1. 1954

    1954 Registered User

    Jan 3, 2013
    I picked MIL up from respite today (which was no rest due to caring for my mum now). She has left the care home stinking of urine (at 10am) and of a smell which to me indicates she's not been monitored when she's washed (she only washes her face). I said nothing because I made a fuss last time over another issue so didn't want to seem an overbearing daughter in law

    Is this acceptable? I feel I should just be grateful for the respite but we have eaten our meal in a urine smelling room!!!!!! She stinks............

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  2. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    I think you need to ask them what's been happening.
    If she's refusing personal care what are their procedures etc
  3. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    North East England
    I don't think you're being silly at all, and I don't think this is acceptable.

    Unfortunately, each time my mam has been in a home for overnight/week long respite (and we have tried several homes) she has come home looking like a bag lady :mad:. This is one of the reasons why dad is determined to keep her at home with him for as long as possible.

    She does go twice a week to a home for day care, and that's working out reasonably well. It's still not perfect, though, and dad just won't consider overnight respite any more, unless in a dire emergency.

    However, I'm not too sure what you should do about it, 1954! I totally understand your reluctance to make a fuss. Perhaps just a quiet word with the manager?
  4. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    North West
    I think that if you were aware of the smell before you left the building it would have been reasonable to ask to discuss it with someone there and then. It's not really about making a fuss but, as Cat suggests, asking some questions.
  5. daisydi

    daisydi Registered User

    Feb 25, 2015
    I had and sometimes still do have the same problem with my mum. I did raise it with the manager and asked if she could be changed before she got to the wet smelly stage and this was written in her care plan. They do manage most of the time and she is a lot better smelling these days!
  6. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    You should ask the question, as soon as the problem is noticed, before the evidence is removed.
    If the home want your custom (even LA. clients have a bill payer) then answers should be forth coming.

  7. Tray2283

    Tray2283 Registered User

    Oct 5, 2015
    After recently putting mum in respite, she went downhill rapidly. Mum went in walking with a stick to barely walking at all. Her groins & under her breasts were red raw. They fed her(she feeds herself), put her in bed all afternoon. There are certain rules that they have to abide by, but that sounds like a personal hygiene issue& should be brought to their attention.
    They should support any mobility& certainly being toile ting& washing your mum. Definitely worth having a word. Hope things get sorted

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  8. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Mum is in a CH and I would consider this unreasonable. OK, "accidents" can and do happen (mum had an "accident" just a couple of days ago), but to be left in that state is not just unpleasant, but an infection risk too.
  9. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    Completely unacceptable and I agree that I would mention it at the time if possible (although maybe not possible at a pick up to do this without your MiL hearing) but I would also put a complaint in writing because it means that they have to do something about it!

    Why is it completely unacceptable - I'm guessing that your Mum would not have wanted to smell of urine before she had her memory loss - she would have been embarrassed, mortified even? So how can it be acceptable for her now? She may not be able to sort out the problem herself, she may not be able to express herself but she deserves respect and dignity and smelling of urine is not dignified and it is not OK. She is in a 'care' home being cared for and this is not being cared for. We would never allow children in a children's home to be in this position so I can't imagine how homes think it is acceptable for our older people. Sorry to rant on!

    One last point if you MiL is suffering in this way on a respite stay it makes me shudder to think how permanent residents are being cared for - so complaints can only make life better for everyone - we hope!
  10. sleepless

    sleepless Registered User

    Feb 19, 2010
    The Sweet North
    Absolutely agree.
    Accidents happen, but fresh urine doesn't smell awful. Stale urine does, and is avoidable.
  11. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    #11 garnuft, Oct 14, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015

  12. 1954

    1954 Registered User

    Jan 3, 2013
    Thank you for replies and helpful ideas/comments. Next time she goes into respite if she's the same I will ask them if she can at least come home clean. She SOUNDS very convincing that she knows what's what!!!

    A new development as well yesterday was that when I picked her up she did not know I was her daughter in law! I was expecting this in the future but it was still a shock

    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
  13. CeliaW

    CeliaW Registered User

    Jan 29, 2009
    #13 CeliaW, Oct 14, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
    Sorry to read this 1954. No it's not acceptable and I would be wary of saying that she should at least come home clean as that implies (although I am sure you don't mean) that it is ok if she isnt for the rest of the time. Perhaps a good way to address it is to email them saying that you obviously couldn't mention it with MiL there but you were distressed by the state in which you found her and not only is this unacceptable and a health risk, you know that MiL would have been mortified if she was aware of it. Suggest that whilst you appreciate persuading someone to co-operate in personal and hygiene care isnt easy, you would like the opportunity to share the strategies you use so that this does not happen again. End by saying you welcome their comments and know that you can work effectively together to ensure this isnt repeated on her next respite care.
    Its not easy to speak out about standards of care but we have to for those who no longer have an effective voice.
    Good luck, if I can be of any help wording a letter please pm me x
  14. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    That is so good CeliaW - we might all use you to word our complaints so firmly and gently xx

    So sorry to hear you MiL didn't recognise you - she may just have been overtired or anxious about something and she has probably seen so many people over the past few days that she may have just tuned out to 'people in general' and thought you were just yet another person in her space that she didn't recognise. I hope that was a temporary blip. To be honest I often don't remember who people are when I meet them in a different situation and I am a fully functioning (!!?!!!) relatively young person. I too 'tune people out'
  15. Dazmum

    Dazmum Registered User

    That's a really good response Celia, and I for one would be horrified and making a fuss if my mum smelled, so no 1954 you certainly aren't being silly xxxx
  16. CeliaW

    CeliaW Registered User

    Jan 29, 2009
    Hi 1954 - what was the outcome of this, did you speak to them or email?
  17. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    Hi 1954 :)

    No, I would say you are definitely not being silly, for the reasons others have stated. I think Celia's approach is a brilliant one, combining a firm but gentle written complaint with an acknowledgement that maintaining personal care is not easy.

    Hope things are improving :)

    Lindy xx
  18. 1954

    1954 Registered User

    Jan 3, 2013
    Sorry to come back to this issue. I picked MIL from respite and she stunk so badly it made me heave! Her clothes were filthy. My hobby felt sick. She had no pants nor pad on. I could smell her filthy feet and stale urine. She looked a mess. To say the least I was not a happy woman

    I very calmly stated what I expect and what used to happen which is

    1. I expect her to be in clean smell free clothes

    2. Where pad and pants which we provide ( but seeing how many left she had worn none)

    3. I expect to have supervised washing as discussed before her first respite

    4. A bath or shower which she will ALWAYS consent to if it is a male present especially the night before she comes home

    She will consent to assisted washing if handled in a kind dignified way but as I said to the carer she sounds so convincing that they believe every word she says

    All her clothes stunk, nothing had been washed which had been done originally hence I provide 3 of everything for one to wear, one in the wash and one clean

    I will give them one more chance then formal complaint!!!!

    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
  19. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    I would detail everything as you have said it in writing. Perhaps I am being hasty, but I think the time for a formal complaint is now.
  20. mrs mcgonnagal

    mrs mcgonnagal Registered User

    May 9, 2015
    No! Not acceptable, does it smell in the home when you walk in? She may not be the only one being left like that. Not fair to the poor lady. Try another place next time maybe.

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