My MIL was widowed a few years ago, then had surgery with complications. She lived about 2 hrs away. We quickly prepared a room for her, and invited her to move in with us after short term inpt rehab, to recoup for as long as needed. She ended up staying for a year, selling her home in the next state over. She moved to sr housing around the corner. Failed driving test, so no more of that. Her main health issues are obesity, incontinence (bladder and bowel) and RA/OA. She is able to walk for about 2-5 minutes at a time. Able to dress herself with a lot of effort. Does not cook at all. I go over 3x a week to give her a shower, help her dress. We have pursued extensive options with the incontinence - she even has a spinal cord stimulator for it- but not working. She finally agreed to wear depends 24/7 as the staining of carpets, car seats, furniture and clothing was just too much as were the accidents in public places If we're out she will refuse to use a bathroom all day long -"I don't need to go". However, she still tries to get by without wearing any protection at times or leaks around the protection she is wearing. Not sure if she is just beyond caring, in denial, or something else. She has been instructed that getting in to void every couple hours, whether she feels the need or not, would help, but just doesn't follow through. Part of it is that pulling up her pants is hard due to bad shoulders, but she is not receptive to easier clothing choices. One of her friends in the building stopped by the other day to let her know that there is a lot of talk among the residents about the odor and the wet trail she leaves in the common areas (she did it in a kind, helpful - meaning way). I went to pick her up the other day to come to dinner at our house and she was waiting at the door, soaked with urine, and not intending to change. I ended up putting something over the seat of my car, running in to grab a depends and pants. When I helped her change at my house- found out she wasn't wearing any depends - she said her theory that day was to just sit on a towel in her chair because her bowels were loose that day.
What we are now facing, is that we had planned to move her back in with us this spring. She is planning to pay to have a room put on (the former room is now my son's). I work 30 hrs a week as a home care PT. My kids are 18 and 14. My husband also works. We have provided incontinence care, showers, transportation, laundry, etc etc and thought it would be easier to manage the care here where we are in the same place. She is excited to move in. She's in general good health, just very inactive, becoming more obese and this makes the incontinence and mobility worse. I am doubting my willingness to commit to her care for years to come. She's a very nice lady who appreciates the care we give. I am just feeling "caregivered out", especially as my work is also caregiver based.I see families who have so much more care involved than this, though most are either not working/raising teens at the same time or have some level of paid help. She is not receptive to hiring help beyond the 3 hrs of homemaking assist she gets - says she can just do it herself - but doesn't, thus I do the showers, etc with her. Part of me wants to either insist on more hired help or even assisted living, but I feel like I'm breaking a commitment. Her other children live far away and I am jealous that they don't have to think about this on a daily basis or provide any hands on care.
Any thoughts or ideas are much appreciated.