How do I get my spouse to stop hiding wet adult diapers?

3 answers | Last updated: Oct 09, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

How do I get my spouse to stop hiding wet adult diapers?? HELP!!

Expert Answers

As Founder and Director of Circles of Care, Ann Cason provides caregiving, consulting, and training services to individuals and public and private organizations involved in eldercare. She is the author of Circles of Care: How to Set Up Quality Home Care for Our Elders.

The answer might be in the question! The phrase, "hiding wet adult diapers," might be like saying hiding her pride. (Or his?) Nowadays, for adults, we have incontinence products or pull ups or special underwear. We don't use diapers for adults. Also, this dear elder, whether he or she, may be trying to communicate somehting to you for which there are no words. She or he may want you to know that something in your relationship or within your circle is hidden. Maybe you are being kind to your spouse, but she or he might feel your frustaration. Is their something you are trying to hide.
Caregivers do need support and someone to share caregiving concerns with. If you can get clear in your own mind what it is that your spouse is trying to communicate, then you can address the issue. It could be that the relationship has grown too serious, perhaps the illness has created a feeling of burden. Hiding the underwear might be an attempt to be playful. Spend some time to contemplate what it is? Does this person that you have married need more attention, more entertainment, more authenticity> Do you need more help with the valuable job of caregiving that you are doing? Be kind to yourself. Be gentle. Please get some support from a support group, a minister, nurse or social worker. A Geriatric Care Manager, in person, could HELP.

Community Answers

Tornado answered...

It could be simple embarrassment. I take my lead from my mom, who refers to them as her special panties, never diapers. She keeps a supply of garbage bags in her washroom and wraps them in a separate bag before throwing them in the garbage, even though it is just her and me at home. I'm not sure if she is trying to hide them from me or herself, but if it makes her feel better, why not.

Distressed answered...

This past year my husband has been throwing wet clothes in places he seems to believe I cannot see. At first I was angry and upset with him which I know is not the correct response. Then I began another calmer reponse to the situation and he began to hang them over the shower bar which is far better for the problem of odor and meldew. It allows his jeans and undies to dry a little before I can get them to the wash. A few days ago I had to remind him not to put wet clothes in the laundry hamper. He tried the Depends and he did not like them. To understad "why", I put them on, too. I did not like them either. It is embarrassing, even to one's self. Once when he had an accident for No. 2 I rushed to the bathroom with him, but he became very frustrated and screamed at me to allow him SOME dignity. Anyhow, we seem to have a handle on how he will manage his wet clothes and I can get them washed quickly.