt trip them into giving him 5 god damned minutes of their week. That's all he takes some weeks. 5 minutes.

Again, I'm venting.

There is a cooperative up in Wisconsin for mentally disabled people who are able to work. I understand there's a long waiting list, but we're on it anyway. Right now I think state agencies or Goodwill would be a better option until something opens up. I really tried getting him to take the next opening at Goodwill. I talked with the guy in charge and he seemed like a nice person who tried to look out for his workers. I kept telling him, get a medical card (he has ZERO coverage now), get a Link card (new name for food stamps). Get partial unemployment since his hours had been cut quite a bit already (thus the loss of health coverage).

Yeah the girlfriend has claim to half the house, but his cut of it (worth 20k at best IMO) isn't worth her BS. Now she's like 79 years old so how much longer can she keep kicking it you know? Half a lung cut out due to cancer and all sorts of other ailments. She fell walking into Cracker Barrel, tripped on nothing, no steps, just wiped out, bruised, bloodied and of course they sent her straight away to the hospital. All she does is nag him to death in the meanest way, go to the riverboat to gamble away what's left of her savings, and come home and nag more. Even after she dies, I'm not certain that she hasn't taken a lien against the house without his signature. She's a sneaky bitch who tricked a disabled man into cashing out his certificates of deposit and blowing them on things she wanted.

I'd prefer to find a group-type home, assisted living community that caters to people with mental disabilities because time and time again, it's been proven that people will take advantage of him. Some of my earliest memories regarding financial discussions were of Grandpa trying to figure out what to do about the credit cards my uncle's "friends" had gotten him to take out, then charged up with their purchases. It seems like his life is just one huge string of moochers and it doesn't help that he's the type to give you the shirt off his back, plus he has NO IDEA about the consequences of his actions.

Perhaps step one will be getting power of attorney. Step two, contact state agencies, set appointments, take time off work, drive downstate and just deal with it. Step three, buy a big pillow for the girlfriend lol--I kid, I kid. She's put up with his nonsense for ages, she's no saint and she's an outright thief, but she served her purpose I suppose as partial caretaker, even if she is illiterate, ignorant and can't even drive.
Old 01-06-11, 01:41 PM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

sorry to hear about how your relative has been treated. he really should file a complaint for discrimination against the disabled. what they are doing is just so low. hopefully justice will be served.
Old 01-06-11, 01:55 PM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

Originally Posted by FantasticVSDoom View Post
Ive worked in the DD field for 18 years now... First thing is does he have an official diagnosis of a developmental disability (this is a state thing)? Most likely APS will not take a case with people w/ DD (thats how it is in NY and was in FL). You need to contact your states office of people with developmental disabilities ( may not be called exactly that but something along those lines):
http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=32253
Thank you!!! This sounds like a very good starting point. I found the office that handles his county (we live 350 miles apart) and left a message, plus set reminders for me to call again if she doesn't call back.

sorry to hear about how your relative has been treated. he really should file a complaint for discrimination against the disabled. what they are doing is just so low. hopefully justice will be served.
Yes, I hope so too--I've called their corporate HR person before and most recently filed complaints with the state of Kentucky's Americans with Disabilities Act office. The latter was by far the most helpful. The former was an asshat who gave me grief for "making his job harder." TGIs can suck it.
Old 01-06-11, 03:30 PM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

Run him for political office.
Old 01-06-11, 03:45 PM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

Get him a job at Wal-Mart. He'll fit right in.
Old 01-06-11, 04:29 PM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

He tells me how bad it feels and that he thinks nobody else in the family cares about him.
Fuck that's sad.

I must be on my period. Lots of depressing stuff around here lately.
Old 01-06-11, 04:41 PM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
Fuck that's sad.

I must be on my period. Lots of depressing stuff around here lately.
Sounds like you need to htfu.
Old 01-06-11, 04:54 PM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

Hit that fucking uvula?
Old 01-06-11, 05:40 PM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

Originally Posted by Vibiana View Post
We all heard the wise words of the doctor.
I've used it previously in another thread. It's become my new answer for everything.
Old 01-06-11, 05:54 PM
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Re: What to do with a seemingly unemployable 58 year old mentally handicapped relativ

Is ACORN hiring?

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