My mom is having difficulty getting to the bathroom on time to pee and keeps wetting herself. Any suggestions?


I have tried getting her lady panties with pads built in but she won't wear them. Yesterday I was checking my parents room and the smell of pee was awful. I used baking soda on the wooden floor and then mopped. Seems to work. But her night clothes continue to smell even after washing them with powder and softener. Any suggestions!!!

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I use a lot of vinegar around here. A cup or two of vinegar in the wash is often enough to eliminate the smells, and I clean floors and plastics with it as well. Basically vinegar = weak acid. So it breaks down stains and smells.  The vinegar smell usually goes away once it dries.  Mom's washer is one of those high efficiency ones that uses less water, so I find smaller loads helps the vinegar move more easily through the fabrics.  (Edit:  also I clean the washer itself once or twice a week, by running it empty with two cups of vinegar.)

Enzyme-based cleaners are better than vinegar, much safer than chemical cleaners, but not cheap. They are made of bacteria and enzyme digesters. Basically, they cause a chemical reaction that breaks down biological matter (like urine) into its chemical components, which releases the stains and smells.  When I worked in property maintenance, this is what we used to thoroughly clean a place after tenants with pets and/or young children.  (There is pretty much no other way to get the smell of cat pee out of a floor vent!)

I got my mom into the Depends pull-ups by appealing to her sense of shame, to be honest. It helps that she has to go for medical treatments 3x a week, because she does NOT want the embarrassment of going out in the world smelling like urine or feces. Having home support back me up on the smell factor was also very helpful in this "conversion."
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Reply to Dorianne

20 Mule Team Borax. Put it in with detergent. Doesn’t hurt colors. My grandmother’s caregiver used it when my grandmother had that problem. I used it on cloth baby diapers.
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Reply to anonymous439773

I’d just like to add that a nurse and a therapist both told me not to call them “diapers” in front of your loved one. Diapers=“baby” and even those with dementia will find it insulting to be compared to a baby. When I talk to hubby, I always say “underwear”.
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Reply to Ahmijoy

On the forums here, I have read where you take away your Mom regular underwear and replace them with the pull-ups. Chances are good that your Mom wouldn't want to "go commando" thus she will wear them.

Once your Mom is use to wearing the Depend type products, try other brands, too, so Mom can have a choice on which ones she likes.
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Reply to freqflyer

Hi, has she been tested for a UTI? These infections really make the urine strong. Just a thought. Good luck
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Reply to Pepsee

I have found vinegar, it kills the enzymes that cause odor, to be very helpful. I make my own detergent that has borax in it, so that probably helps also.

I would try to get her to wear pull ups, anything you have to tell her or do to get her to agree would be worth the time and effort. I had to appeal to my dads pride regarding wet pants and odor, i just don't want you to be embarrassed, no shame in them dad. I had to address it a few dozen times to get compliance, once he knew that a large percentage of people use them from middle age on, he was better with them.

Best of luck, it's a stinky situation all the way around.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal

I agree with Ahmijoy. Its still a form of underwear and respectfully your loved one won't feel "old" when you use the term pull-ups. My mother lived in a nursing home before so our conversation is easier than most, that if you don't want to go back, do your part to be at home. I suggest having your loved one visit with you to a nursing home like a tour, it may unnerve her some, but she will get the picture. Its role reversal time and you have to be firm. My mother is quite incontinent, however I have to stay up on the laundry to avoid the urine smell.
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Reply to commutergirl

My dad began getting urge incontinence which is a symptom as dementia advances. I tried getting him to use the brief guards but he couldn’t remember how or even to do it. So finally I made the decision to remove all his regular briefs and put the pull up depends in his drawer. He adjusted easily when he no longer had to worry about having urine on his jeans because he couldn’t make it to the bathroom fast enough. So try that. Tell mom that it gives her a safeguard if she can’t make it in time.
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Reply to Harpcat

Yes, get rid of her regular panties and tell her the only panties available are these. Buy the ones that are more like panties until she get used to them and tell her they come in a lavender color (whatever color they come in, but don't buy the white ones for a while). Good luck.
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Reply to Tessabella66

My father was oblivious to the smell and didn’t care if he was in public or not. I made a firm rule that he will not get in the car unless he is clean. I have been totally firm and has reluctantly agreed. I don’t talk about it very much or try to embarrass him, I am businesslike about it. I find being matter of fact and firm is helpful. Insist on the pull-ups and don’t discuss.
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Reply to Sueber48

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