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So, I have posted before about my friend Richard. I feel like he is slowly slipping away, it is getting more and more difficult to get him to participate in his own care. Last night I went over and fixed his dinner, his adult youngest son brought the grandkids by, which usually cheers him up. I left to go to the store, both because there were things he needed and because the son and I do not get along. When I got back, I tried to get him to let me help him get ready, change clothes, get into bed. He said he didn't feel good and did not want to even try, that he would sleep in the recliner. He is becoming more urine incontinent, and if I do not change his depends at least 2 or 3 times a day, he soaks through and is basically in a puddle all night. This morning I will try and get him up, into the shower, and change the pads on both the chair and bed. I do not mind the work of doing it, but it worries me that he is now so uncaring about his own hygiene. For most of his life he was a dynamic, hard working truck driver with 3.5 million safe miles on his record, only two accidents neither of which was his fault. He is fading away right before my eyes. There are underlying health issues, mostly diabetes 2 and post polio sysndrome, but nothing major wrong that will kill him outright, heart, lungs, bp all are good, within normal.
He misses church, going out to eat, seeing family. He has outlived two wives, is the youngest of 4 kids, nobody is in good health but his older siblings are at least still active. Even if he does not HAVE it, I feel like Covid is killing him because of the isolation....

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I think, from reading here and on the main site, that he may have a UTI. It would explain a lot of the symptoms. Called Kaiser, explained to advice nurse, she concurred and asked me to get AZO strips to confirm, called in an antibiotic. Starting it today, hope that may help. He is still mostly cognitively capable, we have conversations when he is awake, he still is involved in his own bill pay although we did automate a lot of them through the bank. We have a neurologist evaluation coming up the 9th of Sept. to see how much is the post polio, how much is diabetic neuropathy, and how much is perhaps reversible with physical therapy. Family is not very involved, he had moved in with the youngest son for six months in 2018 but it was not a good situation. That son comes and visits sporadically, when he has time or if his dad calls and begs to see the grandkids. If he also makes a point of asking, the kid might bring him some cheap tacos or a burger. That is about the extent of involvement.
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Reply to LS2234
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I don't know what your relationship is to Richard. Are you a paid caregiver who comes to shop, help him get to bed, stays the night with him, does morning chores? Does he otherwise live with this son you mention who doesn't get along with you? Is this dementia or severe depression?
Covid is very hard on ALL of us, and in instances like this where the only relief was getting out for meals, a movie, church, visits, it is devastatingly bad. But the incontinence means there is a whole lot more going on than depression.
I am worried about Richard's general living conditions, and what the staging is for him as regards dementia versus depression.
Wishing you good luck. Afraid I don't have any real answers to so much in these times.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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My grandma is similar in the fact that she gets so depressed over being stuck indoors that is does turn to a lack of care for her own hygiene which evolves into violent tantrums or outbursts that I just have to try and brace for. I've found that my grandma responded best to music or to see me dance around n act goofy. She shines up when I say things to her like "good morning you sexy lady you! Let's get you ready for the day!" I know its hard to have an upbeat attitude especially with a family issue of the son not getting along with you and I'm sure the heavy cloud that is over the house is felt by you as well as the friend you care for. It can be weighing down on anyone to make it harder to have a positive attitude there. My advice is to remember your friend as he was and use that to look for things he might be interested in or eager to do now. My grandma loved to dance and go out to eat or casino. So I put music on as often as possible, dance for her (if I'm not too exhausted) take her for a short walk in a wheel chair, sit her next to a piano to see if she can make her own music, ask her for recipes she wants to teach me n if she wants to help as best as she can, sit out on the porch to watch sunrise or set, and recently started playing bingo with her at home after dinner. (I cant get her to stop playing bingo now). Try to bring his interests back to him. Good luck!
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Reply to Ideas4u
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Dear LS2234,

What a dear and kind friend you are to check on him and to help him as much as you do.

It is so hard right now with the health pandemic. Is there anyway friends and family would be able to still visit but socially distance outside his home? Or would he be interested in Zoom visits?

We all need social connection and extra supports during this difficult time. I wonder if you can ask his doctor and I don't know if a change in medications or possible decline has affected him.

I hope something will cheer him and make things a little better for him.
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Reply to cdnreader
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