how do you know when the time is right

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by maggier, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. maggier

    maggier Registered User

    Jan 9, 2006
    We are struggling with mums care more and more at present. I have been on this forum previously stating how she is very reluctant to let us help her as she feels there is nothing wrong but she will not have a bath without a row, when she is in the bath she refuses to wash or be washed. She has a massive sore area under her boobs which smells foul but will not let me wash it and/or apply cream to it. It looks like a burn it is that bad.
    she does not eat for days on end and generally does not look well at all but there is no real reason to get the doctors in or call an ambulance or anything! I feel that mum is now ready to go into a home but my family is in denial. She needs to be loooked after properly and I feel we are failing her. We are doing our best but I feel it is not good enough.
    What do you suggest, Help please would be gratefully appreciated. I understand you cannot tell us what to do but just a suggestion wouod be good. When did you decide enough was enough of muddling through and get your loved one some proper care. Carers coming in has been attempted once but she would not let them in in the end so we had to cancel them.

    Maggie :(
  2. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Is your mother on any medication at all? This "no washing" phase is a very difficult one. My mother went through it but she was already in care when it happened.

    I think if she has foul-smelling sores, it is certainly time to do something. Sometimes there is a fear of getting into the tub as the person can't really see the bottom. A shower may work instead. Strip washes are just as good.

    You said you do get her into the tub but she won't wash herself or be washed. At least she's in there, a soak has got to help. Is there any way of making her realize she's a little fragrant? I used to get my mother to smell herself & that helped. She would look at me in a surprised way & say "That smells!"

    Has she seen the sore under her breasts? Perhaps if you hold a mirror for her to see? I'm just throwing out everything & anything I can think of.

    Good luck - this non-bathing phase is hard on everyone.
  3. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    Hello there:

    I know it must be very difficult but I am sure you do have a reason to call a Doc in. Will he/she not agree just to do a home visit on the basis of say, a yearly 'check' on general health. It may be worth a letter to the GP setting out the problem, much as you have done here.

    The with luck they can bring attention to the sore and deal with it - who knows from there you may get more co-operation. I know my husband will very often fight my doing something but then when a nurse/doc gets involved he melts.

    I guess I am making it sound too too easy!

    Take care Jan
  4. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    Hi Maggie

    Forgive me if I've missed a previous post saying otherwise but it sounds to me as if the lion's share of the care "We" are providing for Mum is being attempted by YOU. And her mental condition is preventing you from delivering the level of care she needs. It's all very well for your family to wish to be seen as "keeping her out of a care home", but it doesn't sound as if you are getting much hands-on help from them if they can't see (& smell!) the seriousness of the state she's got into. THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT - sometimes, through circumstances beyond your control, the best family care is not enough.

    Excuse me, but I can't agree with this 'no real reason' statement (which I suspect is not yours, but someone else's). If that sore becomes more infected - because it already is infected - she will end up in hospital whether your family like it or not, and a general hospital ward is NOT a good place for a sick, confused dementia patient to be. Apart from anything else, this attitude is going to make the whole family guilty of neglect. THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

    I appreciate that it is very difficult to stand up against 'all the others' when there is disagreement amongst family members about how to handle a very difficult or sensitive matter, but somehow you must get around the situation.

    I would suggest you write to Mum's GP in full detail, as you have here, & ask for an emergency home visit from either him/her or the community nurse. If you don't tell the full story, you won't get one. Explain that she has declined the help of carers (how long ago?) through mental incapacity, but is now physically ill as a result. 'Confidentiality' doesn't prevent Mum's GP from receiving information about patient. Neither does it release him/her from the Duty of Care.

    I'm sorry my 'tone' has been blunt, but I feel that sweetness & sympathy are not going to solve this issue. I truly do feel for you and wish you the best.
  5. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    East Midlands
    Hello Maggie,

    I have to agree with Jan...someone needs to look at your mums sore skin..under the boobs is usually fungal..and this can be very painful,and could lead to worse infections if not treated.

    Phone the surgery and ask for a visit from the doctor or a district nurse. Don't tell mum what you're doing..when they turn up just and so has come to see you...that's really good of them isn't it..and let them take it from there..(obviously put them in the picture first)

    It does sound as though you need to be getting some extra help, here...better now than to wait for a crisis situation.

    Hope this helps..let us know how you get on!...And good luck...:)

    Love gigi xx
  6. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #6 Margarita, Jun 2, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008
    From my experience its hard when they get to that stage to get them to let you help them , as that what happen to my mother while she in my care in the first year of caring for her .

    Mum sister was a nurse , so I told her about it she told me what cream to get so she listen to her sister , it was not so much that mum did not want to wash , it was that she had no awareness that it was happening because she not not washing in the right way, it must be hard for them to except help & humiliating, so it has to be done discretely so they feel they are still keeping they dignity .

    Has your mother not got a sister or someone close she can talk to or can you take her to see a nurse at the doctor ?

    It must be painful as my mother said it did hurt . you could turn it around on to you , saying its happen to you in the summer when it gets very hot , so you know how much it must hurt, please just let me show you how I can help you, or you show me how your washing yourself so we can see what going wrong . I would stand they let mum do it showing me , while I said why not do it this way . then she give me the flannel :) let me do it.

    She may or may not let yo help her .

    Would she talk to a woman nurse about it ?

    Or get the nurse out like it has been said above, but getting her to wash ever day in that area is the main issue really , even with the righ creams . Nures go home at the end of the day , its your family that left with it after that .

    So Going into care home may solve the issue of washing, as in they may have more time to help her except that she does need help in washing every day or other wise she keep getting sores . But would she go into care home ?

    Is your mother at home on her own ? ( Sorry not gone back on your post to read
  7. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi Maggie

    Lots of good advice there, and I agree that you need to get the GP in to look at that sore. If it smells badly, it's infected, as Lynne says. And infected sores can be very nasty, and take ages to clear up. You certainly don't want your mum to be admitted to hospital.

    If you really think it's too much for you to cope with (and there's no shame in that at all), why not ring your social worker and ask her advice, even go and look at a few homes. Don't let the rest of the family put you off. It sounds as if you have the brunt of the caring, and only you know when the time has come.

    Let us know how you get on,
  8. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #8 Margarita, Jun 2, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008
    Yes your right about the family , because if your mother living alone & is at the stage of getting so sore under the breast
    you also have to be blunt with your Family .

    Someone will have to give up they Job , look after your mother in her home Full time, making sure she washing herself,

    I just saying this from looking back at my time with my mother, I was working while mum was living with me , until I saw my mother sore under the breast I never realize my mother self neglect , even thought she was bit smelly , she aways seem to go in the bath room to wash , so I thought she was just washing herself like she normally did

    Because if she like that under her Breasts her privet parts can be like that, as it happen t my mother she may just be to embarrassed to show you .

    So I gave up the Job I was trying to keep , after giving up my main Job year before , I never believed the deterioration of personnel hygiene that happen with some who has a Demetria . Till I saw it with my own eyes .

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