What is the right balance between preserving pride/dignity and making sure someone's uncontrolled bowel movements diaper out well? - AgingCare.com

What is the right balance between preserving pride/dignity and making sure someone's uncontrolled bowel movements diaper out well?


Thickness of diaper, how often it should be changed, dealing with someone else's embarrassment/stubborness at having to wear an adult diaper.

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Everyone here has made my day just a little happier. It truly warms my heart to hear from so many kind and loving caregivers. And I can only repeat what's been said already. Be kind, be tender, be loving. They wish it was different just as much or more than you.
To be honest, the first few times ( about 2yrs ago now ) I thought I would be sick and was sure I wouldn't be able to it. Now it is just a part of our lives and something that needs to be done. It IS only poop and it does wash off.
And I really like what Jeanne said about being glad to be the one to help. I can't be certain but I think my Hubs would rather it was me than a stranger and so I AM glad to be the one to make his life just a little more comfortable. I'm also glad to be on this journey with people like all of you.
God bless us all
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I speak kindly and softly, get the job done as efficiently and quickly as possible. Breath thru your mouth if the smell is offensive to you Explain in a loving way that we all need help at times during our lives and it is a privilege to help someone we love. It is only poop and it washes off - thats what we used to say at the hospital.
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Would you or they rather be catheritized & have forced enemas?
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There is no right way to preserve dignity in order to keep your loved one clean and infection free. I have been diapering my mom for 3 years and I do wahtever it takes to keep her clean. Frequencey varies day to day, but now I know from her facial expressions when she has gone/or is about to go. There is no dignity on caring for someone with dementia/alzheimers. I just keep telling myself it is not the person but a disease. A terrible one in which the brain is broken. Good Luck.
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Do everything jeannegibbs said.

I'm a home health nurse and I am always very conscious of my patient's dignity. I've had patients apologize profusely when they soil their undergarment. And that's what I call it, an "undergarment". Or just "undies" if it's a woman. Or a "brief" if it's a man. I hear the word "diaper" and I cringe.

And when the person apologizes profusely I reassure them and remind them that it's a natural bodily function and that it's better that it's coming out then staying in (since elderly people are so consumed with their bowels).

When I've had to clean someone up I lay a towel across their midsection so they feel more covered and less vulnerable. However, when it's time to roll over (and this is if the person has a BM in bed) they're hindquarters have to be exposed and there's nothing that can be done about that.

Be matter-of-fact, don't react to any smells, be efficient, and be loving. If the person has pain in the peri area reinforce their feeling, "I know that's sore, I'm sorry, we're almost done....."

Needing someone to clean up our elderly person's BM is the worst indignity someone can suffer especially if family is the one who has to do the cleaning. But it is a good opportunity to give the person back some of their dignity by treating them with respect and not showing our impatience or our distaste.
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To Chiefmac: This is what I told my husband. He said you didn't have to bring me home from the Veteran's Secure Unit. I said yes I did. He would have done the same for me! I am positive of that. He just wants to know he is secure in my love for him. He has told me he loves me about a million times since he got home. You are to be commended for being a loving and responsible husband and caretaker.
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I just change my wife and say nothing except hold still I have to clean something up. easy? No! But, they didn;t ask to be like this. Our poor Medical systems and the doctors that just want us to die don't help.
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The right balance is to do what has to be done while working very hard to preserve pride and dignity. Both are necessary and critical. It can't always be a perfect balance, but that is the goal.

Many adults prefer not to think of themselves wearing "diapers." They are sometimes less sensitive to needing "special undies" or "disposable briefs" or some other non-infant term.

You talk about "impulsive" bms, as if the patient suddenly gets a whim and decides to go. Incontinence is not really a decision, as I understand it. It the person really can't control it, talking to them as if it were their fault and they should have better impulse control doesn't preserve their dignity. I'm not saying you do this -- just reacting to the wording of your post. You wish your loved one weren't incontinent and so, I suspect does the loved one! You are on the same side here!

The person should be changed immediately upon soiling the special undies. "I'm so sorry that we have to go through this. But since that is the way things are, I'm glad to be able to help you." Be matter-of-fact. This is just a chore that has to be done.

I assume that your loved one is being followed by a doctor for this condition, and that you are following medical advice.
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