Please help at my wits end

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by 1954, Sep 10, 2015.

  1. 1954

    1954 Registered User

    Jan 3, 2013
    3,836
    Sidcup
    #1 1954, Sep 10, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2015
    I know I have posted on here before about not only MIL who lives with us with severe dementia but also my mum

    Now I am at my wits end. My mum 89yrs has chronic kidney disease stage 4 and is fiercely independent. I have POA. She is extremely forgetful

    Every day we have a disaster. Last night she had an explosion due to her over loading the plug socket, the fridge stinks as she keeps buying so much food and it goes off. She has 4 freezers busting with food she keeps buying. I keeping emptying them but she immediately fills them up.

    The house verges on hoarding. She eats like a toddler due to her CKD. I've offered for her to live with us but refuses because of course she thinks she's fine

    She does wash and is manically washing all her clothes everyday

    We do the house work

    How can be at two places at once??

    I am sorry for rambling and am sure there is no answer




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  2. notsogooddtr

    notsogooddtr Registered User

    Jul 2, 2011
    834
    You can't is the easy answer,no one can.More help is needed,do you have any outside help?If not get some ASAP.And if that doesn't plug the gaps you may have to consider full time care for one or both of them.A difficult decision and one I've had to make recently for my parents.It's only now the situation has changed that I can step back and realise how horrendous it was,I don't know how we coped for as long as we did and we didn't have them living with us.Do I feel guilty?No I don't,their situation wasn't going to be improved by me wrecking my health.
     
  3. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,826
    UK
    Has living with you always been on the cards, especially as you are caring for mother in law, can you cope caring for two? Don't think it is possible to give a dementia sufferer a choice about where to live. When my mum moved in with me I never told her it was permanent. Masses of empathy but like it or not, to keep her independent for a little longer you'll have to get tough and get help for her home. My mum's fridge was horrendous, in fact I would call it toxic, the half empty tins of dog food piled high at the back, half eaten food and oh my god when she offered to make a sandwich, you had no idea what would come out of that fridge. If mum had stayed in her home a little longer, I was going to buy a very small fridge with just enough space for a few days food and I would have got rid of freezer, because we had no idea what was coming out and being put back to refreeze. Really hope you find the answer very soon.
     
  4. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,711
    Female
    London
    Does Mum listen to authority? You can book some hunky firefighters to come and do a free home visit. They can check out potentially dangerous situations, advise on how not to overload plug sockets and install smoke alarms for free. It would also make her home known to them as having a vulnerable inhabitant.
     
  5. 1954

    1954 Registered User

    Jan 3, 2013
    3,836
    Sidcup
    Beate that may work thank you. If only my brothers would help it may make a difference but then she appears 'normal' when they visit oh boy this is horrendous x


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  6. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    7,963
    North East England
    Stuff the backs of the freezer drawers with crumpled newspaper...then when she looks in the freezer will look full. That's what we used to do when we had no money to fill the freezer...it was more cost effective.
    You could always fill the shelves in the fridge with canned soft drinks, leaving a very small shelf space for food.
     
  7. 1954

    1954 Registered User

    Jan 3, 2013
    3,836
    Sidcup
    Why am I finding this so hard?you are all so helpful but it all seems so impossible?.......why?????


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  8. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    8,041
    Because you are overwhelmed, it is too much for you. Can you ask your brothers to try and help, she may appear 'normal' but surely they can understand that 4 freezers full of stuff isn't 'normal':confused:

    Maureen idea is good, I encourage my friend to put in polystyrene or rolled up bubble wrap too to fill freezer space.
     
  9. 1954

    1954 Registered User

    Jan 3, 2013
    3,836
    Sidcup
    But she goes "loopy" if I try to clear anything out of them!

    I cleared her fridge out because the foul rotten food stinks. She was pleased at the time but within 3 days we are back to a full rotten stinking fridge! I'm going mad here!


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  10. Ann Mac

    Ann Mac Registered User

    Oct 17, 2013
    3,701
    When Mil lived solo, we had the 'stinky fridge' (and stinky cupboards as she was putting pots and plates away unwashed, or storing food that should be in the fridge actually in the cupboards) and she too would go 'loopy' at what she saw as our interference when we tried to clean it out for her. We would just have to ignore her tantrums and do it anyway, knowing full well that in a day or two, we would visit and find the fridge in the same state again. Although OH would mainly be the one being firm and ignoring the crossness from her to clear out the fridge, usually it was me who got the blame - I was always the one 'behind it', getting her son to treat her like an 'idiot' and trying to embarrass her :rolleyes: Hun, there just wasn't a way round it that we could find. Couldn't reason with her, couldn't explain to her because she wouldn't accept that food was out of date - we could show her the date on the packaging (and even point out the fliiping smell) and she would insist it was wrong, that she had only bought the item that morning. All we could do was try and keep on top of it, and ignore the anger.

    But it was incredibly frustrating and I do feel for you :( xxxxx
     
  11. 1954

    1954 Registered User

    Jan 3, 2013
    3,836
    Sidcup
    I know it's dreadful but more dreadful is the terrible 'hope' that I find both mums in the morning never breathing again.................isn't that awful? Sorry if I've offended anyone x


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  12. Ann Mac

    Ann Mac Registered User

    Oct 17, 2013
    3,701
    Not offended me, Hun - when I see the dreadful distressed states Mil gets into, I feel that would be the kindest thing for her too :( This awful disease is just so damn cruel xxxxx
     
  13. 1954

    1954 Registered User

    Jan 3, 2013
    3,836
    Sidcup
    Well I've just made her get up after her taken to her bed since Tuesday 6pm. I've only made her get up because she has day centre and we are meeting one of hubbies sisters to go for dim sums in china town. Got to go to my mum first to see what damage has been done there


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  14. DMac

    DMac Registered User

    Jul 18, 2015
    537
    Female
    Surrey, UK
    I had (have!) the same issue with my MIL. 2 freezers in the garage, one a huge chest freezer, + 2 fridges. It took me months and months to get some semblance of control.

    I think the key to this is small baby steps. Tackle ONE thing at a time - a compartment, a shelf. Only spend a max of one hour at any time. Plan a distraction for your mum if you can - ideally, get someone to take her out of the house. Could you enlist a neighbour to help?? I found that she never actually noticed if I removed stuff whilst she wasn't looking.

    I also cleared out a bit of space in my own fridge/freezer, so I could sort through at my own leisure if I needed to. When I finally did clear out one of the freezers first time round, I switched it off and hid the plug out of sight. The only mistake I made at that time was not to wrap some gaffer tape around it, as she then put stuff in it again, not realising it was switched off!!

    Now that the fridges/ freezers are reasonably under control, I just sneak a look in every time I visit, and quietly remove stuff going off. I think of it as managing the situation to within a tolerable level, but I acknowledge that as long as she is living 'independently' and has access to shops and cash, the problem will always be there.

    Good luck. xx
     
  15. lizzybean

    lizzybean Registered User

    Feb 3, 2014
    1,398
    Lancashire
    Not offended either.
    You are at the end of your tether/energy/patience/anything else you can think of. That's why you feel the way you do. You need some outside help. You are taking on too much & it is close to breaking you.
     
  16. sinkhole

    sinkhole Registered User

    Jan 28, 2015
    269
    As Dmac says, if you feel overwhelmed the best way to deal with it is to tackle one issue at a time rather than feel you have to put everything right all at once.

    It could always be worse. When I was going into my aunt's house to check if she was looking after herself, I kept finding the fridge switched off at the socket. Initially, I thought she had accidentally hit the switch, but every time I switched it back on, it would be turned off the next time I went there.

    Eventually, I asked her about it and she told me the fridge was getting too cold, so she turned it off on purpose! There were things in that fridge I couldn't identify and others which had evolved into a totally new species...

    Ultimately, there was no answer to the problem other than emptying it every time I was there and giving her food to eat which didn't need refrigeration.

    She's now living at my mum's house so that particular problem has gone away thank goodness.

    Good luck!
     
  17. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    8,041
    Totally agree. Someone else HAS to pick up the slack not you .
     
  18. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    Not awful at all, not when you see how much your mums are suffering. My own Mum, at the age of 89.5, is just starting this journey. For both our sakes, I hope and pray that she is taken before things get too bad.
     
  19. Grace L

    Grace L Registered User

    Jun 14, 2014
    647
    NW UK
    I have the same fridge problem with my MiL. Gawd knows how she has not had food poisoning.
    She also has a thing about food being too cold to eat straight from the fridge....

    I try and throw out the 'ikky slimy' food stuffed in the fridge, but it does annoy her. I have replaced the food with fresh 'near identical' foods, all food I know she likes, so when she does 'snack' the food is 'fresh'.

    Her fridge temp dial is always turned up way high,
    when she comes over to mine, she always turns my fridge up high too.
    At the moment, she has not played with her spare freezer in garage... just the fridge freezer in her kitchen.
     
  20. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    1,162
    When I get the 'so sorry about your father' speech (he died a few months' ago) I reply, 'Frankly, it was a release/relief.' Let's be honest about this. There are worse things than death. Dementia is chief of them.
     

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