Is it time for a nursing home?

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Lately I have noticed, Mom does not take care of her daily needs. She would get up out of bed and use the bathroom, and then wash herself with a washcloth. I have noticed for several days now, that the washcloth has not been used. Likewise she does not seem to be changing her bladder control pads, nor going to the bathroom. She eventually does, but it's usually late in the day. When I ask her about it, she gets angry and says, " I went to the bathroom and washed myself". Then if I prod her, she says " If you don't want me here, I'll go somewhere else". She does not mean to a nursing home! She says she will get her walker and go to a hotel. I honestly don't think she knows what she means. Then when I try to talk to her, ( she is very deaf ) she will say " I don't know what your saying". I don't know if she can't hear me, or she doesn't understand what I'm saying. She gets angry very easy. I have suggested getting someone to help her with bathing, she said she would kick and hit them, if I brought anyone in. I don't know what to do. Another thing that drives me crazy is she will sit and talk to herself out loud. When I answer her, she will say " im not talking to you". Then she also sits and stares at the clock, counting out the minutes. She does this every night starting about two hours before bedtime. Her doctor doesn't think she has alzheimers. Says " it's just old age", and dismisses it. I need some advice, and obviously he's not going to give it to me. She is on a health plan, so I have to use their doctors. When my father was still living, they had an excellent doctor thru his work related healthcare. But now that he is gone, she no longer has that.

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2TiredinFlorida, regarding your Mom cleaning herself, have her try baby wipes. They are easy to use, soft, and throw-away into the waste basket. That way she can do herself, as I suppose you being her son this would be awkward.

In fact I use baby wipes myself if I am in a rush in place of a shower, works pretty good. Huggies and Cottonelle are nice. It's just finding one that has a pleasant odor.

Sounds like you Mom isn't a happy camper about getting older. If I couldn't get around, couldn't hear very well or see very well, and couldn't hop into a car and drive myself somewhere, I would be very grumpy, too.

I wonder if your Mother might enjoy being in Assisted Living where she would be around people of her own age group... where everyone dines in the main dining room. It all depends on if she could afford that, it isn't cheap by any means.
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It sounds like something is going on. I might try to get her to her primary doctor and rule out things like UTI, medication reactions, depression, etc. I also might write down the odd behavior that you are seeing with her that are odd and/or unhealthy.

You might send a leter to the doctor before he meets with her so he will know what to look for. He may give her an evaluation there in the office. I know you said that her doctor says it's not dementia, but, ask what else it could be. Maybe this time, he'll view it with fresh eyes. I might press them for a more complete evaluation and even referral to a neurologist if he can't provide some answers.

See what the diagnosis is and what is going on. I'd ask if she might benefit from meds for depression and if he might prescribe a bath aid. Sometimes they have better luck with the patient than a family member. If the doctor orders it, maybe she will comply.

If it turns out to be dementia and that's why she is not taking care of her hygiene, it's a difficult and frustrating journey. It may involve encouragement, pleading, bribing, etc. There are a number of ideas on this site about how to coax them to allow baths. There are bath wipes, dry shampoo, etc. Is this something that you would take on yourself? There is a lot to consider, depending on what her diagnosis is. Resistance to care if a common symptom of dementia, so it's often an uphill battle.

Are your her Durable Power of Attorney and Healthcare POA?
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