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My mom is 88 and has had incontinence for a while…she lives with me in my walk out basement level. It smells often and it smells BAD. She often has UTIs and she can’t smell anything. I am finding that she’s now losing a lot of urine all over floor despite wearing a pad. I’m guessing it is shifting or maybe bunching up? She’s heavy of that makes a difference - about 60 inch waist, 245 pounds. Help! She doesn’t admit to any of this (in denial or embarrassed?) - it’s tough to live in these conditions and I don’t want to place her in AL.


ideas for tight fitting undies maybe? I wanna cry. I’ve washed so many waterproof pads, sheets, blankets

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Why don't you think that AL (or MC) might be a good solution for the both of you? She most likely isn't in denial or embarrassed -- she most likely has dementia. If you think it's stressful and exhausting now, the caregiving just gets more and more intense and draining. Have you taken her in to her doctor for a cognitive exam so that you are working with facts and not assumptions? Have considered what it may be like to try to transfer a 245 pound person from a chair to a toilet at some future date? And eventually she will become bowel incontinent as well. Please read some of the posts on this forum from desperately exhausted, loving and well-meaning adult children who wish they had the option to put their LO in a care facility. I'm not trying to grind on you while you're down -- but you must go into this with your eyes wide open and seeing the reality that WILL be your future with her. My MIL gets excellent care in a LTC facility on Medicaid. She even has a private room, and has the same care as the private pay residents. We go visit her whenever we wish, and we sleep peacefully at night not because we're exhausted and burnt out from orbiting around her, but because we know she is safe, clean, fed and socialized. I wish you much wisdom, clarity and peace in your heart as you find the right solution.
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Reply to Geaton777
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I addition to switching to pull ups it might help if she makes regular bathroom breaks part of her routine even if she doesn't feel the need, much of the problem with over flow is that no product can rapidly absorb a large volume reliably.
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energyvampire Jul 3, 2021
Love this and hadn't considered it
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Think about this.

How long do you think it will be before you are so exhausted, so desperate, so physically and emotionally depleted, that you realize that finding her the best residential care you can locate, and visiting her as often as you want to, maybe even for a brief stop-by visit every day, is really better for you BOTH than what you’re doing now?


If you “wanna cry” now, consider how you’ll feel after years of this, and worse.

Good caregiving requires balance, and right now, the balance is disrupted by something neither of you can control or manage. Her weight alone is unmanageable for a caregiver to attempt to take on, much less her loss of bladder control.

If you won’t consider placement now, at least begin your research about the placements available near you. Then you’ll have a sense of confidence when/if her care needs exceed your ability to continue.

Please continue to consider “balance”. What do YOU need to continue caring for her in a way that’s loving and safe for BOTH of you?
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Reply to AnnReid
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I’ve been giving cranberry supplements to my mom for a couple years now-after years of uti’s, they’re not an issue anymore. Even tho she still doesn’t drink enough water, it’s managed to keep them away.
It’s heartbreaking to hear how this is affecting you-looking into AL now is a great suggestion as, most likely, you’ll need to act on moving her at some point. So many have waitlists too-putting her on lists doesn’t commit you but you may be ready when a room becomes available. The resentment that’s building can only go on so long-it’s not good for either of you.
Best wishes as you find your way.
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sparkielyle Jul 3, 2021
I got the DMHC group that services my Mom's AL to order that she get cranberry juice at lunch. That way I am sure it gets done. That also seems to have worked for now with her UTI's.
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Wellness Briefs! Designed and worn by astronauts! Never had a problem with my mom or dad
https://wellnessbriefs.com/
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energyvampire Jul 3, 2021
Ohhhh, interesting! Thank you!!
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A pad. A PAD? She needs disposable underwater because of her size, If pull ups don't work, then try tab types.
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BurntCaregiver Jul 3, 2021
MACinCT,

Just because a person is 245 pounds that doesn't mean they piss rivers or are more incontinent than a small person.
Just sayin'.
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I was recently informed that our local hospitals don't use depends anymore. They use a device that sucks up the urine and keeps patients dry all the time. I realize they are talking about bed ridden patients but I was told this device is available to me if my mom's doctor will prescribe it and they were aware she was mobile at home.

Maybe you can find some info whether it would be suitable for you. Sorry I dont have any particulars about this device as my mom had a stroke while she was admitted to the hospital and only came home for a week of hospice care to be with family when she passed.

She had her 95th birthday while she was at a rehab facility. The stroke left her very much disabled and she just didnt have the strength or desire to keep fighting. I miss her a lot.

Charlotte
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garylee Jul 3, 2021
It's called a "PureWick" . It requires some kind of continuous suction. There are some available for home use.

They are not good unless the patient is in bed , unless there are recent changes.
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I use adult diapers because my mother spends most of her time in bed. I find that the large/extra large STRETCH briefs work best. When I remove a soiled one, I place it in a plastic grocery bag, tie it, and then put it in her lined garbage can that has a lid. Home Depot sells an aerosol lemon citrus scented air freshener that cuts odor down. I spray it in the can until I empty her garbage and I spay a little in her room (away from her). I take the trash out frequently and anytime it has a strong odor. I also give her a quick mini-bath with non-irritating baby soap or Vagisil to keep her skin clean and control odor. When I can, I open windows. I always use a large pad under her in case of leaks so I am not dealing with soiled sheets. I do the same if she is up in a chair. Hope this helps.
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Reply to jemfleming
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Plenty of suggestions for briefs - the one from PeeWee57 might work best, since her sister is about the same size (weight at least.) You can try some of the less expensive briefs first - pick up a few from WM to try them (you can check the various offerings online too - Depends shows XL might work for her size - XL: 45-64" waist.)

It doesn't sound like those pads are doing much for her. I would think they are likely going to bunch up, esp given her weight. When I tried using them for monthly needs, mine would tend to get "pinched" in the middle, potentially leading to leakage with that too, and I wasn't even half your mother's weight! If they are for monthly cycles, they probably have a different absorbency criteria. If they are for incontinence, they are probably designed more for a little leakage, not full on flow. The pads and briefs also vary in absorbency like Max, Ultra, Overnight, etc. You might want to try various ones, brand and absorbency, to see which works best.

A toileting schedule might help as well. Going on a regular cycle will reduce how much she would have if she has an "accident."

When we switched mom to adult briefs, the aide and I just removed all her undies and replaced them with the briefs. We did use incontinence pads inserted into the briefs at night before bed.

Definitely give the briefs (try various ones, to see which work best) a try, and work on getting a toilet schedule going.

As for the strong odor, perhaps it's just part of aging, but I do find that urine tends to smell MUCH stronger when fluid intake is reduced. Encouraging sufficient fluid intake might help with the odor - beware not to go overboard as too much fluid can cause problems! The down side of drinking more is more urine, but with a schedule and briefs, it might work!

As others have noted, hopefully you have legal documents in place, so that you have them when you need them and are making plans for future care. As much as many, like you, don't want to put a LO into AL or MC, the downward spiral can become overwhelming, much more so than it is now. Her weight alone is concerning, as you could get seriously hurt yourself when trying to assist her. Even people trained to do it "right" can end up injured, At the least, you will want to hire help, to physically assist, but also give you time to attend to chores, shopping, cleaning, etc., AND time for yourself. You WILL need it. Meanwhile, even if now you don't plan on using a facility, at least check out those in your area, so that if the time ever comes that there is no other option, you won't be scrambling to figure it all out!

(HDIS was mentioned, but not explained what it is. Apparently they are distributors of various types/brands - if they are more expensive, why buy from them? I was able to order from WM and have them delivered for a reasonable price (meet minimum order cost and shipping is free.)
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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Imho, she may require a thicker feminine pad or an adult diaper. She may have lost her olfactory sense. Many elders have a diminished sense of smell. My late mother did not realize that she was leaking all over the commode (not into) as she could not smell it (or see it since she was legally blind).
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