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

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 Answer

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.