Hi all,

Is anyone else dealing with the fecal incontinence of their elderly LO? My father can't clean himself fully anymore and it's causing skin problems and UTIs. He would not be able to manipulate those long toilet wiping wands you can get or a bidet.

Has anyone found anything at all that someone with limited mobility could use to clean fully or do I just need to get used to the idea of doing it for him?

Thanks for any input :)

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I’ve been doing nearly all of my father’s diaper changes for a few months now as a result of not being able to place him into an appropriate facility. At first, it was difficult, but I thought this was a task that I, as his family, was morally obligated to do. I was so very wrong!

Never mind the endless inventory management & costs of different diapers, wipes, towels, creams, etc. Having to scrub down my father’s private parts even just 2 to 3 times a day is daunting, exhausting & truly irregular.

I try to do most of his diaper changes on the bed. But if it’s too much of mess I will get him into the shower & scrub him down there first. It’s a lot of physical labor & even though I always wear gloves, my hands are cracked with dryness from washing all the time.

IMHO, no father of worth would put their daughter into the position of having to perform diaper changes & daily wash downs for any length of time. After having done it, and am still doing it, my perspective of my father has completely shifted. I dread my existence. My life is just a series of old man excrement cleanings. Don’t look to any so-called medical professionals to offer empathy or sympathy or support- unless they’ve been elbow & knees deep in an elderly father’s literal sh*#, they can’t comprehend your suffering. So many times I’ve enquired about better techniques for cleaning, only to be met with shrugs & blank stares from nurses & doctors. And the In-Home Caregivers will conveniently not want to work for “difficult clients” & thanks to the labor shortages, can avoid such situations easily.

The best advice I can offer is to get your dad placed into a facility asap. You must prioritize yourself, especially when no one else will. It only gets worse.

Yesterday my father decided to be helpful & tried to empty his own catheter bag while I picked up groceries. When I arrived back to his condo the smell of piss was unbelievable. He forgot to close the spout & peed all over his condo. I spent my NYE moping up his piss… Seriously, it only gets worse.
Helpful Answer (23)
Reply to Invisible0ne
Daughterof1930 Jan 1, 2023
So sorry for your experience in this, no one deserves this
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As a son taking care of his Mom, it was uncomfortable at first when the time came that she needed more assistance going to the bathroom. She very rarely complained when I wiped her behind and put Calmoseptine on to prevent pressure ulcers. This happened three times a day, and more if needed (Clean pull-ups everytime). Most of the time I would give her wipes or a warm cloth to clean her front, but sometimes I helped. With the pull-ups, I would say, "You pull-up the front, I'll pull-up the the back." The process worked.

Many times I asked her, "Do you mind that I do this?" Her response was "No." She was always an independent woman, and I suspect it did bother her somewhat. What made things easier was having a portable commode in the bedroom, with some pads placed underneath in case there was an accident. Clean pads and sheets on the bed daily. Exhausting work, but worth it knowing she was as clean as possible.
Helpful Answer (16)
Smithbarbl Jan 10, 2023
What a great son you are! Sounds as if you’re doing exactly what needs to be done. My Dad can’t feel the urges to go anymore. Sounds as if your Mom can’t either. For some, it’s a part of the aging process. To allow us to even help is a real plus!
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I'd just use dad's funds to hire a weekend caregiver for all day Sat and Sun. Your choice dad, that or managed care, bc you can't do this toilet care yourself and that's THE ONLY OPTION is to have him cleaned properly by a caregiver. What we want in old age is not always what we NEED. Time to make some changes now.

Good luck
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to lealonnie1

Eventually dad is going to need to go into a facility. It sounds like it is beyond that time since he has more issues than just fecal incontinence.

You can keep killing yourself trying to delay the inevitable or start preparing dad for the move into a care facility. There are no good or easy answers in this situation.

If he has the money by all means hire round the clock care at home if it is possible.

Old age is a cruel joke on all human beings.

And it's not even just cleaning him after the bowel movement it iften involves cleaning bedding or clothing they arecwesring so it's a never ending chore of doing all that and dealing with feces which can spread many diseases.

I dont think i could ever get used to or want to see my parents private parts.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to sp19690

This thread keeps popping up so I'm going to bring up what I wondered from the start - just why isn't the bidet toilet seat an option? The OP says he isn't able to manipulate "those long toilet wiping wands" and a hand held bidet wand would be similar, but the bidet toilet seats do all the work with just the turn of a switch or push of a button🤔
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to cwillie
NeedHelpWithMom Jan 10, 2023

Have you used these? It would be nice if a brand name and model number could be suggested to the OP.
Until such time as robots are developed for this task, personal assistance is required :(

It becomes tricky at home unless the bowel routine is quite stable ie BM in the am when caregiver is present. Otherwise, as you noted, he may stay as is (less than ideally cleaned up) until the next caregiver (or yourself) arrives.

Staying home *as long as possible* is often the goal. It is not always a clear line between what IS - what ISN'T possible...

The trade offs off moving into a care home/group living: possible quicker toileting assistance vs loss of familiar home..

Maybe with weekend support you can extend living at home a little longer?
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Beatty
NeedHelpWithMom Dec 31, 2022

I am all for robots! I’m married to an engineer and I’m constantly amazed at technology.

I’ve heard people say, “I don’t want a robot doing surgery on me. I want a doctor.”

Well, I would rather have a robot that can perform precise, tedious tasks, rather than a human that can’t be as precise.

Look at how far medical advancements have come and what we have seen during our lifetime. Just imagine what the future will be like.
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Most people find incontinence to be the straw that broke the camels back, and end up placing their loved one in the appropriate facility as it just gets to be too much for them to deal with.
And that's ok. Everyone knows what they can and cannot do, and there does come a point where it's just best to let the trained professionals do the job.
I had to clean up after my late husband pooped for several years and didn't mind, but I can't imagine having to do the same for my father.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to funkygrandma59

My mom didn’t want to go to a facility. However, we asked her to please look and we made appointments. She was happily surprised and liked the privacy of her own place. We did get her a caregiver for daily care. 4 hours a day. It is a win win. She has privacy, still gets showers, at least 2 meals eaten daily, companionship, lotions applied, walking and exercise. When she moved in, we put in a bidet. She is so weak she cannot work it but the caregivers use it every time. She gets front and back cleaned with warm water and the seat is heated. The dryers is warm air. She went in when we had scheduled time with other family members out of state. She liked it so much, she wanted to stay and not lose her apartment. Now she has transitioned to memory care and we kept the caregivers and bidet. She is aware and mobile. Highly recommend the bidet. We use genie bidet (someone on this site recommended it). We ordered from Amazon.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Tandemfun4us

As said, he now needs help in this area. I used Huggie Wipes for babies. They are big, thick and gentle on skin. Just don't flush them. I had a little covered trash can I lined with a plastic bag to throw the soiled ones in.

To prevent UTIs, yes he needs to be clean. He also needs to drink plenty of water to help flush out bacteria. He needs to void completely. Cranberry tablets help to prevent them in conjunction with a probiotic. D-Mannose (suggested by a member) also helps prevent a UTI and I read may help clear it up. Better to try and prevent than to keep taking anti-biotics that eventually the bacteria is resistant to.

I had to toilet my Mom. I give aides so much credit. Not a job I would want to do. I would not have taken care of my Dad if I had to toilet or bath him. He would have been in a NH as soon as his care became an intimate thing and I was expected to do it. The only male I would considering doing this for is my husband.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to JoAnn29
NeedHelpWithMom Jan 1, 2023

Thanks for mentioning not to flush them! Mom’s home health nurse told me that even the ‘flushable’ wipes caused plumbing issues if they were constantly being flushed down the toilet.

The last thing a person needs to deal with when caregiving for an elderly individual is plumbing issues.
I don’t know of anything else but I have a few questions for you.

Do you think that you could get used to the idea of cleaning him?

Even if you could do it, how long do you think that you could endure it?

Is it possible to hire someone to help? Or perhaps place him in a facility?

Wishing you peace as you continue on in your caregiving journey.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
AnnPanel Dec 31, 2022
I have home health caregivers who come and help keep him clean except during the day on Saturdays and Sundays. It's hard to find someone who is willing to come out for just an hour at a time for this specific thing but he really can't go without being thoroughly clean for all that time.

Honestly? I dread this. I don't know if I could endure it for long. He has so many other issues I help him with and I'm already fighting a serious depression but I can't just let him stay dirty and end up with compromised skin or be in so much discomfort. I will still search for a caregiver who might be willing to come by on the weekends though.

He is going to need to live in a facility but he really does not want to go. I don't know if there are many other options though.

Thank you so much for responding.

Peace in the new year to you as well.
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