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Thread: So are you/they able to do?

  1. #1

    So are you/they able to do?

    Okay, so I mentioned several weeks ago about my BIL who was paralyzed T12 coming to live at my house and things I wasn't sure about. Its been 6 weeks now and I'm just wondering if he should be doing household things on his own (or atleast attempting to) Last week I was doing his laundry and I thought "his hands work just fine so I'm not going to fold these but I will wash them and dry them and take them back to him to fold himself" (I already do laundry for the 5 of us) Well his exwife was there and I guess she made a comment about "well you can't fold and hang up that stuff on your own" And I thought, "why not". Today before he left for church he said "I need you to do my laundry today" Its not like he can't roll right up to the dryer and get the clothes out. And the trash in his room is overflowing right now. Can he not empty it out? He always calls my husband to do that. If he wants seconds at suppertime he always asks us to go get it for him in the kitchen. If there's something in his way on the floor he calls one of my kids to come and pick it up (even though it probably is their stuff) Yesterday HIS daughter was making kool-aid in my kitchen and he called my husband to come and help her.

    My question is, yes I realize its hard to do everyday things but shouldn't he at least attempt to do some of this on his own? He's not working or anything right now so he has time to work on that stuff. I know I heard him say that theres no way he can cook because he can't reach the stove? Yet, I heard several people on here say they live independently and do all this on their own, or mostly. Like I said he's T12 and doesn't have any other health conditions. What do you all think?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mona~on~wheels's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Cleburne, Texas, USA
    I don't know anyone injured at T12 but I'm a c7 and can fold clothes wearing a splint w/o any hand function. I think he should be able to help his child make koolaid, and it would be good for both of them to do something together. Sounds like there needs to be a group discussion and new rules.

  3. #3
    Maybe you all should have a meeting to discuss all this and lay down some ground rues, or at least articulate expectations, responsibilities and obligations around the home. If some open discussion is not had soon, negative feelings, regrets, and resentments may fester and become harder to deal with later.

    Physically and functionally, a para should be able to do their entire laundry, front start to finish, unless the machine in out of reach (up/downstairs or too high). Even if the dryer is above the machine, he as a para should have little to no difficulty putting in and taking out clothes. I am c5/6 with no use of hands/fingers and with limited use of arms, and have been able to do laundry, incl. throwing wet clothes in a top dryer and take them out using a reacher. It's hard for me to open the machine doors, and taking clothes out can be difficult, but that's mostly because I don't have regular use of hands and arms, with poor trunk balance. A t-12 should have no problems. The issue here is not ability, but willingless to do it.

  4. #4
    with the right set-up/knowledge at t-12 he can totally do it all. i'm a C 7/8 with 2 young kids and cook,clean,do laundry,drive and could live independently if i wanted. he needs a friend his level to encourage/teach/inspire him. with the right mindset and some time....
    Emily, C-8 sensory incomplete mom to a 8 year old and a preschooler. TEN! years post.

  5. #5
    OMG, he is sooooooooo milking the situation. I'd like to come slap him around myself .

    Maybe you could encourage your husband to come on here and read some posts so that he can realize how lazy his brother is being.

    It'd be cool if you and your family could go on a long vacation. Leave the BIL at home all by himself. In a sink or swim situation, you'd be amazed at what the BIL would learn to do.


  6. #6
    I'm T12 and live alone with 2 kids, and a cat. I have no family closer than 4 hours. I even mow the grass myself.
    My kids only have a few chores - clean up after themselves, they take turns taking out the trash, vacuming, and cleaning their bathroom. They put up their own clothes but I wash and fold them.
    The first year I was home my house was trashed. It took a while to figure out a good system and to get out of a depression. basically when they were at their dads I did nothing I was so depressed. Things would pile up. My mom was coming every few weeks and did a lot for me then but I was still alone most of the time.
    I took me a while to get out of that funk but I did.
    Maybe he's depressed, maybe you are enabling him. He shouldn't need help with anything except picking up heavy stuff from the floor and reaching things that are above his head.
    I am wondering how much of this stuff was done for him before his injury. Maybe he's just lazy.

  7. #7
    Honestly he has not been depressed. I would be able to tell if he was. Even when he answers the phone in his room, I can hear him and he is always chery. I think he just has it in his mind that he can't do these things and he wasn't much of a housekeeper before, so why start now.

    I was really scratching my head when a few weeks ago I did his laundry for him. I washed, dried, and folded everything and set it on his bed. He called me in later to put it in the dresser for him. Okay, his bed is only about 5 feet from the dresser and I think he could have done that for himself. I have his laundry in the dryer right now. As soon as it is dry I'm piling it in the basket and taking it to him. I will tell him if he folds/puts hangers on things I will be willing to hang up for him.

    My husband knows how I feel. Its just little things that are creeping up that make me feel resentful. His kids come every other week PLUS every tuesday after school till 8pm. They were here last weekend and for some reason this weekend and next weekend also. But, I'm very non-confrontational so its my own fault for not saying anything.

    I would like to see him at least ATTEMPT to do these things on his own!! Instead of just telling me he needs his laundry done today???

    So I am right that these things should be possible for him to do? I have never been in his situation so I didn't know what things he could or couldn't do.

    I have another question. How do you hold stuff on your lap and push the wheelchair at the same time. Is it a balancing act or is there another method I could mention to him?

  8. #8
    Wow, you definately need to put your foot down to this guy!! He is milking his disability so he can be lazy.

    I'm T4 which is a little bit higher of an injury & live by myself...I'm a neat freak & my house is always clean!!! (by me)

    I think you need to give him some daily chores. Having him vaccuum the house would be a good chore for him to do. It would be a good workout on his arms pushing that around. He should be able to do most everything. Don't let him get away with being lazy!!! You are going to be stuck with him forever at your house if you don't help him to be more independent.
    Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by addiesue
    I even mow the grass myself

    Wow, how do you do that?? Thats one thing I havent figured out yet!
    Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.

  10. #10
    Confront him. Let him read this thread. The sooner the better. The longer this is allowed to continue, the worse it's gonna get. It's the nature of the person, somebody's got to give him the boot. Sorry it's fallen on y'all, I'm not confrontational either, but what's right is right.

    My 2ยข

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