She had a fall and a concussion when she came, and I was doing most everything for her at that time. I have continued doing the cooking, the dishes, the laundry, helping with her shower and even toileting, which she needs many of those still. I’m finding that I am ready to ask her to do some of her own things. She does usually fold her clothing and towels. Though at first she didn’t do it well. I got a concussion last summer and know how that affected me, so I understand her responses and behaviors at that time. She seems to be stronger and more healthy. She has macular degeneration and I’m not sure how bad that actually is, it seems to be getting worse. She has some dementia, but I’m not sure how much of that was from the concussion, and how much is how much she has deteriorated. I guess I can take her to the doctor to get that tested. She is definitely stronger. We had to get a back molar in each side removed because she wasn’t brushing her teeth well enough, and they had cracked or had to have a root canal. She has had dizziness ever since a root canal almost 20 years ago, so we just had those pulled. She has memory problems, but she seems to remember better what needs to be done for her nighttime routine, but she doesn’t brush her teeth well enough when she does it on her own. I am really doing her hygiene things for her.
She would not shower or brush her teeth if left to do it herself. When I’m not at home, she will go to bed putting her top dentures in a cup of cold water, no brushing or denture tablets. Even though she knows where they are. Sometimes she does use them and other times she doesn’t. I’m not sure if it’s forgetting or just not wanting to make the effort. Most nights I have to make sure, after she’s used the toilet, I wipe her because she has a mess in her depends. Which I make sure she changes night and day. She usually uses the toilet for urinating, so that isn’t a problem.
I’m finding myself feeling guilty for asking her to do things she can do, though it’s probably good for her to do them. 4 to 6 times a week the toilet is a mess from her attempts to clean herself up after a bowel movement. The last two nights, it was right as I was about to make dinner. So I placed Clorox wipes on the toilet in the areas there was stuff that needed to be wiped off, and asked her to please clean the toilet up while I made dinner, as I do make all the meals. She did it willingly as best she could. I feel like I can ask her to do more. She tried to contribute in the ways she wanted to. But it usually causes more problems than it helped. She throws things away she thinks I shouldn’t want. 😂
I love her dearly and she has loved me as her own daughter. We have always had a good friendship and deep love and appreciation for each other. She’s grateful for things we do for her, but also sometimes is like a 5 year old, resentful that she has to do personal hygiene things. I realized she probably hadn’t showered for a year before she moved in. She said she had had a shower, but I think she was occasionally getting her head wet, maybe sometimes using shampoo, but never enough. She had a particular odor about her that was from her somewhat washed/wetted hair and unwashed body. She was an immaculate woman when she was younger, always took care of herself. I just don’t know how much to let her attempt, when she doesn’t take care to do what needs to be done. So I so far just have her do what she CAN do without making a mess or making things more complicated for myself. I have got to get some outside help to take of her, one member of my husband’s family is willing but it sometimes feels like their needs are more important than my needs though she lived here 24-7 the last 8 months. The other two family members could not do what she needs to have done because if their own issues, can you tell me what you have an elderly parent do that lives with you?