I have a hard time dealing with cleaning my wife's private areas, I feel very uncomfortable when I have to do this! My wife can no longer clean herself and I was wondering if anyone knows of a proper way to deal with this?

I am not sure how long you have had to deal with the uncomfortable feelings while cleaning your wife's private parts. If it has only been a week or two, I can 100% tell you it gets SO much easier with time. (almost like cleaning her hands for her)
The reason I say this is from experience. It was so difficult the first month or two and now it is just part of caring for her and making sure the skin doesn't break down in places that are harder to reach and of course, have the urine stay on her skin too long.
I commend you for taking on such a difficult task. The love you have for her is so obvious with you even writing this letter asking for advice.
I hope this doesn't sound strange or disrespectful, but I would also add humor to a very uncomfortable time. Something like....."hey lady, when I took my vows such and such years ago, I don't remember saying something along the lines of such and such." I can also tell you that the more your wife senses your discomfort in doing this task for her, the harder it is on her. I don't mean to diminish your feelings on this very private and hard question, what I mean to do is add the good you are accomplishing by doing this task. (the better job you do "down there", the less problems for the future with skin break down and such and such. I have found that a caregiver that is male for my mom seemed strange at first, but the man is so patient with her, loves her stories, never is late or misses a day and respects what she can and can't do on her own. His prior job he had was with special needs adults, he is an angel sent out way. Mom thinks all men "never listen to my needs", (bad experiences with husband and 2 adult sons), but this guy has slowly, but SHIRLEY, turned some of her thoughts around about men.
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Reply to foxxmolder
Isthisrealyreal Dec 5, 2019
The best nurse I ever had was a man.

His compassion and professionalism was greater than all the female RNs that I have dealt with combined. No offense to anyone here.
I had similar problem with my wife , bought a Blue Bidet at Lowe’s $38 and only takes 15 to 30 minutes to install. Works great with cleaning after BM. I use Bath wipes like used in hospitals Or Baby wipes scented for front.
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Reply to larry115

If she is still using the toilet, I like the bidet suggestion that someone made.  Let the water do most of the work!  If she is not using the toilet and just going in a diaper, I would try squirt with warm soapy water and one with warm clear water...have a towel underneath, etc...  If she is in diapers, use some sort of barrier ointment to prevent skin breakdown.
Some folks on this site are going to tell you that this is your obligation as her husband, but I disagree.  I wouldn't want my husband to have to clean my privates and I sure don't want to clean his after a BM.  Talk with her physician...consider hiring help....consider placement if necessary.

Good Luck Delberte.
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Reply to Jamesj

My fingers were amputated, so I'm kind of in the same boat. Go with a bidet. They range in price from very inexpensive to very expensive.
Money well spent.
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Reply to 7again

I have similar issues with my mother. When bathing her I first put some body wash on the seat of her shower chair before sitting her on it to help soap up and clean that area and then we use shower head on flexible hose to spray warm water and use soapy washcloth to clean her. There is also a bidet like hose attachment for toilet where you can do similar method by sitting her on toilet and squiring soap on lower abdomen and let it wash down lower regions and under her and wipe her clean etc. hope this helps.
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Reply to KimK13

I agree with everything said here. I would make a list and start from there to see what works best for you and her.
I can only add my own experiences. Wearing rubber gloves helped in the beginning but near the end I was not using them so much.
I wiped and washed my Luz several times a day as well as doing the laundry more than once a day.
however I did use the anti-bacterial soap for washing, a clean dedicated towel for drying and finishing up with a female wipe . Some claim to have a lotion in them. It seemed to help with her comfort down there.
I did all of this while continuously talking to her.

We did have the luxury of a step in tub where I would help her with total bathing. After bathing she would play in the water for about an hour. That was fun for both of us.
One other area that I paid attention to was under her breasts since she did develop a fungal infection there once from not wearing a bra.

I must add that dealing with waste removal was nothing new to me. I worked in the building and shipboard field for many years and there wasn't much I did not run into.
I was very glad to do all of this and more, like cleaning carpet and rugs at all hours of the day and night.
I wish I were still doing it.

Best of luck to you
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to OldSailor
MaryKathleen Dec 5, 2019
OldSailor ((HUGS))
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You have a lot going on Delberte. Talk to your doctor about the situation and get information about respite care for your wife, while you are dealing with your medical issues. It may become a full time placement.

If your wife still uses the toilet, but needs help with wiping, then a bidet toilet seat may work for you. If she is using pull ups or diapers (don't yell at me, this is for ease of understanding), then it is more challenging, especially is she is bowel incontinent.

Although some likes wipes, I have always found that small soft wash clothes and warm water work best. A diaper/barrier cream make it easier to clean up the next mess, as well as protecting the skin.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Tothill

Hmmm.... I think posting actual “instructions” is not needed. Any adult can figure out towels, warm water, and soap. I think what he is saying is he DOESN’T WANT to do it, which is absolutely a fair response.
Listen Delberte, this is YOUR life. You don’t get a “do-over”. If the years you spend caring for your wife require this extreme commitment, be sure you accept that you don’t get them back. These may be the last years that you are in control of your own body, able to do the things YOU want to do. No second chances in this lifetime.
Find a good, safe place for your wife and visit often to ensure she is being well cared for. This does not make you a selfish person, it shows you have enough good sense to love yourself as much as you love your wife.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Fida0123

It may be time to consider moving into assisted living g. My parents live together although in the beginning, only my mom needed the support. The caregivers will come and wipe my mom after she uses the bathroom by her pulling the cord next to the toilet.
Sorry to say, but it will only become harder over time. Having This help has been a godsend to both of them. It was not an easy adjustment, but a necessary one.
Good luck to you.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Judysai422

Get a referral from her doctor for home health services. This is paid by Medicare. I believe that they will bathe her up to 3 times per week.
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Reply to AnnaMaria

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