How can I get my mother to wash her hands after using the bathroom?

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My mother has senile dementia and is also blind. She is continent; but doesn't clean herself well when she has a BM. She has it on her hands, under her fingernails and sometimes on her clothes and bedside comode. I have tried rubber gloves and disposable wipes but she forgets to use them. I got her hand sanitizer; but she thinks it is hand cream. Any ideas?

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Sigh! I wish I could think of something you haven't. You aren't alone in this, but that thought doesn't clean your mom's hands. You'll want those sanitizers for door knobs and other places around the house for your own health. I've seen people with dementia digging in their pants - they just don't know not to. For you mom, she can't see the mess, so that makes it different, but just as hard.

Any ideas out there?
Have you seen the movie "Sunshine Cleaning"? You can get a sense of what is needed to clean up bio hazards if you watch that movie...the cleaners have to take a course and be certified. And here you expect a demented woman who is blind to do it?? Cheesh...

This is now "war," and you must arm YOURSELF with what you need to address this health issue. Poop on the body can cause sores. Want a more complex problem, try to clean a poopy bottom that has open infected sores on it...caused by poop and urine.

This is a health hazard, and if this happened in a public place (say your mom pooped in her pants and the mess got on rug at the mall), the mall has a biohazard kit to deal with it. It is a biohazard, no doubt about it.

You have to accompany her to the bathroom, help her wipe herself or do it yourself, get foamy perineal cleanser (No-Rinse Body Bath is good...use a bit with water to refill foamy dispenser.) Get latex gloves, a few boxes of them. Get paper towels and lots of plastic bags. Get more toilet paper.

You help her wipe her butt, and then if necessary totally clean her private parts with perineal soap (no rinse needed). You'd be amazed how you have to rub and rub to get all the poop off. Collect all the soiled paper towels and rubber gloves, diapers/pads, etc. in plastic bag, then another, then another if necessary. Sometimes I add a few tbs of baking soda between bags to help absorb odors.

Get anti bacterial foamy surface cleanser and clean every surface she (and you with your poopy gloved hands) has touched, plus the toilet seat. While she is washing her hands (you make sure she scrubs her hands if they have poop on them), you clean handles of her walker. After she sits back down, you put gel waterless handcleaner on her hands.

If you have to wash clothing with poop, wash them first by hand (or rinse off in the toilet), then totally launder separately. If too gross, just slough off most of the poop into the toilet, and throw away clothing. If possible use bleach on the clothing, or use laundry detergent with grape seed oil, which is used by hospitals and nursing homes. Perhaps use bleach solution to spray down the laundry tub.

I read that one of the most unhealthy surfaces is the folding tables at public laundromats.

It sounds like SHE can't do it and you want an answer to get HER to do it. I've had many discussions with Mom about hand cleaning, public health hazard. She was even a nurse! I'd even harp about her rubbing her eyes...this gives her eye infection...

To me, her bathroom habits are horrifying. I HAVE to accompany her to the bathroom and help her as much as I can. I have the respite caregiver occasionally trim and clean under her nails. There is some saying that "character starts when 'convenience' ends." Dealing with someone else's incontinence (all of it, all the time) is one of those lines in the sand. And if not you, then someone, a professional caregiver.

I can't believe you think you can train her to do this herself. Not just cleaning herself, but all the surfaces and clothing...dysentery anyone? She's at that point...

oh, perhaps a change in her meds will make her more capable. My mom frequently improves after going of meds...Seroquel being the latest disaster. Good riddance to that! Oh, if your mother's habits are that bad, then she could have a urinary tract infection. Clearing that up frequently improves mental perhaps she'll be more able to care for herself.
ThirdTimeAround - it must be exhausting. I wonder: might it be a bit less so if you cut out the discussion part? Once you hear your MIL get to the pulling up her underpants part, knock, breeze in cheerfully and help her wash her hands, acting like it's routine and "all part of the service, here!" You'll save a lot of wasted breath that way.
Hello. My mother 85 yrs old with middle stage Alzheimer's has this same problem. She would get poop on her self, fingers, clothes and bedding. She just doesn't know what she is doing. I had done most of the stuff mentioned above, much easier to use baby wipes. I still have to laundry quite often, more with pee than poop, darn leaky diapers. Remember to take them to the bathroom often. Remember when you go, take them right after.

Since I care for her 24/7. I just go in there with her. In the beginning she didn't want me there. I told her since she had her stroke her brain doesn't work properly, that I have to clean her. I use rubber gloves and baby wipes that I throw in the trash can after use. The wipes cleans any dried and sticky messes. Sometimes she will go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and clean herself incorrectly. in the morning, I'll clean her all over with the wipes. Buy boxes of gloves and cases of baby wipes. Keep a nail brush by the sink for clean up of yucky gross nails. I use soap on the brush and scrub her nails.

After each bathroom use, I tell her she must WASH her hands. I guild her to the sink and tell her step by step how to wash her hands. Even if she doesn't clean herself, at least she seems to remember how to wash up after.

When we go out I always carry a small kid backpack filled with bathroom clean up essentials (gloves, wipes, plastic bags, change of clothes, Depends and sanitizer). When we go to a public place, and she need to use the bathroom. I'm ready to care for her. You have to think of elders as a small child. You are the parent now.
Good luck to you, hope this helps. If you just can't get over the thought of cleaning someone up. You'll need to hire help.
I think all the answers have covered everything. She can't see to do it so doesn't know where the poop has landed.
She doesn't remember good bathroom habits assuming she ever had them.
You have the right idea with the gloves and wipes etc. if it's really bad just stand her in the shower and use a bowl of water to wash her down. I am a great believer in good old soap and water, after all that is what we had in the good old days. Keep wash cloths and towels just for this purpose and launder often. Check and change diaper often as you would with a baby. use a washable waterproof pad on her chair. If thats too hot and irritating put a towel over if for comfort. If you know when she has a bowel movement try and cut her off at the pass by taking her to the bathroom at that time. When dealing with diuretics the worst time will be the first couple of hours so you may need to take her to pee every half hour or so. You can adjust the time depending on how much she pees. Don't try and do anything during that time let her relax with her feet up which will help the diuretic to work better. If you have an early Dr appt give her the pill when you get back home. It will work just as well at 11 AM as 7AM.
There is no correct textbook way to handle this there is only your way whatever works best for you. The very best way of course is to have someone else do it!!!
ThirdTimeAround, you go in there and assist, sorry, you wipe her butt or install a faucet bidet to hose it all down. And you both wash your hands together. So sorry you are saddled with this.
UGH! My husband and I have his mother staying with us 24/7. She has stage 6 b alzheimers. we put up signs but she ignores them most of the time. So I stand outside the bathroom to listen. When I hear that she doesn't wash, I wait until she gets outside the bathroom and tell her to wash. She lies and says she just did. I say I didn't hear any water running. She lies again. Very exasperating! We put sanitizer on her hands in this case. But it is very exhausing also, especially when she has to have Lasix pills and she goes umteen times a day. Unfortunately it only gets worse.
When it comes to bathroom habits it is so hard to change. My sig other, who has no medical or memory issue, will go upstairs to use his bathroom, but comes downstairs to the kitchen to wash his hands.

So that means he had touched the bathroom door knob, hand on the stair railing, then touches the on handle on the kitchen sink. Once I muttered "is the upstairs sink broken?" but that went in one ear and out the other.... [sigh]
glitterart , i am doing excat same thing youre doing hahaha .
yes dad is like a little boy . im his mom . aint that something ,.
born then they grow up into a man and it reverse back toward to begin a baby .
sad but thats how it is . god s ways , i dont know why ... maybe just to let us know someday youre be like that ...
eeek , my hands are so dry its always in water . yes i use gloves when its bathroom time . thank god for those gloves !
Ditto to alzcaregiver. The only thing you can do is physically help her. Even without dementia, the blindness would be a barrier to appropriate hygiene. She needs someone to assist with the handwashing (and any other thing washing too). Failure to properly clean the peri area after urination or bowel movements, as alzcaregiver said, leaves your mom open to infection and skin breakdown. The assistance doesn't always have to come from you. Does she have a professional caregiver at any time during the day? Do other family members assist with her care. Is it time to consider residency in a nursing home or assisted living residence that specializes in memory care? Make sure your mom has the help she needs. Remember, the poor hygiene is likely not only a symptom of her dementia but a result of her blindness.

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