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I am having a very hard time cleaning up my mother after a bowel movement. She is on hospice for cancer. She is bedridden and can barely move her lower half. To begin with, I personally am not cut out for this part of caregiving. She feels bad, and I feel bad for dreading doing it. She wears a catheter so its just bowel movements. A bedpan is too hard to get under her and she says she can't go that way. So pads are under her. I roll her on her side which is so hard. I bend her top leg and try to get her clean. I try not to let on like I'm a about to throw up. Whats wrong with me? Some people do this and never flinch. I am so uncomfortable cleaning her and she as well. God help us!

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I prayed that Mom would not have a bowel movement everyday. She was on iron pills made it worse. And I an sensitive to smells. Mom could use the toilet so I used toilet paper and to clean her up well I used Huggies baby wipes with Aloe. They are bigger than lady wipes and thicker. Do a lot better clean up.

This is the downside to Hospice in the home, untrained family members are left to do the hard work.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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My husband was completely bedridden for 22 months before he recently passed way. He also had a permanent catheter, and was under Hospice care. I had to pay an aide to come every morning to lift my husband out of bed and put him on the bedside commode, so he could poop. When he was done, she would hold him up while I cleaned him up, and then she would put him back in the bed. It was so much easier to do it that way. I found an aide that worked for herself and not an agency, as most agencies have a 3-4 hour minimum and I only needed her here for 1 hour. She was a godsend. Maybe you can try that.

Otherwise I know on the days that she gets bathed by the Hospice CNA's, they will clean up any poop she might have on her as well. I would never have been able to clean up my husband by myself, as he was a 2 person assist, and I am not that strong. I feel for you, and wish you the best.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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some people are cut out for that line of work and others are not. I happen to be able to change babies but adults is a different beast.
hospice doesn’t do this for you?? Getting her regular and on a poop schedule is a must. Hopefully you have someone coming in to help you and you can get her pooping when they come.
in the end when my MIL could not use the bathroom or clean her self up I had to send her to a home.
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Reply to lostand
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Nothingleft, what's your hospice service's schedule? - how often are they visiting, and what are they doing during calls?

As your mother wears a catheter that will avoid a certain set of problems with skin care, but it's crucial that the catheter site doesn't get infected (as I'm sure you already know).

I'm concerned about how you're managing to move and position her on your own, when she has spinal metastases. With our (very few) end of life clients, we usually visit in pairs to ensure that one worker holds the person while the other does the cleaning - this is really a two person job, to ensure the patient's comfort. You do also really need two people to use the slide/glide sheet and any hoist that might be available.

So... I suppose I'm saying... overcoming the "yuck" factor is almost the least of your worries, isn't it?

Is she able to sit upright when supported? I'm just thinking that most people can be transferred to a commode with a hoist, done carefully. Has this option been considered?

Back to overcoming the yuck factor - which I can see you already recognise is important for your mother's sense of wellbeing, apart from your own - I too had a "baptism of fire" when my mother was sent home from rehab with diarrhoea, and actually arrived in a full pad. Thanks, rehab! But only a very few weeks later, I realised I was examining her skin folds minutely for anything I might have missed and became aware that the aide was watching me incredulously. I said softly "it's amazing what you can get used to, isn't it."

Now, I work for a public sector reablement service and - as I think is true of all of us - genuinely do not give it a thought except for one very important point. WE may think nothing of it, we may have seen it all, it is nothing to us that we are seeing people stark naked and in a terrible state whom we've never even met before. But for each individual client, it's different. THEY are not used to it, and it DOES bother them, and it is important to reassure them that this is a simple matter of clean or dirty, and let's get this particular bit of you nice and clean and comfortable.

So with each bit of skin, look at it as if it were a kitchen counter. Clean or dirty? If dirty, clean it. It doesn't matter *what* the surface actually is. It doesn't matter *what* the type of dirt is. If there's dirt, remove it. Done!

And do make sure that you have ample supplies of everything you need, and that the process is well worked out, with everything to hand when you want it. Gloves and apron of course; you might find a mask helps, too, and it's justified by how close you're standing to your immuno-compromised mother. Pedal bin right where you want it. Disposal bags, dry wipes, wet wipes. Disposable bed pads so that you can roll them up and throw them out.

What sort of bed is she in? I hope it's a fully adjustable hospital bed?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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This is a tough part of caregiving. I was told to try shaving cream....I know, sounds crazy, but it first helps with the smell, and makes the cleaning up a bit easier. I found I just had to come to terms with it but trying to just disconnect a bit from what I was doing and focus on it as a task ..I know easier said then done. I also found lighting a nice candle or using a diffuser with essential oil helped too. Talking with mom about something else kind of took both our minds off of the task. Hope this helps.
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Reply to Grammyteacher
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