For those who care for someone with Parkinson's disease
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By ExhaustedBirdy On 2012.03.18 10:23
Okay, folks. I need some advice. My fil cannot clean himself well enough anymore after having a bowel movement. He hasn't asked for help, although I, personally, am ready and able to assist him in that matter. I've purchased adult wipes, the big kind you get at medical supply shops, for him to use, but he won't use them. After he has his bm, he goes immediately into his bedroom and sits on the bed! Of course, this means he gets fecal matter all over the sheets and whatever might be near him because he doesn't watch to see what he's going to sit on. This morning I went up to his room and he had managed to get poop on a beautiful quilted pillow sham. It's not like I haven't asked him to be careful with this, because I have. So, I'm going to have to put my foot down, apparently, and tell him he must ask for assistance in cleaning himself. I hate to cause him embarrassment, but since he's not going to use the wipes and he cannot take care of himself, I don't feel that I have a choice in this. How do I tell him? I want him to have his dignity, but as my daughter says "it is what it is". The bottom line (no pun intended) is that he has a debilitating disease. It has advanced to the point where modesty and such is going to have to be put aside just as it is when a women gives birth. It hurts my heart to have to be so direct with him, but, unless I'm willing to change his sheets multiple times a day (and I'm not), then he's going to have to be told.

By LOHENGR1N On 2012.03.18 11:30
Exhausted, I'm sure you'll find the words to tell Him. The only advise I can give you is not to do it in the heat of the moment (when there's a mess to clean) and keep in mind His dignity. Although it isn't Your fault anymore than it is His, all of you find yourselves now in the situation of his needing help. Maybe in a heart to heart you can let him know it's alright to need help and that it will be kept confidential. You know between you, his son and himself or whomever He wants included in the knowledge. This way he will keep some of his self esteem intact. Being a patient myself I know firsthand how devastating every little concession and loss to this disease is to ones mental well being and health. Sometimes the physical losses aren't the most crippling ones and your situation is a massive blow to him. Bearing that in mind as I said at the start of this I'm sure with thought you'll find the words and way to make this transition of a more dependent situation easier for everyone. Take care, best of luck and hang in there.

By plcpainter On 2012.03.18 12:10
Dear Exhausted -- I have had the exact same problem with my husband and it's one of the most trying ones for me. I've kept gloves in the bathroom just for this reason. Also the warmed baby wipes are really nice and seem to encourage their being used. Part of our problem was constipation so a regular routine of stool softener and Miralax has helped tremendously because it facilitates the BM elimination. My husband was not nearly as squeamish about talking about this as I was. I would kept the conversation mostly about me: "Honey, I need your help here. Washing all these sheets just is more work than I need. If you can call me when you need to have a BM it would really be wonderful and would help me so much." That is what I try to do anyway -- then my husband feels that he is helping me (and he IS!) and that makes him feel useful and good. My husband just moved in to Assisted Living after me caring for him for the past 5 years. Fecal matter was one of the final breaking points for me. His complete urinary incontinence got me down but the BM's did me in. Just saying... it's a tough one to deal with. Sending you good thoughts and blessings for all you are doing for this man.

By k010854 On 2012.03.18 17:14
My husband is already having the problem with getting cleaned good enough so he has started using inexpensive warm white washclothes. He then puts them in a separate laundry basket that i can dump in the machine with bleach water. Avoids the cost of the wipes and the size and cold issue. I buy them at sams in bulk very inexpensive. The wipes also are not flushable.

By seawench On 2012.03.18 18:08
My husband and I had had similar issues that breakdown thusly:

1) He battles extreme constipation that miralax & benefiber 4x a day barely keep it manageable. Prior to surgery he would spend up to 4 hrs in there and had some impressive hemorhoids. Well he had surgery and then we bought a bidet with an enema function. It's a whole new world and the bathroom has been reopened to guests.

2) needing help & modesty - when it became apparent that he wasn't bathing on his own and I suggested helping him, he was embarassed and resistive. iIpulled out the girl card and told him that he had hygeine issues that girls were very good at - like mani/pedi, exfoliating, lotions and potions, haircuts ect. We would just ad bathing to it and call it Spa Night. He now looks forward to it ad we can put the husb/ wife spin on it that I told him "some guys pay for this service" wink ;)

3) Lastly several posts have spoken about a task or function that the PWP is repeatedly asked to do or not do. An earlier post was about opening and leaving the kitchen door open in the middle of the nigth. My PWP had several things - When he goes to bed he leaves all the lights on even though they are within reach of his chair. He puts his bowls on the kitchen table two feet from the sink.???? And he never flushes or uses any of the tools I had before the Bidet. I don't know what it is, I know he is willing but somehow it's like those cogs on his wheel are broken and don't even factor in his mind at the time.

Next to his mobility scooter the Bidet has had the biggest impact on our lives. We purchased one that converts a standard toilet. It costs about as much as a regular bidet but we are renters and I can take it with me when we visit family OT (needs to be installed but no worse than a new seat & hose) and we found it to be extremely well made

All in all it keeps him pretty well cleaned and any residual mess is minimal


By drshepard On 2012.03.18 19:20
Our last purchase was for a new shower head where the center is a pull out hand sprayer. While I can't get my honey to wipe well, he likes the new shower head and can spray where he needs. I do like the idea of a bidet, though.

By ExhaustedBirdy On 2012.03.19 16:50
Thanks so much for all your good advice and insights! We've already paid the contractor who is making Dad's bathroom wheelchair accessible for a bidet, so it was already in the works. I just hope and pray he will use it! (laughing) Thanks again.

By parkinit On 2012.03.20 18:19
I appreciate the bidet idea as well - something I hadn't thought of with handicapped accessible modifications! Thanks so much.

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