Follow
Share

Mom has been giving off a horrible smell lately. She is washed everyday and sometimes inbetween. This is a new smell. Her BM's are the same as always. Urine is clear of UTI( she has a foley cath.). She has no vaginal discharge. To be frank, she has an almost decaying smell down there!!! But at times I think its seeping from her pores on the rest of her body too? The smell is so strong that it soaks into her bed linens. So I wash them everyday blankets and all. Now with the furnance running the smell goes all thru the house upstairs and down. We can't get away from it. I have tried cracking open the windows, spraying febreeze, burning candles. The smell is soooo bad. I have a strong stomach but.... Its hard to keep from vomiting.

Hospice nurses suggested I tried to use a douche on mom. I tried but, with mom being bedbound I can't do it right. They are really stumped also with smell because they know that I keep my mom very clean. I told the hospice nurse yesterday that I am going give mom a febreeze emema/douche!!! I am losing my mind!! One nurse said its because mom is no longer able to absorb the food that she is taking in? Another suggested cancer? I was also told some women have a vaginal odor? If that is the case, then why hasn't she smelled like this prior to now?

With Thanksgiving coming, my in-laws will be here to eat. My mom's bed is now in the formal living room/ dining room area. No one will be able to sit at the dining table and eat, smelling this smell. Not to mention how embarrassing it is to have your house reek!!!

What do I do? Has anyone dealt with this? Any products I can use on her to help with odor? If I don't get relief soon, my hubby swears he's going to a motel.
Thanks JAMIE :)
P.S. mom is in last stage Dementia.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
PS....I do the airing out "no matter what". I figure out a way to get it done without harming my patient, the elderly person. If the elder's home is smelly, people will not want to come to visit. And, I cannot work in a strong odor. You can also turn on ceiling fans, and that alone with an open window will work wonders. If no ceiling fans, use a standalone table or floor fan. I do this in my own home as well, and have for years.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

One important thing that people forget about is airing out the entire house. I do homecare in people's homes. Some of their homes haven't been aired out in years. I realize your mom may have something unique to her that is causing the odor, but what I would do is - even in cold weather, is to start airing out her room, and then the rest of the house by opening windows and possibly even using fans to circulate the air out the windows better. To keep her warm, you could add some extra blankets until the airing is complete. You might need to wear a coat yourself. This is one of the most important things we can do with the elderly. If we keep a regular schedule with airing out, this often will prevent odor build up and you won't need to keep the windows open so long. Yes, I realize the elderly are more temperature sensitive, especially to cool temps. But a house needs to be odor free and with some extra care and precaution, a house doesn't have to have offensive odors. Again, realize your mom may be a special case, but the airing out will definitely help somewhat with her situation.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hello, My gut instinct, when I first read the question, was does this person have cancer? Then I read the other posters idea's and noted that it had crossed some of their minds. Sometimes there is not a lot that can be done. But everyone has given some good suggestions, that I will not repeat. I agree, bring it up at the doctors appointment. It is always prudent to rule out a specific problem. Then it is easier to try some of the other suggestions. Are trying probiotics an option??
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Request a specimen be taken of area as well as urine. Many people with foley
develop UTI. As tissue breaks down there can be fecal material seeping thru. Lab
results can lead to treatment recommendations to resolve odor. If someone has an air purifyer you can borrow, it might help if even for temporary period or small area. As for the holiday, can you get respit at a Nursing Home or other hospice unit so your house can air and you can feel comfortable having your guests? Best wishes for some solution for you ASAP.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I think she needs to see the doctor to medically determine what is wrong and then to find how to treat it. This really sounds like an infection of some sort. It might not be something you would see. It could be inside her vagina and not leaking out.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

we've had this same issue, and we've already dealt with a yeast infection, although it wasn't 'in' the private area, it was in the folds of her stomach....(she's a very large woman, and we used plain, white wash rags, to lay in the folds, with nystatin powder, after she was dried off from a dial soap and water bath....but, there was still this odor, coming....and her foley was due to be changed in a few days. The nurses are telling us that she has a vaginal infection around her foley??? To listen to them, it sounds as if it's pretty bad, and it sounded absolutely horrible when they were inserting the new cath, like they were killing her!!!!.....the only thing I know 'for sure', as of right now is; my Mom complained of leakage from around the catheter, when they discharged her from the hospital, and they assured her that sometimes that happens, and that was almost a month ago....now that leakage, has turned to gunk....my Mom is a hospice patient, she has end stage COPD, and she also has active colon cancer that is inoperable, but the doctors feel that her lung issues are so bad, that the cancer is the lesser of the two evils......I did not see any of this leakage, and she has been bed fast for the last two weeks, so I'm guessing this odor, must be coming from more 'up' inside of her....they are culturing it.....I just pray she is not septic with it........So, you might check this out with your mil....
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Another thought....open up the windows and let the fresh air in daily (in good weather, of course) and the stale air out. Use Febreeze on the furniture that has material on it. Every home has a smell, from cooking, etc. and the house needs to be aired out too.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

vineger & water will kill the smell, if not take her to a dr she probably has a infection.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Use a vinegar rinse when you wash the clothes. Wouldn't hurt to use it on her or the baking soda rinse as suggested above. Vinegar is an antiseptic and can be used for cleansing. You can also leave vinegar sitting out and it will absorb odors. Like Ruth1957 I wonder, has any answer worked for Greysfully?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This is still going on?????????????????????????
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Well, we are going to docs on Friday.I can mention my concerns to the nurse.......the direct avenue to the doc. Thanks Nance
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My first thought was maybe she has a yeast infection. Also I was thinking of baking soda to absorb the odor, or maybe a vinegar water wash of some sort. Weird.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

How about eliminating odors in the house (in general!) ???
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I learned that one of the reasons the elderly has different smell is nonenal. It's true that body changes with age, because your anti-oxidant on the skin gets weaker, resulting in the production of nonenal, odor phenomenon. I had the similar issue and tried bar soap called mirai clinical, and liked it a lot. It deodorizes all the body odor. It might be worth trying it. Hope this helps...
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If the nurse suggested it might be an issue with no longer absorbing food, have you thought about digestive enzymes? They're readily available at a health supplement store. If she's been checked for a vaginal infection, and found to be free of it, the enzymes may help. A douche is rarely, if ever, a good idea. Not that you'd seriously put Febreeze in her body... I'm a huge fan of baking soda and might suggest a light baking soda bath on her bottom area to help prevent bacteria from growing. Just dissolve baking soda in the warm water you'll use to sponge her down - all over is fine. I'm sure you've carefully checked for developing bed sores. One of my former client's had such a bad one, that I had to throw away a shirt after one shift; the odor was in my shirt as well. It was like.... death. Does your mom have cancer? Wow, my "answer" is sure rambling.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.