Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Ethical ...or not?

It's gone.
The stained wooden floor under Okaasan's sitting,, sleeping, living place.
Not the floor - the stain.

So she WAS just peeing on the carpet when she had the neck ache a few weeks ago and lay there for 5 days doing nothing.
That's good to know. The stain was just from that week, not a regular nighttime incontinence.
She still HAS incontinence of course, the double-pants and the wet pajamas and newspaper balls show that...and the smell.
But it isn't a 100% of the time thing. That's good.

But. I am disappointed.
That stain was going to be my nice visual cue into talking to her about the problem: why-don't-you-use sanitary pads or maybe even these old people diapers...at night at least.
Now it's gone.

Ethical advice please.
If I go into her room while she is out with a little cup of water and pour it on the floor under the carpet.
Is that bad?

This is on a level with a wildlife camera crew putting out food to attract a rare bird that has been seen in this tree, isn't it?
The bird WAS here at some point. But not actually right now.
A little "help" will put it here again for showing.

Hmmmmm......votes please. Cup of water? Or not?

Meanwhile, I am on duty for 2 days as he's away ski teaching.
We left a sign on the kitchen table to tell Okaasan that dinner would be a little later, giving me time to rush home from work about 7.30 pm.
Last night was easy oden, tonight might be KFC and salad.
Okaasan all ok with that. I just sat and chatted about wartime stuff and the cats and the weather last night.

I've found my birthday present: Unazaki Kabo-chan (nodding pumpkin boy).

It was in the newspaper this week. Designed by Osaka City University. It costs Y21,000 and it is a robot boy. He is a companion for the elderly :-) In research, old women who live alone were given nodding pumpkin boy for 2 months and showed improved cognitive skills!
He has a vocabulary of 400 words (probably better than mine) and responds to sound and light and hand movements by nodding.
JUST what the carer needs! I could put him at the kitchen table with Okaasan, program him to say "wartime food shortages" and then Okaasan and pumpkin boy would be happy together - she would ramble on and on and he would nod and say "Great!" and "Really?" many times.

I wonder if they have a knicker-searching and washing application as an add-on function?


  1. Of course, it's always easier for those that don't have the problem to put in their 2cents worth... and the reality is that carers often have to bend the truth to deal with people with dementia. The question is where's the line?

    I'd vote for ethics over effectiveness...it might be useful short-term, but long term you might find yourself being pushed to use more and more dramatic demonstrations. And it sounds dramatic when you're wetting your own floor to demonstrate what you don't want her to do. Especially if she sees through it...

    Still, at the end of the day, it's your call (but this definitely needs to be the both you and your husband agree on).... otherwise it starts sounding very much Shakespearean in terms of laying the seeds of soiling tragedy... ?;-)

  2. I vote yes to the cup of water. If it will help get her into wearing depends at night at least and perhaps lessen the pissy clothes, buckets of pants in her room and what not? Yes. I wouldn't however tell Y. Complete betrayal of your family perhaps but still. Desperate times. Its only a cup of water after all. Its not a big deal.

    That robot looks fabulous. I wonder would she just sit there nodding back at it - or at least try and have a conversation with it. washing application sounds like something you need sot suggest to maker :)

  3. Pumpkin boy is pretty cute. I think you should definitely buy one.

  4. I'm with Gaijinwife, do what you need to do. Okaasan will be more comfortable and it must be distressing for her on some level, not to mention all the work it makes for you. And, I think your husband would be happier not knowing, she is his mom, and they are Japanese. I mean, this is a country where families still don't tell people they are dying often. It seems like a certain amount of deception is accepted and even appreciated here, or is that just my husband' and his family?

  5. No - I think a little deception IS accepted here....and yes, I am sure that at the time she discovers yet another toilet-accident in her pants/pajamas it MUST be distressing for her...
    She is already wearing double or triple pants, so she is trying to help herself....

    This morning's toilet scene wasn't good, I am going to try and get into her room and find the results and maybe use that as the springboard into a serious woman to woman talk....