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Caring for someone with MRSA


Question: My mother has had MRSA for two years now. She is also a carrier. My concern is the fact she has made no life changes. She eats junk food and smokes heavily, which makes her cough every morning. I have showed her the information on living with MRSA, how to control its spread, as she is currently living with me. She refuses to cooperate.

I live in fear as she constantly coughs all over, won't wash her hands often, and refuses to wear rubber gloves, especially in the kitchen. I told her not to wash my clothes with hers but sometimes she does. I have much anxiety and want to run away. I'm 54 she's 79. Please help me. I don't know what to do and I can't live like this much longer. Thank you.


Dr. Amy: I encourage you to take your mother to the doctor and together develop a plan for living together safely and comfortably. Have the doctor give you both very clear directions. What does your mother need to do to take care of her health and keep you and your visitors safe, and what do you need to do?

It sounds like you will not be able to develop a plan without a little outside help. When you visit the doctor, it will be helpful if you introduce the topic in terms of how you are feeling and not how your mother is being uncooperative. You feel anxious and you would like the doctor to help you both understand how best to live safely and comfortably together. Write down the plan, or ask if the doctor can give you some information that contains a series of tips. Good luck!

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