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I have noticed in the last year my elderly mother who is 86 smells of urine. The cushion on her chair really whiffs too. If I mention there's a smell of urine she freaks out and gets super upset as she can't smell the odour.
We live together and this is becoming a big problem.
Do I say nothing, keep the peace and try and live with it.
I discussed the problem with my sister who is older than me but she didn't have any helpful advice.

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My mother is impossible to deal with anymore. She is so abusive I can’t stand being around and neither can my oldest son who lives with me. She won’t bathe, she refuses to wear diapers and she can’t smell urine, she won’t change her clothes and when I mention she need to change or bathe she starts slamming her fist down, saying- leave me alone and stop treating me like an idiot! I don’t like it! Take care of your own self! Then she starts yelling- get me outa here, Lord!!!
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I have the exact same problem with my mum. I once broached the issue in a very calm way and she got extremely upset which made me wish I'd never bothered. Some time after this incident she started wearing a pad but was only changing it every 24 hours I told her she needed to change it before and after she goes to bed if not more. Another problem is she only changes her skirt once a week. She is very stubborn and I find the smell of urine is a really sickening but she is 90 and oblivious to the smell. I talked to my sister but she laughed it off but she not the one living with mom so no real issue for her. Another problem is my mom worked as a weaver for most of her working life and she is quite deaf. She wears 2 hearing aids and all day long it's either no response when talking to her or repeating myself over and over again. I have asked her to have another hearing test but she says she doesn't need one. I love my mom dearly but these issues are really taking their toll on me.
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My God,, your moms mst be younger than mine.. she has NO hair anywhere anymore except on her head... and I cant believe I am posting this. LOL My MIL wears the liners in her depends, and they really do help but thank goodness they shower her at least 2 times a week!
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Well... while it's resurrected and all...

Jrg973, you mean "below the urethra." And technically, there is no hair there, but I get the gist.

JB, you crack me up!

I did trim my grandmother's pubic hair to help prevent UTIs. It made sense to me that bacteria would be in the hair since she wore Depends and was often wet or soiled, and it could add to her chance of getting infections. I did it in a "no big deal" way, and she didn't mind or seem embarrassed. She also had full dementia and likely saw it as just another way that someone else was cleaning her, doing her hygiene, and she was used to it.

I personally think a hair trim is as good as any other first step to try to eliminate urine odors, if it can be done in a way that isn't embarrassing to either party. *shrug* :)
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Don't know what resurrected this thread but I don't want to know any more
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Vaginal hair? ROFL. Your partner must be a werewolf or something.
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I'm not BSing...Usually, the smell is from the abundance of pubic hair between the legs. The hair absorbs the Urine as it is discharged, if one does not wash the hair it is not Urine free. The same train of logic goes for many other conditions. Look at the problem, look at the location and think!
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Veronica.. very very awkward -for both of us. He would stare at the TV and not watch me clean him. I do my best not to look too hard down there or else deeply forgotten memories try to come out. It was a very tough time for me when he first came home from the hospital. I've learned to go back to what I used to do as a child - phase back and let my other self do the dirty job. I still can't believe his before the stroke (smelly person) to now insisting sponge bath 4 times a week. Well, it could be he has these women touching him. He was pissed off one day and said he wasn't sexually harrassing the govt caregiver. He was Complimenting her. Nope, he is a dirty old man. And if I read from here is true, he's going to become dirtier - losing all inhibitions. Whoopee....NOT!
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Book I have a suspicion you would not look anyway. Don't know how you manage to change his pamper and not look!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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My dad was progressing in the road to senility. He used to automatically shower once a week. Then because he no longer smelled dirty, he tried to make it every 2 weeks. In the meantime, he stopped peeing in the bathroom and started peeing in jars. So, most times, he would wet the floor and his clothes. By weekend, the smell is bad and permeating on everything. I would calmly tell him that he smells like urine, and he needs to go shower. He did. Eventually, he stopped because he doesn't smell dirty. So, it was a constant struggle to get him to shower - by week 2. I would tell him that so-and-so will be visiting today, and it would be best to go shower and change his clothes so that he's not stinky when they visit. That worked for a while. Then he stopped caring if he smelled (which he says he doesn't) when visitors came. By week 3 of not showering, he had a stroke. So weird. When he got out of the hospital, he insisted that he gets sponge bath 4 times a week. It's been 2 years and I've never given him one. We have a gov't sponsored caregiver come 4 times a week, an hour per visit. They asked us what we wanted - and we both wanted them to give him the sponge bath. He's pretty good now. Except when he sticks his hand into his poop and insists it's dirt.

Long story. But what I'm trying to get at is this - when it was just dad and I, he wouldn't shower/change his clothes. But he has no problem if an outsider comes to our home and sponge bath him - as long as it's not me (he's still have his modesty...with some lewd jokes.)
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stop peeing on your mother jfc
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i had a fun time doing the do when i did the do
jk i made a sloopslop
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dont do the do when you're doing the do.
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I deal with this on a daily basis with my mom, and the best thing I've been able to do is as BHenson said above - sit down and tell her you know she would be embarrassed if she knew others could smell the urine odor in the house.

When my dad was still living, he had constant problems with ulcerated sores on his legs, which created a very bad odor in the house. Add to that odor the fact that Dad couldn't shower because he couldn't get his legs wet, and didn't bother to sponge bathe, either. And on top of that, Mom was suffering from depression and could bathe, but wouldn't. The house smelled so bad that no one would come over here. Fast forward a few years...Dad has passed away and I moved in to take care of Mom. She now showers every other day (usually - sometimes that's a struggle), wears incontinence pads to take care of the urine leaks (I have to remind constantly to change them or she forgets), and if I tell her there's an odor, she is usually pretty good about taking care of it. That's not to say that there's no odor at all in the house, but it's much better than it was when Dad was still alive and neither of them was bathing at all. I use air fresheners and candle warmers (they warm the scented candles without an open flame) to help keep the house smelling at least a little better.

It's really a team effort. You are the coach, she is the player. You guide her movements and keep her interested in the goal, or the outcome - she keeps herself clean and the house smells better, and she won't be embarrassed by it. It's a win-win situation, at least to some extent. It will never end or go away completely - this age related issue is one that most of us have to deal with at some point.
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Good ideas here. Try following the hints, but don't tell her she smells if that is what upsets her. As Dr. Phil says, "How's That Workin' For You?".
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I have the same problem with MIL, the urine odor, that is. Lets face it, urine smells. As we get older, the sense of smell isn't as keen as it used to be, that and the fact that they are just "used" to smelling it all day and get immune to the smell, especially if they have incontinence issues. When I change my MIL in the mornings, she reeks of urine smell. I just act like cleaning her every morning with a washcloth (and I use Summer's Eve or store brand feminine wash on her daily, it's less irritating than regular liquid soap) is what we do ~ no ifs, ands nor butts. I let her know if she wanted to stay with us, things would be kept as clean as possible because the basement is 90% carpeted and I didn't want the smells to get into the carpet/furniture. And, a habit we got into is we NEVER let the depend sit in the trashcan downstairs, it goes immediately outside even if it's snowing. There is a sealed trashcan right outside the door, the depend goes into the plastic grocery bag, tied up, and into the trashcan as soon as I am finished cleaning and dressing her. Also, I explain to her that I don't want her to have to have urine on her skin all day, and that we want to "keep things fresh and clean so we don't get sick". I don't even offer her an option of not getting cleaned up. If she needs changed during the day, we do the same thing. Sometimes she will try the "oh, I'm OK" thing when I take her depend off, and I tell her I am going to go ahead and wipe her anyway because I know if I don't wipe myself every time I pee, I get irritation and I don't want her skin (or insides) to be irritated. If it's my husband that changes her (because he is home with her during the day), he gives her the washcloth and lets her clean herself best as she can (which she can't do very well due to severe arthritis and paralysis of one hand due to a stroke) but she does it, nonetheless, and I told hubby to ALWAYS make sure she wipes. I change her again when I come home from work and clean her good again. Basically, she is wiped down with a washcloth every time she is changed. Her clothes DO smell of urine when her Depend leaks, but washing them right away if possible helps. A good product for the urine smelling clothes in the washer is Odoban, you can get it at Sams Club or WalMart with the laundry soap. You use your regular detergent and pour 1 cup in with the clothes or bedclothes. Baking soda works well in the washer on odors, too. For her bed, I have bought the washable 36" square incontinent pads; I bought 6 of them and they get changed out every day, even have one covering her recliner chair so she doesn't ruin the chair with urine. It gets changed every few days simply because she spends most of her day outside in her wheelchair trying to tend to the plants and flowers she potted. During inclement weather, I change the chair pads daily, too. Lots of washing, yes, but her basement apartment doesn't smell of urine. Another good product if your mom wears depends, is the overnight Poise pads in maximum absorbancy, stuck inside the Depend. It alleviates one changing of a Depend because you can just pull the pad off and wipe her for the first changing, and still use the same Depend because it's still clean. Hope this helps!
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Mom would be better off with someone who could actually care for her. You need to take care of yourself first, and that means no lifting. At an ALF she could be rolled into a shower. Urine smell may be coming from her skin, not her diaper. As kidneys fail, the skin becomes the filter, and the skin smells like urine. So the clothes have to be changed often, and the furniture has to have washable covers. Much as you love her, get others to care for her. Your time is coming, they say, behold your future.
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My mom is very mean and treats me with disrespect. And she refuses to bathe saying I don't know what I'm talking about. And her whole bedroom smells of urine. My kids are telling me don't bring her around either to their places because she has destroyed expensive furniture with the gum she smears everywhere and that she smells.I tried to bathe her but it's too hard to lift her. When she moved in with me all her clothes were filthy dirty. She told me there was nothing wrong with them. The collar area on the inside were just covered with dark stains. One of my sons said they were loaded with years of dead skin cells. And I'm not well myself because I have heart and chest pain. No one in the family will take her in either. It's kind of like a horror show around here.
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My mom had the same problem when she was alive. She was 87 and couldn't smell any longer. I also noticed that it was harder for her to wipe well at that age as well. I actually just talked to mom because she knew she had lost her sense of smell and because she had always been such a classy lady, I knew she would want to know. I absolutely kept wet wipes in the bathroom for her because they clean better and it was easier for her. Mom finally started wearing pads in the daytime which helps but those too, can smell if they are soiled. A shower each day (or at least a good sponge bath), is the only other thing I can think of besides the wet wipes. Mom also had a gas problem and because she couldn't hear well either, I don't think she knew she walked around the house "pooting" all the time. We didn't tell her about that because I didn't really think there was anything she could do about it and she would have been embarrassed about it. I think she didn't know we could hear her doing that lol. I loved her so much and the last thing I wanted to do was make her feel bad. If you're close to mom, I know you can talk to her about it in a mature way as stated above. Good luck and enjoy your mom.
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I guess it depends on the reason your mom is freaking out, is the most important thing in my opinion. Is she upset because she can't smell the odor HERSELF, and is embarrassed by it? Or is she freaking out because she doesn't believe you, or is it something else? If she's embarrassed because she can't smell it, then that's the better option I think. You tell her that you are looking out for her best interests, and that you will always 'have her back' so to speak. If she saw you come out of a restaurant's bathroom with toilet paper coming out of from your pant leg, would she tell you? Of course she would, she doesn't want you to be embarrassed. It's no different with this odor thing. She can't SMELL it, just the same as you couldn't SEE the toilet paper. You watch out for each other right? IF this indeed is the reason for the freak out, then put your two heads together and come up with a solution to eliminate this odor problem from happening. You two are in it together, make it a team effort. If she's upset for another reason.... sorry in advance. :)
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Solo, I can see only one way to handle this. Make sure your mother gets a good shower and changes all of her clothes each day and each time she has some leakage. Does she wear protective undergarments? If she doesn't, maybe she would not mind wearing a pad. It sounds like you need to give her chair a good shampooing. After the chair dries, you can place an incontinence pad on it. The cloth variety is comfortable and washable, and she may like them better than the disposable type.

Most people lose some control of their bladder when they get older. It can cause little leaks to happen when they cough, sneeze, laugh, or even move. The abdominal muscles are not as strong. There are exercises for strengthening the muscles that are easy to do. Maybe she would be interested in trying. The exercise is easy and can be done just sitting in the chair.
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