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Ashamed of my parents

Helen wrote:

Please read this through; this is a real situation and not a joke.

My parents are very, very unclean people. They don't wash their hands after using the bathroom. They only take a shower once a week. My mom's a stroke victim in a wheelchair, so she has to abide by whatever my dad wants. Their house is absolutely filthy and every time I go over there, I end up with itching on my legs and sometimes with a rash on my arms. I've even had trouble with breathing because I think there is mold there. They also have ringworm. They don't open up windows or anything. And, the house smells BAD. They do not even bathe the dog. They even put their dishes on the floor for the animals to eat out of and then don't even wash the dishes with soap!

I love my parents and want to honor them, but I can't even get myself to go there anymore. My son agrees with me about the condition of their house, etc. My dad went through three homecare agencies and they dropped him because he was being too difficult. He says that if somebody thinks the house is too dirty, then they don't have to come there. What do I do? They're my parents. I feel stuck. Thank you

Dear Helen

Were they always this way, or has something happened? Have things got out of control because they cannot keep up with cleaning, or are they depressed, or what?

Have you ever offered to help them clean up? What about brothers and sisters?

You say you feel stuck, but I'm really not sure if you mean embarassed - or helpless. Because it's help they need, not condemnation.

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