exnewport Asked June 2011

My 96-year-old father is mobile but doesn’t wipe himself after his bowel movements. How can I get him to clean himself?

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I don't want to diminish his dignity. He has been resistant to gentle prodding about trying to keep clean after a b.m. : so he doesn't get a rash, etc. He makes up stories about how others in the family aren't cleaning themself. Should I just deal with the situation the way it is, and wash the sheets daily, and the toilet seat and sink each time he leaves "soiled " marks ?

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Frustratedcg123 Dec 18, 2017
The shower is the best I've come up with and my dad feels fresh. Clean clothes and all. Takes less time than trying to clean every crevice and cleaning up everywhere.
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Frustratedcg123 Dec 18, 2017
My dad has a walk in shower and after a BM I just ask him to step in and I use the removable shower head while he sits in the shower chair and use soap and water. Wala! New clothes on dirty clothes in the wash. I found this is much easier and more effective for a clean person than wiping and cleaning him with wipes.
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HelpingMom7 Dec 2016
@IronMan - thank you for your story. I laughed AND cried. You sound like a wonderful son. I've had similar experience with my mom and am still working on my patience with her because she gets so upset when she has accidents / issues and sometimes takes it out on me as I try to help...but I'm pretty sure that is partly due to her dementia.

Today, I finally started researching bidets and came across this site. (Incidentally, my mom asked for one several years back when her mobility and cognitive functioning was better, but nobody took her seriously.) Because of the hygiene issues she has been having recently, I now take her seriously. I have been reading about the Luxe Bidet This one is designed for females. The slightly less expensive Luxe Bidet Neo 120 is not designed for females and appears to work fine for men (according to the reviews.) These models are not electrical and are less expensive, but should still "do the trick". I would read the reviews and research more bidets to determine if you think you or your loved one might want the additional, nice-to-have features of an electric bidet (e.g., heated water, heated seats, dryer, etc.)

I'll post again after we've used the bidet above for awhile.
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kb4eating Sep 2016
I bought a bidet toilet seat online. You need an electrical outlet nearby. Both water and seat are heated. I saw that Kohler now sells a bidet/toilet combination with a sanitizing uv light. I think the Japanese are on to something. All toilets should have this feature, it's really nice to be clean.
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IronMan Mar 2015
Seeing all of these responses will be so very helpful to me! Thank you all so very Much! I'm a gay guy and have always helped my mom and dad dress and bathe in their senior years just to be their for them! I remember one time when my dad went to go and poop. He's always been very modest and one never to ask for anything, let alone help! I'd always make sure he was seated properly then give him time to do his thing standing outside the door. This one time he got up and was on his way and I said I'm coming......he said "I'm ok"....so I stood outside the door anyway. Next thing ya know I hear him yelling my name....I ran into the bathroom and there he lay on the bathroom floor after falling off the toilet and pooping all at the same time and couldn't get up. I had just given him a hot shower and clean clothes. He felt so helpless. I picked him up while saying ...... "looks like we didn't quite make it this time so let me get you back in the shower and get us cleaned up dad -- no big deal --that's what I'm here for". He apologized while saying he just couldn't help it.......I stopped him and said oh dad this is nothing......it happens and it's easier for you and I both to just get you in the shower and get us cleaned up.....I have and had then such a positive, reassuring attitude to ensure that it's not his fault and shit happens! We got him clean and sat in his recliner and put his Little House on the Prairie on tv! After cleaning up the toilet, the walls behind it, the floor and clothes, I was pretty tired. One of those beday things would work wonders for my mom now a days. Where do you get one? Right now I go through a lot of Poise pads for her incontinence, depends like underwear, and the cottonelle fresh wipes. Is their a way to order these items by bulk and save money as apposed to buying at Wal Mart?
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Twizard Feb 2015
I found that using a wet wash rag made this easier. It is usually two swipes, to be thorough. Wet it with warm water, wipe, fold and wipe again. It is hard. Get white ones from dollar general or big lots, and put used ones in a diaper pail. Wash with bleach in the water to sanitize. This is hard for both of you. It's easier on them if they don't see your discomfort with the task. The other thing that helps is for you to have the surgical gloves handy by toilet to keep the matter off your hands.
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My Dad used to use this device and it worked really well. Go-Anywhere Bidet by needasystproducts. Hope this helps.
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lindalulu Feb 2015
My friends mom is in great health for an 80 year. She has taken a coulpe of falls. She is afraid to do anything even sleep by herself.she wont do anything to help herself not even wipe after going to bath room.she puts off her personal hygeine even when asked she refuses to do/or help with her care.She is so codependent it is pushing her family away.she act like a child,when someone calls or comes by she lays a guilt trip on them.i see the more you give into her wants (not her needs) the more she takes and want. Does seem to care about any body but herself. I know shes lonely she wont let anyone forget. But she is so emoitoinly draining how can i get her to be greatful for what she has and make do with what she has?
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Here4her Aug 2012
Bevisue: Years ago when my mom helped my step dad potty. She had a wooden spoon she wrapped toilet paper on and wiped him. This became a family joke. After he died and she moved in with me she had several wooden spoons in her kitchen drawers( not the "one she used" and I put them in my daughters boxes she was taking to her new lake house. Funny joke. But it actually worked forwiping. Then flush the paper. I looked online for something like this....too much information
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Bevisue Aug 2012
Is there any sort of hand help that extends with a sparate throw-a-way wet cloth on the end of it? You know, kind of like a back scratcher.....something that will reach back to the area that needs to be wiped. My mother's arms are not long enough, and she has arthritis to complicate matters. She is 95 years old. Please advise.

BB in Houston
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