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My 81 year old mom, who is having more difficulty recently with using the toilet on her own is very embarrased about her aide of 5 years being there to assist her if she is having a bowel movement. As a result of this she took a fall recently and then a near fall. I along with the aide have tried to explain to her that she should leave the door open the entire time so that the aide can assist her. She is embarrased about odors, noises etc. She alsouses Depends and that makes the process a bit more involved for her to do on her own now. We just changed from a standard commode with legs to a raised toilet seat with handles on it to avoid having legs in there that she can trip over. The window is not easy for the aide to get to and not practical during cold weather. The walker is kept outside the bathroom since it is too big for the small bathroom. I am wondering if a 4 prong cane would help her while she is in the actual bathroom. I was thinking about maybe having a bathroom fan put in, but not sure if they are really helpful? I thought it might make her less self conscious for the odor, noises, etc. Has anyone had a similar situation?

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Are you using pull up style depends? Those seem to be easiest to manage. A radio tuned to classical music would be soothing.
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I have found that putting a drop or two of peppermint oil does stop the smell that's in the toilet. But it does not cover the smell as the poop is falling. So, a deodorant or fan can help with that one.
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Thanks everyone, good suggestions. I am going to see if the exhaust fan installation is not very complicated, as we never had one in the room. I also read about something where you put special drops over the water after you go and it supposed to help stop the smell. Just to put mom more at ease. Yes, the aide waits nearby I just worry about mom forgetting to announce to her that shes done and ready to get up. (She used to be able to do all toileting by herself but recently she seems more unsteady. Plus she has the Depends to deal with.) thanks!
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Your poor mother, I feel for her. Of course she is self-conscious, who wouldn't be? But it's a matter of safety and practicality. Once the aide has seen her safely onto the seat, can she wait outside until your mother calls her? My mother has a small hand bell for when she's ready to get out of her bath, for example. Tip: take the lock off the bathroom door. Yes you'll feel mean and tricksy about doing that, but it's better than not being able to get into the room in an emergency.

I'm afraid it is just a matter of getting used to it. The aide can help by making no comment at all ever about anything and just behaving as if it's all the most natural thing in the world. But anything has got to be better than risking both a broken hip and a toilet "accident" at the same time…
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I remember leaving the door partly open and standing far enough away for privacy but close enough if patients needed me prompt-o.I certainly would not want someone standing over me in this situation.Try the fan,room deodorizers,let the aide talk to your mom but far enough away for privacy...I used to do that and it took their mind off being embarrassed.Cripe I clearly remember one gentleman
telling me how to make a wind spinner out of soda cans while he did his thing...any topic will do..good luck
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Bless your mom's heart, of course she's self-conscious. Anyone would be. She just needs to get over that hump of being embarrassed. Once she does she'll be OK.

I wouldn't risk another cane, the aide is there to assist in your mom's daily routine. Since the aide has been with your mom for 5 years what has your mom done up till now?

When one of my patients needs to have a BM they're usually so used to having someone around my presence doesn't phase them. That's where your mom needs to be. I'm going to assume that your aide has reassured her over and over that it's OK, that it's the human body, that we all do it. I've come across some stinky stuff in my day and I have never reacted. I'll talk to the person, put them at ease.

Does the aide wait outside the bathroom once your mom sits down? Once your mom is safely on the commode the aide should step out of the room a few feet so she's not seen but she's there if your mom needs her. Your mom deserves some dignity even while having a bowel movement. She should be able to poop in peace. :-)
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For me, I keep a room deodorant like renuzit in each of the rooms. I also use the air spray that eliminates odors before changing my father's messy poop, during, and then afterwards. Sorry, but his poop is one of the most awful sharp (acidy?) smelling poop I've ever encountered. He cannot smell so ... Perhaps tell your mom that the regular bathroom deodorant makes the bathroom smell nice. And when she does her bowel movements, then you will spray the room to Get RID of the smell.

I also keep the TV on when changing his pamper. It helps cover the uncomfortable situation of cleaning his very personal body parts. Maybe you can have one of those bathroom radios hanging in the bathroom. It will help fill out the "dead air".

The fan is also good. Are you able to install it on top of the wall? My brother did that. He bought a fan from Kmart, and then installed it on the wall. When we turn on the top light, it also turns on the fan - which is aimed directly to the toilet area.
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