How do I implement a daily schedule that includes: activities of daily living, taking meds, eating, and exercising?

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In Feburary, my MIL moved back in with us. She is a diabetic, has a blood disorder, and memory issues (she had several mini strokes that we where unaware of 4 years ago). She is not aloud to take her meds by herself, she is not aloud to drive, she forgets things (like boiling water, turning on burners, what day of the week it is), she will go days/weeks/longer without taking a shower (or changing clothes), and she lays in bed all day (eating, sleeping, watching t.v). No matter how many times she is talked to about things it never does any good. At the last doctor appointment we went to, I broke down in tears and talked to the doctor and mom about everything and how things need to change. Mom agreed that she would start trying harder, get on an eating schedule, start bathing, exercising, taking meds at the right time, checking sugar, etc. She has not tried to change anything at all. How as a caregiver (who is trying to do everything with no help from anyone) do I go about implementing a schedule and making her do it?? She in the opinion of her doctor, myself, and the family needs someone with her at all times. I do not want her to be put in a nursing home (I had to do that to my grandmother and it ruined our relationship). I do not mind caring for family, I am the family caregiver, but there has to be a happy medium for me to keep my sanity! Any advise would be greatly appreciated!

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It sounds like she needs a therapist to come in and help her do these things, including making a schedule. Ask her doctor to prescribe in-home evaluation and have the appropriate therapist set up her schedule. That way, it's done by a professional and isn't YOUR fault... Plus, they can help you figure out how to get her to comply. Therapists have tons of experience doing that.

Before my husband came home from live-in rehab, the rehab center sent a vision/vocational therapist to my house to check things out and answer questions for me. She was very helpful, then the whole therapy staff explained to him in advance how things were going to work. They even explained to him about why "they made me" hide the cooktop knobs to remind him not to use the stove while I was out. Her doctor can order it for her.
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You certainly have got your hands full. Especially important, I feel, that she doesn't burn the house down…

Hang in there, it will all come together x
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Eddie, to answer your questions..... it is my MIL and my husband role.....bringing home the bacon. My role is to make sure that my MIL takes her meds, gets blood drawls (sometimes once a week), goes to the doctor(s), and doesn't burn my house to the ground...... as well as keeping up the house, cooking, laundry, shopping, running errands, taking care of the animals, taking care of our son, etc.

I just got my insurance license in August and started a business with Aflac and I cannot work because I am terrified to leave her alone for to long.

I have sat down and done a schedule for her that was suppose to hang on the fridge and she took it down and nothing has changed. I sat down and did a new entire year calendar that I am getting ready to hang up and see if anything changes but I am not holding my breathe! If things do change they change for a day or two and then go right back to the same old stuff!

I have also come to the conclusion that she should not be keeping track of things by herself. One day she argued with me because I had her medicine ready for her and she wanted to know why because she had to already have taken it because she wrote it down and refused to take it. Just the other day was her birthday and I got her a cake, when I asked her what her sugar reading was she told me 175 but my son went and checked and it was 253. So.....she is either lying on purpose or really losing her mind!!!! Either way I have my hands full!!!!!!!
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Read your profile and am a little confused. Is it your MIL or your mother? If it's your MIL, what role is your husband playing here besides bringing home the bacon? They say a little suffering is good for the soul, but this is ridiculous.

Whatever the case may be it's time for a "consequential" heart-to-heart with someone who's getting a little too comfortable. After all, the ailments -- except perhaps some depression & slight memory loss -- aren't that serious.

A home health care worker, as Sharyn suggested, is a wonderful idea. Prepare a calendar of activities that includes all her needs and hand it to her. If that doesn't work, reach out to family for help. Also, don't forget to nag her.

Any way you look at it, your relationship is going to change.
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Countrymouse - I talk a good game, but I too spend too much time in my jammies and playing freecell. There may be some dynamic "exceeds expectations" caregivers here, but a lot of us do our best, which is pretty good some days, and a little less spectacular on other days.
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Jinx you're right - I phrased that badly, and of course the dementia does affect her thinking processes, so that gadgets that seem straightforward to me can be very difficult for her to understand, let alone remember to use in practice. Her riser/recliner easy chair has an Up button and a Down button - how hard can it be??? And yet I'm constantly amazed at the positions she ends up in…

I expect that difficulty to increase as her dementia progresses; but at the moment she's comparatively able mentally, which is why I suspect her personality still has a lot to do with it, in causing her actively to reject help.

The thing with my mother is that on most days she knows perfectly well how to use her call button, and on rare occasions even proves it by doing so - which is why I found it so exasperating that she often didn't when she really should have done. If I'd followed your advice above from the beginning and just acted on the assumption of dementia I'd probably have endured a lot less stress!

And thank you for the kind words, but actually I feel very small - if I'm so clever, how come I'm sitting here in my pyjamas and bathrobe at lunchtime?! Heigh ho. I'm sure I'll get the hang of this eventually...
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Countrymouse is very wise, but I do disagree with one thing she says. You are right that she has no reason to want to cooperate with you, but I think you are wrong about it not being due to dementia.

To remember not to get up without help, for example, she needs to think of two things at once. She is hungry and wants a snack. AND she promised not to get up by herself. She simply doesn't remember the second part. Her brain JUST DOESN'T REMEMBER. My husband is in early stages, and he can't even remember that there's a box of tissues at his right elbow. "Why aren't there any tissues around here?"

I'm not saying don't get tough, because she needs to take care of her health somewhat. But I think cajoling and luring will get what you want done more easily. She no longer has what it takes to follow a schedule. It's up to you to keep her on schedule as much as you can stand. *sigh* Just what we all need, more work. But as NotHisFault says, accepting reality and getting the job done is less tiring than expecting her to cooperate or initiate.

I get your frustration. I don't think following my husband around to guide him to do every little thing sounds like much fun. I'm not looking forward to it.
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I sat down Thursday (with my husband and mil) and finally had a talk about things. She finally got out of bed a little more and I am happy to report that she got a shower on her own yesterday. Woo Hoo!!!! But when she got out of the shower she says "that was too much like work." Oh well it is a start!!! I have notices a lot over the last few months that I think her memory is worse than the doctor realizes. This morning she got up and asked if today was Thursday. She has a calendar in her room and has to write in a book daily her sugar reading and if she took her meds and still she can not keep the days straight. It is a lot to handle and I know that she is often depressed but I am sticking to my guns and I am going to get her through this. I think that it is hardest for me that I had just went back to work and now I worry about leaving the house! Another hard thing for me I think is her lack of "living"! She is only 67! I think I just expect her to want to do more because my grandmother was 90 when I took care of her and she has so much more drive to live. She has asked a doctor before what her motivation should be to do more............ hello your motivation is your health and living!!!!! Again I do thank you all for your advise and support! Your words and advice are really helping!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH! hugs to all of you!!!
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Great and thoughtful suggestions above and I agree with them all. The schedule can start with just bathing every other day and coming out of her room for meals. That is actually a lot for a person with dementia and probably all that she can handle. For my Mother I make sure she is safe and fed. If she wants to watch TV all day that is fine with me. I want to make her last years as stress free as possible. I figure she has lived 90 years - it is OK to relax for heavens sake. Good luck on this journey. You sound like a really loving DIL.
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Being the full-time caregiver for my husband who has later stage Alzheimer's, it has been my experience that it's extremely hard to "make" a dementia patient do things. They get combative, you get into an argument and nothing really gets accomplished. I have found that distracting and just doing it FOR them works best for me. Honestly, I don't have time to talk my husband into everything. I do let him know what we're doing as we're doing it, but I just keep moving him along - talking the whole time about 'whatever'. I crack jokes (even though he doesn't get them) and am a little silly and laugh as I'm constantly moving forward. I do things quickly and keep saying "we're almost done". I realize doing everything for your MIL probably sounds overwhelming, but I have found so much more peace - AND time for myself by just getting it done. I bring my husband to the table for meals to get him out of bed and have him on an every-other-evening bathing schedule. I never ask him if he wants to do something because he will inevitably say 'no'. Anyway, this is what helped me. God Bless You in your efforts.
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