Perspective Needed

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BeHea1thy

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Perspective Needed
« on: February 12, 2015, 08:28:57 PM »
I am (reluctantly) caring for a sibling who is Bipolar, Depressed, PD, etc. During the last 5 months, she bathed once, while she was an inpatient for 3 weeks on a psych ward. Now that she's out, she's lost all the gains she made. I am requiring her to take a shower. Is this overbearing or common sense?

In two weeks I'm "transitioning" all decisions like these to home health aids once she has Medicaid in place for care payment.

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Kizzie

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Re: Perspective Needed
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2015, 09:08:40 PM »
Oh dear BeHealthy I've been wondering how you've been making out with your S.  IMO bathing is essential to health and well-being, hers and those around her so I wouldn't be at all concerned about being overbearing.

She does not sound like she is capable of taking care of herself so putting in place home health aides to help her with these kinds of issues will be a huge relief I'm sure.  Will that be it in terms of "hands-on" care that you must provide for her?  Will you have more time for you and your life once they are in place?   

Lots of  :hug:  to help you get through two long weeks.

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Anamiame

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Re: Perspective Needed
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2015, 09:15:53 PM »
No, it's not unreasonable.  There are household rules and one of those rules is self care.  She's acting like a child although she is an adult, so you are going to have to set boundaries.  So that she doesn't feel attacked, make a list of household rules.  Ours look something like this:

1.  You are a welcome member to this family, but not the center of it. 
2.  You have personal responsibility including
      *clean bedroom
      *personal hygiene
      *helping to clean, it doesn't matter whose mess it was.
3.  Your have property responsibility:  Don't lean back on chairs.  If you broke it, you fix it or replace it.
4.  Honor, respect, integrity and truth are the cornerstones of our family.  Use them daily.
5.  The answer is always yes unless there is a reason for no. 

It's something like that. 

FWIW...

Re: Perspective Needed
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2015, 09:28:47 PM »
Hi BeHea1thy!  :hug:  Your sister bathed once in the last five months?  :blink:  Is she washing herself instead with a facecloth? If no, then I can definitely understand why you'd want her to take a bath. Yikes. I've no idea if this has health implications, stuff clogging the pores, germs proliferating... but the odour, along with the mere knowledge that she hasn't bathed in that long, has to be off-putting.

No advice, sadly. My father was very ill for most of my life, and we always lived in this dilemma between "he's a grown-up who makes his own decisions" on the one hand and "he's unwell and needs someone to take care of him" on the other hand. A balancing act, that. Difficult to watch when I was a child, and energy-draining for my mother to do. So I'm glad you won't have to do it on your own for much longer. It sounds like this issue is wearing you out.

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C.

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Re: Perspective Needed
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2015, 02:10:06 AM »
BeHealthy.  She is fortunate to have you even if she doesn't understand so at the moment, and it sounds like your care for her is working.  I'm glad you reached out here and know ways to take care of yourself.   :applause:  That will be especially important right now.

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Annegirl

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Re: Perspective Needed
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2015, 03:37:54 AM »
I believe, my opinion, just leave her be, if she cant bathe right now, just let her be. There was a long time, 6 mths my daughter didnt/ wouldnt bathe, and she grew out of it.
through my depression there were months i wouldnt/ couldnt bathe and i snapped out of it somehow. It'll happen, she just needs time and acceptance for who she is not what she does, then she'll start valuing herself and wanting to take care of herself.
having said that though, you know how much you want or dont want to or how much of looking after her you can handle. If its too much for you is there anywhere else she could be? Have you other support?
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 03:43:35 AM by Annegirl »

Re: Perspective Needed
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2015, 05:57:38 AM »
Glad to hear that your sister did take a bath now. The smell must have been extremely difficult to live with. Again, I'm glad that your release from this situation is so close.

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marycontrary

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Re: Perspective Needed
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2015, 07:06:29 PM »
BH, honey what a nightmare. I am so sorry about this. I have been in charge of huge amounts of care taking in my life, so have been in the same ballpark. I am so glad you are moving in March.

I have said this before, and I will mention it again. It is very important for recovery trauma folks to do a self assessment as to what our current capacities are. Remember, we statistically live 20 years less than un-complex traumatized folks, so we need to take recovery very seriously and put ourselves first so that we do not become a statistic. For me, I am not in a place to care give at the moment, and I have been working on this horrid BS for almost 3 years, and made huge progress.

For me, I have no business caretaking when I have so much to clean up in myself dues to decades of self neglect. When my cup is full, I will be of better service to other again.

I know you love your sister and what you have done is above and beyond We all applaud you. However, there comes a time that she needs to be in an institutional setting, as it sounds like she has got the self care abilities of a toddler. This is so horribly sad, and I am so sorry.
 :bighug: