Follow
Share

My husband is wheelchair bound and now, Homebound. He could not get himself up from the toilet so I could pull up his depends. Finally, after much tugging and pulling I barely managed to get him onto the wheelchair. I am 80 He weighs over 200 pounds and is 82. I know they have commodes for this but between 2 wheelchairs, bed rails, shower chair, and lift chair, my home is looking like a hospital. He wets the bed every day (and his chair) I live here too and I hate the idea of a commode. Where do I put it after he uses it ? But this is about dressing him. He cannot stand and the few times he attempts it, he leans over so much, there is no way I can pull his depends up and pants. It is so frustrating. I do not think any homecare worker could do what I do and to be honest, I do not want a man in my home to help. I would feel uncomfortable. I know he needs to be in a facility but he does not want to go. What a dilemma I am in. Any suggestions???

If he is in a wheelchair all the time or in bed I have a few suggestions that the Hospice CNA gave me and they work GREAT! a bit unconventional but they work.
1.Pants. Hopefully you are dressing him in pull on pants like the fleece type. And do not use sweat pants that have elastic at the ankle.
Take a pair of scissors and cut the pants. Start about 3 inches behind the side seam and cut a "U" shape out going up to the same point on the other side of the pants. You are cutting out the Butt portion of the pants.
Now with him seated in the wheelchair you can pull pants on and then tuck the waist around behind him. This makes it easier to get pants on and off and it eliminates bulk of fabric and wrinkles that can cause skin irritation.
If you go out you can put "regular" pants on him or just make sure there is a lap blanket tucked around him in case the pants slip.

2. Shirts.
Take your scissors and at the bottom center of the back of the shirt cut all the way up to the neck but do not cut through the neck.
You can now slip the shirt over his head and get his arms in and then tuck the rest of the shirt around. Again no bulk of fabric at the back and no wrinkles. And you do not have to lean him forward to get the shirt into place.

3.Foot wear. If there is no need for shoes don't bother with them.
I got nice "memory foam" slippers that sort of looked like a deck shoe or loafer and I would slip those on. No socks. After showering I would dry the feet well, apply the cream I used then the shoes. His feet always seemed cold so I would sometimes slip on a pair of super warm socks but I would not put the slippers back on. I liked to keep his heels floating and the shoes with the bulky socks was a lot of weight pulling on the ankles.

4. Stop using pull up briefs and switch to tab type briefs. They will be easier for you to change as you will not have to get him to stand to pull them up.

5 Get good under pads for the wheelchair and the bed. There are many good washable ones on the market as well as disposable ones.

If your husband has strength in upper body you might try getting a Sit-to-Stand it will make transferring him so much easier. If he does not have the strength to hold on to the arm of the machine then you would be much better off with a Hoyer Lift.
I know more equipment! But and this is my number 1 thing...SAFETY Your safety as well as his. You can not afford to injure yourself and I am sure you do not want him hurt in the process.
If this is something that you do not think you can do by yourself and safely it might be time to consider help. Either in the house or moving him or both of you to a facility where you can both get the help you need.
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to Grandma1954
Report

In a facility I believe your DH would be considered a 2 Person Assist at a minimum. Possibly even requiring a hoyer lift. In other words it’s at the point that professionals would not and could not do singlehandedly what you’re attempting for everyone’s safety. My Mom became a 2 person assist for toileting and she was only 90 pounds, I could get her from the bed to wheelchair and back by myself, but there was no way no how I could have helped her off the toilet & gotten her cleaned up by myself. If you want to continue this, you would need to get a caregiver in and they would need you to assist them. Usually one aid holds up the person while the other cleans up, pulls up depends and pants. If you’re uncomfortable with a male aid get a woman. If you don’t want homecare, “You know he needs to be in a facility”, you are 80 years old, this isn’t fair to you, and you are going to hurt yourself. Not many people “want” to be in a facility but sometimes thats just how it’s got to be. Please think seriously about this and tell him.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to rocketjcat
Report

If you opt to hire help I hope you have a very healthy bank account. Sitters (who do nothing but sit, no hands on care) is $20 an hour. Hands on care is about double that. Nobody is going to work for free. Consider if he falls just how dangerous that will be, and you may even get injured lugging around dead weight. The fact he is 200 pounds will put an enormous strain on your back.

Hospital beds are very helpful -- you can get his doctor to write an order for that, and hoyer lifts. Pay attention to skin breakdown if he's sitting all the time. Decubitus ulcers can quickly form and it will require aggressive daily dressing changes. But you may be forced to consider nursing home placement--even so you need to visit often and do daily skin inspections including the buttocks
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to cetude
Report

If you will change him in bed you might want a fully electric bed so that you can raise and lower the height of the bed with just a press of a button. It helps your back. Maybe a sit to stand machine might help you get him up to dress. Personally, I prefer pull ups and cut the sides when they need to come off. I just use scissors. I haven’t mastered the tab diapers yet. Can you qualify for skilled nursing. If so, you can get a home health aid to help with dressing, bathing, toileting. At least a few hours a week. Speak to your doctor. I sometimes use a blanket covering legs and lap when staying home and just dress the upper half normally. I also use tear away pants that snap along the side of each leg. Try to dress him while you are sitting down, at least for the socks and part of the pants. Saves your back. I like those hospital socks with grippers on them for safety. Sold at Walmart or amazon or any medical supply store online.

i would ask the doctor to get a physical therapist or occupational therapist to come to the home to show you how to best move him and dress him. The good ones can be lifesavers.

i leave a commode out and I have furniture moved into the kitchen and medical equipment all over. It is what it is I guess. Makes cleaning a challenge though.

Last thing, I think most people would protest going to a nursing home but if that is the best choice, please don’t feel guilty. Patients don’t really know how difficult it can be to care for them properly.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Silverspring
Report

It's possible to do this while he's lying in bed. I know it seems daunting. I was daunted before I did it. But even my first time wasn't as bad as I feared. Now, I can change grandma in about 5 minutes. Top, pants and diaper. It's all about rolling and tucking.

What kind of bed do you have? If it's a big bed, you should at least get a twin. You need to be able to step around to both sides. Better yet, you need a hospital bed. Being able to move it up and down really helps a lot. A bed pad makes rolling so much easier. It's hard to rolls someone by gripping or tugging. It's easy to roll them by grabbing the pad under them by the corners and pulling up.

Using the same technique, I can even change her sheets and pads while she's still in bed.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to needtowashhair
Report
cwillie Sep 4, 2019
This is what I did too, I really never had any difficulty pulling up mom's pants one side at a time and I even thought it was easier to use a pull up rather than the tab style brief.
(5)
Report
See 1 more reply
Oh you poor thing. Your husband's condition sounds like it is way too much for any one person to be able to safely and sanely even come close to handling.

No one WANTS to go into a facility. But for the best for both of you, I really think that is what must happen.

I wonder if you can enlist the help of your doctor? Tell them your situation and ask if it is reasonable for you to handle this on your own. Of course, they will say absolutely not! Then, maybe they can help you get things moving in the right direction.

Do you have any children or other family who can help you, at least for the short term before you can get this straightened out (meaning get him moved to a facility)? Beg them for help, for YOU. He doesn't want help? Fine. But you need help. Who is doing the cooking and the cleaning, etc. etc.? You could certainly use help with that at the very least. But that is just the tip of the iceberg since the needs here are sooo much more than those basic daily living activities.

Make some phone calls and get yourself some help. I'm not saying it's easy, but I think it would be for the best. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to againx100
Report

My 92 yo mother w dementia doesn’t walk or stand & when she was in SNF, they used stand assist lift. So I bought one out of pocket to use in the house. But Medicare sent hoyer too. She never used it & they kept billing me & it was taking up space. But if I didn’t have the other one that helps her stand, I would have kept it. So we put her on commode with that & put her in wheelchair & hospital bed. The private pay aide transfers her manual to stairlift chair that goes down stairs. I can’t transfer her as she is dead weight & doesn’t assist.
Her CNA taught me how to use lift when she was in SNF.
But I’m 60 & good health...for how long....?? if I were you I’d put husband in facility...
hugs🤗
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to CaregiverL
Report

I dressed my father in bed.when it got to that, but before, I used a Velcro waist lift to get.him into a standing position, and pulled his clothes up one handed. That waist lift was a.savior as he'd had a paralyzed left side and then the hospital pulled his.stroke side arm out of the socket trying to lift him. Always have the bed or locked wheelchair handy, so if he does go down it's to the bed or on the chair. I don't mean to be rude, but your house is a mini hospital now. Why is he wetting the.bed when you should have a bed pad and depends on hand? Take care, and God bless. You'll have your house back soon enough, but then you'll have him to miss.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Elthea
Report

You do Need Help, I can see it, But yes, There are Professional Woman Aides who can Help, Look into it, Or Continue to be Frustrted Here, Dear..I see a Facility he Needs to be in as well.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Parise
Report

Get an occupational therapist or an experienced Home Health Aide to show you, but this is really a two-person job. Dressing of people who cannot stand can be done on the bed but it involves turning the person; and given your husband's weight I don't think you should try this yourself unassisted - if you pop a disc or put your shoulder out, where will you both be?

I personally found emptying, cleaning and disinfecting a commode an awful lot easier than changing continence pads! - and then once it's clean, you pop the seat back on and it's not very much different from having a spare chair in the room. Albeit perhaps not a chair you'd deliberately pick to complement your décor.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report
GraceNBCC Sep 7, 2019
That again for sound advice. I would also suggest a mechanical lift. Again Occupation Therapist should train you how to use it.

If he needs resources if a skilled facility, your house will look like one. The point is keeping you safe so you can assist in his care.
(0)
Report
See All Answers

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter