My problem for a while now has been my mother's swelling feet. What can I do?

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My mom's feet are swelling so bad. So the doctor decided to put her on water pills. What am I going to do now? I already have a problem changing her diapers, now its every time I turn around. What can I do?

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Mom’s body is getting rid of extra fluid. I can tell you that as the diuretics take hold and do their job, she will stop urinating so often.

Dcurnan, it concerns me that this is your second post about your issues with changing mom’s adult diapers. Were you “guilted” into caregiving for her? Are you the only one available to take care of her, meaning do you have any opportunities for help at all? When you agreed to be her caregiver, did you have any idea what all it involved? Mom is not doing this TO you, you are doing this FOR her. She is not flooding the place to make your life difficult. If you’ve ever been on diuretics, you know when they kick in, they’re a force to be reckoned with. Caregiving is doing a LOT of distasteful stuff. While caring for Hubby, I’ve done everything from holding a basin while he vomits to scraping the dead skin off the bottom of his feet and everything in between, as have most of us here. You just gotta do it, Kiddo, and not concentrate on what you’re doing.

If you don’t think you can handle this task of caregiving, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of if you can’t, then you need to speak with family members, (if available), her doctor, your local area Agency on Aging, even your Pastor. Most of us never signed up to be a loved one’s caregiver and all that entails. It’s one of the hardest jobs ever and a lot of times, there’re no pats on the back. You need to get help, be it in the form of home health care, a relative or counseling to help you handle. Good luck and God bless.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Ah. I didn't realize that Mom is on hospice care. In that case I withdraw my question about the cause of the swelling. The task at hand is to keep her comfortable. It doesn't really matter much why the swelling is happening, does it?

Have you discussed the possibility of a catheter with the hospice nurse?

I think I can understand both guilt and love as caregiving motivations. Keep the love uppermost in your mind. Understand that there are a lot of ways to express love besides doing all the hands-on care.

I found that caring for my husband in our home on hospice a deeply meaningful experience. I had 32 hours a week of PCA help, and he was on a catheter the final few days. Having help certainly didn't mean I loved him any less, or make the experience less profound!

Your mom is on hospice. I would be inclined to advise you to keep doing your best and hang in there until the end. But you are also caring for your dad. This could go on quite a while. While you have access to the hospice social worker I advise you to start planning for the long haul. Would you do better with in-home help? Can Dad afford it? Would he qualify for Medicaid? As his needs increase, does a care center make sense?

You love both of your parents. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't also factor in your own strengths and weaknesses and needs when planning their care.

Keep in touch here. We care!
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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He totally understands. He just wants to please everyone. But he cant. We are safe now. We can get back to being ourselves. We are going to a ball game tonight. Going to have some fun.
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Barbbrooklyn, you all have been such a blessing and so supportive. This morning i saw no light at the end of the tunnel, now the sun is shining. And even if its just for a little while i see hope now.
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Dcurnan, channel your worries and thoughts about “what-if” and what might happen and what bad effects it will have on you into future planning and action. At this point, whether Mom is like a little lamb or a wildcat doesn’t matter. She needs care and tending and this situation is causing you undue stress and worry. Your heart is in the right place, but this situation is having a detrimental effect on your whole life. Is it time to tell yourself you tried to do what you felt was the right thing and it didn’t work out? Only you can answer that and also if it’s time to go down another path. Each day you stew in these juices and worry about what’s to come only makes it worse. Mom isn’t going to change or make it easier for you. Only you can decide what you want to do and then take your decision to Dad. Dad loves you and I’m sure he already realizes things can’t go on like this. It might go better than you planned.
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Well, it didnt go bad. My father understands my frustrations and he knows that i cant do this full time forever. My mother is hard of hearing so when talking with her it usually ends up with everyone yelling so i wrote down what i wanted to tell her so she didnt feel left out. She was very quit after but says she understands, but do we have to think about a nursing home. That she will try harder. I told my dad that its not about her trying harder. She already does everything she can thats its me, i dont have it in me to handle full time caregiver. Im a 56 year old single mom and thats what im good at. So we are going to talk to the hospice nurse when she comes in the morning and see what our options are. Also i think someone had mentioned a social worker, we have called hospice and they set up an appt for all us to talk to her. (I said my brothers too) so one of my brothers will be here my other brother lives 2000 miles away so ill call him and keep him updated. We need a plan before i can go on being me. I feel somewhat hopeful. Put ive always been the worry wart. They used to tease me and call me downer debbie because i had to analize everything. Its just something ive always done. Lol. I know the guilt is going to set in but im relieved that i was truthful and its not because i dont love them, its because i do love them.
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One solution would be to request a urinary catheter at least till the swelling comes under control. There are pros and cons for this , the main rist is UTIs but if you can't manage this is the only way to lessen the difficulty.
Is Mom ready for hospice? if she is they will take care of this plus send an aide in to bathe her several times a week. Think about it and talk to hospice. Mom's Dr has to order it but you can just talk to them.
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Reply to Veronica91
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Dear dcuran,

I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's condition. I know its hard for you being the main caregiver.

Like Jeanne said I'm worried your mom might have congestive heart failure that is why her feet is swelling. This is very serious. Are you able to get your mom more home care or maybe it's time to consider assisted living or a nursing home.

I hear how burnt out you are and its really hard. I was there too with my dad. Looking back I wished so badly, I had found another options. I would tell my siblings about this or that and I had no support. Thinking of you.
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Reply to cdnreader
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Don't consider giving up your job completely. Just don't!

I think you ought to start looking into Medicaid. Regardless of what happens next, it is going to cost money. I'm sure you'd like it in place, or at least know the process is well along before you go back to work. Start now. Call your Area Agency on Aging and see if there is some help available for getting the application ready. You may want to consider a lawyer specializing in Elder Law also (with your parent's money.)

As you say, a nursing home might be required even if that isn't what anyone really wants. You can only do so much. She can still be on hospice in a nursing home. (My mother was.) You and your dad can visit her there as much as you like, but without responsibilities for her care.

Mother is on hospice. She should be getting comfort care. Hospice is usually a good judge of what is comforting. And they are there to be comforting to the entire family. Don't be afraid to explain to them what bothers you.
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In addition to calling the Areea Agency on Aging for advice about Nursing Home Medicaid when there is a community spouse at home, go to your State's Medicaid website. Most state very clearly what the asset and income limitations are, but remember that a community spouse can keep enough assets and income so as not to become impoverished.

And I'm so glad you haven't left your job!
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