Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Friday, July 24, 2009 skip, Community Member, asks


Mom is 80 years old, has had Alzheimersand has become very confused in what to do after having a bowel movement. She often seems to forget to use toilet paper when wiping and instead just uses her hands and gets irate when I help her clean up. She has magular degeneration and can not see well so each day results in a horrible mess on her hands, legs, the walls near the toilet, her clothes, the faucet, soap, sink, towels, etc. of which she is totally unaware of. Between this, her urinary incontinence, and her desire to sleep most of the time, her lack of interest in going anywhere, doing anything, and lack of interacting with people or conversing with family members, she cannot dress herself, shower by herself and is now having difficulty feeding herself, or sitting up, instead she constantly lays back in her chair with her eyes closed most of the time.  Her 82 year old husband is simply warn out but feels if she is nearing the end he wants to keep her at home instead of having her placed in a care facility, even though it is quite difficult for him and also the other family members at this point.  Does it appear she is entering stage seven?  Any info you can give on this would be very helpful.   

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Answers (3)
Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
7/24/09 3:26pm

It seems like her poor husband needs someone, perhaps a pastor or Rabbi, who can talk with him about his wife and her needs, as well as his own. This is no way for him to live, or his wife (or you). It's unhealthy for everyone. She may be entering a late stage, but perhaps she may need medication changes, as well. A doctor would have to determine that.


The bottom line is that this poor man feels guilty not caring for all of his wife's needs. He needs help in understanding that in-home help, a nursing home, or if she is indeed close to dying, hospice care should be brought in. He needs help in understanding that this is as bad for his wife as it is for him.


Good luck with this. I know it's hard. Please try to get third party help for him.



skip, Community Member
7/24/09 3:37pm

Thank you so much for your quick response!

Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
7/24/09 3:47pm

You are welcome. Good luck. Please let us know how it goes.


NC, Community Member
7/24/09 3:55pm

It sounds like very much in stage 6. My FIL is in stage 6 but he is not incontinent yet. This kind of staging requires 24 hours caregiving by the caregivers. My FIL has caregivers with him 24 hours to handle the bathroom. He has to be told to wash his hands and flush and etc. I am not a nurse so I am not quite clear, but I suspect your Mom needs 24 hours caregiving so that she can behave better with help. Until you clear this up by having someone with her all the time, esp. in the bathroom, she may be able to shape up. My FIL needs to be told how to take showers and the caregiver has to set up the water and all that for him.

I don't understand how your Mom is washed or anything - do you sometimes help her out and sometimes her husband does not help her because he is unable to help her? You cannot leave her alone in a mess like that. Maybe she is also in early stage 7, but she definitely needs caregiving 24 hours or a nursing home where she can be cared for with decency. I doubt that she is dying yet. My FIL has swallowing problem but it is not major and he can still eat grapes. He just needs people to serve him meals. Cut the meats and all that. He  needs someone to remind him to get up to walk or he would sit in the couch for a long time.

I hope you can find a good skilled care nursing home for her so her condition is better. This is not the way she should be cared for given the mess in the bathroom at times. Someone needs to be there to stop the mess or help her to prevent the mess.


Take care,


Janis, Community Member
8/10/09 9:35pm

I don't know that your Mom is in stage 7, but everyone is individual.  My Mom has been incontinent for at least 3 years, has needed help bathing and dressing, and has not been able to walk without help for several years (although she did have a fall 4 years ago and broke her hip).  She is now in stage 7 - pureed food, must be fed, has difficulty swallowing anything but yogurt and thickeed liquid, barely speaks an audible word and cannot sit up straight without support.  She has not been able to stand, let alone walk, since March.  We are told that this could still go on for months.  She has been in a skilled nursing facility for almost 4 years (after the broken hip).  Your Dad MUST have help.  It is brutal - even with mom at the nursing home.  He has to take care of himself, and he needs to have her somewhere where she can get 24/7 care.  I know when I did this, it was the hardest decision I ever had to make, but I'm glad that I did.  One of the worst parts of this disease is that you have no way to know how long it will last.  Your Mom could continue to decline for years.  Good luck to all of you.  Hate to be depressing, but being realistic.  Hang in there. Frown

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By skip, Community Member— Last Modified: 11/15/10, First Published: 07/24/09