Not coping well with toileting mum

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Crystaltipsy, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. Crystaltipsy

    Crystaltipsy Registered User

    Sep 4, 2019
    Hi all - mum recently got to the stage where she not only needs taking to the loo but also full assistance with cleaning up. She's in a home but obviously when I visit and/or take her out she asks me to take her to the loo (side note she has low blood pressure from not drinking enough which I suspect is linked to the fact she struggles to locate carers when she needs the loo due to them being stretched and her sight issues). So, I recognise this is something I need to do for her, but, everytime I struggle to not be sick when I'm doing it. And it's making me dread the visits. Is it just me and if not, any advice on how to deal with this? I have the wipes and gloves FYI.
  2. Amber17

    Amber17 Registered User

    Sep 20, 2019
    #2 Amber17, Oct 20, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
    I can understand where you are coming from, it’s not the nicest thing to deal with, and like other posts it is true she’s in a place where they should be doing and not you when you go to visit. You should be able to go visit happy and not feel put off. Just tell the staff when your mum needs the loo, once it’s out the way you both can spend quality time.
  3. Quizbunny

    Quizbunny Registered User

    Nov 20, 2011
    As your mum is in a care home it is perfectly reasonable to ask the carers to take her to the toilet when necessary. I always ask them if mum obviously needs to be changed, and they are happy to do it.

    I love my mum but I don't particularly want to perform this service, and there are carers there for whom this is a normal part of their job.
  4. Jaded'n'faded

    Jaded'n'faded Registered User

    Jan 23, 2019
    High Peak
    My mum's also in a care home and I certainly won't change her. I'm sure she'd prefer me to the carer though she usually tolerates them quite well, but it ain't gonna happen!

    No, just no. We don't have that sort of relationship and she pays plenty for her care home place so as far as I am concerned, the carers can do it.

    I remember once when she was in hopsital and she was lying - literally - in a pool of urine (clearly it hadn't just happened) even though a nurse sat just across from her bed, apparently keeping an eye on the 4 patients in the ward. I raised merry hell and eventually a reluctant nurse came but seemed to expect me to help. I just said, 'I'm sorry but that's your job - I'll come back when you're done.'

    Don't feel guilty - not all of us are cut out for wiping bottoms.
  5. silver'lantern

    silver'lantern Registered User

    Apr 23, 2019
    I agree, especially as she is in a care home and you struggle with it. Pass it over to them. We all have our limits and each has a different line, different levels we will go to. I am clear where my line is...... incontinence. Its just no I won't do it. If/when we get to that I am done. Some can do it no problem, but no shame in saying....not me
  6. Determined

    Determined New member

    Oct 21, 2019
    Toileting is not the easiest thing to do but it is doable. If you let her sit on the toilet and do #2 just flush then wipe.
    If she does it in her brief (I am assuming she is wearing one) rip the brief off, fold and dispose of it then wipe.
    You don’t have to see the poop with those 2 suggestions.
    Have plenty of ventilation and a good spray.
    Just don’t let her feel embarrassed.
    Be supportive.
    All the best!
  7. Crystaltipsy

    Crystaltipsy Registered User

    Sep 4, 2019
    This was my thinking, but they seem so stretched and just have an expectation I'll do it if I'm there. The one time I asked them to do it the lady pulled a face and sighed. I'm actually worried about the impact of the staffing on the weekend. We'll, I'm worried about a lot of things - particularly them thinking it was OK to do a care plan review without any family input two weeks after she was hospitalised basically because they weren't assisting her with drinking.
  8. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    I would have a chat with the CH manager. Even when Mummy's home is under-staffed, I have never been made to feel bad for not taking my Mum to the loo. Sometimes we have to wait a bit, if they are busy with other residents, but I think that is reality and we don't tend to wait a long time.
  9. Pete1

    Pete1 Registered User

    Jul 16, 2019
    Hi @Crystaltipsy, I always got the care staff to help Mum with the toilet - they had a buzzer system in the room, so I just used to press that and they had to attend (could only be reset from the room) - sometimes it was a 'false alarm' but they were always ok with it. If they don't have enough staff to attend to personal care needs of residents that is an issue in itself - and there is no way that a member of staff should expect you to perform that task and pull a face when you ask for help! They should be pleased that you are there to provide emotional support for your Mum. I always had a good relationship with most of the care team at Mum's home, they were always busy but that is their job so there would be something amiss if they weren't. My advice would be to request assistance and if the response isn't an appropriate one escalate it further (to the Home Manager), you shouldn't be put off visiting your Mum because of their failure to provide appropriate personal care. All the best.
  10. Toony Oony

    Toony Oony Registered User

    Jun 21, 2016
    Hi again @Crystaltipsy - I am with you on this one. I draw the line at toileting.
    The CH staff should be ready, willing and able to deal with this for your Mum. As others have said, a short wait sometimes may be necessary, but you should not be having to do this.
    If your Mum is at the stage of knowing she wants to go, but is lacking the ability to get there and 'do the job properly' - in my experience this is the trickiest time. Staff may think that as she can anticipate the need, she will voice it - but for a variety of reasons this is not always the case. If it was me, I would have a word with the senior carer or management. Perhaps they could set up a routine round of loo visits for Mum (after coffee; after lunch; before supper etc) for a while? If she has/has had a fluid intake issue, I would hope that they will have been unofficially monitoring her input and output?
    When Mum was cognisant of her toileting needs, I always asked a staff member to take her to the loo. Apart from being unwilling to take the job myself, I wanted to develop a 'status quo' for the times that I wasn't there.
  11. Andrew_McP

    Andrew_McP Registered User

    Mar 2, 2016
    South Northwest
    Dementia taught me that our bodies are not us. We are a collection of memories and habits that need to be gummed together by a sweaty, sticky, saggy, and often stinky bundle of flesh, bones and trillions of bacteria. While initially appalled at the idea of breaking a dozen taboos and helping my mother in anything intimate, in the end it was either me or let her stew in her own juices. So I asked myself how she must be feeling to let herself get like that? How messed up and confused and even scared must she be?

    My powers of empathy proved to be stronger than my powers of revulsion. I'm not one of these who's likely to say to children "you can be or do whatever you want to be, little sunbeams!" because that's not true. But we can all try to be anything we want to be, even if we crash and burn. And we can all try to do things that seem beyond us. That's how they come within our reach. So well done for trying and struggling.

    However if my mother was in a care home I'm sure I'd rather get value for money for her £1k-£1.5k a week. As my mother would have said, you don't have a dog and bark yourself! But I've never been any good at asking anyone to do a job I'm not prepared to do myself, so I'd probably sort her out rather than bother anyone.

    But that wouldn't make me a better person than someone who can't bring themselves to do such things. It just makes me someone who needs to clean their hands a bit more often and a bit more thoroughly than most. :) To be honest though, I much prefer helping my mother in the loo to picking up our dog's poo. The dog didn't help raise me for the best part of two decades.... just tries to cut my life short by getting under my bloomin' feet!

    PS To be practical rather than preachy, buy the nicest, most expensive air freshener you can justify and use it liberally. You never mask the jobbie in hand completely, but you can certainly make it wear fancy dress. And try muttering daft songs under your breath.... "Daddy's taking us for a poo, tomorrow..... poo, tomorrow.... poo, tomorrow! Daddy's taking us for a poo, tomorrow... we can poo all day!" or "If you're happy and you know it, wipe a bum!" Then there's the classic "Only poo, can make this world seem shite, Only you,oo,oo-oo-oo, can make this dark mess right!" Not forgetting the festive hit "So here it is, Merry Shitemass, Everybody's wiping bums!"

    Sounds daft but you'll all be laughing on the other sides of your faces when I release Now That's What I Call Poosic Volumes 1-13 and rake in the (very) filthy lucre.

    Seriously, read up a bit on any kind of phobia training and you can usually soon persuade your brain to be a bit less fussy. It's not always easy though, otherwise I wouldn't still scream like a girl* when a spider catches me by surprise.

    [*The girl in question being Elizabeth Violet Bott, from the Just William books... "I'll thcream and thcream 'till I'm thick"!

    PPS Of course my mother would probably be horrified that I was helping her sort herself out. But then my mother would also be horrified that I hadn't taken her up to the moors in the middle of winter and left her there rather than tolerate her dreadful decline. She'd probably think I deserve to be up to my elbows in poop for not respecting her wishes. :)

    Such is life! Good luck with your mother.
  12. LizzieM

    LizzieM Registered User

    May 6, 2019
    Oh Andrew_McP - OMG that made me laugh out loud after being a big blubby girls blouse with the carers just now. Big thank you - I’ll be ‘humming’ those tunes
  13. Kay111

    Kay111 Registered User

    Sep 19, 2019
    Dying with laughter @Andrew_McP - "You never mask the jobbie in hand completely, but you can certainly make it wear fancy dress." Might get that printed on a mug.
  14. Dimpsy

    Dimpsy Registered User

    Sep 2, 2019
    Well, @Andrew_McP, you've dung your best and proved the point that with the right attitude and a sense of humour, life's less pleasant problems can be dumped.
    It would be a waste not to release your CD in time for Christmas, it's bound to float up the music charts, at least to number two!

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