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Yes, thank you all, I have had multiple talks with her Dr. and new Dr. She has had a whole battery of tests and bloodwork before coming here and last week an EKG. Basically, she is very healthy at 86 and just was very lonely and it was getting hard to live alone and she left on her own free will. I think I solved the problem, I just went out and bought a 32 ounce cup that my 9 year old could open (so she will be able to with her osteoarthritis in her hands) and a large straw with a large handle. Thank God for TARGET! It is called a "Bubba" cup 32ounce insulated. I bought 5 extra flexible straws. She is fully capable in most ways, going to the bathroom. This morning I just put 3 water mugs (16 ounce) and her smoothie with protein and went off for the day with the kids. I make organic smoothies with lots of fruit and I just bought Whey protein. I am very into health food. So, I have come to the conclusion that I can bring in the water twice a day in her large mug take her blood pressure in the afternoon, she will go to the bathroom and MOVE as a result of being hydrated. And, I make shakes in the morning anyway, so since she never ate breakfast really before, that is a good start and better than nothing. So, if she is hungry for lunch or dinner she can come out on her own or starve because I am not going to keep trying this hard. Not to be harsh, but I am very busy and trying to take care of myself. My friend said if she wants a higher level of care, then she can move into a skilled nursing facility or hire a caregiver. I don't like to give her food in bed, or one it is just not necessary, she is fully functioning, just depressed. Plus, CRUMBS! Upward and onward!
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Fluids don't have to be water maybe she just doesn't like it. The smoothies are a good idea and boost is very pleasant and Carnation Instant breakfast. add plenty of fruit which also has a high water content. As long as her urine is pale yellow and clear she is not dehydrated. if you can pick up folds of her skin and it holds it's shape that is a sign of dehydration. Do not let her take sleeping pills during the day. of course she is depressed or at the very least exhausted from the move and everything involved. the fact that she came down for dinner last night is a very good first step She certainly needs a thorough physical evaluation especially if she is seeing a new Dr probably some blood tests and maybe a chest x-ray if she hasn't had one in a while and be brought up to date on her vacinations. Does she use a bedpan or commode when she does not go to the bathroom. Are her bowels regular? There is a lot more to this caregiving than first appears as you are about to find out. Did she leave her home voluntarily or was she coerced? Were there other options? You are a very good person for taking her in but there is a lot to learn and this is a very good place to start your education. No one will laugh at you if you think your question is silly you need the answer so ask away. This is ground zero for grandma her health is not going to get any better from here in however lovingly you care for her. Sounds harsh but it's better to know the truth than stick your head in the sand and jeopodize your childrens' future because you can't be there for them. home schooling is pretty much a full time job on it's own.
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You might want to call in Hospice for an evaluation. It would appear there are multiple issues at hand, more than just macular degeneration. The eyes are just the tip of the iceberg, and macular degeneration can accompany diabetes, vascular issues, kidney failure and other conditions. It's time for a long chat with her MD, as a caregiver you need to know what you are dealing with.
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For starters: a straw. And a refreshing, hydrating, healthy drink that also tastes delicious, like fresh old-fashioned lemonade if that's something she likes.

Early days, and hard going. You're doing a great thing in just caring this much. How old is your grandma-in-law? I'm sure you're right that she is depressed - who wouldn't be, in her shoes? - but the question is how far you go to pull her back out of it, especially if she doesn't want you to. I hope there'll be a clear way forward very soon x
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How do I get grandma some counseling? What kind would I get and from whom? She has medi-care. She just moved in a month ago after leaving her home for 50 years, fell for the first time a week ago, won't use her walker and therefore is staying in bed and I have been bringing her water and smoothies and she has gotten up a few times for the bathroom, a Dr. visit and for a dinner last night. But, she takes a sleeping pill and basically stays in bed all day. It is not good for her to be inactive and I think she is very depressed. I need her to get up and start getting her own water and moving but I feel I have been too "caring" and enabling her because I don't want her to die of dehydration. I have two children and I teach them at home. She is my grandmother in law. We have a good relationship, but of course this is very stressful for both of us. My husband is great, but I am the "caregiver". I asked her questions, but she won't answer them. I am loving and caring for her every need. She won't take anti-depressives. I don't want to keep bringing her water, but I don't know what else to do. She wants to sleep all day, so I have been waking her up, giving her water and smoothies. So, any water suggestions? She has a travel mug that she can open and hold easily. I just installed a water dispenser in the kitchen with pure water and an easy dispenser. Now, how do I kindly say, get up and drink water? I feel like she will sleep all day, get dehydrated, need an all day IV infusion and the cycle continues. What is the answer where she gets help? I can't make her take meds, I can't make her get up and drink. She moved here because she has macular degeneration. I don't know how to make this healthy for her and I. It would be different if she really needed me to provide this level of care. But, she is capable, just depressed. So, right now, I am going to bring her water a smoothie and go to church and pray! I hope you can sort through this and give me some constructive feedback. Thanks.
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