Personal Hygeine.

gerrie ley

Registered User
Apr 10, 2006
83
86
bradford yorkshire
cats and baths

We carers all seem to have the same problems My wife Mollie is terrible with hygine she mixes all the cats food with her hands and then gets it on the door handles the kitchen taps the fridge handles on the floor in the hall her hands are always sticky.Bathing is a problem Mollie ballooned from 7stone to over 11 I had to try to lift her out of the bath.In the end I bought a battery operated bath lift it cost £400 but its worth every penny.I have a bad time getting her to bathe once a week our daughter in law asked how many times we bathed I told her mostly three times a week I mean to say we were brought up to having a bath once a week in a tin bath in front of a coal fire and it hasnt done us any harm Is it that people are more mucky in these modern times or what? Regarding toilet problems Mollie wouldn change her knickers and would keep pads in them for days and days they were disgusting.She has become incontinent and the district nurse bless her came and assesed Mollie she organised medium sized pads and disposable knickers.I make sure the pad is changed every morning as she also sleeps in them.The outcome is no smelly knickers and no smelly bed The nurse is brilliant
 

Gill W

Registered User
Jan 31, 2007
190
Co. Durham
Gerrie

We've just taken delivery of a battery operated bath seat from Social Services. I asked for some assistance with bathing Gran as Mum was having a fine old time trying to rescue Gran when she slipped off the back of her bath seat. It's impossible for me or mum to lift Gran like that due to back injuries, so we had to do something.

Gran wasn't getting bathed at all at one point, a fact which went unnoticed until mum and I both realised the stain on the bath had been there for a number of weeks, and set things rolling with social services.

Gran always tells us she can't be bothered to get a bath, but she's blatantly ignored and stuck in it. And miracle of miracles, we now have a carer bathing her at least 3 times a week!!!!! Previous to this we were told to do it ourselves.

Gran has trouble remembering not to remove her pad when she goes for a wee. We frequently have to lead her back into the bathroom to reinsert it. We've had to buy things for the bed as she was wet a lot of mornings. Haven't seen exactly what it is that mam has for her, but will show her the site you've given Margarita, thanks for that hot tip.

I don't think I mind the smell of urine, or otherwise, as much as I do the smell of MASKED urine, when someone's attempted to mask the odour with talc or a really stron smelling perfume? God that offends my nose, I'd much rather smell the original smell and open a window!

I guess personal hygiene, or lack of it, just proves the point that the sufferer is quite a long way down the road doesn't it? Especially if they've previously been meticulous about it. Just a goddamned shame it has to happen, and its so hard to have to invade their space to keep them clean and dry. Their dignity is soooo important and it all seems to go out the window with dementia.

Pray god it never happens to me.

Gill
xx
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
Thank - you Splat for taking the time to explain .

I use to get confused in trying to understand the difference diagnosed of AZ and when people say they have been diagnosed dementia , when AZ I learn is the decease and dementia is the symptoms .

(back in the time ) when doctor say he sending mum to see consultant at memory clinic , I have always percived memory clinic or any thing with lost of memory as amnesia , so when they told me mum has AZ and she going to lose all her memory I did not no all the symptoms that went with it .



Then when I read on TP people saying dementia memory lost & people out side TP , listening to them just seem to me that people reaction expression change when I say AZ compared to when if I say dementia.


yes it must be hard for you as your MIL still regards herself as a guest and you trying to respect her dignity .

Only thing that I suppose that can help is a lot of air fresheners xx

GillI asked for some assistance with bathing Gran as Mum was having a fine old time trying to rescue Gran when she slipped off the back of her bath seat
That does sound dangers , does your mother not have a bath seat with a back rest , ( Like a chair ) ?

Since we more we do not have walk in shower so

my mother occupational therapy order mum a bath life that has a seat thats like a chair and remote control that lift her down into bath , then life her up .

Is your grandmother one like that ?
 

karenlsinging

Registered User
Jul 10, 2007
25
Edinburgh
Margaret W said:
I just wonder if we are all a bit too neurotic about hygiene/cleanliness these days.

She does have "a good wash" every day, meaning the top half only.
My darling mum (77) and has Alzheimers and my dad (75) is her full time carer, with help from us (although difficult as we work full time) and a Day Centre 3 times a week. She has gone from a stunner who looked 10 years younger than she was to a very old lady in the last 5 years.

I am going to show this thread to my dad as he is obsessed with the fact that mum will not wash herself "down below" in the mornings. He mostly manages to get her into the shower once or twice a week (and has the battle scars to prove it) but he keeps insisting that she wash herself between her legs and has taken to forcing the sponge down there himself with the resulting battle! I have never smelt body odour from her and she too never uses deodorant (don't know about previously). I have been taking her swimming once a week for the last year but she is reluctant to go now (pool is never very warm) and not keen to get in shower afterwards but once she does she proclaims "Oh, that's wonderful!" You wee ******, I think to myself!!

Her hair now looks like she's been dragged through a hedge backwards and dad takes her to the hairdresser every Saturday but recently she refuses to go so he gets on the phone to me and has me tell her that I made the appointment for her and then she agrees no problem! Even if he tells her it's so she looks nice for going out that night (whether they are going out or not) she says she doesn't care, but if I say the same thing there's no problem. She has a treasure of a hairdresser who doesn't bother if mum is verbally abusive towards her and says her hair is horrible when it quite clearly isn't!

The PJ battle happens every night and dad has come to dread every single bedtime. He puts her PJs on the radiator to warm and then she decides to go to bed and will say she is going to the toilet but then goes off to bed with her clothes still on without coming back in to the living room. He is horrified when she goes to bed with her clothes on and won't put her PJs on yet if my sister in law or I are there with her at bedtime we don't have half the problems he does with her.

CPN visits him regularly and he appreciates the chance to talk to her. She keeps trying to persuade him to let mum go in for respite or to get "tuck in" carer but he won't have it. "Your mum wouldn't like it" is his war cry. I mentioned the possibility of a carer coming to help her dress/undress to her about a year ago when she was very mixed up getting dressed and she said "Don't you dare. If you do, I'll never speak to you again" so you can see why I'm not pushing it!

It's all in the tone of voice!! It's easy to say as I don't have her 24/7 like he does but he loses the rag too easily! TONE OF VOICE, I say!!
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,391
Kent
Welcome Karen.

I began this thread because i was concerned about the decline in my husband`s standards of hygeine.

Having read the responses, I now realize there are many with far bigger problems of resistance than I have, so I`ll stop grumbling and count my blessings.

On reflection, I think what all of us, who worry about decreasing standards, are trying to do is preserve the dignity of our nearest and dearest. We don`t want them to smell, to look scruffy or uncared for.

However much we try not to be influenced by what others think, we don`t want people to look at them and think no-one cares for them anymore.

It is society who judges people by appearance. When the time comes when those with dementia are unable to maintain standards of hygeine, we, as carers don`t want to be found wanting.
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Hi Karenlsinging

Welcome to TP.

It is difficult, isn't it? I look after my husband full time, and I recognise many of the problems you describe.

I don't have ant problems with washing him (so far), I put him in the shower every morning first thing, and 'hose him down!' But I do know how difficult it is to get someone to do what they don't want to do. Your mum might well be sensitive about your dad touching her 'down below', any sort of intimate contact can be frightening. It could be that she would accept it better from a stranger, so a bath nurse would be a good idea. Perhaps the CPN could persuade her. I don't think it will achieve anything for your dad to keep trying himself, she will only become more resistant.

As for the PJs, is it worth fighting over? It really is better to avoid any conflict you can.

It's all in the tone of voice!! It's easy to say as I don't have her 24/7 like he does but he loses the rag too easily! TONE OF VOICE, I say!!
Please don't be too hard on your dad! It's hard work, caring 24/7, and though we do try to be patient, we're not saints! Your dad is working harder than he has in his life, and getting little in the way of thanks.

I'm sure you and your SIL are doing all you can to help him, but I hope you also tell him what a great job he's doing. It makes so much difference!:)

Keep posting and let us know how you get on. Perhaps your dad would like to join too?
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Grannie G said:
It is society who judges people by appearance. When the time comes when those with dementia are unable to maintain standards of hygeine, we, as carers don`t want to be found wanting.
What a good point, Sylvia.

Our loved ones, when they reach a certain stage, care nothing for their appearance, or what others think of them.

But we do, don't we? We like them to look clean and well cared-for, and to behave well in company -- but for whose sake? Their dignity, or ours?

Something to think about there!:confused:
 
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jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
You know, can I just make an embarassing admission? My adult children (18, 21) quite often sleep in their clothes! They HAVE nightwear, they just don't often use it - I have no idea why as I would find sleeping in clothes way too uncomfortable. I tell you this so that you can see there is a range of "normal" out there (although I'll accept that they may NOT be normal) :D With my mother I have the opposite problem - clothes off at the drop of the hat, even in the day time, and I'll tell you: that can be fairly problematic. I have now given her a variety of Kaftans: sort of in between day and night wear.

Jennifer
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
Gosh

karenlsinging your father does sound very stress , trying to was your mother .

Its good that he got you to give him a break


She has a treasure of a hairdresser who doesn't bother if mum is verbally abusive towards her and says her hair is horrible when it quite clearly isn't!
I remember back in the days when I started caring for my mother & going with her to the hairdresser , she use to be right grumpy , but they also was very nice to her, but then as time went on , my mother found it hard to coordinate , tilting her head backwards to wash her hair, so then they would try to spray her hair with water not wash it , she would get very angry , also could not take the nose in the hairdresser, and keep moving her head that the woman nip her ear .

So my friend who is a hairdresser that lived near me would come around to the house to cut my mother hair , mum really wanted a perm she done a perm on mum, in our home with me helping to wash it out .

Then I found out that social services have phone number of people that will come to your home to cut the person hair .
 

karenlsinging

Registered User
Jul 10, 2007
25
Edinburgh
Thanks to you all for your kind words.

I understand completely that he wants her to look the smasher she always did and everyone does comment on it. He does a fantastic job with her, even when she brushes her hair with her toothbrush and ends up with a hairdo like Don King! At the moment it's better for her to go to the hairdresser, chiropodist etc (chiropodists says it's then an outing with a purpose which is better than a home visit for patients). But I will go with her on a Saturday when I can to keep her happy as I can chat to her while it is being done.

I think he needs to let go of the washing thing as a shower twice (or three times if we go swimming) a week is better than nothing at all. I think a bath carer would need to be in uniform as she seems to recognise uniform as authority and would probably co-operate better but again, he won't even let us try it. He thinks she would tell the carer to get out, which she probably would, but I know from reading these forums that professional carers are a thick skinned lot! He needs to get over the embarrassment factor.

His concern about washing her is probably because she is not always wiping herself properly after going to the toilet. Sometimes she just shakes, sometimes she uses paper (and then puts it down the plughole instead of the loo, but that's a whole other thread!). Sometimes she even lifts the poo out of the toilet and wraps it in parcels and puts it in the washing basket, or tries to put it down the plug hole too. I can see an industrial order for anti bacterial wipes coming on!

As for the PJ battle, again it is a sense of normality he is trying to retain.

Karen
 

sue38

Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
10,854
51
Wigan, Lancs
karenlsinging said:
He does a fantastic job with her, even when she brushes her hair with her toothbrush and ends up with a hairdo like Don King!
:D :D :D Keep that sense of humour Karen.

My Dad has AD and is cared for my by Mum. I can identify with a lot of what you are saying and have come to learn from people on TP that the relationship between a parent and child is very different from that between a husband and wife. I think that as children we are that bit removed and perhaps better able to see the bigger picture than someone who is caring 24/7. I know if I cared for my Dad 24/7 I would be the one being checked in to the nursing home.

I may feel 'so what' if my Dad takes the dog for a walk in his silk evening trousers. They needed to go to the dry cleaners anyway. But for my Mum this is a major issue. What will people think?

When I was away on holiday the other week I rang home and spoke to my Dad. He told me he was in trouble with my Mum but couldn't tell me why. When she came on the phone I asked what the trouble was. She did sound a bit sheepish when she confessed that she had shouted at him for putting raspberries in his bowl and then putting strawberries on top. OMG. You see in her opinion you put the strawberries in first! :eek: I told her that if he wanted to put mashed potatoes on his strawberries, let him if it makes him happy. IT DOESN'T MATTER!!

I'm sure it was down to the stress she is under but also she wants him to be 'normal' and I do understand that it is easier for me as a child than for her as a wife to accept the changed behaviour (except when it comes to strawberries and raspberries).

Our loved ones, when they reach a certain stage, care nothing for their appearance, or what others think of them.

But we do, don't we? We like them to look clean and well cared-for, and to behave well in company -- but for whose sake? Their dignity, or ours?
A very good point Hazel. I think also we want to be proud of them because we love them.

Sue
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
. Sometimes she even lifts the poo out of the toilet and wraps it in parcels and puts it in the washing basket, or tries to put it down the plug hole too. I can see an industrial order for anti bacterial wipes coming on!

I can see why that can stress out your father out , is your mother on any medication for AZ ?

my mother I put a pad on her this morning ( she still uses the toilet ) but wets herself

then she go to day-center , Just now I go into toilet , where she left a long wee all the way to the toilet , because she taken it of , I see wet knickers in toilet , but no pad she must of taken it of at day-center.

I do say to her that she could not take it of ! and all she says is forgive me , forgive me . what can I say to that ! nothing just clean it up and moan on hear :rolleyes:

I have notice she only take it of when she go to AZ day-center not at social services day center
 
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Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
PS

I new I just new it ( its a man fault ) mum took it of because she dance with a man at day-center so thought he may see it , I just have to :) because they no logic in it . How he going to see it , I don't even say that to her , because she never get my point :D
 

karenlsinging

Registered User
Jul 10, 2007
25
Edinburgh
Margarita said:
I can see why that can stress out your father out , is your mother on any medication for AZ ?

my mother I put a pad on her this morning ( she still uses the toilet ) but wets herself
Yes, she is on rivastigmine (I think) and recently doctor has given her some other kind of medicine to help with the aggression. She accuses dad of all sorts of things (usually to do with other women) and slaps and kicks him. He has to ask CPN to wait until she has gone to day centre before coming to door to see him or mum will accuse him of having an affair with CPN! He has never, in 57 years, looked at another woman. Everyone asks if the rivastigmine helps but who knows? She might be 100 times worse without it and nobody is going to take the chance and take her off it to find out.

Thankfully we have not needed pads yet, she had an accident last week but that is the only one so far and we are reluctant to use pads yet. Mind you, she tucks everything else down her knickers so she probably wouldn't notice! If you have napkins on the table, hers will go missing and you'll find it down her knickers, whether it's paper or fabric! :D I was watching through bathroom door last night when she went for a pee and she wiped herself but then tucked the paper in her knickers - YUCK!:eek:

I took her swimming last night (sometimes she says ok, sometimes not) and it is hilarious getting her into her swimsuit as she keeps asking why she needs to take everything off! When I say knickers and everything, she says, "But I'm a lady!" It's like something out of Little Britain!:D Once she had her swimsuit on she insisted on putting her shoes back on so you can picture the scene - as I was putting everything into the locker, she was standing there in swimsuit and sensible shoes!:confused: Not a happy bunny when I insisted she took them off. Getting into the pool she always tells me, "I'm soaked through". Well, that would be the whole point I think to myself. :rolleyes: Oh, you have to laugh or we'd be crying all the time, eh?!
 

Splat88

Registered User
Jul 13, 2005
176
Essex
You have to laugh, the variety of subterfuge we resort to!!! And you are right, its us that think we are judged on our carer abilities by the appearance of our charges!!!

I've been gradually throwing away Mary's tattier dresses when I wash them, but now I'm down to the last two or three she really likes and are suitable. Where do you get "old lady" dresses from? I've been down to our local mall, and unless I want to dress her like Kate Moss, I've got no chance! Everything seems to be separates these days, and though Mary has a wardrobe full of trousers and skirts, she doesn't seem to like wearing them now.

Incidentally, I decided to have another go at getting her to shower, and what do you know, after I refused to listen to the usual excuses and went ahead and ran the shower for her, she did actually go in herself. Mind you, the flannel, shower gel and shampoo were all still dry and on the toilet seat where I had left them. Her hair was mostly bone dry as well, so did she or didn't she?? I suppose even her getting in and getting wet is an advance, must persevere more!!!!


I must admit it was only the smell that worried me before, and I hadn't even thought of the hygiene implications. When does an accident become incontinence? I know that her knickers are always in a state when I wash them, and I have sometimes had to get her to change because of stains on the back of her dress. The carpet on the floor of the toilet she uses needs frequent cleaning, but when does a pad become preferable?

And her reaction? I can imagine it would not be received very well.
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Hi Splat

It's a problem when they're at the 'in between' stage regarding continence. John wears pads at night, because he has a severe problem then, but during the day he's usually OK.

Have you seen a continence advisor? They would be able to suggest solutions for Mary. I think in the initial stages pull-up pants are easier to manage and more acceptable to the user than pads, although some authorities will only supply pads. Boots own brand pants are not too expensive, and not too obtrusive.

Regarding dresses, have you thought of using a catalogue? If you look in a women's magazine you'll find adverts for them, and you should find something suitable. The advantage of that is that Mary can try things on at home, and you can send them back if they're not suitable. I can understand her preferring a dress, no tight waistbands, and I agree, the shops are full of little strappy numbers. Not a good look with batwing arms!
 

Nell

Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
1,170
68
Australia
A dress maker perhaps??

Splat88 said:
I've been gradually throwing away Mary's tattier dresses when I wash them, but now I'm down to the last two or three she really likes and are suitable. Where do you get "old lady" dresses from? I've been down to our local mall, and unless I want to dress her like Kate Moss, I've got no chance! Everything seems to be separates these days, and though Mary has a wardrobe full of trousers and skirts, she doesn't seem to like wearing them now.
.
Hi Splatt,

Just a thought on the subject of dresses, which may or may not be useful . . . . ?
Have you considered asking a dressmaker to make two or three (or whatever number you feel is right) dresses for Mary using one of her old ones as a pattern?

In Australia there are usually ads. for dressmakers in the local paper but I don't know about the UK. Any fabric shop would probably be able to give you the name of a dressmaker too - or perhaps female friends would know of someone??

It might be a little more expensive than buying off the rack, but given how difficult that is to do, it might still be worth it.

Good luck!
 

Splat88

Registered User
Jul 13, 2005
176
Essex
Thanks, both very good suggestions, she does seem to favour the same style of dress. I'll try a catalogue and the dressmaker route.

Talking about batwings, she hates her arms and always wears a cardi, no matter how hot it is, but its for the opposite reason, she reckons they are too skinny!!!!! She has actually put on a bit of weight since she's been here and I sure she eats properly, so things are becoming a bit tight round the middle!!!! Skinny is the least of her problems!