Thursday, April 19, 2012

Visiting Jill and Lola Update

I just spent a lovely day with my cousin, Jill. Went down on Tuesday at noon and got back here about 4 p.m. on Thursday. That was a great little break. We gabbed, commiserated, ate, socialized, shopped and generally had a great time.

Sheila came over and sat with Lola while I was gone. I imagine Lola had a great time, as Sheila stayed with her in the living room quite a bit more than I can manage. Lemme say, I love my sitters. Sheila cared for my mother, helped her, fed her, was here if an emergency happened, and helped with the cleaning. I haven't taken a break in so many months, this was so uplifting for me.

When I got back, I had gotten out of the habit of checking Mom for incontinence, and darn it, when I finally remembered to get her to go to the bathroom at 10:30 p.m. it was far too late. So she's changing clothes right now. Sheila agreed that Lola has simply now forgotten what to do in the restroom.

Okay, so it takes at least 15 minutes to handle things when Mom sits in her chair and pees on her self. She has to take off the wet clothes and incontinence underwear, put new diaper/underwear on and new clothes. She has to clean herself, which she sometimes can and sometimes cannot do. Then put on fresh clothes. Then I get to go into the bathroom, get rid of the underwear, which smells unbelievably bad. If you're inexperienced with this, just know that urine stinks, badly. Then pick up the soaked clothes and get them in the laundry room.

While I was in Waverly, I finally got to visit Jeanne in her new apartment. It's absolutely lovely. It is one of the nicest apartments I've ever seen for middle class apartments. She has one side of a red brick duplex with large rooms, walk in closets in both bedrooms, a private master bathroom with tub and shower, a common-area/2nd bedroom full bathroom with a shower of which I'm jealous. She has linen closets, a hall closet, and a huge pantry in the kitchen. Her kitchen reminded me of the kitchen that was in the house they owned in Martin, except sunnier. It's a galley kitchen with an amazing amount of cabinets and counter space. She has a full-sized washer and dryer in a large closet in the hall. There's a nice concrete porch at the front entry, and a lovely wooden deck off the sliding doors in the back.

Jeanne started her new life in Waverly with new furniture for her living, dining room and kitchen, and her decor is lovely. She has white walls, white dining room furniture, pale green sofas, and striking deep burgundy accents. It's an absolutely lovely apartment.

While I was in Waverly, I had a chance to shop at Wally World without worrying about getting back to Lola, and that was so very nice. You never know how much simple things like shopping mean until they get taken away. I treated myself to a new blender, and got one of the Ninja blenders, which you can see by clicking here. My mom's old blender is so shot, it won't even blend a milkshake well.

I don't think my parents really used the blender; I just think it's old. However, Jill laughed and said she was still using the blender they got as a wedding present too many decades ago to mention.

In addition, I managed to finally pick up another towel rack for the laundry room, a new TP holder to replace the one that fell out of the wall, and a new saucepan. I finally found the unusual light bulbs that go in the old, really old, medicine cabinet with lights in the bathroom - they're cylindrical and fit inside tubes of milk glass. It's amazing the things that become difficult to buy when 1. you live in a rural area, and 2. you get tied to not being gone from the house for long shopping trips. Light bulbs - who knew they'd become a problem.

We picked up some good chorizo and made scrambled eggs and chorizo for breakfast this morning. I found some creama Mexicana and introduced both Jill and Sheila to it.

Since I've been home tonight, I've caught up on email, messaged with Max (which I missed doing the last few days), read my elists, watched Rachel Maddow, checked my youtube channels, and researched driving a well point. LOL. The joys of being home after being away without a computer.


Alex Dragon said...

If you have to change Lola's clothing after each time she uses her pad, then the pads aren't doing their job right. We use a 3 pad system for all our incontinent residents - one for just after morning shower, one for mid-dayish (usually 1:30pm), and one for bedtime.
The pads have varying capacity, up to about 3.5 litres of fluid - that's a serious amount of urine. For most residents, that will hold them overnight without having to wake up and change pads (let alone pajamas and sheets). For the very, very few for whom that is not enough, we put a lower-capacity pad inside the higher-capacity pad at bedtime, then remove it at about 1am.
If your mother's wetting through the pad several times a day, she needs a higher capacity pad. Yes, they are slightly dearer, but then you're saving on electricity doing the washing and drying.
The pads should always have a dry-touch layer on the top, so that they are not wet next to the skin. You wouldn't want to sit around in a damp pad, neither would your mom, but the modern pads are like baby's diapers - they should keep dry to the touch even when they are to the point of overflowing.
To make a higher-capacity pad fit neatly, you may need to get some net pants - they are like the panty section of panty hose, and hold the pad in place much better than regular underwear.
Anyway, just a few thoughts about elder continence. Hope it helps :-)

Jola Gayle said...

Alex, thank you so much for the comment. I had not correlated the pad's capacity to the kind I was buying, which have been the cheap generic. I guess I simply assumed no pad would hold as much urine as she produces. I'll be off ASAP to get some better ones. Thanks, again.

Alex Dragon said...

No problems, JG :-)

Before I worked in aged care I probably wouldn't have thought about it either.

We had one lady who was a really HIGH capacity piddler. She had severe dementia, but she would wait until I'd showered her and then pee on me as I was either towelling her off or getting her dressed. Sometimes I'd have to start over again, reshower her (to remove the urine from her legs), and then just as I was getting her dressed (for the second time) she'd laugh and pee on me again. It was the laugh that used to get to me. Any way, she used 4 of the high capacity pads per 24 hours, even with a slip-pad in place from 8pm to midnight. But, out of the roughly 150 residents that I've dealt with over the last 4 years, she's the only one that produced enough urine to require that many - and it was due to a medical condition.

the other tactic we use to deal with elder incontinence is called "scheduled toileting", which is pretty much as it sounds. You regularly take the individual to sit on the toilet at times she is likely to want to pass urine - assuming going to the toilet straight after getting up at around 8am, we then schedule for 10, 12, 2, 4, 6 and just before bed. It's a lot of work but every time they pee into the toilet instead of the pad, it's that much longer that the pad will continue to do its job (see earlier comment about dry-touch pads). you don't need to change a damp pad every time you toilet someone, only when it is around 2/3rds capacity, or if it is soiled with feces. If you can smell the urine, then it's definitely time for a change. If the urine is really, really offensive it's time to do a urine test for a UTI, which is very common with elderly folk and which can ramp up their dementia to an amazing degree. Where you or I would complain of burning or pain when passing urine with a UTI, the elderly often have "silent" infections which can only be detected using a urine test strip.

There is nothing wrong with scheduling a toilet-break for your mother when you know she is likely to open her bowels. I guess it's kind of like potty-training in reverse :-)