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Last night my Dad woke me up standing in my room screaming at me. Demanding a laxative. I told him to go to bed, and never do that again unless it is a real emergency. I am going to be locking my door starting tonight. I have a baby monitor in my Moms room, so I'll know if she is moving around. This week he has been keeping me awake and waking Mom all night long. This has to stop! Well, today the in home aide gave my Dad a laxative. She he didn't talk to me about it first. Ah well, she has been great. She has been the best I could ever ask for...and more. So, this is just chalked up to a lesson. But, my Dad has had explosive diarrhea every couple of days...for years. We know the reason..and he refuses to stop the medication that proabably causes it. But..today he told the home aide he has constipation going on 7 days. And she believed him. The mess everywhere is really bad. His living room chair. The carpet in the living room, his bedroom, bathroom. And after it was cleaned up..it started again. He has it all over his legs and feet...even the wheels of his walker.....then walks back into the living room smearing this mess on the carpets all over again. The stink is everywhere. Tomorrow the carpets all have to be cleaned. How how am I going to keep this guy in his bed? I cannot tie him down (though I was mad enough to consider it last night). I am betting this sort of crap (pun intended) is why many care givers burn out. I bet a fair number of seniors end up in NH because of this sort of behavior.

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I assure everyone, I have no intention to live with this situation. I will speak to another lawyer next week....see what I can learn about a miller trust and/or a disability trust. Maybe knowing a bit more now, I can get real information. I am thinking I was brushed off because my folks are not well off...the "estate planning" didn't seem to be likely to pay a lawyer well.

My parents live in their own home. I came here from the N. Carolina to help them.

I started with a small apartment of my own, but found I was spending zero time there. As their in-home health insurance would only cover 12 hours per day (6 for each), I began covering the other 12 hours myself. It was quickly apparent that paying for a small efficiency was a total waste.

So, my own expenses are fairly minimized, and saving everything I can for the future on the road is my priority for myself. But, even so, my income cannot make up the difference in the loss of my Dads income....and worse yet, cannot make up for the total loss of his income, half the savings ,and the life insurance.

So...spoke at length with the VA nurse. New plan..Dad will start Mertazapin ...which will help with sleep and is a mood stabilizer. She said that the Zantac is known to cause diarrhea ...so it is going to be changed to a prescription for once a week instead of daily.

So many of the meds he is taking carry a lot of risk, but, it is just a matter of trade offs.

Let's face it...no one is going to get out of this life alive.
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Katiekate,
This is an unhealthy situation. You should not be exposed to feces continually. You can get sick and then who would take care of your parents? My friend wound up hospitalized with E-Coli (bacteria from stool) and was sick as a dog.

Have you talked to your dad's doctor about his diarrhea? Diarrhea can cause fluid and electrolyte imbalance and can make your dad confused (or more confused). He should have some blood tests to check that. Also, couldn't you ask the doctor to stop prescribing the drug that causes diarrhea? Have you tried over the counter antidiarrheal medicines (Lomotil, Kaopectate, etc.) Surely the doc will be sympathetic to you with this intolerable problem. There are foods he shouldn't be eating (beans, legumes, soda, anything that causes gas). Foods that help diarrhea are rice and bananas.

The nurses at the memory care facility where my mom lives use "Tic-Tac's" as pain pills for her (constant) headaches. She's happy! You could try it.

The main thing is that he needs the care of a facility that's set up for his problems. Tell the VA folks that you have been diagnosed with a heart condition (or some other severe medical condition) and have been told that taking care of both your parents is too taxing for your heart. They will not ask to see proof of your condition. This will force them to place your dad in a facility because he will be homeless. Between VA and Social Security, there should be enough to pay the NH (or board and care). Just curious, if your mom lives with you, what money would she need besides personal toiletries, clothes, hair do's, etc.? Guess I don't see why more $ couldn't go to your dad's care. Good luck in getting him placed somewhere for his and your own safety.
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Oh dear Katiekate. No one should have to undergo this. Isnt there some way financially you could do this? How old is your mother? She cant have many monthly expenses if she lives with you. I hope you will find some way to place your father in a caring facility. That would be best for you both. You need to enjoy your life.
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Sometimes explosive diarrhea can come from a food intolerant that doesn't show up until ones later years. Such as dairy products, gluten, certain spices, just about anything one would eat.

Example, my Dad had major issues with diarrhea and I figured since I was lactose intolerant that maybe my Dad was too... sure enough he was. So I bought him Lactaid milk and Lactaid ice cream and that really helped. Of course my Mom would still give him cottage cheese, regular cheese, yogurt thinking a little bit wouldn't hurt... well it did.

Prescription medicine can also cause upset stomach, so have the primary doctor look over the list and maybe make some changes.

If Dad keeps insisting on laxatives, I remember someone on the forum switched out the ex-lax with a chocolate candy and her Mom didn't know the difference but was happy with the "candy".
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The nurses from the VA are coming over on Friday. One part of that team is the psychologist who has expressed the concerns I read here. I plan to discuss this mess with the entire team. A solution must be found.

The issue this week has been the lack of sleep my Dad is having. And the lack of sleep he is causing for the household. But, this latest incident (while It was caused by the in home aide not understanding ... And she won't make the mistake again) it points to this bigger issue.

Running a carpet cleaner around the house twice a week has been a regular part of the routine here. The home aide cleans the bathrooms daily. So, I have not had to deal with this as much as someone else might have (these in home services are paid in full by the insurance company). But...I see a time coming when it will be impossible to continue

Honestly, the number one reason I do not move him to a NH is money. The Insurance company ONLY pays for in home service...only 6 hours 6 days a week. No insurance for institutional care. After going over the whole financial situation with an elder care lawyer...it is clear that Mom would be left in poverty if Dad goes into a nursing home, because she has no income of her own beyond just $500 in Social Security ... She was a stay at home wife nearly her entire life. Working just long enough to qualify for Medicare. Colorado would not allow a high enough allowance for her to keep enough of Dads income to pay her expenses. And, his life insurance would be taken to pay nursing home too..so, she ends in total property when he dies...losing both his income and his life insurance benefits. And, I cannot take on being her financial support because he is in a NH. So, by preserving both the savings and the life insurance, Mom will have enough to continue after his death. We figured out that her budget then would go another 5 years before that is all gone. And I am honest with myself...her life expectancy is much less than that.

The support a I find here has been wonderful. It is great to have this resource to come to! So, looking to figure out a way to get Dad to stop waking the household...and.... Put a halt to the diarrhea. Laxatives are going to be put under lock and key!
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Ohhhh....Katiekate....God Bless you for taking on the care of both your extremely elderly, ill, impaired parents....BUT.....Plz....get real....living w/explosive diarrhea all over your house (and him) several times a week....and he doesn't care....at 93 he's had his very long, independent life....those days are over....get him out of your house and into professional care.... I can see no reasonable explanation for keeping him in your home.
And your Mom's a stroke survivor....why are you CG to both at your age (you and I are same age)....not young....this is a serious Q.
Finally, I so very much have loved your future plans/dreams of travel and encouraged them on the "my favorite things" thread.....plz don't let them be nothing but dreams....
You seriuosly need to change some things up....plz do.... xo...
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I agree with jeannegibbs. Often incontinence is the line in the sand - or on the carpet - that makes in-home care impossible. It's not being insensitive or shallow to not want to live with that. Fecal matter brings with it e-coli bacteria and creates a health risk for everyone living in that environment. Having a workable solution that is effective the majority of the time is one thing - twice weekly, explosive diahrrea is something else all together.
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Katiekate, I know you didn't ask this and I'm being a bit impertinent, but I wonder if it really still is tenable for you to care for two high-demand patients at home?

I think you are right that a fair number of seniors end up in NH because of behavior that their caregivers can't cope with. Incontinence is high on the list.
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Unless the aide is a nurse, she cannot give him medication even a laxative...I would have a talk to her about it. Sometimes aides become too comfortable.
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Jess

Oh my. Under no circumstances should my dad ever get any laxative. Not even a stool softener. Not even beans! This guy has explosive diarrhea about twice a week without taking anything!

There was an article I read a couple years ago that said taking medication for reflux long term causes this.... Cannot get him to stop taking it. He knows this happens, and he doesn't care. He know he is smearing shit everywhere...and he doesn't care.

Oh no....no laxative...every...period
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I don't dare. He is on so many medications for heart failure, COPD, failing liver, dementia, ..... The list goes on and on. I have two pages of prescriptions that I keep track of for reorder and to organize the pill boxes daily. He takes 13 pills a day!

I hardly dare to offer him anything without checking with nursing first
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Oh, I absolutely hate it when they wake us up wanting some medication. My mother is a laxative addict, too. We go back and forth on it. She really doesn't need it, but I think she likes it for some reason. Go figure.

I have occasionally braced my bedroom door, but I know it wouldn't really be useful. If she wanted something, she would keep hitting the door and screaming until I opened it. Then would come the talk about how I had no right to lock my door because it's her house. So I don't bother with that.

Something you can do that I find works sometimes is I tell my mother to wait a couple of hours if she asks for a laxative. Most of the time she'll go to the bathroom without having to have one. It's like the urge to poop is what makes her feel she needs a laxative.

Sometimes it doesn't work, but it's better than giving exlax very often. (She takes Miralax every day, but doesn't consider it helpful. I think it does fine.)
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A glass of wine for him at bedtime. Or whatever poison he prefers.
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