BROOKHAVEN, MS (WLBT) - What happens to adults with special needs who are left alone when their caregiver dies?
That's the plight of two sisters in Brookhaven who are surviving day to day through the kindness of others.
Forty-eight-year-old Mamie Mangum talks about the daily struggle to live with her sister 56-year-old Carrie Mangum in their home on Old Highway 51 in Brookhaven.
"We get along one day at a time," said Mamie Mangum.
The sisters are disabled and have had no one to care for them since their mother died last June.
The younger sister was asked if they are able to manage on their own.
"We're trying me and my sister. We're doing the best that we can," said Mangum.
That means going without medical care, clean clothing and living conditions and healthy meals.
"They need help," said Nikki Hall.
Hall is also from Brookhaven and met the siblings recently when her aunt was visiting from Virginia and wanted to stop by to see them.
Hall and her friends Ella Holmes, Saundra Lloyd and Cassandra Barner were motivated to help after meeting the Mangums.
They have been bringing them food and clothing.
The sisters are on Medicaid.
Carrie lost her Medicaid card.
Hall said she suffers from epilepsy, while Mamie has a brain tumor.
She said they have not seen a doctor in more than a year.
"She's able to pay her bills, but they don't have enough money to buy food because she told us that their gas bill was $700 and they're living off government assistance," said Hall.
They did not want cameras inside the home because they have been ridiculed by people who live in the community but allowed us to take some pictures.
The women are having trouble.
Donated spoiled food rots on the floor along with trash where rodents and insects roam. Clothing is in piles. There is mold and unsanitary conditions.
Neighbors and others take them to town monthly to pay their utility bills.
WLBT contacted the Mississippi Department of Human Services.
"Unfortunately, when the caregiver dies or becomes unable to care for special needs adults, it can leave the infirmed at risk. This can quickly evolve into a dangerous and/or life-threatening situation for someone without the means to properly care for themselves," said Communications Director Julia Bryan.
Bryan said if someone knows a special needs adult or senior requires services they should call 1-800-948-3090 to reach the area agency on aging in that county.
She added that if they are in any danger you should call the Abuse Hotline at 1-800-222-8000.
The Mangums want to stay together and don't want to leave their lifelong home.
"Some people they just gonna pass by. They ain't gonna help or offer help," added Mangum.
If you would like to help the Mangum sisters please call Nikki Hall at 601-291-0494, Saundra Lloyd at 601-435-1472 or Ella Holmes at 601-327-9397.
@2010 WLBT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.