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Things have gone along pretty well for 3-4 years. I have only occasionally checked in here. Life has been Tolerable. But my mother in law is now 91 and her diabetes is much worse and I cannot be sure, but she may have a touch of dementia - put it is more likely a personality disorder. She is SO NEGATIVE that the air is thick with her misery. I am so tired of hearing her tell me how bad she feels (I am pushing 70 and don't feel so hot either!), and she is forever asking WHY she is still alive and basically being negative about every single thing in life. She never says one thing that could be construed as remotely positive. If the sun shines - it is too bright. Get the picture? I have to practically force by hubby to go in and spend 5 minutes with his mother. Thankfully she can still bathe and toilet herself BUT her bathroom is a germaphobe's worst nightmare!! I do all her cleaning and nearly all her cooking. We try to keep her from cooking anything at all - but she still refuses to warm things up in the micro. She MUST use a pan on the stove. I know there is absolutely nothing anyone can do about this and 'this too shall pass' - somehow - but it has been a long, long time since I felt the need to 'dump' here and I do - with all my heart - appreciate this forum. I still pray for all caregivers. Often, only God appreciates all we endure and do for our loved ones.

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I figured that was what you meant. So your dad was showtiming at the hospital.

I think my mother is beginning to slip. I recognize the holes in her reasoning that my brothers don't seem to always notice. I always like their input when they come to visit, because I like to hear others' perspectives.

I feel kind of defeatist about it all, though, because I've learned from this site how very difficult it is to have elders declared incompetent. And my mother would fight any loss of control, as she is a control freak. I can foresee lots of arguing about things as her reasoning further slips. And I know that there are all sorts of ways to deal with elders, but the truth is that I don't want to do it. I don't want to be that involved with her.

She has EXCELLENT LTC insurance (doesn't qualify yet), but has told me she never wants to use it.
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Should have said WASNT ALL THAT APPARENT
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At that time, Dads dementia was all that apparent and he would tell the hosp staff they were all set, good to go etc. and it was convincing. He "showed" well but his executive reasoning was slipping. Since I'm long distance and not around him much it took me a while to realize something was wrong. The dementia has increased ever so slowly over the past 6 years.
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Wow, Windyridge. The hospital thought it was fine to release your mother home with just your father to take care of her?

I had to take care of my mother when she was pretty helpless for over a week at the beginning of last year. I didn't have to change her diapers or sheets or anything like that (whew!), but I did have to help her with toileting, bathing, dressing, administering her meds, and had to cook and prepare her meals. I determined that I would never do that again, because she had to direct my every move and micromanage everything.
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I was pressed into Lone Ranger caregiving about 6 years ago after the deaths of my siblings. I live 600 miles away from my folks. It was baptism by fire.

I called to check on them one night, got Dad on the phone, and he tells me, oh btw, you're moms in the hospital. She had some sorta operation. (Small bowel surgery it turns out) I jump in the car, drive 12 hours and get home just as Dad is trying to carry mom into the house. (I realized later that Dad was well into mild dementia. At the time I was ready to kill him)

Bottom line, I ended up as nurse, bath aid, depends changer, soiled sheet tech, and dietitian for over a week until I could get some in home care going. (At the time, 55 year old son, 80 year old mom). It had to be done, there was no one else. Ive done a few days duty since, and I may have to again, but I will never take on the task full time in my home or theirs.
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I'm in the same pack with Jessiebelle and Evermore - I don't want to know about anybody's bodily functions. When my mother reaches the point where she needs help toileting, she's going to a nursing home. I am NOT doing that. I don't want to see her naked, I don't want to see (let alone touch) her private areas, I don't want to clean anything up. One time I had to clean up (and see abundantly) bloody vomit when she puked all over the bathroom and was rushed to the ER in an ambulance. That was unpleasant, but at least she wasn't there, or naked. EEEW to that !!!!
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Please don't beat up on me guys. I'm not taking care of an elder and refuse to let my grandmother in my place to be cared for. I'm squimish when it comes to someone else's body functions and bodily fluids.A lot of you can probably tell that I don't have kids. Old Couger, the next time she has to be taken to the hospital to be cleaned out, talk to a social worker to see if you can get her placed into assisted living or a nursing home. It sounds like she can't be left alone for a nano second. Find a place for her so you can go on vacation, you need a vacation.
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In our area, we have a non-profit respite home which is overseen by one of the local hospitals. They just ask for donations. Does your area have one so you can take your vacation?
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Oldcodger may be like me. I personally don't want to think of anyone's butt. That's their business and I prefer they mind their own! Boundaries, limits, and walls built all about me when it comes to adult butts.
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Old Codger there is one way out. Take her to the ER or call 911 and go away a long way away. When the hospital calls which they will many times during the required three days tell them you can't take her back and don't do it. They will make it unpleasant for you and threaten but hold firm and go somewhere with no phone service.
If you can't face the digging could you manage an enema - you can do it with her sitting on the commode there is more room than on the toilet
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Oldcodger, WHO ARE YOU? I swear it's me writing what you've written, but exchange the MIL to FIL, and you've got ME! LOL! I feel like you've stolen my identity, but frankly, you can have it! Lol!

My FIL moved in with us, 13 years ago, and everything except the "constipation" has happened here at our place, though he still digs at his butt! I don't like him touching anything in our kitchen either! He itches his backside to the point of sores, which have required him to see the wound care specialist. Yuck! Then, I'm the one who has to change his bandages. Life is passing us by too! Weve had enough, and intend to do something about it! This coming Spring, we are selling our home, and buying a Condo. My FIL will be going to Assisted living, as that's the only way out of our situation! Actually, it will be best for all parties, as were ready to get out from allmof the yard and home maintenance, and ready to do some traveling, before we are unable to do any! Good luck with your situation! I feel for you, I really do!
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Basically, my MIL has a chronic constipation problem and has some sort of problem down there and basically has to dig it out from time to time. I refuse to be a party to it. I will call 911 for her if needed. And that has been needed a few times in the last year.

We refuse to eat anything she tries to cook. I try to keep a step ahead of her and have meals prepared ahead and just put breakfast on her counter so she eats when she gets up and the same with dinner. She gets up late and doesn't eat breakfast until noon. I put dinner on the counter when she lays down for her afternoon nap. I know where her fingers have been and refuse to even 'think' about sampling anything she fixes or touches. She does try to cook from time to time - mostly ham and beans. We don't encourage her cooking and have taken stove parts when we are away to prevent it and of course she has a fit about it. :0/

But she has left the stove on and then put a plastic micro popcorn popper on the burner to melt. She has burnt food onto pans. SWEARS it never happened. We just want a home to come back to. So, if she remains here alone for any length of time - we prevent her cooking any way possible. We do meals on wheels some times - but she hates them.

So, anyway, for her, the digging prevents a trip to the ER. I tell her a few glasses of water would work a lot easier. Can't get that message to compute. :0( If she can't take a pill it isn't going to happen!

I just dread cleaning up after her. She gets 'it' everywhere! Thank goodness for disinfectant wipes. Costco Kirkland brand are tops!! :0)

SIGH..............
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What is it with the old folks and the "digging"? Ugggg! I know reason goes out one door when dementia comes in the other, but...really? Every now and then I catch Rainman with his finger in his ear and stern concentration on his face - I ask him if he's digging for gold. Of course Rainman has no concept of gold - but he just giggles and stops. Must be something in my tone of voice...
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" We are going away for two weeks in December. Finally, after 12 years - we have an offer from her middle child to take her while we are gone. NOW SHE SAYS SHE DOESN'T WANT TO GO. It is possible she won't be ABLE to go. We also contacted the local assisted living place and they would 'board her' for $100 per day. I know she would have a ROYAL FIT. Should we force her?"

YES. You've given up enough of your life for her. I personally think she should be forced to go to Middle Child's house. If that isn't possible, then send her to the assisted living place.

Of course she doesn't want to go...she probably doesn't want anyone else to know about her anal digging habit. Too bad!
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Sounds WONDERFUL! Now all we have to do is convince her, ha ha ha!

Didn't think about the medical POA while we are gone. Will do that. Put sibs number as first person to call for her Lifeline as well. :0)
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Yes, get her to assisted living for a month. Go on your vacation and also give yourself recovery time when you get back. Give middle child full control while you are gone, including medical authority for her care. Turn off your phone. Bon Voyage!
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Unfortunately, she does not have the funds (no do we) for more than a short stay at the Asst. Living facility. It would be just a short stay while we are away for a couple weeks.

But I know she would be ok there and it would be such a relief to know she was somewhere where they could help her. Doubt anyone there would help her with her pooh though. In the meantime, we will make an appt. to talk to her doctor. But, unless she gets sick enough for a 3 day stay in the hospital between now and December - she won't be going to a nursing home, I am afraid.

She takes Linzess in the morning, magnesium in the afternoon and stool softeners (3) at night. Her problem is moisture. Lack of it. She always has a glass of watered down juice or whatever on her walker tray at all times - but just doesn't drink enough of it. She thinks a sip now and then is 'drinking ALL DAY LONG.'

I try to have watermelon on hand at all times - she loves it - and that helps some. She has had 3 ER trips in the last year due to not being able to pooh. She is so heavy and gets weak and cannot walk so it requires an ambulance ride just two blocks to the hospital. :0/ They clean her out and send her home and she is ok for a while.

I make inquire about visiting Angels or some other help. Has anyone used them?
All for this update. :0)
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oldcodger2, thanks for the update, we really appreciate seeing how others are doing over time. Yes, sounds like it is approaching time for Mom-in-law to go into Assisted Living or into a nursing home. That way she can sit and complain to the other women there and they all can compare notes :)

Do you think Mom-in-lw will go quietly to Assisted Living? When you think of it, she is already mad so it won't make any difference.

My Dad really loved his senior living facility as he was now around people closer to his age... and all these new ears to hear his "stories".
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Why oh why did I have to click on that at dinner time!
Old codger, my mom takes polyethelene glycol (aka miralax), 2 stool softeners and senna daily and every once in a while I throw in some milk of magnesia just to get things started.If I had your mom I think I would tape her hands together :-0
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Well guys and gals. I just re read all your comments and wish I could say things are better. I just got the BM report yesterday - graphically explaining how she had to 'dig it out' - she even takes LINZESS! A few days ago she asked me if I would shoot her :0/ She has a 'dismal' outlook.

Yes, I know being really old sucks. But, I agree with a previous poster who wondered why the elderly seem to have the 'right' to make everyone else's life miserable too. We are going away for two weeks in December. Finally, after 12 years - we have an offer from her middle child to take her while we are gone. NOW SHE SAYS SHE DOESN'T WANT TO GO. It is possible she won't be ABLE to go. We also contacted the local assisted living place and they would 'board her' for $100 per day. I know she would have a ROYAL FIT. Should we force her?

Then today, she was sitting in our sun porch reading a magazine and could not get out of the chair. It is a lawn chair with nice arms and I put cushions in it for height and she has never had trouble getting up before. Hubby was trying to help her (that in itself is laughable) and I heard the commotion. We finally got her out of the chair. Her legs would hardly hold her up. :0/

I am thinking that the potty contortions yesterday probably messed up her artificial knees. She told hubs her knees were hurting. She does not realize they don't bend sideways or backwards - which she tries to force them to do when she is back there digging for China. :0( No, I can't stop her from doing it and I REFUSE to dig it out for her. Am I wrong for refusing to do this chore?

I think hubs and I will make an appointment soon for a consultation with her/our doc. He's been our doc for 30 years and hers for 12 or 13. It will be a nursing home placement discussion.

Can a person be placed WITHOUT the mandatory 3 day stay in hospital? She has 2 years nursing home ins. on her husbands medical plan but I think she must go from the hospital to the N.H. for them to pay. I contacted the ins. comapany about that a year or two ago.

The last ER trip - they just kept her for observation. (she couldn't poop). She finally did go and they sent her home. She must spend 3 full days in hospital before Medicare will pay anything towards a N.H. stay. Then her ins takes over for 2 years. After that, I assume Medicaid.

She has not spent 3 days in hospital for several years. I take waaaay too good of care for that, ha ha ha. She takes vitamins, probiotics, digestive enzymes, I feed her good. She complains of no appetite - yet eats every bite put in front of her PLUS snacks. :0) She is a BIG girl with a big healthy appetite.

Not sure there's an answer here. I am just complaining again!
We are between a rock and a hard place like so many others on this site. Thanks for listening and making suggestions and just plain putting up with me. :0)
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Ikdrymom, this makes me think of this elderly man I know who calls me. He talks about what he had to eat each day. It is so hard to listen to. I want to say that I don't care what he ate when. I just listen and glad that he isn't going to give me a pop quiz on what he said.
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All my father talks about is his bowel movements. He likes to 'update' me on them as if I really wanted to know. And he wonders why I never call him. I think it is true, they have nothing new in their lives except the trip to the bathroom so they have to report on it.
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Another thought why elders can be such downers, there is nothing really new going on in their life. Like back when my Dad was working, or when he retired and he and Mom were doing volunteer work, there was so much to talk about. Now there is so very little.

For my Dad who lives in senior living, besides all his aches and pains and trying to remember what day it is, he is trying to keep up with the Presidential primary elections. He tells me every day who he is NOT voting for, and I am glad to say he and I are on the same page :)
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Jessie I cannot agree with you ...when I get to that stage I want someone to put me down!!!! luv and hugs xxx
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Jessie - I see your point, and I don't disagree with you. Yet I can also see lots of reasons why we let our elders get away with tormenting us. Because we feel sorry for them. Because we don't want to feel like a bully. Because we don't want to feel like a bad son/daughter. Because we worry that it's arrogant and self-righteous to tell any other adult how they ought to behave, let alone our parents. Because we weren't brought up to talk back or assert ourselves with our parents, and it's very hard to start that when the parent is old and frail.

All that said, I had to start standing up to my mother and drawing boundaries with her. She actually tolerates it pretty well. She even backs down on occasion, although often she argues back and tries to make me feel that I'm misjudging her intentions or being overly sensitive. A lot of elderly people don't take it so well, though, and throw a major hissy fit or lay on a huge guilt trip if a caregiver tries to put them in their place. A lot of folks probably feel that confronting the parent might only make a bad situation worse.
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Let me be a devil's advocate for a moment. I've wondered how it has come to be that elderly parents have so much power. I do hope that if and when I get old that someone will put me in my place if I start making people around me miserable. I admit that it is usually pointless to do it if someone has dementia. If they don't have dementia, why do we grant our old parents the power to make life miserable for so many years?
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I don't have any brilliant advice for your situation, but I totally empathize. It seems that in many if not most cases, people become increasingly self-centered as they age and as their world grows smaller and smaller. They focus on their own pains, problems and complaints, and fail to show any appreciation for the sacrifice and devotion of family members who are putting their own lives aside to take them in and care for them in their old age. We all like to think we wouldn't do that, and I hope we won't.

A big part of the problem, I think, is that we sympathize with them and feel sorry for them, so we often don't feel free to confront them with their selfishness or remind them of the difficulties they're imposing on those around them. It seems too unkind, like kicking a person when they're down. However, that leaves us with keeping our feelings bottled up, and becoming more and more resentful as we begin to feel more and more invisible.

I don't know what the solution is for this. If it's possible to not live with the elderly person, but still ensure they're getting the care they need, that would be my first choice. If not, then you definitely need the opportunity to vent - loudly and often. Feel free to vent here all you want as this is a place where people understand what you're going through and many have been in the same place as you or in some cases, even worse.
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Is it time for hubby to step up to the plate? Would he do all this for your crabby @$s Mom? I doubt it.

You guys need to make some changes. In home help, assited living, divorce, something...........
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oldcodger2, I think a lot of us will be negative once we get into our late 80's and into our 90's as we look ahead and there aren't that many years left... and what is left we aren't able to get up out of our chair as fast as we use to.... our backs aches.... our feet hurt.... we can't read the small print on the medicine bottles... our clothes don't fit and the stairs are getting steeper and steeper.

My Dad, who is in his 90's [age related decline mainly mobility], decided to move to Independent Living and I found his complaints are now far and few between, as he is around people much closer to his own age.... so he and the friends can complain to each other about their health issues while sitting in rockers on the front porch :) And he is happier eating in the main dining room with his table mates and having a menu to pick off of.
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Was she like that before her decline? I know someone who is obsessed with their health, perceived medical issues, bodily functions, etc. Constantly complaining. It's my head, my foot, my belly, my neck, etc. This person does not have dementia. It's like they are wrapped up in it. Sadly, from what I've learned, it's hard to treat and let's face it. Not many seniors are going to psycho therapy.

The people in my family just ignore and often do the eye roll. I try to get away for mini vacations. That helps.
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