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Caring for a Disabled Adult

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Man in wheelchair
When someone has physical challenges, you want to know how best you can help them be comfortable, and get what they need. This is a guide about caring for a disabled adult.
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By 4 found this helpful
December 17, 2009

If you are or are caring for an incontinent adult using either cloth diapers or paper diapers, prevention of chafing is important. Diaper creams are expensive and hard to apply and talcum powder is not advisable due to problems with breathing it.

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Make your own medicinal powder with cornstarch and zinc oxide powder. It will keep the skin dry and the zinc oxide is also a great fungicide, lowering odor. For a woman, add a cotton ball moistened with a favorite essential oil, shake the powder and store in any wide mouthed container. For a man, leave scentless or use a cotton ball with lime scent or his favorite aftershave or cologne, though the latter will have to be replaced more frequently because it is "weaker" than oil. This powder is also good for summer use when chafing from heat is a problem.

Finally, instead of using hands or a regular powder puff, use a new unused Swiffer duster as the "puff". The handle makes it easier for impaired people to reach the necessary areas and the dusting pad holds the powder so that less falls off until patted on the skin. You can also cut slits in a cheap wash cloth and slide the handle prongs in to make an easy to use cleaning wipe that will save money over baby wipes.

By Saylorscreek from Tyro, NC

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Comment Was this helpful? 4

November 17, 20093 found this helpful

My elderly father occasionally has an "accident" during the night. I have placed a quilted waterproof pad, approximately one yard square, on top of the bottom sheet. If the bed is accidentally soiled during the night, all he does is toss the pad and either returns into a clean bed or places another dry pad in the bed.

This is an efficient tip that saves time washing and changing the sheets. My father feels more independent knowing that he doesn't have to disturb anyone during the night. The pad we use is the one the nurses used when he was hospitalized. Patients sleep on it to make it easier for nurses to slide them into their beds.

Source: Our own experience.

By Dee from New Orleans

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Comment Was this helpful? 3

Questions

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By 0 found this helpful
December 30, 2009

My mom has Alzheimer's and is incontinent. She gets bleeding sores on her cheek area. She wears a Depend pull up and a Poise pad. I change and clean her about every 4 hours. However, I can't win, as soon as one sore heals another breaks out.

By Geri from Fort Worth, TX

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
December 30, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

You might want to perhaps use a zinc oxide type of cream or a incontinence cream for bed sores between changing. It will help protect her skin. It is a little more of a mess to clean up each time but helps the skin not to break down as much.

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December 30, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

Powder Alum will also help heal sores. Mix with water, 1/2 teaspoon of alum in a pint of water. Apply with a wash cloth several times a day, get it in drug store, if the don't have it ask them to order it, 3 oz cost about $4.00, last a long time, good luck.

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December 31, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

I think that its really important to have the area really clean before you put on any ointments or salves. The salves can hold in the acids and germs from the urine that has soaked into the skin. Can your mom sit in a tub? When my children were small I would let them soak in a baking soda bath under a watchful eye for 15 to 30 minutes. Then I would make sure the irritated area was really dry--air dried or dried with a Blow dryer on low. You don't want to abrade the irritated area by rubbing it dry with a towel. Then put on the ointment of your choice. Best wishes and good luck

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December 31, 20090 found this helpful
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Sitting in urine for possibly 4 hours at a time is not good. She may also have a yeast infection from the moisture. I would get rid of the pull-ups and Poise pads and move directly to adult diapers. It's only a matter of time anyway, and will make your job easier.

My Mother had Alzheimer's for 10 years, bedridden for about 8 years. We put her on the toilet every couple of hours which cut down on the need for diaper changing, during the day. (Is your Mother eating or drinking something that is making her urine very acidic? Orange juice, other citrus fruits?) Give her yogurt daily to help with that. I would suggest that you check her diaper more frequently, say, every other hour to get the sores under control. Her skin needs to be kept dry. Try medicated powder once the sores are healed.

If she is sitting upright a lot, get her a donut to sit on (find in a medical supply store). If she is bedridden, you'll need to give her skin even more care to prevent pressure sores (bed sores). Once they start, they are difficult to heal and can get very bad, going right to the bone. Frequent turning, gentle massage, range of motion movements/exercises, a healthy variety of fresh foods, vitamins and supplements, etc. will help keep them at bay. Find a geriatric specialist in your area (check local hospital or Alzheimer's Association for referrals). Good luck to you, I know it's not easy. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
December 31, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

First, bathe her diaper area each time you change her,with soap, like Ivory or Dial,which is good to fight germs. Then pat dry and apply peroxide and pat on for several minutes. They dry with a blow dryer set on warm. After the skin is thoroughly dry, apply a Monistat type cream-you can ask for it at Dollar General, it is much cheaper to buy the Dollar General store brand,called MICONAZOLE. This fights the yeast which will try to grow in any cracks in the skin, fed by the sugar found naturally in urine.Do not use vagisil, it contains nothing to kill yeast.

After you have the sores healed up, continue to sponge bathe with soap and dry her each and every time you change her, same as you would a baby.

But please don't play around with this. My other wise healthy father died from a bedsore which developed after he wrenched his knee and was put in a "rehab" facility to learn how to walk with a knee brace. He never walked again, had a bedsore within three weeks, and within three months was dead from the bedsore which spread bacteria to his bones.

I also recommended the monistat to a neighbor whose 90+ mother suffered pitifully from urine on her skin,and within a couple of weeks, the neighbor was thanking me with tears in her eyes for the relief she was able to give her mother.

Bless you.

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January 1, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

You might want to use a product that is called Butt Paste. You should be able to get it in any drug store. This is what the hospital used on my Mom. She had the same problem. It is a product that is used for babies, but works just as well for adults. Good Luck and God Bless.

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January 1, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

We were told to use Hibiclens (we bought it at Walgreens) to cleanse the area when my husband had MRSA, and it worked great. This may help with her bedsores.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 1, 2015

I would like to see if someone can please give me some feedback. I have a disabled brother who I've been taking care for since 13 years of age. I never got custody of him because I never knew about it when I was younger. My mom passed away and she told me to look after him. Lately my brother is having behavorial problems which are just getting worse and my dad does not help me.

My dad is his legal guardian, but I refuse to give my dad the right to take my brother. My dad is very inresponsible and is in denial. He won't take my brother to his appointments or give him the medication at the time indicated. My brother is 37 years old, but has the mentality of a 6 year old. I've been trying to put him in a day program, but the state I live in has a waiting list for a waiver.

My sister and I don't work because we were told by his doctor that my brother can't be left alone. I don't drive so she has to take me to all his appointments. We are surviving on what my brother gets from SSI and we barely make it with all the copayments and appointments we have. I would like to know if I can take my dad to court to get legal custody and maybe try to get some child support or some type of financial help. Thanks for your time.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
July 1, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

The Legal Aid Society in your state that will provide assistance in obtaining legal custody for your brother. There is no fee for services. You can call or check online for your local office and an appointment.

From your description of your brother, he should be living in a state living facility, not at home. Have you applied to this type of facility for him? Of course, if he is able to live in a state facility, you and your sister will lose all benefits that have been paid to you for his care. Is this why you are providing his care at home?

If you and your sister have been providing all of his care, it appears you have severely limited your lives to care for him.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 1, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

I do think you can get guardianship under these circumstances. It shouldn't be hard to prove you are responsible for your brother's care. You will need legal counsel.

I also think looking into a group home is a good idea. Your brother is severely disabled and could use the help of professionals. You must be spending all your time caring for him. Social Services should be able to hook you up with people who can review his situation and see if he can be placed.

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July 3, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

It seems that you leave several questions unanswered but it does appear that you need to have someone in a more professional capacity to answer your questions and help make decisions that are the most beneficial for your brother - not what is best for you or your sister or your dad.

Not sure what you mean by refusing to give your dad the right to take your brother. It would appear that if he is the guardian then he should legally have that right - without your permission.

It is also difficult to understand why it takes you and your sister - full time - to take care of your brother. Are you sure that you are not using your brother as an excuse? It does appear that at least ONE of you could have a job?

I do know that you are probably receiving more help/assistance than mentioned because it would be very difficult to support 3 people (housing, food, utilities, clothing, and other necessities) on just what you mention.

I believe most people would agree that your brother probably needs a lot more than he is receiving if he is not in some kind of program. I would be the first to agree that loving care is very important but some sort of daily program (maybe even a special home) would make a world of difference in your brothers life.

I know (from experience) that "people" outside the real situation cannot make decisions like this so please seek outside professional help.

It seems that Dinah has many good points and suggestions so please take her advice and do it as soon as you can.

Don't you and your sister want some kind of life that is not tied to the everyday (24/7) care of your brother?

With the condition you describe - your brother may be able to live for many, many years - so it would seem that you would want him and yourself to make the very most of those years.

Try to think about everyone involved and look for the best solution - mainly one that will put your brother's health and welfare first.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 2, 2016

My sister had a stroke about 8 years ago and is paralyzed on her right side and can't do any household chores cooking, cleaning, or laundry. Her husband had to have his leg amputated and probably will have to have the left leg amputated because of blood clots. They have 3 children including a daughter that has her mom's power of attorney. She refuses to go to her mom's house to help with anything. I have been there after she has come to visit and there will be dishes in the sink with maggots crawling in them. I can ask her, didn't you see the dirty dish and she will say, yeah but it's not my job. They both make too much money on their disability to get any type of help. Can their children be held responsible if anything happens to them without proper care?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
July 2, 20160 found this helpful

I strongly suggest that you immediately consult with an attorney who specializes in elder care issues and POAs. You can find this attorney by referral from your regular attorney or through this site-the issues are elder abuse, POA, etc:

http://lawyers. … actice/elder-law

Good Luck!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 12 found this helpful
September 13, 2010

I am looking for pattern for a fidget apron.

By Mary from Hampton, VA

Answer Was this helpful? 12
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