Help with a mentally disabled relative in Southern Maine?
My fiance has an aunt that is mentally disabled (possibly lead poisoning as a child). She is his father’s sister, and she has been deemed independent and has a job at a grocery store. She is terrified to drive due to a traumatic car accident, so she relies on the kindness of others for rides to work. She refuses to acknowledge the fact that she needs a driver’s license in order to keep her job, because soon, we will be moving out and he won’t be able to drive her to and from work anymore. We’ve tried to sign her up for a public transportation service for the disabled, but they refuse to come to our side of town because it’s too out of their way.
We’re at a loss. What can we do to help her get on her own? She absolutely steadfastly REFUSES to learn to drive, and when anyone tries to bring up the subject of what she will do when we move away, she shuts down and refuses to discuss it. I don’t know if her abilities have been evaluated to even ascertain whether or not she CAN drive, not to mention whether or not she could go on some form of disability instead of working,.but we fear that if she was left in her house with a steady check coming in that no one would do anything with her in the family and she would just become a recluse.
We’re thinking that the best thing for her would be an assisted living facility that would keep her active and provide her with companionship, but they have a reputation for being so expensive it’s almost out of the question (one kid in college, father has cancer treatments, loans, mortgage, taxes on both their house and hers, the works).
So what we need to know is, are there ANY programs out there that we’re overlooking that we can apply for so that we could somehow afford this for her? She has very questionable judgment with money, but otherwise seems to be able to care for her own basic needs. Her situation is unstable, though. Like I said, we can’t look out for her forever. This isn’t about abandoning her. We just all have our own lives (that are getting more hectic by the moment), and she deserves to have one as well. If things keep going the way they are now, she will lose her primary transportation, and soon after, her job, and then rot away in her house by herself just waiting for the weekly check and the occasional trip to the grocery store that she can wrangle out of the remaining family and neighbors after we are gone. And that’s not fair to anyone.
Thanks for your time. I know it’s a lot to read. It was exasperating to type.