1. Simon Price

    Simon Price Active Member

    Jul 17, 2017
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    How much of a time investment is it to care for a bed-bound morbidly obese person?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Simon Price, Jun 29, 2019.

    One of my characters is a teenage girl named Taylor, who lives alone with her mother, Maggie, who is morbidly obese to the point that she is bed-bound and can't walk. Right now I'm trying to get a sense of how much work this is, so I can get a sense of just how thoroughly this interferes with (and in conjunction with a few other issues, nearly ruins) her life. Unfortunately I've had difficulty finding resources that go into detail about how often and for how long each day that such people need to be cared for, and the documentaries and shows I've watched also barely skim the surface of that particular aspect of things.

    Does anyone know of any specific resources that would go into detail about how intensive of a job this is, and what it entails?
  2. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

    May 20, 2012
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    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    Get the logics down - if her mother is bed-bound all the chores fall on the daughter. Cooking, cleaning, paying bills, shopping. If they live in a house - things like cutting the grass, cleaning out gutters, raking leaves, etc also fall on the daughter and would be different than say an apartment or a rental where the owner might take care of those things. And this would be worse if the house is old and needs a lot of work, whether or not they have pets, whether or not the mother is picky about the job her daughter does or if she is controlling.

    It would be very interfering because it's putting emotional and physical responsibility solely on the daughter. And depending on her age and personality could affect her social life as she wouldn't have much time for one if she has to do schoolwork and chores, and maybe find time to unwind or do something she's interested in. And how can the mother push her to be more social when she's literally counting on her daughter to be home.
    This wouldn't even include the arguments they could get into over food, her mother's weight, her mother missing out on things like if the girl is an athlete going to games - etc. And the embarrassment of hygiene issues, the smell, helping her mother too and from the bathroom and helping her wash. And it's always interesting that when a person doesn't do things can be really picky about how someone else did them -- i.e. if she sends her daughter out shopping could complain I didn't want this brand I wanted the other - just to take out her resentment (on not being able to go herself) on the daughter.
    An interesting character situation with oodles of emotions from both characters to choose from resentment, embarrassment, anger, self pity, jealousy etc.

    I have no idea how to go about researching this. Maybe just google it - I did and there's not much there but I did notice someone mention that sometimes obese people don't get to the washroom in time because they are having a hard time getting about so there's a mess to deal with and things have to be custom made or adapted (beds, toilets, chairs) or they'll be broken.
    EFMingo likes this.
  3. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Contributor Contributor

    Aug 11, 2019
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    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, North America
    The reality television show, "My 600 lb Life" seemed to gloss over this aspect but there are some hints as to what the caregiver has to do. Assist with hygiene, feeding, giving medications, doing the household chores, earning a living, having a social life....

    I worked for 25 years as a support worker in residential and day program settings. None of my participants were bed-ridden but the ones who struggled with their weight, the biggest issue that came up was trying to get them to chose healthy options for snacks/meals and having them get basic exercise like a walk when all they wanted to do was sleep or watch tv.

    One individual that used a wheelchair had to use adult diapers and go to the bathroom on a schedule as that person was not verbal and we had no way of knowing when toileting was necessary. It was kind of a waste if the diaper was dry as it would have to be thrown out and a fresh one put on.

    Hope that helps....

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