What do I do when my Mom's room smells like urine? - AgingCare.com

What do I do when my Mom's room smells like urine?

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She won't cooperate and let us clean her throw rugs or take them out of the room. My mom stays in the bed most of the time...spine problem and arthritis. She is almost 84. Her mind is pretty clear. She has two dogs, and one goes to the bathroom in her room all the time. The scent of urine us so bad in there that I dread going in there. I always open the window and spray air freshener...doesn't help much. She will not cooperate. She says she can't smell it and that I'm the only one who complains. My kids complain to me. She can't smell it...used to it, I guess. She will not let us take the throw rugs out and clean them...says she paid too much money for them, and she cleans things up, so there shouldn't be a scent. What can/should I do? It's driving me nuts!!

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You Mom is probably trying to control the one tiny patch of the world she considers hers.
"Nature's Miracle". Get the gallon size with the spray nozzle. It has enzymes that break down the urine and make it odorless, and does a great job, even where dogs pee on doorjambs and it soaks into the wall-to-all carpet. Try getting "puppy pads" to see if the dog will go on those. Sometimes older dogs are creatures of habit or don't want to go far from their owner to do their business.
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In the facility where I work the staff uses a product called Periwash to control the smell of Urine. It works well.
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Hi, Yes Maggie gave an excellent answer! Follow her GREAT ADVICE.
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Right on, Maggie and Garden Artist. Who can't out run an 84 year old with arthritis and spine problems who stays in bed all the time? At least the doggys will appreciate the clean!
There have actually been cases where the APS didn't help, but when the welfare of the sick person's pets were at stake, the animal control could take the pets out of the home if nothing was done. And, they did. True.
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Thank you, Garden Artist. I consider that high praise.
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Maggie, well written, very well written. I've also been wondering why adults keep falling back on the "mom won't let me" or "dad won't let me" justification. Come on, give me a break. If they're still children allowing their parents to dictate to them, they have no business trying to take care of their parents.
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I am always amazed when a caregiver says, "She won't let me." Really?? Your mom's room smells like an outhouse. You know it...your kids know it...anyone who sets foot in her room knows it. Probably permeates the HOUSE. Her dogs pee in it. And your 84-year-old mom won't let you clean it. Come on, for heaven's sake.

Pick up the rugs. If they aren't washable, throw them away. If they ARE washable, wash them twice. Wash the floors...change her sheets...go buy a plastic tablecloth from the Dollar Store and put it under the fitted sheet. Make sure she is continent and not peeing in bed. If she is, it's past time for Depends Briefs. And throw away the mattress.

After you've cleaned her room to within an inch of its life, let the dogs out every few hours. Crate then at night. Dogs don't like peeing where they live. It's usually out of desperation or because it's become a marker from not cleaning up previous accidents.

Really, wouldn't any logical person say, "Oh, my goodness! It really DOES Smell like urine?? I can't even smell it. Of COURSE. Do whatever you need to do to clean." Mom is not herself. You've got to take charge.

I don't mean to be so cranky. But isn't our job as caretaker hard enough without letting our own selves get in the way? Don't you at least deserve to be the boss as you turn your life upside down caring for your mom? IMO, it's very difficult for us to reverse the roles. You're not HER little girl any more, she's yours. Would you have let any of your children live in a room like that? Of course not.

Get cleaning, my friend. Then pour a cup of tea, sit down, relax and pat your little self on the back for a job well done. Oh, put in some ear buds and rock out to "I Will Survive" while you're cleaning so you don't hear mom. ;)
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She IS probably used to the smell. My mother wore depends for about a year. She'd change them frequently, but just put them in a bag in the hall for "anyone" who happened to be visiting to take to the trash for her. When I gently explained to her that the smell was VERY noticeable, she began to think a little differently. She got some baggies that were for smelly diapers (in the baby section of most stores) and began to use those. Also, we did do away with all her throw rugs, as they are serious tripping hazards. Her birds are the smelliest things in her apt....so we just try to clean up after them as best we can. Pam's idea of replacing the floor is excellent--we are trying to do this in mother's apt., but she is giving us some pushback on it. (It was HER idea, in the beginning). Vinyl is so much easier for to walk on and to clean. Ugh--good luck with the dogs. It is nigh unto impossible to train an old dog to pee anywhere "new". If you CAN replace the floor, paint it wit KILZ over and over until the stains do not leach up through the paint. Then you can put down vinyl.
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Remove the rugs anyway and wash them with a urine neutralizing soap such as Betadine Scrub. If her room is carpeted, pull up the carpet and pad and treat the floor underneath. Then have a solid vinyl floor put down, something that is liquid impermeable and cleanable. Crate the offending dog at night if that is what it takes to prevent recurrence. Small male dogs are the worst offenders, and some owners put on a belly band to stop the peeing.
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There are times when elders don't get to choose or make the rules. One is the hygiene issue.

I agree with Robin; tell her kindly, but firmly that the rugs are going to get cleaned, the dogs are going to be trained to go outside, and that's that.

She'll probably be angry and pout, but what's more important? Her getting her own way or the health of you and your family. Being exposed to dog droppings isn't healthy for anyone, including your mother.

If you have to, tell her that the dog's products are detrimental to your children's health, and if she cares about them, she'll cooperate. If she doesn't, you might have to start considering where she can live elsewhere. Seriously, the ammonia in the urine is NOT anything that humans should be exposed to on a regular basis in an enclosed environment.
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