MIL with mental illness lives with us
I have many questions that, if I have time, I would like to come back later and ask about, but have one pressing question that hubby and I have right now.
Ma lives with us but has been visiting her daughter for an extended stay for the past 4.5 months. She is 85 and has diagnosis of paranoia and schzophrania along with manic depression. She usually does well under her meds, but occassionally life gets too much for her and her chemicals go haywire and she has a breakdown. It takes about 4 months to come to a head, and it's horrible on us because she hears voices and the paranoia takes over. I am fairly new to the family and we live away from the 2 sisters, so I didn't know what to look for when she had the 3 breakdowns while living with us. They each had different symptoms also and I didn't know enough to recognize them and my husband is just clueless.
My sis in law has been calling me recently with some "complaints" (I hate to use that word, she really isn't complaining, just telling me things ma is doing) and I suddenly put it together that these are behaviors that she did early on the last time she had a breakdown. One of them is being a dead weight and not having function of her legs. She has fallen 2 times in past 2 weeks. She also loses bladder control. This, among other things sis is telling me is making me wonder. Now it could just be that she has a lot on her mind, or it could be that maybe she is having mini strokes or something. Last night after the 2nd fall the ER said she was just dehydrated, gave her fluids and sent her home.
She will be back here with us on Tuesday, hopefully, and I will be able to get her to her psychiatrist for an evaluation.
But... I am really concerned for her safety here. My husband and I both have disabilities. When she is like this she becomes totally dependant. She leans on us going up and down the stairs, have to walk with her now I am afraid when she gets up to potty at night, etc. If this is a breakdown, once her meds are adjusted she will come out of it and be dependant again...until then...
That is a bit of background in a nutshell.
Now on to my question for now.... if she is beginning to have a breakdown, this may sound selfish, last time she heard voices that told her to pee all over. In the bed, on our couch, all over the rug. The bathroom gets "both" all over it and she tries to clean it and smears all over.
I am not too concerned about during the day, I can clean what I can see. At night she gets up a few times. Sis has told me that she puddles all the way to the bathroom and she has gotten up to bathe and change her. We have a fairly new carpet and will be selling our house in a couple years. We would like to keep it as nice as possible. Again, I know this sounds selfish and is the least of our worries. This is why I am addressing it with strangers and not family.
Hubby and I have been going back and forth on how to prepare the house for when she comes back. She refuses to allow anyone but family help her and I don't know how medicare does that anyway. I bought a tub handle and will help her that way if she will allow me. We have cleared spaces so she can walk clearly since she won't pick up her feet.
But how can we protect the carpet, or should we just let her pee on them? I really don't want to sound heartless here, this is why I am asking. I feel like a really bad person for asking about this. This isn't the main concern, her safety is. Hubby has this thick plastic that he was thinking of putting down from her bed to the bathroom. it isn't slippery. But then would it insult her? I don't want to take away her dignity. But we need to protect our home and during her breakdowns she has destroyed a lot.
I am sorry that this is so long. I am just so confused here on how to do this. Thank you so much in advance for any advice.