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Old 11-25-09, 11:55 AM   #1
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What to do about a crazy (actually senile) neighbor

About a month ago, an older woman was moved into my apartment complex (right next to me) by her family. From the first few days, the woman displayed senile behavior. Not wanting to make a long story, longer, just trust me when I tell you she has done many crazy things. Her family was obviously dumping her here in the hopes we would take care of her.

Because of the Holidays I believe her behavior has become more abberant and has escalated. She is literally ringing my doorbell in the middle of the night (I mean 1, 2, 3 am) looking for "Larry", her son. I tell her "Larry doesn't live here" and she just responds "Oh well, tell him I was looking for him..." and then she gives me a beer "for Larry" (I guess this would be OK except I don't drink!)

Anyway last night this neighbor was walking around outside, not unusual. I then began smelling smoke. I looked outside and here sits the neighbor, in a little plastic chair. We had Santa Ana winds Monday night and pine needles and debris where everywhere. She had a nice little "campfire" going out on the sidewalk. Now remember this is California - we are right in the middle of a Red Flag Warning and SA winds. She is burning "leaves" and there is debris and tinder all around her. This is a high density apartment complex.

I ran out, yelling at her. Another neighbor also came out and he put out the fire while I ran and got the mangement. The fire department was called and they spent alot of time evaluating her. The officer who interviewed later told me to be careful and sleep with one eye open. Great. I didn't sleep much last night and am pretty sick this morning from stress and worry. I do fear she is going to burn down the complex.

Sad thing is she has money, lot of it apparently. Her family could put her into a care facility where she is watched 24/7 but according to the management, the family doesn't want her money to go to that. They obviously want the money after she dies. In the meantime she is confused, lonely and out of her friggin mind!

So what would you do? I have tried to get some agency out to evaluate her. Hopefully the fire department's report will help with that. In the meantime, not certain what to do. Oh after the fire department left, she came out and started watering down the building and the area around her apartment. I told her to stop. She then pointed the hose at my bedroom window getting the contents wet and soggy ( had to try and sleep on the couch). I walked over and turned off the water and took her hose. That'll teach her!!!
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Old 11-25-09, 12:04 PM   #2
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About a month ago, an older woman was moved into my apartment complex (right next to me) by her family. From the first few days, the woman displayed senile behavior. Not wanting to make a long story, longer, just trust me when I tell you she has done many crazy things. Her family was obviously dumping her here in the hopes we would take care of her.

Because of the Holidays I believe her behavior has become more abberant and has escalated. She is literally ringing my doorbell in the middle of the night (I mean 1, 2, 3 am) looking for "Larry", her son. I tell her "Larry doesn't live here" and she just responds "Oh well, tell him I was looking for him..." and then she gives me a beer "for Larry" (I guess this would be OK except I don't drink!)

Anyway last night this neighbor was walking around outside, not unusual. I then began smelling smoke. I looked outside and here sits the neighbor, in a little plastic chair. We had Santa Ana winds Monday night and pine needles and debris where everywhere. She had a nice little "campfire" going out on the sidewalk. Now remember this is California - we are right in the middle of a Red Flag Warning and SA winds. She is burning "leaves" and there is debris and tinder all around her. This is a high density apartment complex.

I ran out, yelling at her. Another neighbor also came out and he put out the fire while I ran and got the mangement. The fire department was called and they spent alot of time evaluating her. The officer who interviewed later told me to be careful and sleep with one eye open. Great. I didn't sleep much last night and am pretty sick this morning from stress and worry. I do fear she is going to burn down the complex.

Sad thing is she has money, lot of it apparently. Her family could put her into a care facility where she is watched 24/7 but according to the management, the family doesn't want her money to go to that. They obviously want the money after she dies. In the meantime she is confused, lonely and out of her friggin mind!

So what would you do? I have tried to get some agency out to evaluate her. Hopefully the fire department's report will help with that. In the meantime, not certain what to do. Oh after the fire department left, she came out and started watering down the building and the area around her apartment. I told her to stop. She then pointed the hose at my bedroom window getting the contents wet and soggy ( had to try and sleep on the couch). I walked over and turned off the water and took her hose. That'll teach her!!!
Sadly, it won't teach her. She likely won't remember.

Her family though, needs to get a grip. Hopefully some agency will recognize this.
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Old 11-25-09, 12:10 PM   #3
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Contact the Department of Mental Health in Orange County and try to ge ahold of Mark Odom. Tell him your situation and ask for suggestions. Mark really knows his stuff.
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Old 11-25-09, 12:12 PM   #4
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I know that this sounds harsh, but... Call the Police. Once law enforcement is involved, either they will contact Adult Protective Services, or bring her to a hospital for evaluation (likely by geriatric psychiatry)
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Old 11-25-09, 12:32 PM   #5
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I know that this sounds harsh, but... Call the Police. Once law enforcement is involved, either they will contact Adult Protective Services, or bring her to a hospital for evaluation (likely by geriatric psychiatry)
^^^that^^^ and! lets not forget to report the family that dumped her and the management that let them dumped her there!
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Old 11-25-09, 12:36 PM   #6
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I know that this sounds harsh, but... Call the Police. Once law enforcement is involved, either they will contact Adult Protective Services, or bring her to a hospital for evaluation (likely by geriatric psychiatry)
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^^^that^^^ and! lets not forget to report the family that dumped her and the management that let them dumped her there!
These two for the win.
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Old 11-25-09, 12:41 PM   #7
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Contact the Department of Mental Health in Orange County and try to ge ahold of Mark Odom. Tell him your situation and ask for suggestions. Mark really knows his stuff.
Thank you so much for the suggestion. I have called several OC agencies and have gotten no response. I did hear that the fire department has contacted some agency (maybe the same one) and they are going to evaluate her. The ownership is also going to start eviction proceedings... sadly I fear her family will just dump her into another complex and not 24/7 care... I am trying to get her daughter's name and will be contacting her with my "opinion" whether she likes it or not.
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Old 11-25-09, 12:54 PM   #8
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Yea this lady needs watching , as she obviously IS a danger to her and others.
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Old 11-25-09, 12:57 PM   #9
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I had a similar issue last winter when a paranoid schizophrenic moved next to me. The first time I met her, she was banging on my door asking me to figure out her thermometer. Apparently 80 degrees was not hot enough for her. At first, I thought she was just an odd old lady. After a month of constant weirdness she forgot to take her meds and went crazier than usual. One morning while walking my dog, she threatened to kill me and my dog. I called the cops but there was nothing they could do. Well, I said screw that and decided to work remotely at my parents house. Apparently she left her apartment naked one night and started terrorizing the complex. The cops were called several times that weekend. Anyway, after the cops convinced her to put her clothes back on, she decided that she needed to go to a hospital. A month later she was evicted.

I suggest you call the cops after every crazy episode. If they are called enough maybe they can convince her to go to the hospital were she can be evaluated by a professional.

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Old 11-25-09, 01:05 PM   #10
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I know that this sounds harsh, but... Call the Police. Once law enforcement is involved, either they will contact Adult Protective Services, or bring her to a hospital for evaluation (likely by geriatric psychiatry)
That exactly what I was going to say, and I don't think its "harsh". Call EVERY time something like this happens, and insist they make a report. The police will establish a pattern of behavior and reports of such things will help her be deemed incompetent by the courts so she HAS to get the help she needs.

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Thank you so much for the suggestion. I have called several OC agencies and have gotten no response. I did hear that the fire department has contacted some agency (maybe the same one) and they are going to evaluate her. The ownership is also going to start eviction proceedings... sadly I fear her family will just dump her into another complex and not 24/7 care... I am trying to get her daughter's name and will be contacting her with my "opinion" whether she likes it or not.
At the very least, at least you won't be in jeopardy of losing your apartment to a fire when she starts a campfire in the living room...
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Old 11-25-09, 01:37 PM   #11
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That exactly what I was going to say, and I don't think its "harsh". Call EVERY time something like this happens, and insist they make a report. The police will establish a pattern of behavior and reports of such things will help her be deemed incompetent by the courts so she HAS to get the help she needs.

At the very least, at least you won't be in jeopardy of losing your apartment to a fire when she starts a campfire in the living room...
someone else may be....
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Old 11-25-09, 02:05 PM   #12
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someone else may be....
thats true, but if she can't fix everything she can at least look out for #1.
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Old 11-25-09, 02:10 PM   #13
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From the first few days, the woman displayed senile behavior.
What's her BikeForums username?
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Old 11-25-09, 02:10 PM   #14
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I had a similar issue last winter when a paranoid schizophrenic moved next to me. The first time I met her, she was banging on my door asking me to figure out her thermometer. Apparently 80 degrees was not hot enough for her. At first, I thought she was just an odd old lady. After a month of constant weirdness she forgot to take her meds and went crazier than usual. One morning while walking my dog, she threatened to kill me and my dog. I called the cops but there was nothing they could do. Well, I said screw that and decided to work remotely at my parents house. Apparently she left her apartment naked one night and started terrorizing the complex. The cops were called several times that weekend. Anyway, after the cops convinced her to put her clothes back on, she decided that she needed to go to a hospital. A month later she was evicted.

I suggest you call the cops after every crazy episode. If they are called enough maybe they can convince her to go to the hospital were she can be evaluated by a professional.

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Old 11-25-09, 04:12 PM   #15
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You are not alone! A couple moved in next to me recently. She is clinically diagnosed Schizophrenic and he apparently likes that. She had a baby since moving in. Dept of Children and Families immediately took it. He can't understand why his rather lengthy rap sheet would have any bearing on his qualifying as a parent. And they both drink, all day. That other couple that lives with them but doesn't live here according to t he lease are as bad or even worse. All four get into fights both verbal and physical with each other. A couple of weeks ago, the other woman stabbed her husband in the apartment. I don't hesitate for a second to call the police. One night I called and the dispatcher asked if she was hearing the fight. She was, through the wall and over the phone. I called right after something really heavy hit wall.

Landlords are the luck of the draw. The first and for some the only thing they see is a steady rent payment. You'll probably encounter this more with time.
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Old 11-25-09, 04:28 PM   #16
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You are not alone! A couple moved in next to me recently. She is clinically diagnosed Schizophrenic and he apparently likes that. ...Landlords are the luck of the draw. The first and for some the only thing they see is a steady rent payment. You'll probably encounter this more with time.
OK to add to my story... there is a couple that moved in about 2 years ago that live just across and two up from me. She has been taken away (in a straitjacket no less) several times since moving in. She is also a schizophrenic and occassionally goes off her meds and goes off on everyone. The couple has an 10 year old child (he BTW is mentally challenged). I almost wish they had taken away the baby but poor thing has had to grow up with weird parents. There is constant yelling coming from their apartment. 4 units around this housewhole are now vacant because of the commotion. People are not afraid to call the police on this couple, they deserve it. BUt still no one takes the child away! Sad! Funny... when the fire department showed up they immediately went towards this apartment until we turned them in the right direction.

Yes the owner was so anxious to rent to anyone, he lost 4 good tenants! My complex used to be inhabited my mostly single professionals but now its houses large families, Section 8 folks and who knows what. The place is becoming a run down mess. Probably time for me to move...
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Old 11-25-09, 07:14 PM   #17
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Probably time for me to move...

I was just going to suggest,....

talk to the senile lady's family first (be nice) Can't hurt?
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Old 11-25-09, 10:11 PM   #18
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I was just going to suggest,....

talk to the senile lady's family first (be nice) Can't hurt?
My neighbor and I have tried to do that. We have left the daughter numerous messages. So has the management here but she won't call back. I do think I know where she work. I might try reaching her there. I am not mad at the neighbor - she has no clue - but upset at the family and wonder if the best thing is to contact an agency and let them deal with the family. Obviously they have dealt with this before and don't care. Do I really need to be nice to them? They aren't good people.
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Old 11-25-09, 11:08 PM   #19
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To make a short story long and adding no assistance to Pamestique's problem in any way...

This reminds me when I used to work in animal control. One night I get called out to this house by the police. They had been getting numerous calls throughout the evening about this lady's dogs running loose and chasing people. By the time the police showed up, the dogs were always back in the house. As the cops explained the situation to me, the old lady kept sticking her head out the front door and yelling obscenities at us. They were tired of getting called out and told me to impound the 2 dogs. "We'll cover you from the old lady and you just take the dogs.", they said.

I told them I can't just take her dogs just 'cause they say so, that would be stealing. I asked if any of them even witnessed the dogs loose and they looked at each other and said no. I tell them I can't do as they requested and repeated that that would be stealing of property. They get mad and asked the name of my manager and I gave them his name. They asked who was the person in charge of my watch and I tell them that I'm the sargent of the watch and they can call my manager when he comes in next morning. All but their corporal go off mumbling.

The corporal said that the lady seemed to be a bit off and if they could get an adult potection case worker out tonight she may have to be picked up. I told him if they can get her in custody, I could then impound the dogs under protective custody. So that night the case worker was called out, he spoke with and evaluated the old lady and had her go in over-night for observation. She really was kinda weird.

As she was taken away in an ambulance I moved in to impound the dogs and requested that the police clear the house first. When I entered the house, there was all kinds of paper and filled plastic trash bags waist high throughout the house. You had to walk through a pathway that was craved out though the debris. There was little tiny roaches crawling on the walls and ceiling. The lady had a gas space heater going full blast! The officers turned the heater off. The officers did not forget my lack of cooperation earlier and walked out snickering and saying, "It's all yours!". I managed to impound the 2 ankle biters (so called vicious dogs!) and cleared the location.

I ran into the corporal a little more than a year later and he asked me if I remembered the old lady. He said that she was released 2 days later and about a month after that, her house burned down and both she and her dogs died in the fire.

Soo...yeah keep calling the police.
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Old 11-26-09, 06:50 AM   #20
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To make a short story long and adding no assistance to Pamestique's problem in any way...


Soo...yeah keep calling the police.
Ernest
Hey, it works for me. My new neighbors, at least temporarily, have drastically modified their behavior. My oldest neighbor lives in a house across the alley/narrow street behind my apartment. My new neighbors started having these large gatherings and they would spill over the street and into his private property. He then, starts asking me to do something about it. I couldn't believe that I had to explain to him my status, tenant and that he had private property. I have never met a more criminally coward in my life. The axe murderer woman had an episode late one afternoon, threatened to kill her husband and proceeded to stomp up and down this lane with her favorite butcher knife (serrated). I call. Police arrive and disarm axe murderer, leaving her sitting on my neighbor's AC unit.

He, oldest neighbor, accuses me of telling police I impersonated him with name and phone number on the call. That almost earned him a punch in the face and kick in balls, (error-balls not found). That was Friday week before Halloween. The axe murderer stabs her husband Saturday week following Halloween inside the apt adjacent to mine.. My neighbors call for an ambulance. Police arrive first. The apt. neighbor attempts to convince detective that the stabbing happened at a nearby grocery store involving some unknown ethnic. I call to set that record straight.

Soo... yeah Ernest, I keep calling the police on an as needed basis.
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Old 11-26-09, 08:50 PM   #21
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This makes me really sad. It's just disgusting how so many in our culture treat our elders. Having helped care for two elderly relatives as they fell deeper into dementia and on the road to caring for another in the next few years...it's hard. Really effing hard. AND it's our job ferchrissakes. Why we think it's ok to just walk away from the people who cared for us when we couldn't make it alone will forever be beyond me.
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