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The mother doesn’t wear a mask so I’m nervous to ask if I can... but it’s extremely difficult and I’m afraid I might gag. I don’t want to embarrass anyone. Also, isn’t it more hygienic to wear a mask? Bowel movements have air born bacteria...


Any advice?

Is it rude to take care of yourself? If you don't care for you, then no one gets any help
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Kate06 May 30, 2019
Love this! I am in the habit of jotting inspirational and motivational notes on sticky notes...this is going on a sticky!
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I think wearing a mask during that time is just as rude as someone expecting you to breathe that offending odor and not try to minimize the nasal trauma. I think masking up while diaper changing has helped countless people get through a task that otherwise would be unbearable. I am one of those who have a love, hate feeling for my extremely sensitive sense of smell. Not everyone shares my neverending awareness of every odor within 20 feet, however. I don't think normal nosers fully understand just how disrupting and intense some smells can be. A good friend of mine whom I now owe a great deal of my care giving accomplishments to taught me a little trick that I now use everyday. Vicks. A little Vicks dabbed under my nose with the mask worn over has made a substantial difference in what I can now tolerate. Good luck to you and inhale in peace.
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Reply to joelenetristan
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If you changed a baby’s diaper and got used to it... this is the same, just a little harder. You’ll be fine.

Just be careful to not wince or show disgust. I think the adult diaper situation is harder on them than us. They never wanted this.

Focus on protecting your loved one’s skin-and-emotional well being. Then you’ll be okay.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter
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worriedinCali May 30, 2019
i don’t think it’s her loved one.

It’s not the same at all. big difference between a baby diaper and an adult diaper, just saying. VERY Big difference between changing YOUR baby’s diaper and the adult diaper of your client, patient, even parent.
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No, I never got over the gag factor with changing a baby diaper and I am not willing to attempt a grown human. I don't have the stomach for it and smells create an olfactory memory for me. I am sure I would be able to gag my way through if I had to, but I would be wearing a mask that had peppermint essential oil on it.

If you don't make a big deal out of it, he probably won't either. Get in and get it done, go clean up and act like nothing unusual just took place.

Best of luck.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Do you wear gloves when changing a soiled diaper? I see no need to ask permission in order to wear a mask to clean a soiled diaper. Nurses wear masks when dealing with feces and so I see no reason why it would be considered rude of you. And if it's going to help you get through the task without grimacing, gagging, or physically reacting to the smell, it's actually considerate. Doubling up on the masks will keep most of the smell out. Put a few drops of essential oil inside the mask.

What the mother chooses to do is not really a consideration. It's your nose.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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Put a swab of Vaporub, or a high-alchohol based hand sanitizer in a mask, then wear the mask. It covers smells by overloading your senses.

Is it rude? You're doing a very unpleasant job - there's no such thing as feeling bad about self protection. my opinion is TS (no pun).
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Reply to KBEllison
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gdaughter Jun 3, 2019
Some people, like myself, would find masking odors even MORE unpleasant or just as. I'd never consider putting that sort of stinky stuff so close to my own nostrils!
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First post I read this morning....one way to skip breakfast. LOL We all have our limits. For me it is vomit. Everyone would say if it your child it won't bother you. WRONG! I would get through it but not without lots of gagging. Wish I would of thought of the vicks or the mask. You do what you have to do Sherry.
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GrannieAnnie Jun 4, 2019
Me too!  I'd clean up child and vomit, then go gag.
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No. It is not rude to protect yourself from bacteria.

I chose not to wear a mask with my DH when I cleaned him, but he wasn't in Adult Briefs. I chose not to wear gloves unless there was a chance of infection, like if I had a cut on my hands. But that was my choice to make.

You do whatever you feel you need to better protect yourself.
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Reply to RayLinStephens
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No, not at all. actually it's better if you do. And gloves as well.
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Reply to inneedindeed
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Not at all! Changing an infant's diaper is not the same as changing an adults, I don't care what anyone says. If you are not a trained CNA of course it will be unpleasant. Your loved one is lucky your are caring for them and getting them cleaned up. Don't feel bad about making yourself more comfortable in the process!

When I was trying to place my mother in a facility and I was having a tough time, the worse part was listening to some annoying, judgmental propaganda such as "well, they took care of you when you were a baby......". It's not the same. It's tough on the caretaker, and it's a violation of dignity for the elder.

The other situation is when there would be invites to family parties and I would feel pressured to bring my elderly, incontinent, dementia and anxiety riddled mother to the event. I was quite candid and told people, no thank you, but I'd like to enjoy your party and I do not want to spend the whole evening in the toilet with my mother. Period. That shut them right up.
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disgustedtoo Jun 5, 2019
Sometimes being blunt with clueless people works... With the "explosion" in various dementia cases, I am finding more and more people I deal with in person or on the phone know of someone and are very understanding. Then there are those who know naught...
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