What can help a germophobe? She used to live in filth...I don't get it!
So mom's in an Adult Foster Home now with 4 other ladies and she refuses to go use the bathroom (because the other ladies don't wash their hands)...so there are germs on the faucets. She won't eat the food that's served because 'someone touched the pan/pot' that it was prepared in. She doesn't like it when someone touches her coffee cup. Instead she pees in the bed, on the floor, in a cup in her room...wherever! She tries to brush her teeth in her room but missed the wastebasket twice so it went in the floor!
Her apartment took my son and I over a week to clean because everything was so filthy - every surface was dirty (door jambs/knobs, handles, etc.) The beginning of it was just to remove the food and greasy pans from the kitchen and stove area. The fridge had food spilled in the bottom and all of the side compartments were nasty.
She'd saved every paper document that had ever come in - piles and stacks in plastic bags; drawers with food in them in various stages of being consumed...closed but half empty bags of chips, crackers. etc. The carpet is disgusting - stuff had been tracked and spilled, etc. and it's just black with dirt. She had peed on a rug in her bedroom and had multiple pads stacked up against the nightstand - the place smelled horrible as you can imagine. It was more important to her to feed the birds (and track the seeds in every day, than it was to clean anything up).
Slowly we were able to dispose of all the filthy debris, excess papers and food...but now I'm wondering what in the world is going on in her mind that she can tolerate all of THAT but cannot stand the thoughts of going into a bathroom that is shared by other women - and guess what? It's generally clean looking/smelling. I've been in there - there are no peed pads laying around, and it appears to be cleaned daily - no mess like what I found in my mother's bathroom.
What can I say or do to encourage her to use the bathroom and see that it's not as nasty as her own bathroom in her apartment? When I spoke with her about it she told me that her mother 'taught her all about washing her hands'....I wondered why she didn't remember anything her mother taught her about cleaning the kitchen or the bathroom? Or even the value of bathing?
I don't get it...such fastidiousness - when in reality she puts up with everything around her being filthy. She has a can of Lysol spray in her walker - she can use that to sterilize the handles - don't you think? I'm out of ideas....