Concentrated urine has a distinctive odor that is very offensive. It might help if they hydrated her better. They also need to change her each time she wets and not let her stay in the wet diapers. Under pads will help keep the bed dry. If there is an under pad and she is changed frequently, there should not be wet sheets. Mom was in the bed for 6 days and her sheets were never wet! There is no way that urine should be on the floor!! My bet is that is the dog and not Mom... unless they are just letting her wet through the bed!
If Mom is not kept try they you run the risk of her developing decubitus (bedsores). Once she develops a decubitus it will be very very difficult to heal it.
As for changing the bed... it can be done without Mom being lifted. A good care giver should know how to roll the patient and change a bed with her in bed. It sounds to me like they do not have a very good care giver.
The family is saying that hospice made them get the patient lift. Hubby says that medicare is paying for it (so? doesn't make it right). Hospice comes everyday and gets her out of the bed and that's why they need it. It can't be for more than 10 minutes. She doesn't have the use of her legs any longer. I've asked my husband to try to get her to drink more water (not soda). He says she won't drink. He also says the caregiver is changing her alot, but I still wonder. Anyways, thank you in explaining the urine smell. Also, can't someone tell hospice that they don't need to come every day? Isn't that what the caregiver is to do, giver her her bath, etc? Just wondering on that one. Thanks!!!
I am trying to figure out why they are getting her out of bed every day for such a short period. Are they putting her in a chair? Are they changing her linens? What is the purpose of just lifting her into the air once a day?
Repositioning is important but it should be done after a few hours not after a day and can happen by rolling her from side to back to the other side. She can be changed and cleaned up, even the bed linens changed, without taking her out of bed. If they are getting Mom up in a chair once a day to enhance her circulation then that is one thing... but that takes about an hour or more.
Unless they are sitting her up in a chair for an hour or two during the day, I see absolutely no point in the lift. Changing her position from vertical to horizontal can help with circulation. But it does not sound like that is what they are doing (10 minutes is not enough).
Carbonated sodas are dehydrating! Not to mention that artificial sweeteners can cause bladder spasms which make her urinate more often. Your MIL is probably after the sweet taste. So you can find something she can drink that is not dehydrating. Try a sports drink that is not the sugar free kind. Give her fruit juices. Or try what I did which was to just add a packet of sugar and a slice of lemon to the water.
At least here I had the ability to request or refuse service of Hospice. I did it after discussion with the hospice nurse and/or social worker. Mom had weekly visits from a nurse and a care giver once a week to do her shower. Does your MIL have a care giver with her other than Hospice? It sounds like she does. So I would ask WHY Hospice is coming once a day at this point. The only time I had daily visits was the last 10 day... and that was for monitoring her medical condition. The full time care giver should be able to do anything that needs to be done. Unless... they are supposed to get her up in a chair for an hour or two a day and that is the reason Hospice is showing up daily and has to have the lift.
Husband says that hospice gives her a sponge bath every day. They get her on the lift and do it that way. Like you said, the caregiver should be doing this. Yes, she has a caregiver and then the dr ordered hospice. Dr. said she was physically all in good shape which means that hospice could be coming for two years or more?
She is at a stage where she isn't talking, just mumbling. She really doesn't feed herself, but she is now eating again since they lowered some of the medicines which just made her sleep. Each of her kids do just enough that no one can point the finger that they are heartless and aren't participating. Funny, when they get there they just count on getting out of there. The caregiver has even started coming when they are there since no one but her will change her diaper. The saga continues.....
How in the name of thunder do you give somebody a sponge bath in a lift!?!? A sit to stand lift is only used when a patient can stand up and assist with transfer. The other option is a sling/Hoyer lift and that covers just as much of the patient's back as laying on a bed. It is a continuous piece of fabric from her neck to the back of her knees. You have to roll the patient to get the web under the patient before you lift them so why not just roll the patient and wash the back? I could understand the lift to get her in a chair for an hour or so to enhance her circulation but not for a sponge bath! If anything, it makes it impossible to get to the back and buttock area.
Mom didn't talk for the last 3.5 years of her life. A few words here and there but nothing that connected to anything other than perhaps a visual stimulation. She stopped feeding herself over a year ago. Yes, if she is too heavily medicated she will sleep rather than eat. It is good that they have medication regulated to the point she will eat again.
As for diaper changes, not everybody can do that. Some because it is a parent and some because they are just squeamish. Not everybody can change a baby diaper and I don't hold that against them. But there are other things that those family members can do other than stop by and rush out. Some are just not comfortable with the sick and elderly. I find it very sad but that is not something we can change. It is their responsibility to make sure Mom get good care, not do it themselves. If necessary let the care giver they are paying change MIL but spend quality time with her
Yes, the saga always continues. Each deals with this disease in their own way and each case is different. We all just have to do the best we can!
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MIL has gotten beligerent again since they lowered her meds. First it was too much and now not enough. Does hospice deal with tweaking these meds and prescribing? Last time they called the dr. that prescribed them and he changed the levels over the phone.
With regards to the urine issue, hospice has decided that she needs a catheter. I'm sure that will bring a host of other problems. What happens if she pulls it out?
Lastly, hospice wanted to know if she had burial plans, etc. Only one family member knew and she only has a plot but not the burial plans or casket. I've asked my husband to get this going now with his family especially since She's got plenty of money now to get this done and this may not be the case with the expense of maintaining a home and 24 hour caregiving. Ignoring it won't make it go away and they can't procrastinate on everything even though that's all they've done from getting her correct doctors, taking away the car, etc..... One brother didn't want to bring it up because he said the other siblings would accuse him of wanting her dead. I just say grow up. Very dysfunctional. We'll see what happens next. Since no one would bring it up, I suggested that my husband to talk to the caregiver so that she can talk to MIL's daughter who has POA, etc. Too bad she doesn't really do anything either except baby talk her mom and cry all the time. She's done that her whole life and it's just too much....
Ok, I've vented. Thank you.
The following user gives a hug of support to mitsy:
Bless you Mitsy. I can tell that you are frustrated. I know I would be.
If they are using the Hospice doctor then he will be able to tweak the medications. Having multiple doctors involved only complicates the situation. Your MIL may respond better to a different medication. They also need to make sure that her agitation is not a result of pain. If it is, then the treatment is different. To make the decision, she needs a good assessment by a nurse/doctor with good information about her symptoms.
As for the catheter... my first response is NO NO NO NO NO NO NO! If it is for convenience then it is not warranted. Sure it is easier for the care giver to change a bag instead of changing diapers but there are also dangers and side effects to worry with. Infection is common with catheters. My grandmother contracted sepsis from a catheter insertion. Yes, your MIL may try to pull it out and it also makes it more difficult to move her. Not to mention it is uncomfortable which may add to her agitation. If there is a legitimate medical reason for a catheter that is one thing... but if it is for convenience then it is going too far to make life easier for the care givers.
Making the necessary advanced funeral arrangement is not wishing her dead. It is being responsible. It is being prepared. MIL is approaching the end of a long journey thought a terminal illness. She is not going to get well or even better. Why wait until after the fact, when everybody is distraught, to make such important decisions. Tell your hubby to ask the Hospice Social Worker to call a meeting of all the siblings and let the social worker address the need for such arrangements. That way it is not the suggestion of a family member but a request from Hospice. Yes, I had Mom's funeral plans completed before the day she died. The obituary was written, her outfit picked out, the casket and vault chosen, and the services planned. Then when the day came we just put the plans in place. It took a lot of stress off the family.
Keep venting... I understand your frustration and venting does help. Hopefully, with enough encouragement, hubby will step up and some of these issues will be resolved. Keep working on him and the other family members. You are doing a good thing advocating for you MIL's good treatment
Thanks so much Deb!
As of the moment my husband is giving me the silent treatment, but because of several things. He wants to retire and start collecting SS. He's working part time now 4 days a week and gets paid well and has medical benefits. We aren't rich by any means and since I work in Finance, I understand how fast money goes. He's going to be a healthy 66 this month and I am younger than him and will continue to work, which I don't have a problem with. Yesterday I was blindsided because he wanted me to call this lady at his office supposedly regarding our family doctor only to find out it was about how SS works. Her knowledge was incorrect and I pointed out the facts. Regardless, he could collect his first wife's pension and my salary and wait till he's 70 to collect when the amount could add $5000 per year extra without working. His mom is now 89, so their life span history is long. I have to think of these things plus the fact that he is probably likely to get AZ and I've seen how this is working. I've felt that he's put me last on any concerns and that I'm there to help his remaining years looking after him and his needs. Even on the life insurance, most of it goes to his son and we have a big mortgage to pay off, since he chose to move and buy a new house at age 62. The same son who wrecked his car with a DWI at age 30 last year. Each of these negligences along with the silent treatments and his family are wearing on me. These boards have been a Godsend.
My SIL says just to let it go and let their family continue to be stupid. I could just let it go but somewhere down the line it will catch up to you. Having seen how the hospice has worked with MIL, I know that there are other hospice care people that could be used and would do so if it were my mother. Honestly with all this and seeing the way my husband's family works and how I have been treated has made me numb to him. Such a shame. It's not one isolated thing.
It's hard to think that MIL is going to have to continue to suffer this treatment for the years to come. They think they are doing well by her! I just know that I've done the best that I could and can't blame anything on ignorance. Thanks again for your support.