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 ?

Answers 1 to 10 of 25
my dad is almost 88 yrs old . i have to take him to the bathroom . yes i have to wipe his butt . you may have to start doing that for him .
the poop left in his crack will get sore and infections will set in .
good luck ...
I see that some caregivers have gone so far as to install a bidet for cleaning their loved ones backsides. Maybe some who have done that will report on how well it resolves the issue.

It may be a matter of memory loss, but it can also be a diminished ability to reach around behind oneself. This is not laziness or obstinance -- it is a physical limitation. Doing extra laundry and cleaning might be worth it to preserve Dad's dignity, but that doesn't solve the very real issue of Dad's health, as Linda points out. Somehow he needs to get clean.
Top Answer
Baby Wipes!
get a nice supply of those and yes, someone needs to get in there and make a shiny hiney.
This is the single hardest thing with caregiving and if you approach it right and don't make a big deal out of it you have a shot of making this work.
He's going to say anything and do anything but if you can get it across that he will feel better and be healthier maybe he'll let you.
tell him, hey if you broke your arm I'd feed you some dinner.... this is the same thing. You need help and I'm here to give it!
My mom went through an adjustment period with this issue just like everybody's mom and dad did.
Big change.

Good luck,
He may be mobile, but may have trouble reaching back there if he has a stiff back or other joint issues or extra weight. It could also be forgetfulness. Also how is his BM's? Is he getting enough fiber and "good" bacteria so he is regular, but not messy or constipated? Does he have some bowel problems? Sounds like there might be another issue besides the wiping, too.
My husband has MS and has toilet problems. I have installed a bidet, to answer jeanniegibbs question. It is wonderful. He really appreciates it. Since he has been using it, there is no mess at all to clean up. I have to sponge bathe him and commended him on how nice it is to clean him and not have to clean up "crap":)
Thanks for responding, caregivertoo. That is useful information. I'm not there (yet) but I'll tuck this away for future reference. Maybe it will have more immediate interest for exnewport.
I discovered a sitz bath. This may be obtained from a medical supply store. It is round and fits perfectly into the tiolet bowl. You put water in it, it even has overflow openings back and front. It works wonders and it allows the elderly to do it themselves. I am taking care of my 93 year old mother, and I noticed that after using it with her a couple times, she had started to use it by herself. I was so proud of her, and of course I told her this. She was delightfully pleased to hear me say this.

Be sure to try it out. Water is this best cleanser, and there is no installation. I leave it in her bathroom for her convenience. I also discovered that a lemon smelling soap so far works magically for eliminating the odor of the bm. I know my mom is the freshest smelling elderly in world hands down! Tricks in trade.
Are bidets expensive? where do u but them? Also, do any of you ladies remember taking a "sitz" bath or using the "peri-clean" bottle on stitches after giving vaginal births? Maybe something like that could be used after bm. Squirt warm water on the behind to help rinse away extra "poo-residue". Could make wiping easier.
Excuse me!! lol A Freudian slip in the above response! Revision: Where do you BUY them? (bidets)
I think this is THE hardest thing, not only for the caregiver, but mostly for the parent (or person in need of help). I have to do this for my mom because she either didn't wipe or wiped it up all over her private parts. After one year, she is finally used to it, but for the first 9 months, she would always say, "This is so embarrassing." I would just make a joke of it, and say, "Would you rather if Bill (my brother) was wiping for you?" Then she would laugh and laugh and say no. It has to be done though, or like others said, rashes and infections etc. It is not the most pleasant task, and I know it would be harder if I was cleaning my dad. It is one task that never gets easier. I hope you're able to convince him to let you help out in that area.

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