My Mom has dementia and her bedroom has consistent sour milk smell. What am I smelling?

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I have cleaned and put in bamboo floors. Is the smell coming from her? Will Alzheimer's cause an odor?

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Is she on any meds? Meds can sometimes cause a strange body odor. You could ask her doctor about it. Is she bathing frequently and thoroughly? If she's obese, bacteria could be growing between rolls of fat. Even if she's not obese, she may have a yeast infection that's causing the odor. Sometimes older people have a hard time bending down to scrub their feet and an odor results. Gross, I know, but it happens.
Is it her breath? Maybe she's not brushing her teeth or cleaning her dentures properly. Maybe it's food that's gone bad. Could she have put some kind of food in one of the drawers and forgotten it was there?
Urine has a distinctive odor. It doesn't sound like that's what you're describing, but then again, meds and certain foods (asparagus, for one) can cause urine to smell weird.
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I always put waterproof liners on the bed and use waterproof padding on top of the sheets (sometimes 2 next to each other). I live in Kansas and near the cows so windows are open depending on which way the wind blows). We moved here a few months ago and the smell is awful! She is 91 and very hard headed. She showers every other day, but I always wear surgical gloves and sometimes a mask when I have to clean messes. I tell her it is to protect her. I use baking soda with detergent for washes. I do not let laundry build up, sometimes I have a large soaking bucket until I do her laundry. I do use the lavender body wash and powder. She likes the smell. I put a little powder when changing her sheets. I use lotion on her legs and arms and still apply deodorant daily. She will not wear her dentures but I make her brush her gums with toothpaste and diluted mouthwash. Keeping her hair short keeps it easy for her and me. I like blowing her hair dry to add to the beauty day. She does not like to go out, so I do her nails and toes and apply clear polish. Once in awhile when visitors are coming I apply a little lipstick. I do ask her if she smells anything unpleasant and sometimes she says maybe she needs another shower. Try to get them involved. As stated above, do make sure there isn't anything medical. She does go to the doctors about every other month. I make sure she drinks plenty of fluids and keep track of her elimination to intake ratio. I take her to the restroom trying to restore some dignity when I can. Their is non alcohol wipes and good cleansing sprays to help keep that area clean. Do make sure they are dry before using another depends. Letting the area air out (sorry for the bluntness), not only feels good, but helps avoid bacteria from forming..but do use a liner underneath them. It is very difficult, time consuming but remember you are their angel! Keeping dignity with love is so important. Try to instill this with whoever takes care of them during your time off! You definitely need time for yourself, friends and your significant other!
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Most likely a hygiene issue as stated earlier. I have to make sure mom brushes her teeth and change depends every day. If forget she will just use the same poop encrusted underwear until I make her change. I send her to adult day care (part of a hospital) everyday where they bath her twice a week since I know she does not do that well. At the day care they noticed a smell from her urine and it was cloudy. So I took her to the Dr. and got THAT cleaned up.I installed a bio-bidet so it will "clean" her if you will. That was a great idea! I also take her to get a mani-pedi every 2 weeks or so. Why? because her toe nails need cleaning and a year ago I found that she has an infection there too and smelled (more dr visits) plus the mani-pedi for 90 minutes on a Saturday is cheap day care too! I am free to do some things. Anyway...there are a lot of things that can cause an odor an you just have to eliminate possibilities. Good luck.
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the product Zero Odor is a fabulous product, when I used to smoke, I used it on my self, not skin but clothes I was wearing and hair, and it is great for fabric of any kind. Whoopie Goldburg used to smoke, and she said this is the only prouduct she has ever tried eliminamte all odors from her house, clothes, linens , car etc...you can get it online. I dont have to use it more because I dont smoke..but that an idea. I do agree with the above post, I myself believe it will probably continue to smell that a way..just cause..you know what I mean? but Zero Odor does not have ANY smell itself it does not put off a smell. Also, I would do this, Put Dryer sheets in the drawers and also lay them out so one can get to them, Like Bounty or Bounce. that is what I would do
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So very glad that I came across this problem.......I absolutely will NOT let anyone in my house other than us. I think it stinks so bad. My husband works away during the week and when he comes home, he doesn't smell anything out of the way, but I sure do. I have bought every kind of air freshner ever made. I use vinegar, lysol, febreeze, natural odor eliminator and anything else I can get my hands on. The above named 2 products will definitely be purchased, for sure.......All I get done is change depends poop and pee both, she is totally incontinent both ways, then I scrub her and then the bed. I totally have this smell embedded in my nose and it won't go away. Usually, I have to go somewhere else to eat and when I go to clean up messes, I get very nauseated. Has anyone else experienced this? It keeps getting worse by the week, or daily. Thanks!
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As many of us know, older folks do have a smell, this could be because cells from their skin do not turn over as fast and they do not produce as much oil on their skin. The sour Milk smell may be the clothing, sheets, fabrics due to possibly them souring after a load of clothing if it sits out before you put them in the dryer they will sour. It could be a combination of the medications they are taking and it having an affect on the oder of thier skin, thus rubbing off on the bed sheets, sofas, chairs, clothing, hair. This is a great question and I was throwing out some possibilities. I am not sure the condition of your loved one, but it could be their illness. It could be a yeast infection, it could be a Urniary tract infection. I am 54 years old, I get Urinary Tract Infections about twice a month and I will have an odor until the medicine begins to kill the bacteria. It could be the smell of bacteria too..any kind of bacteria. Our bodies emit all kinds of smells when we get older.
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I recently read a very interesting article dealing with "old people odor" and the very scientific explanation of it. Can't remember exactly where I found that information, but will look around and try to find the article for you. You are not imagining it. In addition to all the above suggestions, this is a real thing. FIL has an awful odor that wafts through the house. Got to keep after him to bathe and I found that he took off dirty clothes and rehung them in the closet to "air out" . I try to keep on top of that, but it is very hard.
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Also..since you had new floors, sometimes...unusual items...end up in the floor base boards or registrars...Not sure if your company cleaned up the flooring materials...but I take care of home..and I know...how some contractors will sweep things into the registars and I have to vacuum them out and clean them...it could be that the registers in her room need washing and cleaning..and you can also THREAD a FABRIC SOFTENER SHEET through the VENT to make the room smell sweet...when that fabric sheet is done...redo another one...SO SWEET...is everywhere !!!!
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Hi there, I had a similar problem...One of the things my Mom was doing was putting worn clothes back in the dresser & closet. She was pretty good about wearing Depends, but she never wanted to bathe ~ "She didn't do anything to sweat", so she would wear her clothes repeatedly, even socks. She seems not to understand hygiene anymore and tells me I am "crazy about showering and laundry". Her clothes did have an odor (not always dirty smelling) that seemed to be a mix of personal scent and food. It was mostly the improper storage of clothes which made her room smell different then the rest of the house. Regular bathing with lovely scented soaps and doing all the cleanup and laundry finally worked for my problems here at home but it required hiring a bath aide after I tired of fighting with her. She will still squirrel away clothing if she is not managed, but she resides in a group home now and is less resentful of the CNA's help than mine.
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We live near the woods and fields and in the fall mice get in. One died in the walls and we nearly never got rid of the smell. HEPA filter helped.
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