Is there a mask for caregivers to use when changing geriatric diapers?

10 answers | Last updated: Nov 15, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

How do you prevent smell from permeating in the nose when changing geriatric diapers? is there a special kind of mask?


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.

 

A mask for changing diapers could be used.  It is easy to find little masks (the kind that dental assistants wear) at the drug store or at medical supply stores. 

Another way is to learn how to work with your breath.  Sit in a chair and notice your breathing.  Breathe in, breathe out..  Feel the soothing quality of the breathing.

Then place your attention on the out breath.  You will still breathe in, but don't focus on breathing in.  Breathe out.  In the same way, if you notice an odor that seems unpleasant come back to your out breath.

Practice the breathing until it is somewhat easy for you.

Another help is to learn to work quickly,  As you remove the diaper with the feces, dispose of it.  Then quickly use a wipe.  Use what ever cleaning product that you use with a warm, wet cloth,    Dry.  Put on barrier cream or zinc oxide.  

Let yourself feel good.  All human being have waste products.  It is part of being human which is also good. 

Please appeciate the work you are doing.  Whether it is loved one or patient, you will have brought comfort and ease to another. 


Community Answers

Orien2 answered...

Try the army navy store and get a gas mask the elders fart like crazy and so I say a gas mask is the way to go. Honestly it's no worse than changing an infant only the diapers have to be bigger. Other than that it's no diferet tha a baby. I wish they made pull ups to fit an adult baby. It'd be cheaper to buy at the market.


Lmj answered...

first of all i would like to say,anyone assisting with the care of someone,who has incontinence,surely feels overwelmed at times,but it takes a big heart and a lot of patience,just to be ok.with that said,me and my mom are taking care of my 85yr old grandfather.who has dementia and also suffers from incontinence.because incontinence happens without warning we have chosen to do a few things to try and keep a plesent smell in his room ingeneral.like a scented candle.we placed one on a wall mount out of his reach.so the smell isn't overwelming.we also have scented lotion,or a skin safe scented oil that we apply right under our nose for the really tough smells.and another way as well,is to just naturally just breath through your mouth.as far as a mask you can us one,but there is a down side in my opinion.the person may feel worse seeing the mask,knowing your using it because of them,and maybe feel ashamed,over something thats not there fault,and sometimes the smell still gets through.


Premnath answered...

the easiest way i found was to use newspapers for wrapping the diaper must use gloves . the person would feel and get a refreshed feeling if water is poured from back by using a gardening type kettel which we use for watering the plants inside the indoor plants. then wipe the back with soft cloth . pull up the diaperon after drying. make person wash hands as he has used to clean himself, while other person the care giver pours water at back area.this washing helps keep bacteria away. also less chances of itching due to any urine ammonia irritating the area. person would feel clean .


Mom's angel answered...

My mother has had dementia for 21 years now. We have lived together for 16 years, and she has been immobile (in bed) and incontinent for 6 years. I am the sole body servant. My husband helps with the heavy stuff and equipment. (He's so good about this situation.) While changing several thousands of adult diapers, I learned a few things. I buy carpenters' disposable dust masks at discount retail stores (they are reusable when not soiled). I explained to my mom that I would be wearing them just in case her behind decided to unload gas and splatter-paint me while diapering, which she could not help sometimes, and the mask would keep feces out of my mouth, just in case. I was a dental assistant for many years and the scent from oil of cloves and pepperment are familiar and pleasant to me so I use a tiny drop in the nose of my masks to distract me from the olfactory unpleasantness of human waste. I also learned to hold my breath for longer periods when I had to clean up "poop catastrophes", and how to turn and take fresh breaths behind me when I needed to refresh oxygen to lungs. After wiping areas of skin soiled by human waste with disposable paper towels, I use a cheap, popular brand of shaving cream with aloe to clean affected skin areas. It cuts the sour odor immediately and leaves a fresh smell. (Also wiping with clean paper towels). There are no bad after-effects on skin, and I use a cream barrier to avoid urine burns. My mother is allergic to soap, so light vinegar water works as a good rinse, too, with an odor that dissipates. In six years, our nurses can attest we have had NO bed sores or skin breakdown from human waste issues. I always have plenty of disp. gloves on hand and plenty of good trashbags. All human waste gets carried outside to trash containers immediately. Oh, and the disp.diapers are changed ASAP, as is soiled laundry which goes through my own soaking/ washing procedures. Hands are ALWAYS washed before and after diaper work. It's all a back-breaking, repetitive grind, but good hygiene works to keep both Mom and myself clean and healthier. I sing and talk to her, even making silly word rhymes, while I work, as I can. When done, she's clean and laughing. And I thank God that He gives me the strength and sense to do this every day and night, because she is absolutely, totally, undeniably worth all the work. I shudder to think how many lessons in life I would have missed if I had not had the opportunity to care for my mom personally. Every day brings many miracles, and sometimes the smallest are the best. My unending thanks to God and Mom for teaching me that I can rise and meet most unpleasant situations head-on and still remain standing when the shoutin's all over. :)


Grandfather's nurse answered...

Try these masks on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Disposable-Odor-Mask-50-Count/dp/B00D5YHSKI/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1370291208&sr=8-4&keywords=disposable+odor+mask

They smell like lavender and help with the smell.


A fellow caregiver answered...

i am a nursing student and disagree with the widespread notion that caregivers should not wear masks while changing adult diapers. first of all, if I was incontinent, I would understand why someone is using a mask--to protect him or herself from inhaling potentially harmful bacteria. I don't know why nursing has not caught up with this yet. We wear shield for dressing changes, etc. for the same reason of protecting the health care worker. I currently have a bacterial infection in my sinuses. I was told my nose is filled with pus which is dripping down to my throat. This infection keeps coming back and it is scary to have a persistent bacterial infection that close to my brain. I say safety comes first, and then worry about the patient's feelings. I am sorry but I think safety is more important.


A fellow caregiver answered...

My caregivers found NULLO tablets for me a few years ago, When I have an accident I don't smell like a nursing home. When you take them it does away the the any odor associated with the bowels, but because of that my caregivers have to check my diaper more often. But when I'm being changed you would never know.


A fellow caregiver answered...

Smell can be a clue to other issues going on with diaper wearer, dehydration can make everything smell worse. Infections can as well so gloves and mask. We use nullo tabs, keep Mom hydrated,uses HEPAair filter with ccharcoal filter for room air and mint X trash bags in diaper pail.bed and seat liners help as well.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I am 77 and in good shape for the shape I am in. I have friends though who are not so fortunate. My hope is I go like my 89 year old mother; while eating dinner, she dropped her fork and zipped off into her next world. Her 104 year old mother only needed the type of care given by these wonderful human beings to their loved ones in the last 2 months of her life. You are all lovely people to endure.