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angel_bear 09-06-2005 05:14 PM

Incontinence issues
No .. it's not me .. although lately .. when I cough hard ... hmmmmm

But anyway

This morning, MIL goes off to DayCare. After being 'alerted' a couple of times this morning, and listening to her get cross with Cameron [B[I]](I [U]KNOW[/U] blather blather bling, I am, am am and so so so!)[/I][/B] the bus turned up, the man stood at the door, and she jumped 6 feet when she saw him! LOL . . . she was no way ready .. but she simply won't believe anything we say (and/or doesn't comprehend anything we say) because she's fine, thankyou very much, it's the rest of the world that's gone mad.

So .. off she goes, happy, smiling, she really looked like a little kid going on a school excursion ... it was SO cute watching her!!

And then, I checked downstairs, because the smell of urine is permeating UPSTAIRS now .........

I went into the loungeroom, and the last week or so she's decided to move chairs (the first one, the carpet at her feet is BLACK with God Knows What and wine) so she's moved to a cleaner part of the room (remember the furniture shuffling last week? I got a lounge chair next to the TV. NEXT to, she can't for the life of her watch it properly) so this morning I find these puddles of red wine trailing from the coffee table over near the black carpet to her new spot.

Good thing the carpet cleaning man DIDN'T turn up last week eh?

So then I cleaned out the kitchen .. again .. and found, no, she hadn't taken her tablets, even when reminded .. and she won't take 'em if you hover as well (because even tablet taking is a drawn out confusing routine for her now)

And then ........ I went into the bedroom.


Urine ... all over the carpet between her bed and the wardrobe. The carpet is SOGGY. The smell is overpowering. The sheet's soaked, the bed dry (I'm impressed) I tore the sheets off and put them in the wash, and remade the bed with a plastic backed tablecloth as a protection underneath her, clean sheets, dry blankets .. towel over the spillage (!!)

Ok girls, now here's the thing. How can I get her to wear a pull-up, pad or whatever other choices there are out there.

This house REALLY PONGS!! I've opened windows and doors, there's a gale force wind blowing through the house downstairs, and I'm off to the nursing home shortly, but I can't approach the lady and say "wear these" cause a) it's me saying it, b) she'll hit me c) she may not even comprehend what they are d) she'll refuse

ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww .. standing in pee making a bed is HORRIBLE.

I have to have a shower .. I smell all uriney now .. ick .. gimme a job with gloves and shoes and it'll be easier I hope ....

Hugs and looking forward to some lateral thinking on incontinence pads


Martha H 09-06-2005 06:58 PM

Re: Incontinence issues
She needs more than pads, she needs the incontinence underwear called "Depends" (name brand) but with many supermarket and drugstore chains having their own brands. It is generically called 'incontinence underwear'. They look like pull up underpants but have a thicker section in the center which is made of that wonderful absorbent material invented for Pampers years ago.

Young mothers of today can't imagine us changing our babies HOURLY or more because those gauze cloth diapers held next to nothing ..and early versions of Pampers were not a whole lot better ..that blue stuff in the center now absorbs, like , a day's supply of urine! Babies actually wake up with a pouch the size of a basketball hanging between their legs but the clothes and crib sheets are DRY..

But I digress. Yes, the adult pants are equally or more absorbent and also SMELL KILLING. Get a batch of them, put them in her drawer where she keeps underpanties, and throw out her urine soaked ones instead of washing them .. good luck. If it's that or naked bottoms, she may just out them on. "These are the new warm winter undies, Mom." I think that's what Barbara H told her Mom ..

Lots of luck!

(wishing it were that easy Mom said yes, Ok, I'll use them ...but didn't!~)


WannaBeFreeToRoam 09-06-2005 10:04 PM

Re: Incontinence issues
Hi Sally,

I bet that was a horrific job - cleaning up urine and smelling it. It must be pretty bad if you guys can smell it all the way upstairs. Do you think it is just at night that she is incontinent, or when she drinks or some combo. Maybe also, cause she cannot make it to the bathroom when she is sleeping. Probably all of the above!

I do not know if I will be of much help. Not too much experience as of yet. My dad does dribble a little. So when he goes somewhere nice or important, he wears a pad. Of course, my cheap mom does not buy the correct kind. The good ones are too expensive - and they are! When he does become more incontinent, I will make sure she buys some. May just take my dad shopping or buy them and then write myself a check for that amount.

I do like Marthas ideas. And that part that she quoted from Barbara H sounds good for in a few months! If need be, I guess you could replace all her panties with Depends (which is a really good brand!). But then again, she might be so unwilling to wear them, as to go naked! I sometimes buy my dad things and pretend they are a present. May not work for this?! I (or my sister & I) am/are going to buy him a really nice bracelet (medic) for Christmas.

If only you knew some other lady that wears them and does not mind saying so in front of your mother. She could see how well they fit and that it is allright to wear them. Or would MIL not really understand that or like it if you did that?!

I am sure you will get lots more help in the AM (our time). Good Luck!


chelseacat 09-06-2005 10:06 PM

Re: Incontinence issues
If she refuses to wear "Depends" you may have to put a heavier waterproof plastic mattress cover on the bed. Keep a few extra sheets handy-and just wash as needed. Is it in the budget to have a cleaning service come in just once to get everything sanitized and oder removed?? Good expense for any of her other children.
Can you convince her (why am I even suggesting this?? :o) that the "briefs" or Depends are to keep her warmer at night? Make them into a fashion statement?? Most likely that won't work, but I thought I'd throw it out.
As far as I could tell, Mom wasn't incontinent before she went in the NH, but I notice she is wearing a "brief" now. She's so little that it shows beneath her clothing. I need another talk with the Nurse Supervisor and must bring that up.
It's so difficult to get our loved ones to comply with the simplest thing that we all would take for granted.

Also, my Mother was a heavy drinker all her adult life, and that didn't stop when she started with Dementia. I don't know where she got her liquor, and I pleaded with her neighbor's not to give it to her or buy it for her. To no avail.
"A little Toddy at night will help her sleep" No, it exacerbated the problem
to no end. Getting your MIL to give up her wine might make a huge improvement, but I've been there and it just doesn't work.
Can we have a group "arrrrrgggggggggg!" :o)

My heart goes out to you, Sally. Is there anyway she can go to a nursing home? I know it's a drastic decision, but at least at a home a team will be available to care for her. It sounds like you are doing all of her care by your self. That's too much for one person.
You may have to go on strike!!
Take care, and rest when you can.
Linda In CA

angel_bear 09-07-2005 12:26 AM

Re: Incontinence issues
Here's a new interesting concept.

Came home this afternoon after a fun few hours at the nice nursing home and a nice few hours having a cup of tea with my girlfriend .. to find ........

MIL missing!!!!!!!

No messages from the Police, so it will be interesting.

I do know she's home from Day Care, because she usually get's home anywhere from 2.15 onwards. The tablets she didn't take this morning are now OUT of the webster pack and one is missing, the others are still there. The windows I left open have been closed and there's a $2 coin on the coffee table that wasn't there this morning.

So .. she's either taken off to buy some wine or if she noticed her car missing, is down at the Police Station reporting it stolen, (I've been using it today) not that she can have any kind of meaningful words with the Police .. and nor can she say CAR, or Missing, or stolen .. she could probably say "It's gone!! blather blather bling"

So I'm sure I'll find out sooner or later.


So depends are pullups? I thought they were pads .. ok .. I'll get some and put them in her undie drawer and hope for the best ... She won't use pads, I know that much, so the undie-switch is more likely a possiblity.

Outta here .. hugs to all and thanks for your support

OH and Linda .. no .. she can't go into a nursing home because my STUBBORN, DEAF DUMB AND BLIND BIL doesn't believe any of my reports and won't believe anything any professionals tell him. That's sorta it in a nutshell. We've had 3 geriatric specialists tell us the same thing, she's got aphasia, she's got dementia. BIL keeps telling them they're idiots and what would they know and demands another opinion. I figure after 3 opinions, he's just being silly now. Tiring and exhausting and MIL is definately NOT safe.

Gotta go .. thanks all


angel_bear 09-07-2005 01:33 AM

found her!
Ok .. I couldn't wait .. I rang the Police and asked if they had my MIL ...

The Policeman said no, but he had a couple of workmates who fitted the description .. ha ha ha .. a comedian in every group .. LOL

He came back on the line to tell me the Highway Patrol had just found her and were bringing her home to me. She had been found wandering, but he couldn't tell me where she was found.

5 minutes later, the police car pulls into the drive .. MIL pops out, silly grin in her face (she loves Policemen) .. one of them came around to me and said "She's bought some grog (wine) but she's lost her handbag, the man at the grog shop said she paid with a $50 note!"

He was quite shocked she was roaming around with that kind of money on her! I quietly said "she had $350 on her as far as I know" and his eyes widened and I could SEE he wanted to say something so I said "I am the daughter IN LAW. I have organised the Power of Attorney to be activated so she can't take lots of money out, but the people who can DO IT haven't, while that happens, my hands are tied and I can't do anything"

He looked me straight in the eyes and said "oh .. that kind of family"

:) don't you know it buddy!

So now she's $300 down. But she's got 4 bottles of wine. She wandered up to the local grog shop (next to the doctors and the chemist) and instead of walking home, wandered off in the OTHER direction.

Yes ... she doesn't know her way around and her homing sense is broken now ... the Police advised to get a bracelet. That's another thing I'm working on .. because I'M NOT PAYING FOR IT .. I do not have the available funds!!!

When I said to her "Your pulse is racing, you forgot to take your tablets" she got INSTANTLY angry and I stepped back from her because she said "I DID" quite loudly ... so I let it drop. Chatted to the Police for a moment, they left, We got her inside the house. I pointed out the tablets she hadn't taken and she got INSTANTLY cross again, so I got the girls OUT and upstairs, and took off myself ... bless my sons cotton socks .. he managed to get her to take them! Isn't he great?

So .. I've called ACAT and left them a message that MIL went a-wandering again today and was picked up by the Police yet again. Now if she got home from Day Care at say 3pm, the police didn't find her until 4.45pm ... that's a mighty long time to be wandering around !

I think, if she drinks a few wines, we're going to be in for an interesting night .. again.

Sigh :yawn:


BarbaraH 09-07-2005 09:07 AM

Re: Incontinence issues
Hi Sally,

Mercy, BIL's stupidity is completely reckless endangerment of MIL and I still think it's ALL because his eye is on their money. More for him to inherit if the money isn't spent on their care. Can the police require him to make a responsible decision to keep MIL safe - before they have to pick up the pieces of little MIL along a roadside? Wonder if you could report him to the nursing license board for endangering his mother's health and safety?!! BIL could never get away with treating a patient like this and still be employed as a nurse.

Tell FIL about the need for MIL to have a bracelet for a bit of safety and have him pay for it. It's outrageous that he hoards his plenty and expects others (you and Alan) to pay his way, MIL's way and their own way. Time for him to just ante up and be given no choice!! In my opinion, he should instruct the bank to restrict MIL's withdrawals to $50/week or she'll draw-down the funds on useless things as she's doing. Perhaps the man at the wine shop will open an account for MIL and she can get her beverages without money? I was appalled to see my mother opening her wallet at a shop to allow the cashier to reach in to get the money due. AAAUGH!! That was a clue that she could no longer live alone. She'd lost the understanding of money and math.

As for the pull-ups, my little mother got them on her own because her "accidents" started before she was too far gone - diarrhea due to Aricept. She regretted the need, but continued to use them or the diaper kind for the rest of her life. Perhaps MIL would use them if you told her she'd feel clean and warm with them on? I know your part of the world is moving into springtime, so an emphasis of winter cozy wouldn't last long.

I suggest you pull out the carpets in MIL's room and have lino (too much BBC!) installed. Two rubber-backed little washable rugs can be at the sides of her bed. She'll need washable slippers, too. I think others have addressed the mattress cover issue. Maybe a bedside potty chair would help, too. You've seen all of these measures in the rooms at the nursing home. Everything has to be easily washable.

How wonderful that your kids are so kind, diplomatic, understanding, and helpful. These traits will serve them well all of their lives.

Shrea, shrea!! Bless your heart and theirs ...

Hugs, friend!! Barbara :wave:

LuvMyLilDoggie 09-07-2005 04:21 PM

Re: Incontinence issues
Short note. Very sick with bronchitis. Feel like I'm choking to death sometimes.

Anyway, until you can get everything cleaned or replaced, try Febreeze if they sell it in Oz. Spray her bed, the carpet, chairs and whatever else that reeks. I'm NEVER without a can of that stuff, especially when dad's home! It neutralizes the odor. Works GREAT!

Love, Barb

Martha H 09-07-2005 05:27 PM

Re: Incontinence issues
Barb, sorry you're sick .. have you been to the doctor's? You may need an antibiotic. Don't wait too long. I got pneumonia once from waiting too long with a bad case of bronchitis; by the time I went for medical help it was in my lung and had caused an abscess. I had 3 kids in the house still, and was alone as usual (husband always away on flights) so I just thought I'd get rid of it on my own. I had to enter the hospital for intravenous antibiotic treatment and a friend took my 3 kids to sleep at her house until their dad got back ..

It would have been easier to go to the Dr sooner don't wait, OK?



WannaBeFreeToRoam 09-07-2005 10:19 PM

Re: Incontinence issues
Hi Sally,

I hope that you are doing ok after that eventful day! Did MIL find her purse? And if she did, did it have her $300. in it? Do you think you could get MIL to give you some of her $ so that you can buy the Depends - by the way, they come in pads and pullups - and the bracelet? She gave you some, once, a long time ago, didnt she?

They do have cheap bracelets at the pharmacy. But, if she did not like it, she would probably take it off. I know you can get a more expensive one (if you can get FIL to pay) on the internet - they even have kinds that will not come off!

I do hope that ACAT will call you and get the whole story. Maybe then she/they will get on to BIL or FIL. If nothing else, could you get ACAT to pay for the Depends and/or a bedside potty chair? And maybe even the bracelet?

Maybe next time the downstairs smells like lots of urine, you can sneakily arrange for BIL and/or FIL to come and have a smell! Then they might do something?!

Just thoughts. I know it is tough to get MIL to do what would be best for her. And she has a good excuse. But BIL is just not quite fit to be a guardian!!!

Take care and try to be calm - as you will only upset yourself. I know - I do it all the time and I am the one that pays for it. (Indigestion and anxiety)


angel_bear 09-08-2005 12:42 AM

Re: Incontinence issues

Coming home this afternoon, and who do I see wandering down the road?

You guess it .. MIL !!

I was only 20 seconds away from home, and I had to go out straight away again, so I screamed into the drive, called upstairs to Alan and said "YOUR MOTHER'S TAKEN OFF AGAIN ..." and he said "OH %&*^~" and took off in her car and went and got her. I left for my appointment.

When I finally got home .. I found out MIL made him drive around and around and around .. she's looking for her handbag. Well, the area of town she's lost it in is NOT a savoury place .. trust me .. some druggie had a good night last night thanks to her.

The $$ we got off MIL before, has managed to pay for petrol for her car (she won't help there anymore), her chemist bills, her cleaners bills (once a fortnight) .. it didn't last very long. I will order on my credit card the Alzheimers bracelet .. it can't be taken off easily at all ... unless you have bolt cutters (!!) or ask someone to do it. She can't ASK anything .. so we're sorta covered on all those bases (theory).

I'm just so FRUSTRATED with her behaviour and the compalcency of everybody around me. Obviously, I'm trying too hard ??

I've got some sample Depends coming in the mail (I hope) .. so I'll see how they pan out, and if they work, then I'll buy some more ..... ai yi yi .. what a mess


BarbaraH 09-08-2005 06:59 AM

Re: Incontinence issues
Hi Sally,

Hummm..... Maybe when someone is home, the exterior door can be locked so MIL cannot get out? Of course, that wouldn't be safe if she's alone.

Gotta run! Hugs!!!!!!!! Barbara :)

LuvMyLilDoggie 09-08-2005 09:08 AM

Re: Incontinence issues
Phone Call...

[I]BIL or L: Hello.

Sally or Alan: Hello. MIL has taken off again. I'm not home. I have an appt I can't miss and my cell phone's about to go dead. I'm really worried because she tends to go to the worst side of town-where she lost her purse last time. You need to call the police and go looking for her. [/I]

Same can be said about the pee mess. Ask if they could drop by. Take them downstairs and show them the mess. Tell them that you have many commitments and that either they hire a cleaning person by a set date or find someone else to clean up because you can't do it anymore.

So what if they get mad. It's YOUR health and sanity that's at stake here, not theirs.

Love, Barb

LuvMyLilDoggie 09-08-2005 09:14 AM

Re: Incontinence issues
Oh and Martha, no I haven't been to the doctor. It seems a bit better today. As long as I stay away from milk (thickens mucous and makes me gag when I have bronchitis), I'm better. I can't get to the doctor due to my work schedule.

I promise if it gets worse, I'll go.

Love, Barb

angel_bear 09-08-2005 10:29 PM

Re: Incontinence issues
I wish it was that easy Barb .. I really do.

In the past 18 months, I have regularly contacted BIL, and "L" at times and explained MIL has taken off to places unknown.

And the usual reply is a big chuckle and the statement "Oh well, we'll hear from the Police sooner or later" .. and even when I have gotten cross and said "Fine, I'll go for a drive to her favourite haunts and see if I can find her" they shrug and say "don't worry so much, Mum'll find her way home"

Well, the fact of the matter is, Mum ISN'T finding her way home nearly as well as she used to. Yes, she did manage MOST times to get home, but lately, she's more and more confused.

And still .. I get the same replies "She'll be right mate ...." (good old Aussie saying) well .. SHE WON'T BE RIGHT MATE ...

And "Come and check out what she's done ..." I get the reply "yeah .. I'll do that" and turn up days later when messes have HAD to be cleaned up before then ..

I don't want to sound like the doom and gloom expert, but this family is really quite incredible at fobbing off responsibility. Just look at BIL. Be buggered if he'll spend a day with his mother, he packs her off to Day Care! THEY get to look after her!

Anyway .......... TODAY I told FIL I am considering a job in Queensland. He didn't say much. I don't think he believes I'll really go ... so the SEED HAS BEEN PLANTED ............ I'm SO proud of me! LOL LOL

FIL told MIL today that she can't go wandering around the streets without somebody with her or she should tell somebody she's going ... boy did she get Pi$$ed off with him!!!! She's such a frail mess ... that reminds me .. ring ACAT or "G" .. I'll do that now.

Hugs all

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