I feel that this is unfair to myself, my husband, our 5 year old daughter and my mother, who also lives with us! When I confront her about it (nicely) she cries and says this is so embarrassing to her, yet she does not change. It is ruining my carpet, furniture and mental health! My husband will not intervene as he made a deathbed promise to his father that his mom would not go to a home! I am 33, own two businesses and am at my wits end! Any advice is appreciated!
(2) in the meantime, get rid of all of her underpants, replace ALL of her underwear with Depends and refer to them as "briefs." This is what she will have to wear - end of story.
Sit down with her and be firm that she has to wear throwaway underwear now, because she has an incontinence problem that cannot be ignored. Buy them before you talk to her, so you can hand her one to try. If she still refuses, ask her dr. to ask her about her incontinence situation. Have her explain that it is NOT sanitary to have poop and pee in the washer where it is used for everyone in the household. Also, Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is good for helping to keep odors at bay with pee and poop. I used it for my MIL's clothes, bedding and usually that was it, but it can be used in the washer, along with detergent, non-chlorine bleach (safe for colors), & liquid softener. You only need a tsp. or two, but it depends on how big the load is (I usually pour it around once or twice, depending on how big the load is). It is a real help to have the disposable underwear, though. Good luck!
I used to be an EMT-Paramedic and I can tell you that children are the most difficult calls to make even for the best of us. If it is your own child, it can be even harder. And though most of us rise to the occasion when it is our own child (I did when my daughter had a febrile seizure or when I had to work with my mom until paramedics responded for chest pain - I was cool, calm and collected), some do freeze. That is why doctors are taught not to treat their own family members. It does not mean they are a wuss by any means.
One last story, I knew a man on the rescue squad who was one of the best at using the jaws-of-life in the region. He was called to a wreck where he had to cut out several patients - one being his own sister who died on the scene. He completed his job for all of the patients and walked away. Can you imagine what it took for him to do this?
Also, remember that people typically do not smell their own odors as pungently as that of others, and that plus even subtle cognitive/judgement limitations may be preventing your mom from realizing what the severity of the problem and how intolerable the status quo really is. YOU know, though, that you can't let someone continue to poop all over the house. There are some enzyme-based products such as Nature's Miracle designed for pets that will at least partially remove stains and odors, but they can only go so far. If you had one accident a week, you could probably keep everything clean and odor free, but not if it is a daily occurrence. Explaining that to mom gently and supportively may be a huge challenge depending on her judgement and thinking skills, but getting rid of the regular underwear and maybe using a pull-up style rather than a diaper-style could work out. Maybe you can even call it someth9ing else - my mom wears "briefs" and for soem kids who are embarrassed in the hospital they are "hospital pants." YMMV...I hope there is a decent solution for you and your mom.
Bottom line, really, is that overall women are MUCH stronger emotionally than men - I've seen it time and time again. Men are wimps, in general, when it comes to matters of illness. They are complete babies when they are sick and they cannot deal with the sickness of others. Women just pitch in and clean up the vomit, end of discussion. Even some male physicians are completely grossed out if a patient vomits or poops all over the place.....and they call the nearest FEMALE CNA to clean it up.
When I was a very little child, I used to actually clean up my OWN vomit or feces (per my parent's report) whereas my older brother would just puke and lie in it, expecting somebody else to clean up after him. I really think we come out of the womb differently, acculturation notwithstanding.
I "read the riot act" once to an EMT CPR instructor who told me that when his 4-year-old fell and broke his arm, he "freaked" and was incapable of providing first aid to the child because he was "too upset." This guy is an EMT trainer, mind you. It was his non-medical WIFE who took the bull by the horns and did the proper first aid and ran the kid to the hospital ER. I told the guy he was a "poor excuse for an EMT if he could not even render basic first aid to his own child for something as simple as a broken arm." The man was obviously a complete WUSS!
Here's a fun one: Traditional woman's job typist? It turns out men squarer wrists are more well suited to it and less likely to get carpel tunnel syndrome...
Women tend to be more hygienic and more nurturing and are the family glue, so it just usually falls on them to handle these care giving tasks from child rearing to elder care. Not always but commonly so. And as these are not valued paid positions in society, there may be a real song and dance about them but really very little in the way of legitimate support.
This actually raises another important issue. Why is it that women are the ones STUCK with excrement/urine duties, even if it's the husband's parent and not ours? Why do we allow ourselves to be coerced into performing this service? We should put our collective feet down and tell the men that "it's your parent, not mine, and you are responsible for their care, not me" - and then stick to our guns. While I am sure there are exceptions, I have yet to know of any man who has agreed to be the one to diaper & clean up his elderly parent - yet many of them will diaper their infant children without reservation.
What do the rest of you think about this issue?
There is definitely an unfair double standard at play......and we women are guilty of allowing it to be imposed upon us.
None of us like to think that our parent will end up like this, but it happens more and more often as people are living much longer than mother nature had intended. I actually loved Nataly1's technique of "grounding her." With the role reversal that happens with aging, we sometimes have to treat our parent in a similar fashion to how we would treat a family member who is a young child - because that's what actually works.
Good luck in this situation~