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Urinary incontinence - practical suggestions on how to deal with it please.....

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by piph, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. piph

    piph Registered User

    Feb 4, 2013
    In a nutshell, the story is this: Mum lives alone in her bungalow with carers coming in twice a day. She is very incontinent now and has T***lady pads. Sometimes she forgets to wear them, and sometimes she just floods them. The smell in the bungalow is getting to eye-watering proportions now. She also wets the bed, and then won't allow the carers to change it - she spends a great deal of her time in bed these days, and the bedding is filthy. Her clothes are also very smelly as the laundry isn't being done regularly, and if she wets her trousers, she just puts them on the radiator to dry. Occasionally she will allow one of the carers to put a load of washing on, but very rarely.

    I've had to take a step back from 'caring' as she was getting very angry with me, accusing me of bossing her around and telling her she couldn't do what she wanted in her own home now. I only go over about once a week, and just sit and chat and try not to get get involved in anything contentious. I know she needs more care because she just can't look after herself or her home any longer, but she just won't allow the carers to do much.

    It's so hard to see her like this - she was always very particular and house proud, and, although the house (apart from her bedroom) still looks ok (she has a cleaner once a week), but it smells awful. She also smells bad. I'm reasonably sure that she hardly ever showers or washes her hair any more (she's 'supposed' to shower while the carer is there in the mornings, the 'excuse' being in case she slips) but ALWAYS refuses.

    We've had conversations about it a million times, and, of course, as far as she's concerned, she showers every day!

    I'm at my wits end now and just don't know what to do to ensure that she is at least clean and sweet smelling when she goes out to Age UK on a Wednesday.

    Any advice would be gratefully received, although I have tried everything I can think of, to no avail, so i don't hold put much hope!
  2. daisydi

    daisydi Registered User

    Feb 25, 2015
    No advice really but just to say you could have been describing my mum before she went into care. I got so tired of the constant battles although I did manage to change her bed every day. It was the wet pyjamas on the radiator that used to make me heave! I used to bully her into the shower, didnt work every time, put her clothes in the washing machine and get her clean clothes out. She is now in a care home and they have just managed to get her to shower every day as she was resistant to washing. It has taken them 9 months though. I also used to put a pad into her pyjamas ready for her. Sometimes it worked but more often than not she took it out! It is very very difficult. As far as carers were concerned they couldnt do anything for her because she said no to everything so we stopped them as it was a waste of money. Good luck
  3. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    I know it sounds a bit brutal, but could you try telling her firmly that she can't go to Age Uk unless she showers and puts on clean clothes, because she will smell and the other people will object?
    Would not work unless she really wants to go, of course.

    The only way my sister could ever get my mother into the shower was by telling her in very plain words that she smelt.
  4. jimbo 111

    jimbo 111 Registered User

    Jan 23, 2009
    North Bucks
    Hello piph
    I know this does not answer the problem of urinary infection as such
    but for many years we had this problem with my wife, and now , even with the greatest care I have the problem personally febreze antibacterial is a good way of eliminating urine smells
    There are many methods ,and proprietary brands of disinfectant available ,but I have always found this product good

  5. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Quite frankly, and I know you probably don't want to hear this, but someone who lives alone and resists care ought to go into a good care home. She can't look after herself and she won't let you do it. In a safe setting with other people around she might. Either way, resisting or not, it's in her best interest to be looked after properly, to eat well, get washed, take her medication etc. Her own household seems too much for her now so please take the anxiety away from her.
  6. piph

    piph Registered User

    Feb 4, 2013
    Thanks everybody.

    Beate - I know you are right and I do agree. However, Mum won't, that's for sure. We have spoken about a care home, but she wants to stay at home for as long as possible. I have pointed out to her that if that's the case, then she must start being compliant with the carers, and she always says that yes, she understands, she will, but it just never happens, as she's totally forgotten about the conversation we've had hundreds of times within a few minutes. However, she's not so far gone that she can't fool everyone but a few of us that she's just fine. Even some of the carers are fooled, and, she truly believes that she does all these things herself. Unfortunately, she remembers doing them, but of course can't remember whether it was today, yesterday, last week, last month, last year or years ago. So, as far as she's concerned, she's till doing it all. The SW says that we just have to wait for a crisis to happen, or an admission to hospital after a fall or infection. She doesn't fall, and, despite the lack of hygiene, doesn't seem to get any infections. So all I can do really is to do as much as I can, when she'll let me, and just wait! :(
  7. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    North East England
    Mum wasn't incontinent as such at home ( infections aside) but insisted she'd showered and washed her hair every day:confused:... she smelled dirty:(. I told her that:eek:. She would then let me wash her before her lunch club..... She was a proud woman!!:rolleyes: In her case saying " Your hair smells" was the answer.
  8. piph

    piph Registered User

    Feb 4, 2013
    Yep, been there, done that, got the b****y T-shirt! She just looks indignant, and says she doesn't know why she should smell, she showers every day! Talk about a loop!

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