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Personal Hygiene - Page 4 - Carers UK Forum

Personal Hygiene

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I suppose it is the same principle as a Turkish (or ancient Roman) bath: one goes through increasingly hot rooms, both dry and steam, but finishes with a quick plunge into a cold pool. It is very invigorating.

Tristesa
Hi

With regard to your mother putting on clothes which aren't fresh, perhaps it's best that you ask her for them at night when she is going to bed?

I had the same problem with my mother for a while, and I found the best option is to try to incorporate this into daily routine. I simply told mum that I was doing the washing at night, so I needed her things. She was resistant for the first few days, but many people with dementia find routine reassuring, so she quickly accepted that I would collect her clothes at night.

with regard to your mother's personal hygiene, is she incontinent, even slightly? This can be a big cause of any noticeable odour, and your doctor could perhaps help with this, even if it is just to give some advice on the use of liners or pads.
Update: Have persuaded mum into the shower on respite days and made darn sure she has a complete set of clean clothes, 3 days a week.

Even if it means I have been wearing dirty ones for days as I can't dry everything (we have no tumble dryer, so you can guess how hard it is with the biblical torrents of rain we've had in the West Country).

Shocked to recieve a call from the social worker saying she STILL smells - well that ain;t down to me, so yes she must be leaking a bit.

She is NOT happy about wearing Tena pads and doesn't see the need.... Unfortunately, what I say goes... and it seems to be working. I do feel sorry for her... it must be so embarrassing, but it's just impossible to sugar coat the need for a thick bulky pad to go in her knickers.

I just have to be persistent and calm, because if I have explained the reason why once, I will have to do it again tomorrow.... and four times the next day, and ten the day after. Sigh.
Is she drinking enough? The less we drink the stronger urine smells, I know this might seem a silly suggestion in some ways, as it will increase output, but urine should not really smell strong. Do you know whether her pee is the colour of lemonade or dark beer? If this doesn't solve the problem, then perhaps it's time you had a word with her doctor, just in case there is something else happening? Have you raised the problem of getting clothes dry with her social worker? Be sure to mention this in your next Carers Assessment. If it's difficult to afford a dryer, then perhaps SSD could fund it, or make an application to a local charity like the Lions on your behalf? They can do this without ever mentioning your name and personal details. A friends SW did this over another issue and they were very happy to help a genuine local family. I've just seen the weather forecast for the week, more of the same. I've never seen the New Forest more saturated than it is now. No hosepipe ban this summer???
I think the drinking issue may well be the key. The fear, however slight, of being unable to control the bladder naturally leads a person to reduce the amount of fluid they drink, but it is not a good thing to do. As well as leading to smaller amounts of more concentrated (and smellier) urine, dehydration is full of other dangers.

I think I have also mentioned elsewhere that many elderly people (I write that as though I am not elderly myself, but I am!) simply do not like having a long drink, especially of water. They just don't seem to feel thirsty in the same way as younger adults. It was a constant struggle for my father to drink enough when he was in his 80s, and he was mentally alert and thus intellectually aware that he needed to drink more, and did not have any incontinence issues; he used to regard it as a tedious but necessary chore to force down a glass of liquid at regular intervals. My husband is also reluctant to drink enough. When it was very hot last summer, I was continually urging him to drink more. I would put a nice glass of orange juice, or a cup of tea, in front of him, and 20 minutes later, would see that he had taken at the most a couple of sips.

Tristesa
Often elderly people refuse to shower because they feel uncomfortable. And they don't say about this. Try to use a shower transfer bench. It'll make showering easy and pleasurable. It might work.
I use the first model from this list http://www.bestshowerchairs.com/.
Tristesa wrote:I think the drinking issue may well be the key. The fear, however slight, of being unable to control the bladder naturally leads a person to reduce the amount of fluid they drink, but it is not a good thing to do. As well as leading to smaller amounts of more concentrated (and smellier) urine, dehydration is full of other dangers.

I think I have also mentioned elsewhere that many elderly people (I write that as though I am not elderly myself, but I am!) simply do not like having a long drink, especially of water. They just don't seem to feel thirsty in the same way as younger adults. It was a constant struggle for my father to drink enough when he was in his 80s, and he was mentally alert and thus intellectually aware that he needed to drink more, and did not have any incontinence issues; he used to regard it as a tedious but necessary chore to force down a glass of liquid at regular intervals. My husband is also reluctant to drink enough. When it was very hot last summer, I was continually urging him to drink more. I would put a nice glass of orange juice, or a cup of tea, in front of him, and 20 minutes later, would see that he had taken at the most a couple of sips.

Tristesa

This is 'spot on' as far as I can see - my 'poor ould fella' has just come out of hospital ( again) and been told to drink more, and short of forcing it down his gullet, he will not do so. I know sometimes the dementia means he forgets, but there you go.

On a different aspect of hygiene - he went to the toilet for a wee and his stoma bag fell off down the toilet,- put on by an agency carer 4 hours ago) emptying its contents on the way ( sorry, hope you have not just had lunch) - I went to help him wearing a trusty pair of medical blue gloves - he wanted to root down the toilet bare handed to retrieve the bag - OMG! What has our life come to. Off to the docs again this afternoon, as the cellulitis looks very angry - in fact nearly as angry as I am....... tra la la.
I am glad to see that other carers have the same problems as me, our lives revolve around pee and poo! All I seem to do is attend to my husband's plumbing, which actually doesn't work very well and has resulted in hm having a catheter which either bypasses and he is soaked or else gives him a uti. He also has to wear pads as he has no control of his bowels. I hope I never end up like this, why can't they just give us a wee pill and wave us off.
Irene_1509 wrote:I am glad to see that other carers have the same problems as me, our lives revolve around pee and poo! All I seem to do is attend to my husband's plumbing, which actually doesn't work very well and has resulted in hm having a catheter which either bypasses and he is soaked or else gives him a uti. He also has to wear pads as he has no control of his bowels. I hope I never end up like this, why can't they just give us a wee pill and wave us off.
' a wee pill' a Freudian slip -given the subject :lol: bet you are north of the border...lucky you
I'd take it even if it were bl**dy huge!