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 Personal Hygiene - for the non-spouse caregiver 
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:34 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Greer, SC
Post Personal Hygiene - for the non-spouse caregiver
I am caring for my 87 yr young grandfather who I'm starting to have some grooming issues with. He's been wearing depends for quite some time (and thinks its FUN to pee in them now) but he does not like to change them because he thinks its a waste. He's had a couple of UTI's which I believe are caused by sitting in a wet diaper much too long.

He's my grandfather, so the personal care aspect is rather difficult for us to deal with. Does anyone out in Lewy land deal with someone who is not a spouse (where more intimate personal care isn't such an issue)? Do I just remind him to change more often?

What I'd like to avoid is having the aide come in an extra day per week just to shower and groom him. As it is she is only coming 2days/week maybe I should add a day? It's the only time I don't worry about his personal hygiene. He does very little for himself and when he does try to shave, ends up cutting his face up (but refuses to use an electric blade).

Sorry for all the questions. I just got my youngest out of diapers and now I'm dealing with stinky diapers all over again!

Sun May 03, 2009 9:34 am

Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
I don't believe one can develop a UTI from sitting in wet Depends BUT one can develop bed sores. I think an infected bed sore is what killed Christopher Reeves ("Superman"). So I agree with you that this is a serious concern.

Since your grandfather seems cooperative with the aide, I would increase the number of days the aide comes.

With LBD, many people lose their ability to smell. Perhaps if you point out that you and others can detect the urine odor, and he cannot due to his Parkinson's Disease, that you need to change his Depends more frequently.

Perhaps you could buy a large quantity of Depends and say that someone gave them to you for free? Maybe this would eliminate any money issue there might be.

What about getting your grandfather to exercise several days of the week? (Maybe the aide could help with that?) After sweating, you or the aide could say "we need to get that sweat showered off" and then you could change the Depends.

Before bed each night, maybe someone could say "these Depends are torn; we need to change them before bed."

In an Alzheimer's support group meeting I heard someone else's suggestion about this. This woman would say to her loved one "We're going to see so-and-so today, and we need to both get cleaned up really well because so-and-so requires every to have on clean undies and a clean shirt, no matter what." This worked for her.

Hope one of these ideas will work for you, or that you've come up with some of your own.

BTW, you might have more issues with helping your grandfather deal with his Depends than he does. I am a woman, and I regularly put clean Depends on my father, cleaned up urine and feces from his groin area, put on condom catheters, shaved the scrotum, all kinds of stuff. Dad seemed to just deal with it, and I did too.

Sun May 03, 2009 10:23 am

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:30 pm
Posts: 976
Location: Henderson, Nv.

You and your dad must have had a very special, kind, caring, open relationship. He was lucky to have you for his daughter.
Great suggestions and hopefully one will work for jbnyoung. My LO changes clothes 3 of 4 times a day so this is no problem for us...its the laundry!

Dianne C.

Sun May 03, 2009 11:19 am

Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:34 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Greer, SC
Thank you for the advice. I think that he's just very modest most of this time except when he's in Lewy land.

All bets are off right now. He fell and broke his hip and if he survives this, is facing rehab and possibly nursing home admission. I'm crushed right now, he came here in March, and even though I knew it was a "when" not "if" he would fall, I didn't think it'd happen while he was with me. I'm just glad he wasn't home alone when it happened.

Wed May 06, 2009 1:59 pm

Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:28 pm
Posts: 781
Location: LA
Post For Granddaughter who is in fear and pain and sadness
jnbyoung wrote:
I'm crushed right now, he came here in March, and even though I knew it was a "when" not "if" he would fall, I didn't think it'd happen while he was with me.

Yes, he fell, think of all the times he did not fall because of you. We don't feel guilt on this forum. We look to our job with pride and think "What can we do now?" No time for guilt. We all wish you and him the best.


Wed May 06, 2009 2:56 pm

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:30 pm
Posts: 976
Location: Henderson, Nv.
Post guilt here. We are all doing our personal best and you did should be proud of taking care of him and I am sure he is thankful for it. Accidents happen and all of them cannot be prevented. As Dorthea said: think of all of the falls you prevented from happening. :)
My LO fell this morning. The aide and I were getting him ready for a echocardiogram test at the medical facility,,,we were both 6 feet away from him but couldn't get there in time. Thank goodness he fell onto the sofa so the cushions softened his fall and he was not hurt. We try our best but we are not miracle workers...though we do try to be :)

Dianne C.

Wed May 06, 2009 11:58 pm

Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3441
Location: Vermont
Interesting how different some of our experiences can be, as well as how similar some are. The first 2 months my dad was in ass'td living we went through almost $500 of depends each month. He insisted on being changed more than once an hour, wet or dry. If they checked him (dryness wise), which he asked them to do every few minutes, he also insisted on being changed.
When I investigated why the bills were so high, this is what the caregivers told me. Also, their price for the depends were twice as high as getting them at Sam's Club, so my sister got cases and cases of them. We told the caregivers NOT to change him unless he needed it. When they first started following my sisters' and my instructions, my dad said "I have plenty of money. It doesn't matter how much money I spend on these." He had this period of thinking he is really rich and the money supply is endless.
It isn't, and the landfills don't need a lot of extra stuff in them. Problem finally solved....

Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:14 pm
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