I clean bathrooms a lot. Lately I just don't seem to be able to keep my mother's bathroom clean. Yesterday I gave it a good scrubbing and thought I had it clean. It smelled like vinegar -- not great, but better than urine. A few minutes after I cleaned, my mother used the bathroom and the smell was so strong it was like I hadn't cleaned in a week. It is a strong ammonia smell -- like you smell in a dirty bathroom in a gas station.
My mother has no detectable UTI. She is diabetic, but the sugar is controlled. Maybe she needs to drink more water? What I'm hoping is there is something I can add to her diet to improve the odor. Anyone have ideas about this?
Whatever you put into your body is going to have to come out somehow. And if the body isn't hydrated enough it's not going to flush out impurities as quickly as it should. I totally agree with Nancy: more water -- and a cleaner diet.
What a great website :)
Now, if I tried to coax her to try to go to the bathroom when she didn't feel she needed to, oh boy, it was like the beginning of World War 3.
The way I solved the problem was to ask her if she would come "here" as I needed help with something. She believed herself to be a helper and she was always willing to come do something helpful when asked. I always made sure that what I asked her to do (which wasn't ever anything really) was within view of the bathroom and the toilet.
Then I'd say that I had to go and should I use "the other bathroom" in case she needed to use "this one". 99 times out of 100, she would say, "Well, I may as well go since I'm already here" and chuckle about it. This prevented nearly 100 percent of her accidents and continued to be a successful method until she later had three small strokes and could no longer feel the sense or urge that she needed to go to the bathroom.
Lately, my MIL (in depends) will say she must get to the toilet...........I help her there and as I start to drop her pull ups...........she pees all over the floor. That is tough because the commode chair sometimes follows her around from room to room (as she has difficulty getting around). I try to keep a mat under it but sometimes it runs off onto the carpet or hardwood. Doctor says there is no UTI but due to the Alzheimers............she is often unaware of what she is doing. A good day here is a fresh sweet smelling day. Well, you all know how the other days smell lol.
You did the smart thing in breaking down and reading yourself (and your mom!) of the old stinky appliance. There is something about people raised in the depression age who are declined to try to save just about everything on the basis that it either saves money or that they may need it again, even if they have one or more of the same thing. My mom even had things in her drawers or closets that she was "saving for good", except that she thought none of her experiences were the good she was supost to be saving them for. But she continued wanting to save them "just in case". Over time, the saved items were also getting older and more useless in and of themselves, hahaha.
I think the primary reason why everything begins to seem like it is so hard is because they have lost the ability to reason logically, although we continue to do so. It's very difficult to watch one of our loved ones deteriorating and we try to bring them back to a reality that they will never experience again no matter what we do. So, in essence, when we do this, WE are making it hard on ourselves because we won't admit your continued and worsening inability to live in our reality. IMHO, the sooner that we learn to use the therapeutic lying technique and leave them alone to their own reality, the sooner our own life becomes easier. It is such an obvious struggle to come to this place because we have always learn and then taught that honesty is the best policy and we are repulsed by the thought of lying to our parents (or other elders) who are the ones that taught us the value of telling the truth. It is such a paradox and anomaly. Ay yi yi...
The bathroom smells much better now. Last night I asked her how she liked it. She said it smelled better, then left a gap. I expected to hear that it didn't feel right and she wanted her other back. I cut out before she could say it. This morning I took a hammer to unfreezing the old Evil safety frame -- man it even stunk inside the tubes -- broke it apart, boxed it, and tossed it. Now it is no longer available if she should start wanting it back.
There's really no reason that everything has to be so hard. I can never quite figure out why it is.
The US warns against drinking LARGE amounts of cranberry juice when taking warfarin (Coumadin) whereas the UK doesn't recommend using them concurrently. Confusing...
The old school of thought about cranberry juice was that the acidification is what helped prevent a UTI. Current thought is that it is the proanthocyanidins and other ingredients that help prevent the two most common bacterias (which cause over 85 percent of UTI's) from a hearing to the tissue lining the urinary tract. Interestingly, it doesn't seem to have the ability to dislodge bacteria already adhered, the reason why it is highly effective at preventing UTI but relatively ineffective how to curing them.
The recommended daily dose of juice (and they are referring to cranberry juice cocktail) is about 10 ounces for an adult to prevent UTIs and 3 to 6 ounces day to counteract urine smell. The US considers that TOO MUCH jus can destabilize the action of warfarin, sometimes making it MORE effective and that the cranberry juice has an additive effect because the proanthocyanidins are also a mild blood thinner. The US is more liberal than the UK in that they suggest if you are onkt using a food based dietary intake and you remain consistent with the amount you use, the warfarin amount given as a result of the PT test would not need to be modified but that you should inform your doctor if you change the quantity you drink though in no case should you drink more than 10 ounces per day if you are on warfarin.
Also, and I don't know who would do this although I'm sure we can find someone out there who knows, a liter or more per day of cranberry juice can lead to the formation of stones because of the oxalate and the product. Over use of raw spinach can do the same thing.
While we're on the subject, not that people in the US eat much of these unless they are macrobiotic or Deep South food enthusiasts, but green leafy vegetables (turnip greens, beet greens, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, dandelion greens, bok choy, spinach, etc) are all high in vitamin K which is a coagulant Anne is a direct antagonist to blood thinners such as warfarin. Heads up! There's a big world out there when it comes to blending nature with medicine!
I'm glad to read that JB may have somewhat solved the problem with (A) the new and refreshed pottie appliance - bacteria so easily forms in the residue of urine that ends up on plastic or vinyl - and (B) seeing that her mom is hydrated more which tends to dilute urine concentration.
It would take the paper off monograph length to outline what is being research to help reduce the smell of urine - generally caused by the ammonia smell in the breakdown of urea - as there are many nutrients being investigated, however everything is a subset of a subset, where they are looking at certain genetic markers that cause inadequate or altered breakdown. Therefore, not anything that can be recommended for general use without genetic counseling of the patient, which no one is going to do, considering the cost, for something as simple as smelly urine if there are other ways to overcome the problem.
Yucca saponins are routinely added to ruminant (animals with multiple stomachs that chew their cud) feed to reduce or prevent the urea break down into ammonia in animal urine or excreted digestive gases. The thought is that it inhibits the action of certain protozoa in the stomach and thus neutralizes the smell in urine and flatulence. That may not be completely true however because there is a liquid yucca it can be given to dogs to help the same problem and dogs don't have multiple stomachs, chew their card or et the kind of diet that supports the protozoa. Hmmmmm...
When my mom with drug-induced dementia begin having heart problems (A-fib), her ability to regulate her internal thermostat went completely out of whack. Her Cardio doc said it was par for the course but her PCP thought it was likely hormonal. He said if she were younger and didn't have the problem she did, we could probably do something about it. However, under her circumstances, he was reluctant to try to fool with the hormones of someone her agent in her condition.
I'm saying that because I am a lot of others have taken the dog yucca and had great results. The problem is its not approved, it doesn't come under the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) qualifications and the products are labeled "For animal use only. Not for human consumption". While there are many nutritional supplements that are safe to try on a senior or dementia person that would be free of complications, this unfortunately isn't one of them.
Another reason not to be fooling around to try to cover up a strong smell is because the most important thing about it is to know WHY. Just like taking an aspirin for a headache over and over again may cover up a brain tumor, using something to cover up the smell of urine without getting to the bottom of it would be overlooking the problem of why it smells. That can be very hazardous in a senior or a dementia person, who generally are very poor informants as to what's wrong with them or how they feel.
Because of the devastating effects of a UTI in seniors, with many more women than men having them, hey generally safe preventative thing that can be given for that is cranberry juice. The best way to get it is to use plain unsweetened cranberry juice that you blend with a little water and add PURE stevia. If you find out to be too difficult, the next option is ocean spray light cranberry juice. Be aware that the sweetener in there is sucralose, which was previously thought to be the less offensive all the artificial sweeteners, but with all the new research on beta-amyloid tangled in the brain, we are supposing that it could lead to an increased contribution toward dementia. If one already has dementia, it's probably not going to make it worse even though the UT I probably would, so it's making another decision based on the risk/benefit ratio.
A couple of other things you may consider: (1) give only fresh raw fruit or vegetable-fruit foods or juices (vegetable-fruits are tomato, eggplant, okra, peppers, cucumbers) and (2) avoid citrus juices.
Bathroom smells so much better, even after my mother used it a couple of times. I've also been setting water beside her and telling her she needs to drink more.
Feeling accomplished tonight.