Mother's personal needs

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by dom, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. dom

    dom Registered User

    Jun 13, 2006
    2
    West Yorkshire
    #1 dom, Jun 13, 2006
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2006
    I suspect my mother sometimes forgets to lower her tights when using the toilet because I keep finding her wet tights in the dirty linen box. The toilet seat is also left with urine drops on it and the toilet mat is
    sometimes wet. I am also not sure if she is washing herself properly when she has a shower because I can sometimes smell stale urine on her. I am her son aged 57, and I am embarrassed about asking her if I can be of assistance. I wonder if it is morally right to help her with intimate tasks?
    I am her only child and she brought me up on her own and I have lived with her all my life.
     
  2. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    715
    You are certainly in a very difficult situation

    I suspect your Mother will not be happy to be asked about this by her son or helped

    Others may have experience or views on the subject
     
  3. mel

    mel Registered User

    Apr 30, 2006
    1,656
    Sheffield
    Hi Dom
    tricky one!
    my brother cared for my mum for a year and he found this very difficult....Whenever I went over,washing ,bathing etc was left to me,understadably....and mum didn't like me helping either although she is fine with it now.
    Social services told me they are able to send in a careworker to help with bathing etc and I'm sure you would find this very helpful
    Wendy
     
  4. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Hi Dom, and welcome to TP.

    If it’s any ‘consolation’, I can tell you I felt VERY strange when I first had to starting helping mum with ‘personal hygiene’ – and I’m her daughter. I don’t think it’s unnatural at all for you to feel embarrassed – rather that you are being so considerate for your mother’s and your own feelings (Hang on to that, Dom!)

    My mother ceased to wear tights a couple of years ago (mobility rather than memory problems) but I guess it has done us a favour now ‘toileting’ is becoming an issue …. She tends to wear ‘pull-on’ trousers with ‘pop socks’ (knee highs?) … so far she seems to manage quite well – pulling on (or down) a pair of elasticated trousers a world apart from fiddling with the ‘second skin’ that tights provide…… not every woman would want to wear trousers but it’s just a thought……

    I certainly had to help my dad in the past on occasions with some intimate stuff when mum wasn’t around – I’m afraid I never thought of it in a moral sense – just had to get on and do what had to be done for him… perhaps with hindsight we should have arranged for a same-sex carer to be on hand when my mum wasn’t around for him?? I guess I just saw it as being ‘practical’ when those ‘little emergencies’ arose and it never bothered dad in the slightest….. I guess at those times he just saw me as any other ‘female nurse’ who attended to him during hospital stays rather than his daughter????

    What help and support have you got so far (on a practical level)?

    Karen (TF)
     
  5. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Dom,
    I would go with the elasticated trousers and pop socks, women will tell you tights are a pain even when you are well!! Mum also wears pop socks with skirts some times - OK, not the height of fashion, but a darn sight easier.

    I know a male friend when caring for his mum used to have a carer in to help with bathing, as he just could not go there; but there are going to be accidents as the dementia develops, and I am sure that you are not always going to be able to have someone at hand. I too found it quite difficult when I first started having to care for mum's personal needs, but then thought well she loved me enough and cared for me enough to do this, I can do the same for her - so, just another way that we show our love.

    Moral dilemna? Personally I don't see one. Immoral I think if mum starts to get smelly and sore. It will have to be handled very carefully though - fraid you just have to work through your embarrassment, but must make sure that mum is as comfortable as possible with it.

    You'll manage something Dom, I'm sure.
    Love Helen
     
  6. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #6 Margarita, Jun 13, 2006
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2006

    But with my mum its her knickers & trouser & slipers her trouser our elasticised also .



    What happen with my mum her bed to low & finds it hard to life her self up , seem mum holds her urine in to long may be forgets so buy the time she try to life herself up get into the toilet ,its all to late ..............(am getting a higher bed )

    I know it may be embarrassing for you & your mum but if you have a good relationship with your mum sounds like it, could you say something along the line as it’s no problem I don’t mind really, but I am finding you knickers wet est…... we can get help

    Sir jest (spelling) about getting a carer to help her shower observer your mum reaction, leave it a day or two, then phone social severs talk to them if you can get someone in to help her shower or bath.

    My mum did not like the idea at the beginning & could go days with out washing or Pretending to & I had to do it , ( then got a carer in )but seeing you’re a man you may not like the thought of doing it & even other woman do not like washing there own mum so for your own sake , be firm about bring in a carer you may have an argument on your hands about it or you may not , let us know how you get on

    All the best
     
  7. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Preventing UTIs

    Just had to revisit this thread.....

    I would never have known about the potential impact UTIs had on sufferers had people not 'cared to share' here.....

    Perhaps the significance of ensuring cleanliness, freshness, (and cotton undies, etc? - for either gender) is even more important than I first would have thought????? (aside from the socially acceptable etc etc......)

    Just a thought....

    Love, Karen, x
     
  8. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    Tender Face

    What is UTIs ?
     
  9. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    hi Dom

    Had similar problem but other way round, as only daughter of dad with problems. There was no way I was going to "go there" But then he had a partial accident (the male equivalent of peeing on your tights - he tends to not stand close enough and pees down his trouser leg and shoes and socks) when I was taking him into emergency respite care. So I had to sort him out. As he's moved into nursing home I sort of don't have to help, but it can take so long sometimes for someone to be able to come to help that it makes more sense for me to take him to the toilet. And if we want to go out anywhere for more than an hour of so, I have to be able to help him.

    My dad sounds more confused than your mum and it's not realy possible to have much (any) conversation with him about it. One of his more lucid moments though - he said something about not liking my helping him because he never wanted me to have to do that. When I assured him it was OK, and just one of those things, he seemed to settle and be fine with it. I have to say it's not something I feel happy about ..... that I feel an awful lot better than I did.
     
  10. mel

    mel Registered User

    Apr 30, 2006
    1,656
    Sheffield
    In one of mum's more lucid moments she told me she felt" disgusting" because I had seen her in the nude....I found that very sad. Strange how times change.....my kids seem to think nothing of barging into the bathroom when I'm starkers and I can't say it bothers me.....except when they make some comment like"God mum!...can't you cover yourself up....." or "God mum...that's sick".....Excuse me.....? Who barged in on who......??!!:eek:
     
  11. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Wendy, I sooo understand that! (Including trying to get a bath to myself without interruption!) To say my mother was a prude would be the biggest understatement I have ever made here..... (bless!)

    I know I am of that generation (as most of us here?) where mothers and fathers were always 'completely covered up', never went to the 'bathroom' even to 'spend a penny' (let alone de-robe and heaven forbid have a bath!) without putting the lock on the door..... - nothing wrong with that of course, but barriers of what is/ was acceptable are hard to break down for them/us whether it is a matter of cultural norms and/or up-bringing... just another challenge...... (especially when a younger generation confronts us with their own 'thoughts on the matter'!!!!)

    Margarita, UTI means urinary tract infection...... (to me, or at least as I've read it here.....) Found it strange myself that what I would know as a 'water infection', (e.g. cystitis you may have heard of or suffered from) could have an impact on a dementia sufferer..... may have got this horribly wrong - in which case someone tell me quick!

    Whether there is another meaning to UTI, (but I'll stick with this for now) Dom's thread just made me think about whether my own mum might have been suffering .... certainly we had a particularly bad spell of 'missing the toilet' - at the time put it down to her not being physically able to always get to the bathroom quick enough..... although it did coincide with a particularly bad time memory-wise (mum is currently suspected VD/DLB)...

    Ugh, this is an awful thought, but having suffered from a couple of UTIs over the years, I know I could only ever 'spend a penny' if under a warm shower (aside from the painkillers and antibitoics).... imagine how mum must have felt if she was in so much pain but couldn't communicate it....... and couldn't manage to get herself into anything like a warm shower to help herself....

    Sorry better go, not being any help to anyone here.....and just found something else to feel guilty about.....

    Soz, TF
     
  12. dom

    dom Registered User

    Jun 13, 2006
    2
    West Yorkshire
    #12 dom, Jun 14, 2006
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2006
    Thank you all for your helpful replies.
    My mother is 79.
    I employ a lady who comes once a week to bathe my mother and a hairdresser who gives her hair a shampoo and set once a week.
    I have a bidet which she does not always use so she can wash her privates.
    She insists on wearing tights to hide her varicose veins.
    I sleep in the same bedroom as my mother and I lock the door because once she got dressed in the night and wandered outside. I need to be in the same room because she gets up several times a night to go to the loo and I would not be able to hear her calling me if I was in my own room. I tried using a baby alarm but it did not always wake me.
    I want my mother to have dignity and I stay outside the bathroom and remind her to lower her knickers and tights before sitting on the loo and to make sure her nightie or skirt is held up.
    There is an old lady next door and I ask her to change her if she has an accident but she is getting on in years and I feel she does not like doing it.
    She broke her hip ten years ago and I helped her put on support stockings and also helped lower her on the loo and lift her off again. She wore a voluminous long skirt to preserve her dignity.
    About 3 years ago she called me because she could not get out of the bath and I had to break the lock on the door to get in. She had managed to cover herself with a towel while I lifted her out of the bath. Now we keep the bathroom door unlocked.
    I would not want her to go into a home because I love her so much and I feel I need to repay her for all she has done for me. Like the time both my hands were in plaster after a motorcycle crash and she had to attend to my personal needs when I was 20.
    I find it very rewarding caring for my mother.
     
  13. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Hi, Dom, see you’re as sleepless as I am tonight!

    Your mother sounds such a beautiful, dignified lady and you have clearly managed before to help her in practical ways around very personal issues whilst preserving that dignity and avoiding your own embarrassment. Well done, you!!!

    Has your mother had any diagnosis? Have you and she had any assessments about what support you BOTH need?

    Current arrangements don’t sound too perfect for either of you…..

    With love, Karen, x
     

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