Relative has become incontinent of bowel since entering nursing home. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

Relative has become incontinent of bowel since entering nursing home. Any advice?

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I think it might be because he cannot call for the help. He cannot use call button, disability prevents this, he is also deaf and blind.

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Being deaf and blind must be the worst. It walls him off from any communications. Does he know braille?
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Willows ... Just something to think about. There is an aerobics instructor that I know. She also works cremating people in her husbands business. She says she can always tell when a person has been in a good nursing home and a not-so-good nursing home, by they way they have been bathed, have or do not have bed sores, etc. I would say to all out "there" to not paint all nursing homes with the same brush. There are some that I would not put my worst enemy in (those are, quite often, profit-driving private or corporate run operations), but there are some which have very dedicated people who give 100%. In either case, their job is very hard, which is why it is important that we (the families) need to drop by from time to time and spend time with our loved ones and even take them out of the nursing home, if nothing more than a short ride in the car or a movie, or, if possible, a slow walk outside. Nature heals.

GIRLSCOUT103...As for the incontinent issue, it could be the diet, including too much vitamin C (from any source and not just a vitamin C pill...oranges, etc). Also, when my mother first moved to where she is, she had a great deal of problems going from diarrhea to constipation and back and forth. She is fine now that I got her on a schedule of eating one SMALL apple first thing in the morning. BUT...often, I just thought that she was just very nervous being in a new place and that she was afraid, and all of that contributed with the difficulty with her bowels, which have settled down now.

I would check on your relative as often as you can (daily if possible) and just reassure him that he is safe and loved and just check if you can on what is being served. Sometimes, just the basics can help, e.g., not eating ice cream.

Since he is deaf and blind, I would guess he is even more frightened and perhaps doesn't understand his surroundings yet. And with having a disability on top of it and not being able to use the call button, that just makes it harder on him. I empathize completely with your situation. Do your best to help him learn the environment and get creative on using the call button or, perhaps an attendant can check on him more often, considering that he is deaf and blind. You are not in an easy situation, but your relative is in a very frightening situation for him. I don't know how mobile he is, but try your best to help him find the toilet, and that, alone, might help ease his anxiety. Give him all the love you can and as often as you can. This is all very hard on him right now...I know it is on you, too.
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This is one of the reasons I would never consider putting my hubby in a nursing home. The "best" of them are terrible places to be. And that is my never-to-be-humble opinion.
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My 80 year old MIL who lives with us has been incontinent for years. We started using Depends right away and she is comfortable with them and it is a non issue. She uses a maximum absorbency overnight diaper while sleeping and we avoid a wet bed about half the time. We use protective padding, protective mattress cover, a sheet folded across the bed width wise and we change out these top layers daily when she wets the bed. When she is up we toilet her about every 4 hours, and she does fine. If she has to poop great, if not, fine. We will all be there someday.
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When my mom first moved to the care unit she is now, she REALLY had difficulty with her bowels. Either she was having diarrhea or constipation. This went onfor two months. (NOTE: I have since learned from a doctor not to try to stop the diarrhea, as there might be an obstruction (aka, hardened poop), and the diarrhea might just be going over and under it, and if you try to get the diarrhea under control, you might have a bigger problem with the constipation). Anyway, after numerous attempts to get things under control, I just told my mother to do what I have done every day for many many years; namely to eat a small Gala apple every morning, just BEFORE she has had a full glass of water. That's the way she starts her day. First thing. She has not had a problem with diarrhea or constipation since. She still does wear panty liners in her underwear just to be on the safe side, but she is much better off than when she first got to the new home. Perhaps something as simple as this can help others be more regular and more predictable. I wish you all the very best of luck.
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This is so sad, I pray to God I don't have to put one of our parents in a nursing home. It has to be twice as hard for your parent being deaf and blind. I don't trust some of those people in nursing homes. They probably get tired of cleaning up some of these seniors and may get abusive.
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girlscout103, why does a uti cause cognitive decline in an elderly person? I've never heard an explanation -- maybe we don't know why -- ?? But it is certainly the case that it does. My Aunt E lived to 100, with no sign whatsoever of dementia EXCEPT once in her 80s when she was hallucinating. Turned out to be a uti. Cure the uti and E is back to normal.

My mother has mild dementia that became severe dementia for the duration of a uti, and is back to mild now that is cleared up.

I'll be interested is anyone knows why this happens.
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Volunteers are not allowed to do any kind of direct care. The facility must meet his needs legally by providing him with an alternate way of signaling for assistance if he cannot find the call bell.
You can decrease the amount of times a person is incontinent but it would be unrealistic to expect that in long term care; unless you hired a private CNA to put the extra time required. I once had a client with Alzheimers who was very incontinet. Initially,put client on a shecdule of toileting every one to two hours. Then things
progressed rapidly once I learned the clients patterns, and body language. So what I did was develop a routine .I toileted at specific times, upon my arrival in the morning ,even if client was found incontinent. After each meal and again whenever body language dictated. I made well balanced meals and made sure client was adequately hydrated.
Clients became rarely incontinent, and required much less frequent toileting.
I actually stopped using Depends except for outings and before bedtime if I put client to bed.
The facility should be checking on him every 2 hours to make sure he is well and to take care of his needs.
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Has he been checked for a bladder infection? The elderly don't always have pain with bladder infections. It can cause incontinence and it could also cause memory loss.
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Thank all of you for your compassion, knowledge and wisdom. Another issue I would like to explore is ...why, does an otherwise a-symptomatic uti or urine retention cause cognitive decline in my brother; what is the connection with the brain? Are there symptoms to be on the lookout for so an treatment intervention can be made before the cognitive decline sets in?
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