Any advice on personal hygiene?

Littlebear

Registered User
Jan 6, 2017
81
Just recently my husband seems to have stopped cleaning himself after a bowel movement. His trousers are getting stained (I've hidden the light coloured ones) but the worse thing is the smell which is getting into the furniture. I've tried reminding him to clean himself but he tells me he has. At home I've just started putting bed pads under the sofa throws but I'd really like some suggestions about how I can get him to clean himself as he smells. It puts me off taking him out.
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,562
Ireland
It sounds like your husband is reaching the stage where he needs a bit of help with this. And that's often easier said than done. At around that stage, my husband would sometimes be ok with me helping him, but other times would be quite upset at the indignity of needing help with it, which is very understandable.
 

LynneMcV

Volunteer Moderator
May 9, 2012
3,739
south-east London
My husband needs help cleaning up after going to the toilet. He tries, but just doesn't always have the co-ordination or concentration to do it properly himself. I'm fortunate in as far as he accepts my help in these matters, and that of carers at the day centre he attends.

It did embarrass him to accept this help at first - but the embarrassment and feeling of shame in not being cleaned up properly was far stronger, so my help became the lesser of the two evils.

I try to maintain his independence by getting him to do what he can first, then just step in for the final flourish with wet wipes or similar. I always tell him he has made a great effort and there's not much for me to do - and sometimes that is still the case.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,378
Kent
Hello Littlebear

Yes I`d advise trying wet wipes, but make sure they are ones which can be flushed if your husband will be using them himself. You don`t want to risk a blocked toilet.

I started saying `shout if you want help` when I first suspected my husband was having problems. It paid dividends because one day he shouted for me and after that it became a regular practice.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
19,704
North Manchester
"Yes I`d advise trying wet wipes, but make sure they are ones which can be flushed if your husband will be using them himself. You don`t want to risk a blocked toilet."

Wet wipes implies wet strength, although they will physically flush down the toilet they can, and do, cause blockages.

United Utilities, who supply my water, have a test you can easily try on the wipes you are using
https://youtu.be/_sUovTFMGDY
 

LynneMcV

Volunteer Moderator
May 9, 2012
3,739
south-east London
I have to say that, even if it says the wet wipes are flushable on the packet I don't take the risk of flushing them down the loo. I've heard too many tales over the years where supposedly flushable wipes build up and cause a blockage.

I pop any used wet wipes into fragrance nappy sacks which are widely available from anywhere that provides baby supplies, then they get disposed of with the household waste.
 

Tin

Registered User
May 18, 2014
4,825
UK
I have to say that, even if it says the wet wipes are flushable on the packet I don't take the risk of flushing them down the loo. I've heard too many tales over the years where supposedly flushable wipes build up and cause a blockage.

I pop any used wet wipes into fragrance nappy sacks which are widely available from anywhere that provides baby supplies, then they get disposed of with the household waste.
Fell for this one, they do not flush, makes me angry as the brand I bought are still on sale and each time I walk passed them in the supermarket aisle I mutter to myself "no they don't" I am now using small face clothes with oil and warm water, then they go into a bucket to soak in napisan and then washing machine.

Is it possible you could hand him enough loo paper and tell him what to do.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
19,704
North Manchester
They are probably marketed as:-

Flushable - so are plastic bags, they both vanish when the toilet is flushed.
Biodegrable - no statement of how long to degrade, an oak tree is biodegrable.

It's not just blockages it's also problems at the treatment works.
 

Roseleigh

Registered User
Dec 26, 2016
291
If you dont mind spending a little a very good idea is to install a middle eastern bum hose. They are the norm across the middle east and much cleaner than using dry paper alone.
 

rhubarbtree

Registered User
Jan 7, 2015
479
North West
Hi Littlebear. Have just reach a similar point with my OH. I have a very good sense of smell and find this problem very difficult for me. As you say the smell transfers to furniture and stays in the seams of trousers. Others have suggested monitoring toilet sessions but my OH is in and out so much it would take over my life. Agree with everyone on wet wipes.

I decided to try panty pads. Thought these would meet with much resistance but OH was quite relieved. Have sent off for sample of some especially for men (black) but at the moment a packet of night-time ladies ones is working. One more task for me though as he is not able to remember to change the pad when required or even how to put it into pants. (But I suppose most people have put the sticky side up - just once!) I have decided a clean one each morning, after a shower, is sufficient. Been on this regime for about a week and it seems to be working. Hope this helps.
 

Greenman

Registered User
Sep 29, 2016
14
East Midlands
Hi Littlebear. My wife has also reached this stage, her underwear was regularly soiled so, I now have to do the wiping for her. Although she gets aggressive about lots of things she doesn't object to me doing this for her. Unfortunately the problem isn't going to go away so you are going to have to think about doing it for your OH.

A couple of weeks ago my wife remembered that she had to wipe herself after going to the loo but unfortunately she forgot to use any toilet paper so her hands got covered in poo, then everything she touched got covered too. It took me so long to clean and disinfect everything afterwards that I decided that wiping her bum for her is the lesser of two evils.
 

Philbo

Registered User
Feb 28, 2017
752
Kent
Hi

I'm in a similar situation to Greenman. Sometimes, my wife will take herself to the loo but in recent weeks, she tends to just stand there, look at the toilet and then come back out. Fortunately, this mainly leads to pull-up pants getting extremely "full" with urine.

What I have found that helps, is looking for the signs that she needs the loo (she often gets fidgety, or as I said, goes up to the toilet and hangs around). I then prompt her to actually sit on the loo and hang around outside until I hear that she's "been".

I have found that actually taking her trousers and pull-ups off each time helps, as otherwise, she will tend to get up and pull everything back up before I've had a chance to check (she forgot about wiping a long time ago).

If I leave her to her own devices, she ends up with a full pull-up which eventually leaks onto her trousers. By preempting, we sometimes only get through 1 or 2 pull-ups a day.

It can be very time consuming though and it's not so easy if you get out and about. I have found that on occasions when I have tried taking her into a disabled toilet, she won't "go" with me still in the room.

I find the toileting a very difficult aspect to deal with!
 

Calypso

Registered User
Oct 27, 2014
5
Wiltshire
Toiletting

Is he continent? Or does he have issues with incontinence? If it's the latter, try and get a continence nurse to assess him. It may be that he needs pads, or some form of visual prompt. My MIL has been incontinent for a long while now, and at times she is doubly incontinent. She has pads and will only occasionally forget to change it regularly.

If you do go on to use pads, be very aware of him. MIL used to take hers out and put huge amounts of toilet paper in her knickers at first. She did this once when my H took her to the dentist and she left a wet patch on the chair (and in my car). Sometimes you have to find ways to remind them, but make them think changing the pad was their idea, not yours.

The other person to talk to could be the GP. They may be able to signpost you to other professionals who can help.
 

At home

Registered User
May 1, 2016
12
Cleaning up after bowel movements

Hi, my mum has needed help for some time, and frequently soils herself - we were given disposable pull ups from the 'continence team' which have been a life saver, though initially they gave us pads, which didn't really work for her. Can your GP not refer you to the local continence team for help and advice about best products to use? They have saved me a fortune because I was buying the tena ladies prior, which worked out so expensive.
Also for her, since she can no longer wear pyjama's, because they impede putting on clean pull ups, I have cut up all her old Pj's to use as disposable wash cloths to clean her after any bowel movement with warm soap & water. Works much better than wet wipes, and I am mindful about trying to keep her as clean as possible since she has had a couple of urine infections this year, despite my best efforts! She did have a cupboard full of nightwear, so it was good to have a good sort out & put her in nighties instead.
Good luck with that problem, it's an awkward phase.
 
Last edited:

Robertus

Registered User
Oct 28, 2013
4
Personal Hygiene

I did have problems with my wife who has advanced dementia. Regarding the toilet I have to ensure that I take her to the toilet at regular intervals. I use the day pads and the night ones for her and have to supervise any wiping with no protest from her, using the "wet ones" which I dispose of in a nappy sack when used. There are accidents of course but we have to get over these. I have managed to get her in the shower, some small problems sometimes, but if she does not want that, then an all over wash will suffice. I realise that it is easier for me than it would be for a female looking after a male. I attempt to treat her as if things are normal, luckily I can take her out with no protest and we have recently had a weeks holiday in Scotland. Difficulties of course, but not insurmountable.
 

Marigold53

Registered User
Aug 17, 2012
2
Fell for this one, they do not flush, makes me angry as the brand I bought are still on sale and each time I walk passed them in the supermarket aisle I mutter to myself "no they don't" I am now using small face clothes with oil and warm water, then they go into a bucket to soak in napisan and then washing machine.

Is it possible you could hand him enough loo paper and tell him what to do.
Could you tell me please, what kind of oil do you use. Sounds like a great idea rather than just warm water. Would help any skin irritation there?
 

Di Do

Registered User
Aug 10, 2012
3
Devon
Coping with toiletting

I have been dealing for 3 years now with a husband who has forgotten to clean himself after a bowel motion. Has had occasional incontinence but at the moment not a problem. At first he wouldn't let me help clean him up but now we have our routine and it seems to work reasonably well. At first I thought I couldn't cope with doing it but it does get better with time. He has IBS, often goes x3 a day and I now encourage him to go after meals and go into the bathroom with him. I sit on the edge of the bath and chat while he goes so can clean him as soon as he stands up. We do have a bidet which is very handy. If he insists on going in the downstairs loo then I use wet wipes and nappy bags. I blocked the drains once with "flushable" wipes! I line the back of his underpants with a long panti liner, easy to take out and replace if it gets soiled during the day. I have some Tena pants I bought but he won't wear those. If a carer is with him he won't let her see to him, so that is when we do have problems with soiling on clothes and bedding etc I have bought a kylie draw sheet to protect the bed for the next time I have respite (have care in house 24/7 then). He doesn't always realise he needs the loo, will get agitated and pace or go up to the bedroom and start getting ready for bed when he really needs the toilet. I feel I am his early warning system and am on constant alert to signs. We always use disabled loo while out or else I wouldn't be able to go to the loo. He'd wander off or into the Ladies looking for me. At first he wasn't happy with that, but over time it has become the norm. On odd occasions when disabled loo isn't available and he goes in the Gents he has come out with trousers down, anxiously looking for me. I've gone past the stage of being embarrassed now, just help him fasten up and off we go. Hope that helps.