Hi all,
Have been taking care of MIL for nearly 4 yrs now, first in our home, then in sr housing around the corner. She has been under medical care for urinary incontinence (has spinal cord stimulator - sort of the last hope - unsuccessful) and her ability to manage bowel incontinence continues to worsen. She calls about 2-3 x wk because the floor, bathroom, her clothes and she are full of stool. Has seen GI MD, had testing to r/o infection etc. She was told years ago that she has IBS but no lifestyle changes were taught, and she was mobile enough then to manage better. Also the episodes were much less frequent. She is full of arthritis, has gained significant weight, and moves around very little. I know this sucks for her. I'm also a little weary of cleaning up after her at times. This is on top of severe bladder incontinence. Currently she has (finally accepted) assist with shower 3x wk (I had been doing) and homemaker 1x wk (who is not too efficient). Given the unpredictability of the incontinence, I am wondering whether/how to convince her to get more frequent help. Any ideas? I work as a home care PT, so I think I just get "caregivered out". My husband helps occasionally with an errand etc, and his 2 siblings are out of state. I am taking her back to PCP on Tuesday. She is also starting to fail a little cognitively. We did go to look at assisted living and she just said "the people in there look old/like they need a lot of care" :)

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I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. You must be exhausted. If I were you, I would have her moved to a nursing home or an assisted living facility if she can afford it. Her incontinence could be maintained a little better with 24/7 care. And if she starts saying "the people look old/like they need a lot of care" again - I'd kindly mention that they're no different than her as she needs a lot of care now too and that is what the people that work in the facility get paid to do - give a lot of care. If she totally resists that, I'd TELL her she needs to get more help and start setting it up. Caregiving is so hard and exhausting - and your mother-in-law is probably only going to continue to get worse. Good luck!!!
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