How can I help my husband get is clean after he uses the bathroom?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 05, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My husband is in need of some personal care. I don't feel he is cleaning his bottom as well as he should. Any suggestions? If he wets I make sure he washes, but the other I can't always catch.


Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Reading your letter, I have a few suggestions on how he can get his backside cleaner.

1) Offer to help him. If he is resistant to having you help, you can tell him you are worried he is not getting clean enough on his backside, and you want to make sure that he can do it. 2) Get him baby wipes (hypoallergenic) to use after a bowel movement. Sometimes, because these are moist, they clean easier for people to use. He should use these while sitting on the toilet, wiping with a fresh side of the wipe until he is clean.
3) If he is having very soft stools, he may be leaking from his rectum and not even know it. Try to offer him more fiber, like prunes, or he can try a fiber supplement (like fibercon or metamucil) to help make his stool bulkier and less runny. 4) If he having more than one good BM daily, he may be on medications that are making him stool. You may be able to cut down on his laxatives, if he is taking any. Also, many of the medicines that are used to treat dementia can cause diarrhea/loose stools, so that may be something you can talk to his health care provider about. 5) Make sure he is changing his underwear at least daily, and more often than that if it is soiled.

Hope this is helpful.