Mom's incontinence with her bowels.


My 88 y.o. mom lives in an ALF. She wears Depends pull-ups like most of the residents there but taking mom out for a visit with us or a trip to her hair-dresser is becoming a problem. We always ask the aide on duty to be sure to ask mom to use the toilet before she is picked up. Mom is now having more frequent bowel movements anyway. I am ashamed to say this, but my sister and I both have "weak stomachs" and have a hard time cleaning mom up. We don't want to embarrass mom but cleaning her up is hard. (I do it if I have to but in public restrooms there is very little room to take off her slacks and Depends to clean her and put clean Depends and her slacks back on--even in the larger handicap stalls. I feel confused and guilty b/c I know that taking mom out to lunch, to a dentist or doctor's appt or hairdresser is getting harder to manage. Does anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions?

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I've found that using a fiber laxative powder, you know, the orange flavored type, is very useful in keeping the stool firmer and more regular as well. It's what we had to give our kids when they got diarrhea. Get the kind that has the sugar in it, not the sugar free stuff. You'll see if it sits too long it turns to jello ;) 2-3 times a day if you can. Good luck!

I wanted just to add the shaving creme foam type aides in the clean up.

I wish there were a cure for this problem. When I bring mom to her doctor, he has said to eat yogurt or take the beneficial bacteria in pill form. also said she might have less "sensation" that a BM is about to occur if the stool is too soft or watery, so we tried Metamucil (which yes is sometimes used for constipation) but can also be used for diarrhea--to bulk up the stool anf make it easier to "sense" that there's something there.

My mother has both fecal and urinary incontinence when going out we don't go out long. I have time time her water pills and watch what we eat before we leave. She wears a diaper plus a plastic panty and her slacks. I put a throw rug on the car seat and extra pads in her walker. She doesn't like to go far so the MD and beauty shop are close by and if we go out to eat it is always after an appointment. This is nothing new with her. She has embarrassed me many times with women running out of the restroom because of the smell. When someone has their gallbladder removed the smell of feces is extra awful. Be sure to carry the plastic gloves, air freshener and try to hold your breath.

My mom 94, same problem with advanced dementia.
What I carry on outings / keep close at hand in the bathroom:
Large squirt bottle ( I re-used a dish liquid bottle), sometimes baby wipes.
1 roll of bounty ( to clean toilet seat and wipe outside wet bottom and inner thighs)
Gloves (medical grade)
Plastic bags (for containment of soiled undies).
A change of clothing including socks (you never know how far the prob can travel).
When out and about:
The undies with "stripper" side release are quickest and easiest for all involved to remove.
Bottle (any squirt bottle will do) fill it with mild soap and warm water have her bend forward (squirt) then lean back with legs open (squirt).
Wipe with bounty or baby wipe (they smell nicer) and she can use them on her hands as well during the cleaning process.
I also convinced her to add a pad to her panties. If the prob is light the pad can be quickly removed and replaced (without changing diaper panties).
I find visual cue's work best. Go through the motion you want them to imitate such as wiping, washing hands etc.
Women need to keep their nails sport length or shorter as often poop gets under the working hands nails if they they clean themselves.
Also watch for long sleeves cuffs) that get soiled in the process if they clean themselves.
Depending on her med's and food intake bowels move on a regular basis particular to the person.
Keep track of the movements as you would a puppy.It will help predict events.
My mom goes every other day, all day ( no matter what she eats or drinks).
This perfectly natural for her.Everyone is different.
It begins an hour after after breakfast so I prepare for the storm that will hit first with light flurries than with gale force.
Laxative dependancy is something you want to consider if you use them.They often make a bad situation worse but are used in some facilities to regulate clients on a schedule and in home care where elders complain of not being able to go.Bowel fixation is a common malady.
Once the body's eliminators give up most people aren't even aware they are going nor are they aware of the odor.
A one to 3 hour schedule of changing protective pants or pads is a safe bet against offending escapee's.
Bed protection:
I buy full size, inexpensive plastic backed bed pads for my mother's twin bed.
They protect the sides of the mattress.They wash and dry easily and quickly and are easier to remove because they are oversized.
Your tummy: will get used it........we can all vouch for that.

I realize this is very late, but my mom and I have to deal with this sometimes too. She only leaves house "well-padded" and never eats anything before an appointment. We have all appointments around 10:00 or so she won't get too famished. She insists on having a bath towel folded triple on the seat in car and brings her extra clothes, wash cloths etc (huge purse!). At home sometimes she has to run to toilet, and once in awhile doesn't make it. I hate having to clean up that.. my best advice is to eliminate as much sugar & dairy as possible. Also have some soft white rice before each meal. Encourage her to snack on white rice (quite a variety of ways to dress it up, even pat of butter & cinnamon). Also avoid coffee and citrus. Hope this helps someone. The doc prescribed cholestramine powder (which is mainly uses for high cholestrol, but also can be used for diarrhea), she doesn't notice a huge change, kind of meh.

Thank you for your advice. I will try to schedule appts for times when she is unlikely to have an accident, and packing a ready bag would be wise. Unfortunately, I am a "one man band" doing all this!

Any incontinence clean-up in a public restroom is a nightmare. At home, at least we have commode over the toilet, so that we can access the perineal area and do a thorough cleaning, not to mention that the sink and the trash is right there, handy.

I'd be careful with the anti-diarrheals since they might give her grief afterwards and returning to normal stools.

You may just have to make tactical plans .. before you go somewhere, make sure they HAVE an accessible stall. Bring with you everything you need to help clean up any mess (we have a 'ready' bag .. a backback filled with all the necessities). Ask the aides if she has a time of day when she normally does NOT need to move her bowels, and schedule your appointments accordingly. There are disposable wash towels, that you add hot water to the container. There are hand-held bidets. Have a training session (or two or three) with her aides to help you cope with the actual cleaning (how would THEY handle it, in similar situations). If it becomes more and more difficult to handle/control, you might consider enlisting an aide to accompany you on your trips.

If it's the case that she has frequent diarrhea, maybe it's a response to meds and other conditions that are treatable (maybe it's not "situation normal" .. worth having it checked out with the doctor).

I too have had to take mom out of the nursing home to the doctor and have had to clean her up in a public restroom. It is a nightmare situation. Currently she is having loss of bowel control in the nursing home more often but for some reason they won't give her an anti-diarrheal. This is awful for her.

I want to thank jeannegibbs and karieh for their suggestions. I will look into them!! :)

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