Can you point me in the right direction?

tara
Everyone --

OK--I need your help--please read this description of my mom's condition and help me answer the questions at the end:

My mom's cognition has rapidly changed for the worst since March 25th, and she has been completely and totally incontinent since May 19th. I've visited her family doc and her geriatric psychiatrist, and we're beginning the process of figuring out what's happening.

All tests looking for physical issues have come back negative.

So far, her Geriatric Psychiatrist has said let's just tweak her existing meds to improve her cognition--which, we've done--with no improvement in outcomes. He is reluctant to treat her for Dementia because he believed she had a UTI. (She doesn't).
 
Just to give you an sense of what's happening, mom went through 4 Depends in less than 12 hours and still managed to soak 2 pairs of pants and her bed. And she has plastic covers over her Depends and is sleeping on a waterproof special incontinence pad. And the bathroom is like 10 feet away.
 
I did manage to get her to take a bath yesterday, which was great for her.
And, she's agreeing to shoot for bathing everyday.
 
Next step is for her Family Doctor and Geriatric Psychiatrist to coordinate on her test results--and hopefully have some workable suggestions for us.
 
In the meantime, I am visiting facilities who my be able to admit her--despite her incontinence--that's a deal-breaker for a lot of them.
 
And, it's only an issue for me because of the BEDSORE issue. Apparently, those can become very dangerous, very quickly, and with the baby, the dogs, and what I already do for my mom, I'm afraid I won't be able to manage that too. The key is to keep her clean and dry, and that takes like hourly monitoring. Beyond my capability at this point with my other responsibilities.

QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

--what's going on with this incontinence? Mom says it's mostly happening at night and by the time she wakes it's just streaming down the bed.

--how could it be penetrating her Depends and plastic covers?

--are there extra strength super-dooper Depends?

--is there any treatment beyond hourly trips to the loo? They aren't working.

--how quickly do lesions/bedsores go from stage #1 to really really bad if she keeps sitting in wet?

--do the Depends actually keep moisture away from her tooosh? We are using a special cream and medical wipes to keep the moisture at bay.

--how can my husband and I protect our own finances? We're in around $100,000+ at this point and I understand that Dementia/Incontinence care facilities are $6,000 + a month. Mom makes $2,000/month. Dave and I want to provide for our own aging and our own family and are feeling very tapped out. Everytime I talk to the Area Agency on Aging, or try to sign up for Medicare or social services, they say she makes too much to qualify for any help.

But then, other people say with her blindness, that she should automatically be on Medicaid or some other services? She is on SSDI. ????????

Who can I talk to about the finances? We've sought help from a family lawyer to pursue making my mother a ward of the state financially (even though I felt like I was giving my dog to the pound, which I would never do), and the lawyer's first question was, "how does that help your mother?"---answer, it doesn't. It's awful and gut-wrenching. And yet, so is the idea of me being dependent on my own children eventually because I spent all my retirement savings on helping my mother. Having been in this spot, I'm LOATHE to do this to my own child. (Everyone, please buy yourself Long Term Care insurance today.)

--Are there facilities that accept people with incontinence?

PLEASE share your experiences  and knowledge with me. Thank you!

Join our mailing list

Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter that includes caregiving tips, news, support and more.