A number of months ago as a preemptive notion I switched mum to disposable undergarments and the necessity of them has arrived. Problem is, "I didn't do that" and "Are you saying I'm dirty?" are the responses. Dignity and pride I protect, but the struggle is real! Stepped in it for real!
At first, I was like you....yuck...she did it again and poo is all over the floor and smeared on toilet seat.
Then I went looking for solutions....some I found here and some at the hospital.
For smeared poo, just wipe it off and keep disposal gloves in the house. I buy them bulk through Amazon (very cheap). Then there is a produce called ToidyMats....you can google it and I bought those to put on the floor in front of toilet. It catches poo and urine spray....a life saver because now, you just change toidymat and the floor stay clean.
For smell, I buy those spray you use on garbage cans...works great. They sell them at Home Depot. Then for floors, I mop with a little bleach and water and squirt of dish washing detergent....Again, it works great!...bacteria and all are gone. You are right to be concerned about being "dirty" because poo and pee carries bacteria in them. At the hospital, they mop with a powerful baterial killing product. You can buy those at Staples. I found the exact same product selling at Staples.
Now for the best part....you can see from the poo where Mom is in good shape or had diarrehea....then I add in more fibre (apple crisp buicuits sold at Wal Mart - Metamucil Apple Crisp Fiber Thins. Mom eats them with abit of milk.
Yep....it is great now. Mom is clean (wears depends) and floors are good and I do not worry about abit of poo here and there anymore....In the beginnning it was bad but with all the nice products out there, it is fine and in some respect, you can check on Mom's health by looking at the poo....so I am not complaining.
"You are not a dirty person at all mom, something must have spilled on you & now you need to be changed into something cleaner, that's all." Smile & exaggerate your enthusiasm; if it feels like you're 'overdoing' it, you're doing things PERFECTLY for an elder suffering with dementia!
I suggest you read this 33 page booklet (which is a free download) which has THE best information ever about managing dementia and what to expect with an elder who's been diagnosed with it.
Understanding the Dementia Experience, by Jennifer Ghent-Fuller
· Do not reason and argue
· Do not demand that they reason or problem-solve
· Do not demand that they remember
· Do not demand that they get their facts straight
· Do not correct their ideas or scold them
· Do not reorient them
· Do not think that they are being uncooperative on purpose
· Do not think that they really do remember, but are pretending not to
· Do not use a “bossy” dictatorial attitude in care
· Do not act with impatience
· Enter into their frame of reality, or their 'world'
· Be aware of their mood or state of mind
· Use few words and simple phrases
· OR use no words, just friendly gestures and simple motions
· Do everything slowly
· Approach from the front
· Wait for a slow response
· Constantly reassure them that everything is 'OK'
· Keep people with dementia comfortable 'in the moment' - every moment
· Maximize use of remaining abilities
· Limit TV or radio programs which they may feel are frighteningly real
· Maintain privacy
· Provide a safe physical environment
· Use short words
· Use clear and simple sentences
· Speak slowly and calmly
· Questions should ask for a “yes” or “no” answer
· Talk about one thing at a time
· Talk about concrete things; not abstract ideas
· Use common phrases
· Always say what you are doing
· If they repeat their question, repeat your answer as you did the first time · Give them a longer time to process information
· Wait patiently for a response
· Be accepting of inappropriate answers and nonsense words
· Speak softly, soothingly and gently
· Recognize that receiving personal care feels intrusive
· Reassure with your tone and manner
· Do one thing at a time
· Talk through the care “play-by- play”
· Be aware of your body language and use it to communicate relaxation and reassurance
· Be sincere
· Use a soft, soothing touch
· Be aware of the individual’s unique triggers
· Be aware that a person with dementia may not accurately judge whether a situation is threatening to them
· They may respond to fear, pain or anxiety by defending themselves with what we call “aggression”
· If they become distressed, stop immediately and allow them time to calm down – don’t try to restart the activity right away
You need to change your behaviour to adapt to the dementia because the person with the disease cannot.
Another good book is Living in the Labyrinth: A Personal Journey Through the Maze of Alzheimer's, by Diana Friel McGowin. Learn all you can about AD/dementia b/c knowledge is power.
Best of luck with all you have on your plate!
It took a while for me to stop pointing to mom "look what you did!" Like you said, my mom also says "I didn't do that" etc. I was an idiot and thought showing mom her mess might make her stop doing it..duhhhh...
I'm hiring a cleaning lady to do a deep clean of the house monthly.
The sad part in all this is, I just do what is needed to keep mom safe & clean. I don't feel talking to her at all since I've to explain the context of everything which is draining me mentally. After 3 years of caring and no end in sight, I've lost patience and do caregiving like a robot.
Good luck to you.
I helped her into the shower, we rinsed her clothes, put them in the washer, cleaned the floor and changed the bedding while she dressed - the whole time I just kept telling her "it is okay - - These things happen to everyone" that I I didn't feel like a servant". Just kept reassuring her, that I love her.
Its been much better now. When she needs help she is not afraid to ask and knows she isn't judged.
I had a very clear and direct conversation with her a few months ago to make it abundantly clear that body wastes and TP are the only items that go in the toilet. No Kleenex, no paper towels, not ever. That did work, and she has not 'forgotten.' At 90, her dementia is more vascular in nature.
I am a nurse, but I will not do toilet hygiene for my mother on a regular basis. In an emergency, of course. When it becomes a daily need, I will put my foot down.
That is my personal choice.
I've been an in-home caregiver for a very long time. If I had a nickel for every time I've heard the "I didn't do that" and the "Are you saying I'm dirty?" I'd have a hell of a lot of nickels.
I'll speak plainly here and please don't get me wrong.
When someone is sitting in their own sh*t there is no pride or dignity to protect. The answer is "Yes, you did do that" and "Yes, I am saying you're dirty because you are". These responses are then followed with, "Let's go and get cleaned up. It will only take a minute".
Always try to be inclusive when it comes to diaper changing and showering. I'm always careful to avoid saying things like, 'you have to get changed' or 'I have to wash you up now'.
With me I always use 'let's and we'.
Of course I've had many stubborn seniors who would literally be sitting in their own sh*t who would adamantly refuse to be changed and washed up. I've had to literally stick clients hands in their diapers to let them see for themselves that they have to get changed and washed up.
If you actually stepped in it, then your mother should probably be in actual diapers and not disposable underwear.
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