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No underwear! Not too much to ask?


Registered User
May 25, 2016
channel islands
So its been a while since I posted and hope you are all ok but I feel the need to check I'm not being over the top with the MIL's care home.

About a month ago we had a call from the care home to say the MIL was asking for new trousers, I pointed out that she had 6 pairs in the cupboard and that they needed to put her clothes out and that I had infact changed her trousers when visiting as she had the same ones on for 4 weeks running. Now they could have been washed inbetween but they should have checked in her cupboard before calling me and at least given her different ones. So I let it go.

This Sunday we went to see and take her out for coffee (we are covid free on the island and no social distancing before you ask!) Anyway she panics and said but I dont have any pants - I need new pants. I said they are in the bathroom so we went in and I got her Tena pants out the cupboard and she popped them on. I bought a new box over 6 weeks ago and they had not even been opened so I know they have not been changing them regularly - she has no others.

So yesterday I sent a polite email to the care home asking that they assist her more with changing clothes and putting clean pullups on as she will not remember and that the closed cupboards are an obstacle due to her dementia. I carefully worded it and said that I understood she probably said she was ok and did not need hlep, but surely with their dementia training they should have checked - is it not a basic care and thought for her dignity to make sure she had pants on?!

I am waiting for a reply but I'm reckoning I will get a letter - but at the end of the day we are paying them so I should not feel bad asking for this should I?


Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
what are they doing all day, residents are always first and foremost. do they toilet her have times when they generally change all residents eg. before lunch, tea and bedtime. thats the basics then they can keep an eye on her skin for redness sores etc and pick up uti from the smell. also to make sure she is actually urinating. i used to work in a care home and made sure we took dirty clothes away for washing so that residents had fresh clothes on the next day. thats what you pay for to care for your mum. sorry i get angry when i hear that residents are not getting the care they require. has she had an assessment as to her needs. do they have a care plan in folder or whatever that tells them and should that be updated ?


Registered User
Oct 21, 2019
I agree you need to be asking the questions.

In my experience so many ‘problems’ are simply failure of communication?
Example ‘ I hate those Tena pants they make me itch’
So the care staff use disposable net pants and slip pads ?
But don’t tell anyone?

Has she lost weight or gained weight? My mother seems to have a grudge against trousers that actually fit her, and doesn’t seem happy unless they are about to fall around her ankles?
I would be saying ‘ very happy to buy more trousers, please can I ask why’?

As care staff would you not love tena pants ? Puddles on the floor take so much longer to clean up than a simple change of pants ? So what is the reason the Tena’s really haven’t been used?

I suppose what I am saying is don’t get stressed to early. I always try and work on the principle ‘ nice first’ as I ask gentle probing questions ?
Always hoping things don’t have to escalate !

Remember people with dementia tell one story to one person and one story to another! I listened to my mother tell my auntie how lonely she was, all alone, while I was in the room next door! ( that happened this week)

Please don’t feel bad! You sound like you are doing very well!


Registered User
May 21, 2018
I would definitely ask about it but I know that the care home staff in my mum's home prefer to use pads rather than pull ups as they are quicker and easier to change, and less fuss for the resident (also they are generally provided by NHS, which I suppose they may have organised without your knowing). Is there any chance that they have been using those, with the disposable pants @Weasell mentions instead?