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Re: Help my step dad is soiling his pants

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@KimberlyE500070 wrote:

Thank you for replying Amy... I'm sitting here in tears and I'm so sorry about your father. It is different when there's a mental issue that causes the incontinence but still not pleasant. My mom suggested I take his room and he lost his mind! He only goes in there to use his bathroom when he's upstairs and in the morning to take his meds. Still he refuses to either stay in there or let me move into it. His size doesn't help and he has severe lymphedema in his legs and has to wear compression socks 24/7. I guess what angers me most is he has chosen to be this big. Plus his doctor (a DO not MD) has tried to be preemptive by having him on medicines before he actually has things (ie diabetes, high cholesterol, congestive heart failure) All of which he has now because he thinks it gives him the ok to eat whatever he wants and he packed on an extra 300 lbs. over the last 7 or so years. He also has sleep apnea and I am awakened to him choking in his mask every night because he wont order a new one and it's filthy. He has been quite conservative with his money and calls daily to check his balances... he's obsessed with his money. A few weeks ago he got very sick and it really shook him up. That being said he watched what he ate for a week or so but as soon as he felt better boom... he went back to his bad habits. My mother has medical power of attorney but mentally he's fine so she can't force him to do anything. She has talked to his doctor but then he goes to see him and convinces his doctor that he's fine. One look at him and you know he's not healthy. I haven't even left my room today because I just can't stand the thought of talking to him and him acting like he hasn't left poop for me to clean up all night and day. How do you get someone help if they refuse to admit there's a problem? Occasionally he will say he's sorry and beg me not to tell my mom about his latest feces explosion. When I try to talk to my mom she says I'm just making her feel bad but she's not the one sitting in his poop, cleaning it, smelling it 24/7. He can barely climb the stairs and I think my mom is hoping he eventually won't be able to. She's hoping he chooses to stay on my level of the house instead of the upstairs where she is. When I do leave for a few days I come back and feel bad because they live on sandwiches and don't have hot meals. I've told him many times how much it would cost to bring in outside help to do what I do. One time he gave me 20$ and said "Get a car wash it's on me" after we discussed the cost of a caregiver. With no way to force him to behave like a normal human being I either have to leave my frail mom and force her to hire someone but of course my heart sinks and I suck down my feelings for a few days and then the cycle repeats itself. I'm not a mean person and I did move home to help but I had no clue I'd end up taking care of him more than her. He has no kids of his own and his sister is as big as he is so no help there. I've thought of calling his doctor but it has never helped when my mom has called so I don't think that will help. To the outside world he's a great, funny, country bumpkin who every knows in town. Little do they know the horrors of living with him. I'd go to therapy just to have a safe place to unload but who can afford that? I really appreciate you replying it has helped to just get it off my chest Annonymously. I'll check out the links you sent and let you know if I find any way to deal with this. Wishing you a great day and keeping your family in my prayers and hope you'll do the same if you pray. If not send good thoughts... it can't hurt right?

 

 

Indeed, so much is hurting, do whatever you can do to take care of yourself is self-preservation.

 

You've received good advice. I will add my 2 cents. I'm a community mental health worker now after years of doing other kinds of social work.

 

My mother weighed about 450 in her later years and she passed away at 55 from obesity and self neglect. My father cared for her and my sister and i tried everything we could think of to get mother paid help and give my father respite. We were terrified he'd die of a heart attack and leave us to figure it out without him! She was stubborn beyond stubborn, and finally passed away after 3 days in a nursing home. My father had had it. And she gave up the ghost. 

 

Two things helped me retain some semblance of sanity during that period: a therapist who coached me on how to present helpful options to her, and then how to let go of the frustration when she'd refuse (and my father wouldn't stand up to her.) And, Alanon, believe it or not. Because in Alanon, there's a room full of people who love someone who's self destructive and are simply trying to survive. And it's free (donations of 1$ encouraged but not required.)

 

I'm now a psychotherapist and i work for the county. Most of my clients are on what goes for medicaid here, Oregon Health Plan, and none of the counseling costs them a dime. I would recommend you find the local mental health clinic that's run by the state or county, and sign up. No more sucking down of feelings. It should be free and if it isn't they'll have a sliding fee. You are worth it. 

 

The other thing is that i have a 600 pound client. Unlike your step dad, he is actually trying to lose weight, but when he loses 50 pounds he regains 25. Your step dad did this in the past 7 years, and my client started binging as a result of child abuse when he was a kid. But in both cases, the compulsive eating is a crutch and a psychological balm. And an addiction. However, my client isn't forcing anyone to clean up his poop.

 

I agree with other responders here that his abuse of you needs to stop. He needs to hire someone else to clean up his poop. You go on strike. He has the money, he needs to spend it. He's Mr Jovial in town? He'll be embarassed and either treat your right, or hire someone and swear them to secrecy. But his abuse of you is over.

 

Please write more and tell us what you're doing. We have all been stuck between rocks and hard places like you are now. And will be again most likely. I have a partner who has MS and although she's independent now, she's also phobic about doctors and i anticipate our later years being interspersed with Battles Royale.

 

Jane


 

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Oh, dear one!  Honestly, I've dealt with a lot of the same issues as you write about, including around the clock family caregiver for years (as in decades), and also being a RN gives me a bit of a leg up here.  Your dad is seriously in need of some mental health counseling!  His problems need to be dealt with in a humane, professional way.  His choices to overwhelmingly burden his family, and his being allowed to get away with these behaviors, must stop or you'll all wind up in harm's way!  Please ask his primary care provider for a referral immediately.   Even if you are not a designated POA with healthcare, you can still provide information for the practitioner to act on.  Your dad needs serious help and the family also needs help to deal with being "bullied" by this man.  The fact that he chooses to do these things is abuse.  You need to stop it before it goes any further.  I can guarantee he will have a fit, and become even worse.  But stick to your guns.  His choice to gain so much weight in 7 yrs, refusals to work with the family on hygiene and sleeping arrangements need to stop.  I'm fairly certain that any mental health provider will contract with him to stop these behaviors or he gets to go to a facility instead of being at home.  It's his choice.  He just needs to have limits and boundaries set for all of you.  Start there and work the rest out later, after he's gotten some counseling and medication to help with his obsessive bullying behaviors.  And keep him on a strict physician-prescribed diet.  He won't like it, but he doesn't have to at this point.  When he crossed the line of his health severely affecting the heatlh of his family, it's time to do something drastic.  Get your posse together to round this man up! 

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Re: Help my step dad is soiling his pants

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@KimberlyE500070 Glad to hear back from you. 

 

First, I strongly urge you to find a caregiver support group. You have to get some support. So glad you reached out here, but I’m your situation an in person group might really help so much. understand the costs of counseling are sometimes too much. At least a support group is free (and confidential). You can contact your local area agency on aging and ask for a list of local caregiver support groups. Go to www.eldercare.acl.gov and put in your zip code. If you need help please direct message me or email me atamy@amygoyer.com. 

 

Second, if you wind up having to leave (and you might) could you take your mom with you? It’s so hard to set boundaries with people we love. But it might be what you have to do to survive if he won’t allow paid Help and won’t adapt in other ways. It sounds like your mother needs care though too - do you feel that is your first responsibility (after yourself of course)?

 

Thank you for your prayers and good wishes! We are waiting for the doc now! (Here is a pic My nephew just took!) 

 

Sending you many prayers, strength and positive healing thoughts! You CAN do this. You are resilient. You are so strong!!! 

 

Take care, Amy

Dad Amy Linda at Dr. Milligan office 6-6-18.jpeg 

 

 

 

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Thank you for replying Amy... I'm sitting here in tears and I'm so sorry about your father. It is different when there's a mental issue that causes the incontinence but still not pleasant. My mom suggested I take his room and he lost his mind! He only goes in there to use his bathroom when he's upstairs and in the morning to take his meds. Still he refuses to either stay in there or let me move into it. His size doesn't help and he has severe lymphedema in his legs and has to wear compression socks 24/7. I guess what angers me most is he has chosen to be this big. Plus his doctor (a DO not MD) has tried to be preemptive by having him on medicines before he actually has things (ie diabetes, high cholesterol, congestive heart failure) All of which he has now because he thinks it gives him the ok to eat whatever he wants and he packed on an extra 300 lbs. over the last 7 or so years. He also has sleep apnea and I am awakened to him choking in his mask every night because he wont order a new one and it's filthy. He has been quite conservative with his money and calls daily to check his balances... he's obsessed with his money. A few weeks ago he got very sick and it really shook him up. That being said he watched what he ate for a week or so but as soon as he felt better boom... he went back to his bad habits. My mother has medical power of attorney but mentally he's fine so she can't force him to do anything. She has talked to his doctor but then he goes to see him and convinces his doctor that he's fine. One look at him and you know he's not healthy. I haven't even left my room today because I just can't stand the thought of talking to him and him acting like he hasn't left poop for me to clean up all night and day. How do you get someone help if they refuse to admit there's a problem? Occasionally he will say he's sorry and beg me not to tell my mom about his latest feces explosion. When I try to talk to my mom she says I'm just making her feel bad but she's not the one sitting in his poop, cleaning it, smelling it 24/7. He can barely climb the stairs and I think my mom is hoping he eventually won't be able to. She's hoping he chooses to stay on my level of the house instead of the upstairs where she is. When I do leave for a few days I come back and feel bad because they live on sandwiches and don't have hot meals. I've told him many times how much it would cost to bring in outside help to do what I do. One time he gave me 20$ and said "Get a car wash it's on me" after we discussed the cost of a caregiver. With no way to force him to behave like a normal human being I either have to leave my frail mom and force her to hire someone but of course my heart sinks and I suck down my feelings for a few days and then the cycle repeats itself. I'm not a mean person and I did move home to help but I had no clue I'd end up taking care of him more than her. He has no kids of his own and his sister is as big as he is so no help there. I've thought of calling his doctor but it has never helped when my mom has called so I don't think that will help. To the outside world he's a great, funny, country bumpkin who every knows in town. Little do they know the horrors of living with him. I'd go to therapy just to have a safe place to unload but who can afford that? I really appreciate you replying it has helped to just get it off my chest Annonymously. I'll check out the links you sent and let you know if I find any way to deal with this. Wishing you a great day and keeping your family in my prayers and hope you'll do the same if you pray. If not send good thoughts... it can't hurt right?

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Re: Help my step dad is soiling his pants

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@KimberlyE500070 Oh Kimberly! I'm so sorry you are going through this! You must be completely exhausted and, as you say, there is frustration but also gross-out factor and it is affecting you very personally since you use that toilet too. You are amazing to have dealt with it this long.

 

Honestly the diarrhea issues are one of the hardest things about caregiving for me too. My Mom had colitis and then got C Diff. It was truly awful. Now my Dad has Alzheimer's and has had diarrhea for over a year off and on. It's on again now and we are trying everything but it's so difficult. Poor Daddy can't control it and yet at times we know he feels badly about it. One time he said "forgive me". Made us cry. It's not his fault. Today we are taking him to a doctor appt and we are terrified we will have a diarrhea mess. 

 

I had his bathroom, which he shares with my sister and caregivers etc., renovated to include a walk-in shower so it is easier to get him cleaned up. At one time the explosive diarrhea was so bad - we just had to wash the walls over and over again. But it is different for us because Dad really can't do that. 

 

For you - it sounds like your Dad is of sound mind, but physically incapable of managing it. If he weighs 500 lbs I'm assuming it is difficult for him to bend over, clean the floor etc. Is he able to go up stairs? I'm wondering if you might be able to change bedrooms and you take the bedroom with the bathroom upstairs since he's not using it anyway? 

 

There are medications that can help diarrhea, whether its colitis or something else - and as you say if he talked with his doctor he might discover what is happening with his health to cause the diarrhea. Are you able to talk with his doctor yourself? Perhaps you could give them a heads up. Do you have power of attorney for healthcare?

 

I generally don't like ultimatums, but in this case you may have to draw the line - maybe you could set an ultimatum - you move out unless a) you switch bedrooms and have your own bathroom, b) he talks with his doctor and gets evaluated as to the cause of it and if any medication can help c) they hire some help (could be housekeeping to clean, home health aides to help him bathe etc.).

 

I can tell you from experience that although no one loves dealing with bowel movement issues and clean up, home health aides are used to dealing with them, and probably will handle it better than you think. It's part of their job. 

 

A few resources:

 

Please let us know how you are doing and if any of these suggestions are helpful. And if not we'll get you more! 

 

Take care,

Amy Goyer

AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving 

 

 

 

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Help my step dad is soiling his pants

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I'm at my wits end! My step father is over 500 lbs. and has explosive diarrhea, despite multiple loving conversations I cannot take this any more. I've given up on his addiction to food as he's 66 years old and refuses to see his weight is a huge (pardon the pun) problem. However, I can no longer put up with his total lack of bowel and bladder control. He poops his pants, he wreaks havoc on the bathroom we share and refuses to clean up after himself. For over 5 years I have accidentally sat in his feces on the toilet seat. I've gone to him in tears begging him to get off his mentformin and ask the doctor to prescribe something else. He refuses to be honest with his physician who has no idea what living with him is like. I cook and clean for him and my mother but I have had enough. I've begged my mom to leave him or give him an ultimatum to go for geriatric rehabilitation. Sunday they went to church and he crapped his pants there. She's talked to him for years about his bad hygiene and still nothing. My mom is 74 and can no longer cook for them but I can't live like this! He has his own bedroom with a bathroom upstairs but refuses to sleep in it. You all might think I'm a horrible person but I'm positive if you got up in the middle out and unknowingly sat in someone's poop for YEARS you'd see my point of view. Just a few weeks ago I woke up to discover he had redecorated 2 walls in the bathroom with flying feces, the toilet was drenched in it and he just left it that way! Then there's the constant smell of extremely overbearing urine. I caught him using my hair dryer to dry the front of his jeans WHILE HE WAS IN THEM! Do I move out and force my mother to hire help (which no one would stay after cleaning a feces covered bathroom a few days)? I'm literally losing my mind and I'm afraid I'm going to unleash all my anger and say things I can never get back! I would appreciate any advice that leads to him stopping this disgusting behavior. He is of sound mind so he has no excuse other than total disrespect for me, my mom and just pure laziness.

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