Feeling very alone and so tired of my house smelling like urine.

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I have been caring for my 80-year old dad for two years now and he has lived with me for the past year. I was born the oldest of 5...I have two brothers and one sister still living. My mother is also still alive and ten years younger than my dad but having her own health issues and my parents have been estranged for years. ALL of my father's care has fallen on me, for some reason. He was living with my sister and her family for the first four months after we moved him back from Florida, when she decided she couldn't take it anymore. I take care of his finances, deal with his health aides and agencies, monitor his medications, change his sheets, wash his clothes, make him breakfast, lunch and dinner. I take him to church and for haircuts and anywhere else he needs to go. On top of all that, I am a single mom to twin 10-year olds and I work full-time. I have begged and pleaded and cried for help and, although I get sympathy, it never jolts anyone into action. I am also dealing with a court battle with my ex and my daughter is having surgery next week. I am so tired and depressed. My father was recently in the hospital and a facility for five weeks getting physical therapy...you would think that would give me a break? But no, he expected visits often from me and I was still doing all of his laundry and dealing with the social workers and nurses. He was dead set on coming home before he was ready. He has dementia (we had been calling it aphagia for awhile, but it is full blown dementia now.) He has trouble walking, even with a walker. He does nothing but sleep all day and on the weekends, expect me to wait on him. He is incontinent. Since he came home from the facility on Monday, it is worse than ever. He is having a lot of trouble changing himself. He is soaking everything and my house smells like pee all the time. I wash all his clothes in hot water, no matter what color they are, with extra detergent and scent boosters to get the stench out. It is still nice enough to keep the windows open, but I cannot imagine what my house will smell like once it gets too cold. I have had to shower him because I am still waiting for the aide service to get put in place since they evaluated him on Tuesday and the facility didn't bath him before he came home. Even when I leave the house, all I can smell is pee. It is disgusting, I am tired, and I am getting to my breaking point. He belongs in a long-term care facility, but no one has the guts to tell him that and I am afraid if I do, he will turn on me. I am the only friend he has left...everyone else has pretty much given up on him. He is not an easy man to deal with and feels he is somehow entitled to my services. He actually had the nerve to say to me (when we were discussing my court battle with my ex and I threatened to quit my job) that I could quit my job and take care of him. WTF! Because I am not doing that already? Seriously, at my breaking point. Venting is over.


kdaly, you need some help. Is anyone coming in during the day when you work? If he has trouble walking, that would be a huge concern for me. I would also be concerned about the effect that it was having on my sons. They probably also don't like that the house smells like pee. What kid would want to bring their friends home? It sounds like you either need a caregiver to help with your dad or you need a facility. Does your father wear Depends or anything similar? Or is he one of the people who refuse?

I know how you feel about the odor. My mother has many accidents. I am able to keep most of the house fresh, but when I go in her bedroom, the smell hits me first thing. In her case I think it is because she throws her wet clothes on the rug and flooring and with time it has soaked in. I don't know if I'll ever be able to get the smell out. Vinegar neutralizes the odor and helps remove the urine. I use it in the wash when needed and on the floor.
I am waiting for the services to kick in, but right now, no one is home with him. Before he went into the hospital, he had an aide three times a week/four hours a day through the VA. They will not come back in to help until VNS is done in about 4-6 weeks. He should get the aide, physical therapy, and I have requested speech through VNS, I hope, by early next week. I am looking into supplementing the aide service with a local agency, for the days VNS won't cover, but it is expensive.

I know it is having an effect on my children. Monday night, when I brought him back from the facility, within 5 minutes, he yelled at my daughter, who is special needs...she was trying to squeeze past him in the hallway. I yelled back at him not to yell at my children, but my son, who is very protective of his sister, got incredibly frustrated bc he knew he could't yell at his grandfather.

As far as the pee, he wears diapers and has always been able to change himself, but now he is having issues with that and for some reason, the pee smell is more potent than it used to be. He used to throw his clothes on the floor till I got him a laundry basket...he is pretty good about putting his clothes in there, but it still smells and I do laundry often.

I just don't understand wear my family is? When he moved in with my sister, we had a family meeting to let her know she would't be alone. I was already doing all of his finances at that point and would go to my sister's every weekend to go over his bills and take him out to lunch and/or church. (She lives about 40 minutes from me.) Weirdly enough, my brother stopped by about 2 hours ago for a surprise visit with his two kids...only the second time in a year...I guess he probably figures he is good for another year now.
Urine smell can be neutralized with bleach or with iodine scrub. So I bleach the whites and put Betadine scrub in with dark laundry.
It might be time to ask sis & bro to sit down and work out a plan to get him into a VA residence. You have enough on your plate already. Your siblings are likely fat dumb and happy and think you have everything worked out. You are one person and Nobody Can Do This Alone!!
If goes back in to the hospital for any reason, make it crystal clear to them that you can no longer take care of him. Get siblings to back you up on this
kdaly0273, oh my gosh, you really have your hands full. Wait a minute, your sister had your Dad for four months and then he moved in with you.... and that been 2 years.... what is wrong with this picture. It is time for the others to step up and help out. Your brothers can help, too, their hands aren't painted on.

Otherwise, ask for each of the siblings to chip in so that you Dad can go to a nice assistant living facility because you are at a breaking point. And be strong about what you say. Dementia isn't going to get better, only worse. You don't want to have your children not liking their grandfather.

Until then, sometimes the strong pee smell is due to dehydration.... I know more water means more pee :P

To help with the smell throughout the house, look for scented diffusers [a bottle with scented liquid where you place several reeds into the bottle] check them out on Google.
When Dad falls, and he will with what you are telling us, get him into the hospital and let the social services there know you are unable to care for him at home. They will help with finding a facility to care for him. His dementia will only get worse and require more care than anyone can handle alone.

Your kiddos are your first responsibility and you need to take care of yourself. You are trying to do the impossible.

For now call your local aging services group and ask for an evaluation as to what services your Dad qualifies for...to take some of the burden from you.
Your sister cared for your dad until she couldn't take it anymore. And she had the support of family. Doesn't that tell you something?

So why will you be the bad guy if your dad goes into a facility? Your dad will "turn" on you? Wouldn't that be better than being his laundress/accountant/maid/cook/chauffeur/nurse/pharmacist/secretary?

He needs more people caring for him. Like 3 around-the-clock shifts of nurses and aides. As you already know, when he's in a facility you will still be caring for him, it'll just be different. When my dad went into a nursing home it was like having a full-time job (I switched one full-time job of caring for my dad to another full-time job of managing and advocating while he was in the nursing home).

I agree with littletonway. Wait until your dad has to go to the ER, and he will, and get a social worker involved. Don't continue to sacrifice yourself and your kids for your dad. Some day soon he won't be around anymore and if you keep on going like this the damage he will have caused (emotional, physical, urine) will carry on long after he's gone. He's your father not your husband. You're not bound to him by law.

Your dad has ripped through your sister's life and now he's ripping through yours. Is there another sibling who hasn't pitched it yet?
What happens if he outlives you? You are near a breaking point. He really needs 24/7 care, from what you are telling us. You are not doing him a favor by keeping him at home. (My 95 yo Mother is in a NH and MIL in an AL). He needs skilled care to deal with his bathing and incontinence. Do you have his finances in order, so you know where the money is going to come from for a NH.

And - when you get him placed, do not go there every day. Do no answer your phone over once a day from him and let the nurses do their job.
"He belongs in a long-term care facility, but no one has the guts to tell him that."

Develop the guts. The welfare of your children depends on it.

You know his finances. Will he be able to be self-pay, or will he need Medicaid assistance? Start working toward whatever needs to be done.

Call a family meeting and discuss what comes next.

This is very hard. I am so sorry. But someone has to do what needs to be done. Looks to me like that someone is you. Everyone will be better off when he is settled into a care center where there are three shifts of caregivers.
You are amazing. Any hard choices you have to make doesn't change that. You are strong. My life has completely changed. I am trying to take care, can't seem to take care of myself. I have to get better at this. U are strong U have guts and U have heart.
I understand what you are going through. My mother is legally blind, so before I moved in with her, i was basically taking care of all her needs. A week after i moved in my only sibling died unexpectedly. There is no one else. Mom has never been a happy or positive person, but at 80, all she does is scream, cuss and complain. She too, is refusing to shower and wears Depends 24/7, so you can imagine the smell! It helps to know that other people are going through the same thing. I get so upset and depressed over my negative feelings towards my mom, because she was a good mother to us. Sometimes I feel like running away! Now i don't want to live to be old, if this is what it will be like. I'm the only one she wants caring for her, she hates sitters. But on 2 issues i refuse to bend; i go to church and i spend time with my two infant grandchildren. Those 2 things keep me going. This is not easy, i know eventually she will end up in a nursing home, but I can't seem to do it yet. But caring for her 24/7 is taking a toll on my physical, emotional and spiritual health. What a relief to know that I am not aline! God bless you all!

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