Aunt (94) will be moving in with me for 3 mos. while caregiver has surgery. Should I install a bidet adaptor? - AgingCare.com

Aunt (94) will be moving in with me for 3 mos. while caregiver has surgery. Should I install a bidet adaptor?

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She is my last living relative, blind & crippled (h&f) w/arthrits. I am 65. Her caregiver has to have back surgery & she has asked if I can take her in. I would have done this yrs age but she was always addiment..NO!
None of us want her in a NH as we all feel this would be the end for her. She is also a Christian Scientist & vegetarian. Woman whos horses I pasture in the summer is also a CS & am hoping that my Aunt will get over her not wanting to be seen by "strangers" & talk to her. (I am not a CS, but a Quaker. We both have heavy German/Jewish upbringing)
She is fine on her own for a couple (2+) hrs. so I will be able to go to store & get groc. & sups.
Will not go to Adult Day Care or Senior lunches. It will just be the 2 of us. I can take her out to the covered porch for fresh air while I do the irrigating, etc. (2 acrs.)
Bedroom downstairs next to bathroom for her to use. Plan on getting a "baby monitor" so I can hear her if needed at night. My bedroom is upstairs. She cannot climb stairs.
Schedule is mapped out with rising @ 7:30, breakfast by 9, supper @ 4:30. Light lunch midday & snacks early evening.
She likes to go to bed (but may not sleep) after the late nite news around 11. Bathroom call around 2 am than sleeps the rest of the night. She is not incontinent, nor any accidents. But does need help with toileting, bathing, etc.
Will be fixing her meals for her but if placed in proper order she eats unassisted. No meat, so no cutting. Vegs. in bite size portions.
I realize this could turn into a full time/ long term arrangement. Will approach that if/when time comes.
I was also thinking about getting & installing a bidet adaptor to downstairs toilet to help with these issues. If this is not a good idea, what kind of moist wipes would be a good choice for her? We are on a septic & they need to be biodegradable without oils.
I realize this will be a fulltime commitment without any downtime on my part but this is family & I have loved her as a Mother all my life. NH is out of the question!
Both Mother & MIL are already deceased, also FIL & all Uncles. Husband lives & works away from area so will not be an inconvenience for him or embarrassment for her.
Any other helpful suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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12, you certainly seem to be between a rock and a hard place. For many years, my mom's older sister was trapped at home with her demented husband. She fell. She couldn't get up. Husband dragged her around on a throw rug for 4 days before anyone discovered the situation. Aunt had surgery and several months of rehab. And then was returned home to demented husband with some home health help brought in. This was the way they wanted it. They got what they wanted. We can't get people to want what we see is best.
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continued:
I believe that the perception of her comfort is more important than any that the "world" would impart to her for HER OWN sense of wellbeing.


Since the NF only performed wipe downs or sponge baths, both aunt & R feel that this is all that is necessary. Hair is dry washed once every 3 weeks.
Though this pains me, I accede to her wishes, even if I feel that these are misguided.

No I do not think that this a good place or position to be in but it is not my decision. It is hers!
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frenchmadeline: thank you for trying to understand a bit more.

In regard to where I live, suffice it to say that it is a small agricultural community close to an hour away from any of the services you mention. My Aunt however lives in a much more urban area but also less than metropolitan. 2 states away .

Re: her quality of life deteriorating if placed in a nursing facility. The last time she was in a NF even though she is not incontinent, they catheterized her so that they did not have to deal with getting her to the toilet when she need to or even making sure that they would check on her on an hourly basis.

As for bathing & care of her body. Not so good there either. As I have mentioned her hands are "frozen" in a closed hand position. There was NO working with her hands to open them nor to clean the palms or fingers of the closed hand. Just washing of the top of the hand with a wet cloth. As a result, the accumulated dirt,& dead skin, etc. created a gangrenous type of infection & it was suggested that the hand be amputated with the other one possibly following. All because they did not wish to be inconvenienced.

Now granted, this was not a high end NF but the least expensive one that R could find with a minimum of drugging of the "patients". Not even a Christian Scientist facility. Which my Aunt is.

All these things R does do for her, or has a CS practitioner come in to address such issues. So as stated before there is a degree of care. But a callousness of the comforts of care. She still "feels" that she has her dignity even if in truth that may not be the case.
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125wondering. I hope you took my reference to having dodged a bullet to refer to being quit of your dealings with R, not of being free of your Aunt! Wishing you well
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To 12wondering. Please accept my apologies for my headstrong response to your dilemma. I have now spent a few additional hours pondering your position and that of your aunt. I do not know and cannot know what is the truth here. I am working of course from my experience in life and what I have picked up away the way, and I have to add to that what I have heard from friends and through my volunteer work, and of course what I have learned from AgingCare and other websites like this. For instance my sweet husband has had all of the problems that R has and unfortunately more. He had both hips and one knee replaced. I took care of him before and after each surgery and I know how extremely limited his movement and functioning was and is right now as I write this while he decides which surgeon will reconstruct his foot. (This is a much tougher surgery than all of the others and it will probably be needed on the other foot as time goes on. But that is not your concern here.) This perhaps is the strongest reason I have for questioning so strongly R's care of your aunt. Of course the details of the way R has gone about arranging his many surgeries leaves a lot of room for doubt. I also truly and honestly do not understand a preference for R's caring for your aunt because as you have said she would lose a degree of "quality of life" if placed in a nursing home. I do not know where you live but certainly in this age and time there should be at least a few local nursing homes and one might be chosen because it is welcoming and clean, is maintained to a high standard and employs a staff that is at least, capable and efficient. Like most families in a situation like this a concerned relative quickly learns which of the staff would be looking after their loved one and it is possible to build sustaining relationships where all share the one goal of looking out for the best interests of the loved one.

You have not painted a pretty picture of R and you have not addressed to what degree your aunt's daily needs are met, and other than her emotional attachment to R, which would be a questionable situation to most health care professionals, and one that might preclude continuing as things are now, I just cannot understand your compliance with R's demands and an attitude that seems like "leaving well enough alone" when it just doesn't seem things are at all "well" in R's house. But since I am not privy to all that should be known I will no longer address your aunt's situation since she has made it to 94 years without any input from concerned people (busybodies?) like me, and she will probably go on a lot longer, and I will hope in living in what is a kind and caring, nurturing atmosphere of love. Good luck to her and to you and God bless you both.
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In conclusion, since I seem to be causing such discord I shall stop responding to any further distractions as I am full aware that the majority of people on this site are seeking informative help & support on a very trying time in their lives . Thank you all for your insight & guidance.
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frenchmadeline: If you would read things correctly, I was not asking about installing a bidet, but a temporary adaptor onto our existing toilet to assist with the cleansing of the backside & nether regions after defecating & urinating. I thought that it would have been a help in easing the process as someone would have had to raise her from the toilet & hold her in a forward leaning position with one hand/arm while cleaning the area with the other. This would be a necessity as she could not do so herself or hold herself in said position on any support while this was being done. It was decided that this would not be a good alternative as it would more than likely be a shock to her since she would not be used to the spray or be able to know what it was.

I am so very glad that I was able to furnish you with a laugh. As you state that you are "a stressed out caregiver" I hope that you can come to terms with your anger which appears to be all too self evident.

The 3 month time frame was to be a trial period which would have more than likely become a permanent one. Which would have been lovingly & willing acceded to.

It hurts me no end that things did not work out.... not for any monetary means but for shear love. $600. a month for round the clock care, and the loss of any kind of a life or freedom to do anything is not an inducement. Mind you this amount was not for pay but purely for the care, personal needs, & groceries of . Also to be paid from this sum would be any necessary extras; such as having someone come into my home to assist me with the bathing, shampooing of hair,& tending to feet ( cracked heels & trimming of deformed toenails) of my Aunt. As I am 65 it would be a considerable task to attempt this by myself.

If I did not mention it before, Aunts food would be separate from & different from mine.as she is a vegetarian & I am not & all foods would need to be kept separate & prepared separately. No comingling.

There would be no possibility of benefiting from any of this care as the trust states that upon her demise the secondary is to be her husbands son from a previous marriage. . My only hope was to be able to spend time with & be able to care for her. Something that has been denied.
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Equillot. I just now noticed your comment. Nothing I said has to do with the aunt's religious beliefs. I believe the aunt is not safe under the same roof as that unstable caregiver R. That the aunt does not want any medical attention of any kind is of course her right and I am not about to address that issue. You probably don't want to read everything I have written to this point but I wanted to at least clear up that misconception in case others believe that also.
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GardenArtist. I presume you believe that someone had better step in and defend 12 from the bully, Madeline, me. No doubt you feel your comment attacking me for being "so verbally abusive" to 12 is correct. No doubt you think I am intruding and way off limits by "expressing a very personal opinion" and I imagine you mean by that that no one else writing on this forum or who has only read and not commented on this infuriating thread, would agree with me that this frail woman, blind, crippled and 94-years-old, actually might have a good chance at a better existence in a smoothly functioning nursing home while under the care of a professional staff, where as a matter of course her every move and personal need will be met by attendants working around the clock and according to strict guidelines and established practices, and who are at the end of the day subject to the threat of immediate dismissal should their behavior on the job conflict or veer outside the realm of these strict industry standards. Contrast this nursing-home situation please with her present situation in which she is living in a virtually "closed" environment, as was described by 12 herself, in which her every move, desire and basic need or otherwise, whether met or unmet, has to first and foremost go through R, the unstable, disabled caregiver, (continually referring to this man as "R" adds not only absurdity to 12's poor aunt's every-day situation but worse it adds a touch of menace that I find truly frightening) who it appears somehow managed to hold on and work his way forward, through an extremely disturbing and highly questionable past relationship with 12's aunt. And at that, I say the time is here and ripe for a clean break, to remove the aunt from this caregiver's "care" and to do so before something awful were to happen. You believe I am overstepping my boundaries. Frankly I don't see how 12 could go on being so clueless. I was shocked and livid that some others thought 12 "dodged a bullet" because she wast able to get her aunt out of R's house. (Did anyone take a few minutes to consider the kind of person that would force another to "dodge a bullet.") I stopped myself from voicing stronger opinions, believe me, GardenArtist. Just as I have stopped myself from giving voice to other probing questions, ones that would delve deeper into the relationship vis-a-vis everyone to everyone else, just so a clearer picture of what is going on here could be drawn. The aunt is a helpless pawn caught between a rock and the hard place, with the love of money at the root of this I am certain. I also believe that not all of the facts have been laid on the table, and I think 12's original question regarding purchasing a bidet for her 94-year-old aunt's use for the three month stay, does not even come near to passing the laugh test. If I lived next door to either R or 12 the local APS (or EPS as it is called where I live) would have been called in by now. All in all considering my doubts about 12's veracity I believe my "badgering" was rather tame. The accusations I considered making were not made; that was my concession to the caring people on this forum simply because I did not want to see all hell break loose on these pages. I am a stressed out caregiver who like most people here simply wants to see the right thing done. I know enough to know when something is wrong and can sense when it is wrong in a big way. That "this (i.e., 12's leaving her aunt to remain with and under the control of R) isn't an ideal situation" certainly is a massive under-statement.
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Good job, GA! Occasionally on this site I see extremely judgmental posts from people that know nothing about another's situation and it irritates the heck out of me! We are all here to learn from each other in a safe environment where we listen and help others.
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