How to deal with my father-in-law who has urinary incontinence?
My father-in-law is 86, lives with us, has some neuropathy in his legs and heart problems, with new valve, several angioplasties and coronary by-passes. He is on numerous medications, a couple being strong diuretics. He is in the forgetful mid-stages of AD. He used to be the sweetest, most wonderful man on the planet, but since losing his wife three years ago, has been on a lethargic pitty-pot. Two weeks ago, he completely failed the driving test, so now we chauffer him everywhere.
We cared for his wife for 6 years until CAA (form of dementia) took her life Six months after she died, my mother had a major AD meltdown, so we brought her to live with us until she passed away in late 2010. Our daughter and 2 year old grandson currently live with us while their home is being finished. We care for our grandson while she works. We have, and have had, our hands and house full of people to care for the past few years.
Having said that, my issue of the day is my father-in-law’s urinary incontinence due to the diuretics. I realize it is very difficult for him when the urge hits and speed is of the essence. However, it seems he can not hit the toilet either and pees all over the floor. Of course, he leaves it for us to clean up. Most of the time, he doesn’t completely close the bathroom door, so I know he only rinses his hands and doesn’t use soap to wash, then comes in the kitchen to handle things. It makes me gag. I spray everything 20 times a day with Lysol and alcohol.
He wets himself and doesn’t change clothes, putting the same things on day after day. When we have guests, or are out with people, often times he smells and I just cringe. Even when my husband lays out clean outfits, he will not put the clean ones on because it is too much effort to transfer the belt and pocket contents. So, he smells and IMHO, it is extremely unsanitary. Unfortunately, we don’t want our grandson close to this “dirty old man” and it hurts us all. Thankfully, our home has 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms, but two bathrooms, his and one by the garage, are totally unusable due to this man. I have demanded the powder room be completely off limits to everyone in the house incase someone stops over I will, at least, have one bathroom that I can count on being clean for them to use. We live in the country and when he is outside and in a hurry, he pees by the garage or wherever. When we go somewhere, he has my husband stop so he can pee alongside the road. He went with us to pick up a swing set for my grandson and he peed in the woods by their home. It is humiliating.
I find all of this nauseating, disgusting and embarrassing. My 95 yr old mother had her issues and I did my share of cleaning up after her, but she willingly wore Depends and was very, very concerned about keeping herself and her environment clean. Even during her final days, in the last stages of AD, she would try to get to the bathroom. We also dealt with urinary incontinence with my mother-in-law, so I am not new to these issues.
I need HELP dealing with my father-in-law and his deplorable actions. I’m not comfortable dealing with him, I have served my time in clean up L, but my husband doesn’t keep on top of it like he needs to because he is frustrated with the mess, as well. Our home smells and I cringe every time he sits on the furniture. I actually bought a new dinette set with leather chairs to keep him off the fabric, but I can’t buy all leather furniture or put plastic on everything, we need to live a life too. When my husband tells my f-i-L he needs to wear Depends and put on clean clothes, he gets defensive and tells us our noses are too sensitive and that we are over reacting. It is beyond repulsive and a health issue, especially with our grandson living with us. My husband has talked to the doctor and he doesn’t offer much help because of the strength of the necessary diuretics.
I am so frustrated and at my wits end. I love this man, but it is getting to the point I can’t even look at him and being civil is becoming harder and harder. I understand with the medications, trouble walking and AD thinking, it is difficult for him to get to the bathroom in time, but there HAS to be an answer other than just watching my beautiful home ruined and everyone’s health on the line because this man does not have enough pride left to care for his personal issues. Sending him to a care facility is not an option as we have committed to keeping our parents with us and he is still cognizant enough to be devastated if we sent away, we can’t do that to him. He never, ever wanted that to happen to himself or any of his family and calls nursing homes “places of throwaway society”. I can’t imagine we are the only ones facing this issue and I am hoping someone will have suggestions how we can deal with my father-in-law and his repulsive behavior. Thank you for letting me vent.