From the difficult child frying pan into Senile Dementia fire

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by TerryJ2, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So, I made a flt reservation to visit my dad for a wk. He's living in his own apt in a Sr Citizens' place, and they have a restaurant, gift shop, library and computer lab ... but will not dispense medications. So my little sister has to drive over there every day to give him his medications. And take him to the dr. And make sure his clothes are clean.
    She just emailed me and said that my main task is to get him to take a shower. Ewww.
    I can hardly wait.
    When husband's dad was here, we could send one of the kids in to play ... it's always fun to take a bath or shower with-a toddler. But it will be just lil ole moi, and rubber duckies don't cut the mustard any more.
    I could line up half-filled glasses of chablis all the way to the shower ... that would lure him in ... but then he'd fall on his face after having them all ...

    :smile: :rolleyes: :bath:
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Oh Terry, I feel your pain. Helping my mom shower this past fall was not high on my list of "fun things to do with mom". Ugh, especially since it had to be a daily chore!

    I think you should be the one drinking the chablis!
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I guess my Mom had a different take on it - she told my sister recently who refused to even rub lotion on her feet WITH gloves -and absolutely freaked when Mom needed shower assist (help off with robe and bending over to wash feet and legs - (and sis is in the medical field - we guess just not this one-

    "Well that's a nice way to say THANKS FOR WIPING MY BUTT, NOSE, EYES all those years - you think taking care of YOUR diapers was a joy? BROTHER."

    I'm sure it's no picnic for you or your Dad - what about hiring a nurse to come over while you are there? I think that would be cheaper than arguing with my father.

    Just a thought - and some places have nurses you can rent by the hour.

    It's a thought - AND you can still have a glass of Chablis - I'd have the whole dang gallon.
  4. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    If you can't get a nurse in to help you with your dad in the shower.......what about having him wear swim trunks? You can be in there to help him (if he needs it) with everything the trunks don't cover and (hopefully) he can handle the rest. We used to do that with difficult child when we first got him. He was 9, LOVED baths but soap and shampoo weren't high on his list. I would get him in the tub with his trunks, scrub him down (or watch and assist as needed) and then leave so he could wash the rest and play for a bit.
  5. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Hire someone from a home health agency, and tell the doctor says he has too. Depending on the degree of dementia, it might work. I had a pt that we had to wear a stethescope around our neck when we went to see him. He then thought we were doctors and would do whatever we said!
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    The Dept of Aging in PA sends someone over to help my mom bathe 3 days a week & do light housekeeping. A state caseworked had to interview her and my sister for her to qualify for assistance and it's free. My mom was (is) very resistant to strangers helping her bathe, so my sister has my mom bathe only when the woman is present, but not in the bathroom with her. It is working so far, though I still don't know how clean mom is getting - phew!

    Maybe you can call your state's dept of aging and see if he's eligible for anything like that?
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Swim trunks and chablis--I like it! That's Plan A.
    Plan B is a Real Nurse.
    Although I like the friend/stethoscope idea...
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911

    WHAT stethascope?


    Was that a play on words? Because if it was - I didn't get it...but I'd like to. :dont_know:
  9. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    When I was 19 I was so lucky I got to go to College... for a year and live with my Father who was under house arrest!!! Well he decided a way to get more money was to have his Father, whom I had never met before, come live with us!!! He was full blown Alzheimer's... Could barely walk. My Father's Girlfriend, who was 7 year's older than me!!! Was going to nursing school thank goodness.
    SO we were forced to take care of "Grandpa"!!!
    This was my payment for room and board... even though I was taking out huge loans for school and helping him build the house and the barn etc.... and being mentally abused!!! But still not enough!!!

    So anyway, the thought of bathing this man who was techniquely my Grandfather was so disturbing to me!!! But we got a little bath stool, he could barely stand, and a hand held shower attachment. Got him undressed, I had to learn how to transfer him. Yes he was naked and yes I had to transfer him naked... I got the shower warmed up... got him on the seat, handed him the hand held shower had him kind of turned away from me, handed him a wash cloth with soap on it, I would ask him to wash his privates... I would step away for couple... ask him how it was going... then I would come back and wash his back, feet his hair etc. I then would rinse him all off... Have him kind of lean forward on me and rinse is privates, this way I didn't have to really look!!!
    I would sit him back on the stool, put a bunch of soft warm towels on his wheel chair and transfer him over to the chair and wrap him up.

    Then I would squirt some lotion into his hands and tell him to rub it in, lean him forward, rub it into his back... I would talk nicely to him and ask if it felt good...
    (The funny thing is is he thought I was a boy half the time!!!) "Hey fellow, hand me my underpants!"
    "Happy" was a Grumpy old man, but I think because we were nice and gave him some respect and let him have his dignity, he didn't mind the showers.

    I never "loved" the showers, we did them once a week... unless he had an accident.
    Just some ideas...
    Good luck.

    I lasted one year in that house... my Dad yelled at me one too many times!!!
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    OMG, tot. I am just blown away that you were put into that situation without warning and with a man you didn't even have a relationship of any kind with. Amazing. I have to applaud you for having so much character and strength to take that on at such a young age.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    "Hey fellow, hand me my underpants!"

    ROFL! :smile:
    At least you survived with-your sense of humor intact.

    "Happy" was a Grumpy old man, but I think because we were nice and gave him some respect and let him have his dignity, he didn't mind the showers.

    Absolutely. Everyone needs dignity. And being forgetful doesn't mean you're stupid.

    Thanks for sharing.
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I empathize.

    This is gonna come out weird no matter how I say it, so I'm just gonna say it. I'm sure someone will pounce on it. lol

    I have no problem bathing/caring for strangers. I can do it without thinking about it and with minimal or no emabarrassment to a patient. No sweat. Did it for years.

    But the same thing for a family member, well, it makes me uncomfortable to say the least. I've done it. I did it for a whole year for my grandmother. I loved her dearly and did my utter best for her. Still, it made me uncomfortable.

    Sounds like your Dad would have a better fit in an assisted living facility. They do pretty much what's being done for him now, but DO make sure he's taking his medications, bathing, ect.

  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I was also wondering about the assisted living facility. At least they would help with medications, as well.

    We also have an option here - if the doctor requests it, the government pays for a nurse to visit (the District Nurse) who will do a number of different tasks depending on the need. My mother needed help in organising her medications - the nurse would supervise once a week, to make sure the medication trays were made up correctly.

    And my dad, who was fully "compos mentis" but was extremely weak from emphysema and (non-infectious) TB, needed to be showered daily, and the nurse would come in to shower him. My mother would never have had the strength and my father would have refused one of his daughters doing it.

    A funny story - the dog used to bring in the mail for my dad, she would get it from the letter box and trot into the house, going straight to my father to hand over the mail. His chair was on the other side of the house from the back door, where the dog came in. She had to trot through the laundry, through the kitchen and into the living room overlooking the sea.
    One morning the nurse was late for dad's shower. The dog trotted in the back door with the mail - and immediately did a sharp left turn into the bathroom near the back door, to hand the mail to my naked father, sitting waiting for the nurse.
    How did the dog know? She had become accustomed to following the line of his plastic oxygen tube. She had seen the trail of the tube leading into the bathroom, so she knew where he would be - on the end of that line!

    I do wonder if perhaps we could have trained the dog to maybe sponge him down, and give him an alcohol rub afterwards...

  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Marg, I want that dog! LOL.

    Yes, I will observe my dad closely while I'm up there to see how he's doing ... my sister sees him day-in and day-out so, like anything else, it's hard to see any changes, plus, there's always denial.

    He's pretty much out of $, though, so that may force the issue.