Mom's Best Interests.
My 93 year old mother moved into my home last summer. She previously lived alone but she was falling frequently, not hurting herself but she couldn't get back up and either I or my brother would have to go to her house and help her . At that time, she was able to walk with a walker and make her morning coffee & meals (mostly in the microwave) go to the bathroom and walk to the front door to get the morning paper but her house wasn't clean and neither was she. She did have a cleaning lady but only wanted to pay her for 2 hrs. every 2 wks. so you can see not much cleaning got done. After she moved in to my home I began to prepare all her meals, do laundry, change her bed, empty the potty, help her with bathing, etc. For a while, she had home health workers who came in to evaluate her but after it was determined they had helped her all they could, they stopped. Her physical exercise therapist told her she should walk as much as possible. Kind of a case of "use it or lose it". Now she wants a potty chair beside her bed not just at night but all through the day and only walks to the nearby 1/2 bath for b.m.'s. She is sweet-natured, undemanding (except for morning coffee :-) ) and has a great appetite for almost anything I want to prepare for a meal. She has a "Life Alert" call button in case of emergencies so I can leave her alone for short periods of time but she can afford to pay a "sitter" when I go out at night for social functions. But she has digressed to the point that she can barely walk even with the walker. My question is: Should I encourage her to walk more by insisting that she come into the kitchen in the morning and get her own coffee and remove the potty chair during the day. I don't want to cause her any pain but I also don't want her to get to the point where she can't walk at all because then I would not be able to care for her. Another problem is that she cannot properly clean herself after a b.m. and she doesn't want to wear Depends or even underwear because she has enough trouble pulling up her gown and duster without having to also pull down panties when she goes to the bathroom. Consequently she dirties her gowns and her bedsheets when she scoots out of bed to sit on the potty. I don't know whether to also insist she wear panties or not but it would help me to not have to change her bed sheet so often if she would. I know these seem like minor problems compared to some I have read on this website but I would like some input.