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Bowel incontinence(1)
Posted: Thursday, April 16, 2015 10:42 AM
Joined: 4/15/2015
Posts: 3

Help. My mom who has Alz has had the occasional bowel accident in the past but they are starting to happen more frequently. Yesterday was the worst one yet. To say she had an "explosion" is an understatement. It was all over the stairs, the carpet, the bathroom and her. Since she doesn't understand she just keeps on walking while she is going. Cleaning her up and changing her clothes is a nightmare. We must have spent two hours yesterday cleaning her and the carpets. We are seriously thinking of pulling up all the carpet and putting down laminate flooring for easier cleanup. You should have seen me and my step dad this morning. We were practically following her around with a bucket trying to anticipate the inevitable. Any words of advice or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Stephanie Z
Posted: Thursday, April 16, 2015 11:25 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4217

Obviously the explosion was not a normal BM. Do you know what caused it? Has this happened before? If so, it might be a good idea to let the doctor know. You might also consider giving her some probiotics to help with her digestion, and try to train her body to have a BM right after breakfast. You can do this by using a suppository for a few days to encourage a BM until it becomes routine. You should also consider upping the fiber in her diet.
You may need to also experiment with different types of diapers. Perhaps consider putting nighttime diapers on her all day, but whatever you use should be small enough to fit her legs snugly.
Hope this helps,
Stephanie Z

Posted: Thursday, April 16, 2015 3:22 PM
Joined: 4/1/2014
Posts: 5176

I know what you are going through! After several similar accidents I have come up with a routine-but still there are some days when all I think about is when mother is going to have a bm, lol!

I am very clinical about it. I am with her whenever she uses the toilet so I kow what is happening and most time she is very regular. If she has not had her bm by the normal time-I take her to the toilet every hour and have her sit on the toilet for at least 5-10 minutes. If she wants to get right up, I sit on a bench next to her and keep an arm around her and let her fidget with something. If she doesn't have a bm-I do it again an hour later. I do this until about 3pm-if she hasn't gone by then I figure today she won't have one. Of course on some days no matter what I have done to head off an accident, she has one. I just smile and act as if nothing has happened (she has no insights about the incident). I lay down a waterproof, disposable bed mat by the toilet, cut the Depends off her and clean her with disposable wash cloths that I buy at CVS.

As I said, I am very clinical about it- so I check to see if her bm's are too loose or too hard and give her either a stool softener or Benefiber to make it either softer or firmer. Plus if she hasn't had a bm in 3 days I use Miralax. You don't want them to get constipated-that is usually when blow outs occur. Once she has taken the Miralax- I watch her like a hawk and take her to the toilet every hour. I use a suppository only if the problem goes to a 4th day-and when I do use one-she is on the toilet till she has a bm.

After a certain point it really is up to us, the caregivers, to insure our LO are clean after a bm, have fiber in their diet, are well hydrated, and given enough time to do their business. I try to make my mother comfortable-I use a sound machine and normally stay by the window and look out. I cover her legs with a small bath towel and let her tear off the toilet paper even though I do the cleaning. Good luck!

Posted: Thursday, April 16, 2015 6:07 PM
Joined: 12/26/2013
Posts: 524

I would suggest that she start wearing Depends or other brand of 'diaper'... that would contain a lot of it..

Tess - The depends we get, .. you are able to 'rip' them at each side, so there's no cutting.. there is a seam on the side that tears

Posted: Thursday, April 16, 2015 8:07 PM
Joined: 4/15/2015
Posts: 3

Thank you so much for the helpful advice. I will definitely try those ideas.
Posted: Thursday, April 16, 2015 8:09 PM
Joined: 4/15/2015
Posts: 3

Thank you so much for the helpful advice. It helps to others are going through this as well.
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 1:19 PM
Joined: 6/11/2019
Posts: 522

Attesting to the fact that it is a VERY helpful thread as bowel incontinence is quickly becoming the new reality for my mom.

So far at least, those "pretty" Always Discreet pants have proven invaluable for both urine AND bowel incontinence. Pricey but worth every penny. She's only had a few instances where anything has escaped and it's been very little.

The Huggies toddler wipes don't seem to irritate her as much. For cleanup, I start with paper towels and a tiny bit of antibacterial soap to get the initial casualties and then turn to those wipes. If it's too bad, and I can get her to do it, I bundle her into the shower and use the handheld showerhead. If you don't have one, GET ONE. They help a lot. And to think I almost had mine taken out (came with house I bought last year).

When her skin does look like it's getting irritated, I use a cream called Recticare. If I start using it immediately, the irritation clears up fast. If it gets kind of bad, it will take 2-3 days to get the job done. It's kind of pricey ($25/tube at Walmart) but it does work.

Hardest parts: keeping her from "digging in the garden" and subsequently spreading the "dirt" onto fixtures, TP, clothing, etc.

If you've gone through/are going through this, too, what has worked for you, including helping to minimize the aftermath?

Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 7:30 PM
Joined: 11/13/2018
Posts: 152

At the suggestion of a long term care giver at the MC unit my DW has been in for 7 months, I went to Wallmart and purchased a "warmer" for those baby wipes. It brings up the warmth on those other wise cold wet wipes. It is not the cold shock when wiping up BM's. Helps keep her from jumping off the floor when touched.

Also they use the tear off  "diapers", to hold down the clean up area..

 As a side note, any time a diaper is changed it goes into a plastic bag, and is removed from the bathroom when finished. That way the "nursing home smell" is not there. One of the reasons we picked this place,as it passed the smell test.

Mobile AL
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 7:51 PM
Joined: 7/21/2018
Posts: 47

When my grandmother was bed-ridden several years ago, the home nurse suggested my mother mix a tube of Desitin with a tube of Preparation H to use on those irritated areas. No matter how quickly you change the diaper or clean the bottom, it seems irritation is going to show up over time. My mother also used the cream on my grandmother's elbows and heels and wherever she showed any indication of bed sores.

When my mother would have the bm accidents I would also use the hand held shower for easier clean up and, once she was dry I would apply a small layer of the cream. The Desitin seemed to form a water barrier and kept her skin dryer. Same as it does for babies. Not sure what the Preparation H was for but the combo seemed to work pretty good.

Linda Haack
Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2019 12:07 PM
Joined: 10/4/2019
Posts: 1

This is one of the hardest things to deal with when asking someone to help care for my DH. I can handle it pretty well (ok-never "pretty" but manageable). Whenever we're out, I have an emergency bag with supplies. Process is cut off the Depends pull-ups, have a plastic grocery bag for disposal, wet wipes and disposable gloves. For replacement Depends, I use the ones with tabs and perforations, a little bulkier than the pull-up ones but infinitely easier to get on, avoiding taking off slacks and shoes. Also take along replacement clothing, T-shirt, top shirt, slacks. It gets a little difficult where there is no family or individual restroom available, do I take him into the Ladies or Men's room. Either way, it's disconcerting for anyone else coming in, what with the presence of the opposite gender and, of course, the smell. But as long as I have the supplies handy, I can keep it manageable.
Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2019 8:18 AM
Joined: 12/17/2019
Posts: 31

Is there anyone out there who is caring fulltime for their mother or father in-law? I would love to connect with someone who is. I am sole caretaking 24/7 for my mother in law who lives with us. My husband does everything he can to help but he works 6 days a week and often long hours so it falls on me. Ive never had a great relationship with my MIL, although I’ve always tried to - and now with the amount of care that she requires (but of course she doesn’t think she needs any) has put a really bad strain on the relationship and I’m struggling big time. I feel that it definitely a different dynamic caring for someone that is not a blood relative so I’m wanting to connect and get some support.
Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2019 2:40 PM
Joined: 3/12/2017
Posts: 239

Boy, can I sympathize with you.  All the diaper/depends stuff has been covered, but I'd like to add this: if you still want to get rid of carpet for laminate, be VERY SURE you get the right stuff!  Most laminate is not able to tolerate getting wet, anything moist sinks between the planks and soaks right into the pressed wood.  Then the plastic on the top peels up and it just gets worse from there. Personal experience lets me assure you that moist things include urine, loose bm, and firm bm that's been stepped in (sorry, maybe tmi).  There are new products out there that say they resist wetness.  We tore up carpet, then had to take out laminate, and have been happy with tile and grout.  Ai Yi Yi $$$!
Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2019 3:04 PM
Joined: 10/21/2016
Posts: 2613

Others on this site have mentioned pulling up the carpet and painting the subfloor with patio paint.  Then later you can decide what flooring you want to put down.
Gig Harbor
Posted: Wednesday, December 18, 2019 12:05 AM
Joined: 3/10/2016
Posts: 678

If she can sit on the toilet a heated bidet seat would be wonderful. It would spray her with warm water and air dry her.
Space within
Posted: Thursday, December 19, 2019 10:47 PM
Joined: 10/7/2018
Posts: 71

   When my mom was still at home we were giving her a  very small glass of prune juice  (maybe half a cup) with breakfast instead of ducaloax or a laxative to keep her regular.  

And similar to the other responses, we had her on a bathroom break schedule and kept track of bowel movements.

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