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Hi!


My mother is 86 and now has started urinating on the floor and pooping inside of buckets. She has dementia and at this point I don't know what to do. I started getting a bit angry at her and as I was explaining to her that she has to use the toilet, I felt as if I was talking to a baby, she didn't understand me. So now, I'm seeing the new reality and I'm being more compassionate and kind to her, so the my anger is out the door. She also has the worst sleep patterns, she sleeps very little and is up at the crack of dawn.


I'm self employed working from home and I was OK taking care of her before she had this decline. I need to get some information as to what happens next and her future as an elderly dementia person. What is my next step? I love my mother very much and are very appreciative of all the hard work she did while raising us kids. Thank you so much.

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Please contact your county's council on aging. They could send a social worker out to your home to evaluate your mother's needs. Then they can tell you what services are available to you both. In our case, the council on Aging offered a couple hours a week of home aide care- for free. To everyone! All you had to do was ask. The Alzheimer's Association in our area will pay for up to 16 hours a week of senior activity center. Again, you just need to apply for it every month. In addition, if your mom has very few assets, she will probably be approved for Community Medicaid. The services offered were very varied- they even offered to convert the tub to a walk in shower.

My point is that there is help available to you. Help to keep your mom home or help to find a good placement for her. You can't do it alone and frankly, even with a lot of help, it's a terrific burden. If she is placed somewhere, your worries won't disappear but the physical requirements will be lifted. Best of luck to you in this difficult journey.
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DDaniels Jan 1, 2019
Thank you so much Marcia! I will get on it.
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It’s really hard to accept that a beloved parent must now be treated like a child. You are wise for considering a facility for her. What she is doing is very unsanitary and since you are caring for your grandchild, you don’t want to expose him/her to that. Plus, if Mom isn’t sleeping, either are you. It’s difficult enough to care for a grandchild when you’re getting proper rest. Are you certain she doesn’t have a urinary tract infection? There are no obvious signs and it can only be diagnosed by a urinalysis.

Asking family to pitch in for Mom’s care may work for a while, but it is not a long-term solution. Everyone has their own financial obligations and most of us have too much month left at the end of the money. You need to contact your local Area Agency on Aging and ask how to apply for Medicaid, or consult an Elder Law Attorney

Good luck on this journey. I know how difficult it is.
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DDaniels Jan 1, 2019
Wow great information, Thanks a million!
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Gee DD, I hope you didn't discontinue the blood pressure meds without consulting her doctor.
There may be ways to keep her with you at home a little longer. First, you need a sympathetic doctor who will take your needs into consideration as well as hers (that may be a geriatrician) to get control of the sleep and incontinence issues. A little PT can go a long way to enhance her balance and mobility. Devices like the commode, grab bars, bed assist rails can make every day tasks easier. Hired caregivers can take over some of the difficult tasks like showers and give you time for yourself. And many people have praised adult day care as a positive way to help their loved ones socialize and improve their quality of life.
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DDaniels Jan 1, 2019
Thank you so much.. I will take your advise!
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DDaniels, so sorry your Moms health is declining. It’s taking a tole on your health and isn’t healthy environment for your granddaughter either. When the elderly need more professional assistance than can be given at home, Medicaid can help with paying for care in a SNF, after their personal assets, if any, are spent. In my state Moms SS check and her pension go to her NH, and Medicaid pays the balance of the bill. I would start with a trip to her doctor, telling them everything you’ve told us, to get an assessment. I’m sure other posters will be along to help you navigate a Medicaid application, which can be easy if there are few assets, or complicated if there’s a house involved or if money has been commingled.
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DDaniels Jan 1, 2019
Thank you very much..I will take your advise!
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Unfortunately, I know what you're going through.  Does she have a bedside commode?  This may help.  I put floor coverings under the commode as well as around it in case she misses.  I suggest having her checked for a UTI.  These infections can cause all kinds of strange behavior, as well as confusion.  Good luck to you - hope things get better soon!
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DDaniels Jan 1, 2019
Thank you for your kind reply! It's funny how I'm driving down my street and I see one of those commodes been thrown out not knowing I would need one weeks later. Of course I would get my mother a new one. lol. She has no UTI, however, she drinks a lot of water and I may have to regulate that a bit.

She was on high blood pressure pills and those have had a serious side effect on her. But she hasn't been taking those meds, because her BP doesn't go up anymore since shes been with me. Right now she has a dark skin patch on her inner thigh, would that be from chaffing? What type of over the counter ointment can be used to treat that? Do you think the chaffing has anything to do with her over-active bladder? Again, Thank you.
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This topic is mentioned in the excellent book The 36 Hour Day. They had some suggestions. I remember one of them was to lay down puppy pads and cat litter and encourage your mother to use a certain spot.

It's also a good idea to start looking for your next step. Your mom's needs will increase past the ability of one person to care for her. Prepare for that now. Don't wait for a crisis.
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DDaniels Jan 1, 2019
Hi Marcia,

Thank you kindly for your reply! I have been crying off and on today just thinking how I will no longer be able to care for her. My mother is a big woman, of course she has shrunk a bit and I'm 5'1" tall. So, physically its very challenging for me to care for her and make a living at the same time and take care of my gran-daughter.

Another problem we are faced with is funding. I thought pricing for a SNF was around 3K, but that's not the case. The skilled nursing facilities are the most expensive, almost at $7,000 or more per month or more. This is outrageous. What happens when the elderly can't afford that? I'm just trying to learning as much as I can, but its not looking good at least for that facility.

I wouldn't mind keeping her with me, but who's going to pay my bills. She was living in Fl. with my brother, but I live in GA and I don't know if she's going back to Fl or stays with me in GA. I'm reading as much as I can when I can to see what is the best outcome for my dear mother. Again, Thank you.
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Have her checked for a Urinary tract infection, UTI. I agree it could be the changes. I would reconsider keeping her with you. She eventually may need more care than you may be able to give. She will only get worse and it will be hard working from home if you constantly have to tend her.
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DDaniels Jan 1, 2019
Hi JoAnn,

Thanks for your kind reply!! It's hard right now, because she's taller and heavier than me. Another issue is funding, I didn't know that a SNF cost so much. It's outrageous. So we have to figure out a solution for my beautiful mother. I will be sending emails to siblings and gran-children to see how they can help, after all she's been there for all of them. That's what hurts the most. I hope I get a good response. Again, Thank you.
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D
As you have just realized, your poor mom is not well. She has cognitive decline, dementia. She can’t reason any longer and no need to get angry as you have discovere.
What to do?
Well. She can’t be left alone. Depends or adult disposable diapers are what is usually the first line of defense. You can also start a schedule for yourself to take her to the commode on a regular basis. Perhaps every two hours. Start a log to record when she goes. A regular schedule might be of benefit.
Make sure she is kept clean to avoid urinary tract infections.
Since she just came to live with you, her condition may have gotten worse with the move.
She may be confused
She may or may not acclimate and become more accustomed to her surroundings. Try to get her to a nueroligist or geriatric psychiatrist for testing and the mangement of her medication. Perhaps they can advise you on the stage of her dementia and what you can expect next.
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DDaniels Jan 1, 2019
Thank you for your kind reply! You're right about everything you said. Right now one of my concerns is that she has a dark looking skin patch on the inner part of her thigh close to the crotch, is that called chaffing? what can I get of the counter to help her with that? I just started taking to the restroom and keeping a log, but I will tell you shes unpredictable. She also wears depends, but she takes them off and throws them away and just goes where she is standing at the time. I have to monitor her all day and its hard to make a living and raise a child with all of that. I'm going through a very hard time right now in my life. But I love my mother so much and I'm sad that it has come to this. And yes keeping her clean is not an option. I'm hoping it will get better for her. I will be ok, but also have to think about my own health, which I see declining a but due to stress. Again, Thank you.
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