Mom's using fork covered in raw egg to scoop butter out of butter dish. How can I discreetly safeguard my kitchen?

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My parents (82) just moved in with us. My Mom's hearing is poor and my Dad's eyesight is poor due to macular degeneration. Mom's kitchen safety is terrible (licking the peanut butter off a knife & putting it back in the jar for more, using the same fork for raw eggs as getting butter or jelly from the container....... I'm fearful for all of us in the house yet I don't feel comfortable telling her she has to stay out of the kitchen. This is only the tip of the iceberg but its the most crucial to our health. She has constant temper tantrums if anyone disagrees with her opinion, slams doors, cabinets, microwave, etc. She interrupts all conversations (even when I'm on the phone to ask who I'm talking to and why is it taking so long) forcing me to end the call and call the person back later. She won't read her mail.... just wants to throw it away or slam it down in from of me to handle immediately. My boundaries are constantly being challenged. I believe she has all the early signs of Alz but I'm sure I can't being it up right now. She starts with a new doctor the 1st week of October and I wonder if its out of bounds for me to talk to the doctor before she goes in. Part of her problem is she drinks 8-10 cups of coffee a day. We've just moved back to the east coast after being out west for 30 years so this area is new to me also. I feel really lost and don't want to become so wrapped up in the 'caregiver" roll that I rot away.

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My MIL was always dipping the same fork or spoon into different foods. I no longer put a meal on the table so she can use her dirty fork to get more food. I fix our plates at the counter and no more problems. She also was taking more than she wanted when it was put on table but felt she needed to stuff herself and not waste it. Solved that problem too. My husband likes his plate to be fixed for him and there are always leftovers if he and MIL want more.
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Vicky and Jessie, thanks for answering that question for me... makes sense.

I always give my sig other a bowl of pop corn so he wont' be digging in the pop corn bag, made it so hard for me to hear the TV will all that package crumbling noise :P
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It is very different with kids and elders. We can see when the fingers go in the nose and then into the bag of chips. We know they don't wash their hands each time they go to the bathroom and that they're not so neat about wiping as they once were. It's really the psychology of it, more than any difference in threat level. Most people still get upset with their kids when they drink out of the milk carton or water bottle. Kids sneak and do it, but get a swift rebuff when they get caught.

Licking the knife and putting it back into the peanut butter would say to me "this is now Ma's peanut butter." I would buy a separate jar and stash it for other-family use.
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freqflyer: I had to stop and think about that one. I guess when the kids were little we had them wash their hands before coming to the table. We watched what they ate with hands or with a fork. Then, too, we were acutely aware of what they may have for an ear infection or a head cold. However, with our parents, Dad never washes his hands that I know of. He did when he would come in from the barn or the shop and be covered in something that really needed removing!!! But germs must be different for them. I don't know from day to day if either of them has a UTI or if they have a cold, etc. Dad does have fungus under his nails (something he seems proud of) and I don't need whatever may be on his hands! I am learning to give out portions, with the serving dish away from Dad. I too, am hesitant to make a big deal of it all. It is nice to know I am not the only one who has this particular issue!!
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I've always wonder about this... when someone has small children, the parents will finish what the child didn't eat on his/her plate and think nothing of it.... but when it has to do with our parents, why are we so down on eating something after they have handled it.... germ know no age limit.
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miamaggie, I understand so much what you're talking about. My mother eats things out of the bags or containers. I can't stand the thought of eating things after she has used them. I've tried talking to her about taking out a portion, but that just makes her mad. To her, germs are just imaginary things that don't apply to her. She will also wash dishes in cold water -- sometimes just rinsing them under the faucet without using soap. Yuck.

Handling it here has been pretty simple, since my mother's and my tastes differ on most things. I buy separate things for each of us. If I buy something like chips or nuts, I let her have them after I've seen she has eaten from them. If there is something I want for myself, I stash it in my room.

This works when it is one on one. I don't know how I would handle it if there was a whole family. That would be more difficult. I am probably being silly, but I don't like to eat after someone has handled the food.
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Pam your strategy was diplomatic and wise at same time! That was brilliant about the kitchen.
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I will talk to the Doc before her visit. I agree- she needs a full workup. Just didn't want to be too invasive. She uses K cups for coffee so its hard to hide the decaf. She's buying that herself since she and my Dad go through 80 in 6 days and he only has 3 a day leaving 10 a day for her. But she won't admit she drinks more than 4 even with proof, in fact she's fixing cup #5 right now and its only 9:40 AM. She fixes breakfast and lunch for herself and my Dad but I handle the dinners. She's not a good cook at all and my husband won't eat what she cooks. He works hard and deserves a nice dinner when he gets home. I just wasn't prepared for all this and for her constantly .
What do you do when they want to run errands with you and you want the time alone?? Its very difficult to take her with me since I need to use a stool to get her in my car and with 3-4 errands that's a lot of stool in and out. She has peripheral neuropathy. I have acute pain issues with my hands from 3 carpal tunnel operations but more important I need the time alone sometimes and I find it hard to say no. I guess its my own fault - I have to learn to say No.
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Here is how I coped with my MIL, a Queen Bee. She would cook dinner, I would clear the table and do the dishes. When we bought a new house, she offered to unpack the kitchen and of course was concerned about where I wanted things. I said "Mom, you have set up more kitchens than I have, so put stuff where you think it ought to go." This made QB very happy, and for the next thirty years she never had to ask where anything was. She felt control. I felt peace and quiet.
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Wean her off the caffeine by sneaking decaf into the regular coffee can, mixing it half and half. Don't end your call, get a cordless phone and walk out of the room and find a private space. Don't disagree verbally, but grab the knife or fork and say NO in a calm but firm voice, as you would with a child.
I don't think she has Alzheimer's but what is happening here is what I call "Queen Bee Syndrome". Ever notice there is only ONE queen bee? Women are highly territorial, instinctively and permanently. And the drones (male bees) stay out of the confrontation. If you are in her house, she is the queen bee. If you are both moved in to a new house, there is a battle for the title of queen bee. Personally, I firmly believe two adult women in one kitchen never works.
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