Post Discussion: “But I’m Perfectly Fine Living Like This!”
You are a geriatric case manager and you are working with Chuck an 82 year old man who currently lives in a two bedroom single family home. Chuck’s wife died five years ago. They never had any children.
On your first visit to the house you find the exterior in disrepair and a lawn that is several weeks overdue for a mowing. Chuck tells you he usually mows the lawn himself but the last 4 weeks he has been experiencing too much pain in his left ankle which is swollen. His clothes are stained and disheveled but it does appear he is bathing regularly.
Inside the house you find boxes and boxes of “stuff” in every room. The hallway is piled with boxes on one side restricting the width of the hallway all the way down to his bedroom. There is a small path between the boxes and his bed that allows him access to the bed. The second bedroom is filled with boxes and miscellaneous items strewn about. You can’t see the floor. The bathroom doesn’t look as if it has been cleaned for months.
The kitchen counters are cluttered with dirty dishes and old empty fast food bags, containers, pizza boxes and a roach here and there. The refrigerator is almost empty and the floor is filthy. You look outside the back door and see that he does manage to take the garbage out of the house from time to time but the patio is filled with large bags of garbage that were never put out for pick up. Although the living room doesn’t have any boxes in it the furniture except for one chair is piled high with clutter.
You make arrangements to revisit Chuck the following week and at that time provide him with an plan to engage some services to help him get the house in order as well as get him in to see a doctor. Chuck insists he doesn’t need help with anything and that he is perfectly fine living like he is. He states he isn’t hurting anyone and asks that you please leave him alone.
Discuss whether you believe Chuck to be mentally competent, whether or not this is a case of self-neglect and how you would proceed.
Support your statements with evidence from the Required Studies and your research. Cite and reference your sources in APA style.