Gransnet forums


Deodorising products for Urine stink (help needed)

(33 Posts)
ExD Mon 06-Jul-20 10:18:17

My daughter's MIL is incontinent and her house stinks. She wears huge pads (which she hates) from the NHS but takes them off and then sits, in her dressing gown with no knickers, in her chair and pees! The pads are bulky but don't seem very absorbent.
Her chair cushions are fixed and cannot be removed to launder the covers.
Understandably her Home Helps say they are not there to clean, and anyway they have enough trouble trying to get her to use pads in the first place. She refuses to get into bed at night and insists on sleeping upright in her chair, even though it reclines.
I don't have first hand knowledge of this as I haven't visited since the pandemic so all this is gleaned from tearful phonecalls from DD who seems to have been landed with the problem.
SIL and DD are trying to care for her in her own home.
The house reeks of urine.
I can only make suggestions to my DD as its not my business really, but she's heading for a breakdown she's so stressed.
The potential for spreading covid horrifies me too - with all those different carers coming and going, but again its no business of mine so I keep quiet on that score.
BUT enough of that. I'm looking for practical suggestions re cleaning products and perhaps better pads than those supplied free from the NHS, for a tiny lady who seems to have a huge bladder!
Any ideas?

Callistemon Mon 06-Jul-20 10:23:25

ExD I'm not sure if care/nursing homes are taking in new admissions at the moment but it sounds as if your DD's MIL would be better off in a safe and caring environment that a home could provide.
Your DD and SIL must be stressed and reaching the end of their tether and MIL obviously needs more help than can be provided in her own home however caring it is.

Could you suggest that or would SIL resist?

GrannySomerset Mon 06-Jul-20 10:24:51

DH has had to use pads since an operation for prostrate cancer thirteen years ago. NHS pads are awful and we buy direct from Beaucare. Pads are excellent, we can choose a size which fit him, and skin care issues are really rare. Not cheap, but attendance allowance helps and my very sensitive nose tells me that the house doesn’t smell like an old people’s home. If the poster’s MIL was comfortable perhaps she wouldn’t take them off? Worth a try.

Teetime Mon 06-Jul-20 10:26:21

I think someone should get in touch with the continence advisor if the pads supplied are insufficient as there are several types and she may not have the correct one for her level of need. District Nurses are usually a great source of information too. I would also get in touch with the manager of the care service if there are concerns about the level of care provided ? enough visits/efficiency of carers. Would it be possible to change the chair for a wipe clean one rather than upholstery? I hope your daughter gets some help with this soon but she does need to rattle a few locks I think.

Callistemon Mon 06-Jul-20 10:27:49

On a practical note, I think you can buy pull ons for adults which are similar to training pants for toddlers but I'm not sure how absorbent the are.
They could b more comfy than pads.

A solution of bicarbonate of soda gets rid of smells in carpets and fabric.

Callistemon Mon 06-Jul-20 10:29:25

You can buy incontinence chair pads online.

Riverwalk Mon 06-Jul-20 10:32:21

No amount of deodorising is going to eliminate the smell of old urine which has soaked into upholstery.

Is your SIL in a position to buy a new, wipe-clean, recliner for his mother to sleep in?

jaylucy Mon 06-Jul-20 10:34:03

I wonder if the pads that can be used on beds would help if put on the chair for her to sit on - even if they are covered with a towel.
DD should contact the GP surgery - they should be able to give advice that should help - either way, they need to be made aware of how DD MiL is behaving.

Whitewavemark2 Mon 06-Jul-20 10:37:39

Mum was incontinent but her flat never smelt if anything but polish or cleaning products.

Is she washing regularly?

But as others have said, new upholstery is the only answer.

allsortsofbags Mon 06-Jul-20 10:46:27

Along with the suggestions already offered here about other pads and chairs how about looking into Deodorisers.

We had to Deodorise a house recently and used "Mad Lemon" bought from Amazon. It's a pet urine deodoriser but as we didn't know what we were dealing with that's what I went for and it worked well. There's lots of choice there and may be some of the others might be more suitable.

So sad your DD, or anyone dealing with people in such need. I'm with those poster who say get some others involved and get more help/advice for everyone's sake.

annsixty Mon 06-Jul-20 10:52:01

Yes, firstly get rid of the chair.
I used ID pull-ups for my H. As Granny Somerset posted I had to buy them but it was worth it for the comfort for my H and my sanity.
They never leaked and the bed was always dry in the morning.

EllanVannin Mon 06-Jul-20 11:15:56

A mixture of hydrogen peroxide/zoflora and bi-carb for cleaning. Make sure she's bathed in the morning and wash the clothes straight away then they don't linger around. Leave a plastic bag handy for used pads and tie it.

It's not an easy job looking after someone who's incontinent but if you can get the smell sorted out it will feel a lot easier.

Plenty of drinking water to alkalise/ flush the kidneys---it does help.

Perhaps a word with the lady's GP to see if carers can be arranged to go ? It would at least give your DD a break or she too will be ill.

eazybee Mon 06-Jul-20 11:43:44

With the cleaning problem, try professional carpet / upholstery cleaners. I had that problem from an incontinent cat, and although the cleaners couldn't remove all the stains completely they did a very good job, and the smell was eradicated completely. They clean pub and Nursing home carpets and furniture, so know what they are dealing with.

maddyone Mon 06-Jul-20 11:49:18

I think that I would think it’s time for a care home for this old lady. Your daughter and her husband really cannot be expected to live like this. Apart from anything else this will put a tremendous strain on their marriage.
Secondly, if a care home is not possible, then I’m sure there are much better options in incontinence wear available commercially. Also get rid of the chair and buy a waterproof one.
But the best outcome would be a care home.

fiorentina51 Mon 06-Jul-20 12:08:11

Sometimes, in situations such as this, the care giver has to be very tough with the social services and also the elderly relative.
My husband and I had 8 years of caring for my increasingly difficult aunt. It was only when I had a melt down and told her social worker that I was no longer prepared to continue as her carer, that the wheels were put in motion for her to go into residential care. This was something she was very much against but in the end settled well and enjoyed her time in care.
Regarding the question of the smell. We got a professional in to clean the chairs and carpets whilst she was in hospital and used Neutradol products to keep any smells at bay.

Grandmafrench Mon 06-Jul-20 16:17:54

Horrible situation for your SiL and your DiL, ExD and very sad - especially for the MIL.

In no particular order, you can do many things but are not going to be permanently rid of "the stink" until you do something positive to change MIL's circumstances.

I think your family should contact MIL's GP to share the problem and to find out what possible/additional care could be provided for her. You don't say whether she seems bright and aware still, or whether she might even be displaying symptoms of dementia. Two things stand out here - she sits in a chair, without pads or underwear and pees; and she refuses to sleep in her bed. These two things might be just old lady stuff or determination to exert a bit of control, or she could be thinking that peeing in the chair is a bit like visiting the loo and she's just anxious that if she lies down sleeps - she'll wet her bed. Is she fairly ambulant still, or is the chair the place where she spends most of her time? Does she respond to and retain normal conversations, or does she seem fairly oblivious to life around her ? Is the incontinence the only issue or are there other worries for her family?

Please on't waste money on buying a recliner for her to use. If she is going to continue living at home, buy an ordinary plastic covered armchair which can be sanitised daily. A recliner will only encourage her into thinking that she can sleep there and that is harmful to her health. Sleeping upright at nights in a chair should be totally discouraged and as she does not seem too aware of the rights and wrongs of life at present, she is likely to spend most of her time there, develop all sorts of skin problems and circulatory problems which will then put her health at risk.

Chairs, beds, everything, as has been discussed earlier, can be properly steam-cleaned and sterilised and rendered smell-free by numbers of companies that are used to working predominantly for nursing and care homes. If items are properly treated by them, you should not need to be using deodorisers - since there should be no ongoing smell. As GrannySomerset states, you will definitely need to find the most comfortable and correctly-sized incontinence pads and she must keep them on and have them changed regularly.

Adult Social Care perhaps can be approached so that she can be assessed by them or a CPN, not only for future needs but to establish whether she is safe still living in her own home. Carers, however good, and especially when given a high NHS workload, sometimes almost operate on a "drive-by" basis....they have little time (sometimes 15 minutes!) to make drinks and get clients up and fed etc., without cleaning and trying to deal with someone who clearly can be a very difficult old person. An assessment will show whether she now needs more care than she is having. It's highly unlikely that she would agree to going into care - so, sadly, someone else needs to be brought in for support and involved in a professional capacity, before your DiL loses the plot completely!

Good luck with it all. Be determined, start with the GP.

MissAdventure Mon 06-Jul-20 16:52:22

This is an example, and holds a litre of fluid.
There are others which hold more, and they do work.
Machine washable.

MissAdventure Mon 06-Jul-20 16:55:19

Also, products to deal with pet accidents are good for dealing with pongs!

ExD Wed 08-Jul-20 11:45:49

Thank you all. Grandmafrench you are the first person I've come across who recognises the impossibility of 'putting' someone 'in a home' - thank you for that. Also it will be impossible to get her to agree to use a plastic covered chair - she flatly refused to use the one by the bed in the hospital when she was there. What a fuss.
I am sure Dementia is the problem, she was assessed last year and pronounced fit and well and to have all her faculties, even though at the time she was closing her mouth and refusing to take pills (on that occasion she was taken to hospital and medicated by a drip). Another assessment won't be given until a full 12 months have passed.
Four times a day, from two NHS carers is amazing. It will cost a bomb when it stops. All they have time to do is give her a quick wash down and change her pad (which she frequently removes when they go).
I know you can't 'make' anyone go into a care home, but somehow this is going to have to be arranged.
Your answers have been really helpful, I really fret about my daughter and the workload she has inherited.
I pray God I never get to that state.

Callistemon Wed 08-Jul-20 11:53:08

ExD I do understand as my MIL refused to countenance a move to a sheltered flat or bungalow. She was frail but nor incontinent like your DD's MIL.
In fact, we still believe that the move would have been beneficial and she would have enjoyed having more company in such a setting.

I would not like to have decisions made for me but your poor DD sounds as if she is at breaking point and her health and welfare has to be considered too.

Callistemon Wed 08-Jul-20 11:53:29

Not incontinent

Missfoodlove Wed 08-Jul-20 12:04:29

Hi there,

Kylie sheets are amazing, they can be used on chairs, beds etc and they wash and dry beautifully.
Here’s the link.

Regarding the smell fresh air, bicarbonate of soda sprinkled and left in bad patches then vacuumed will neutralise the smell.
A steam cleaner with some essential oil in the tank will then finish off the job
The key is not to try and mask the smell but neutralise first.

Feelingmyage55 Wed 08-Jul-20 12:42:13

I have been in this position with an elderly relative. The lady was in hospital on a number of occasions and offered a stay in a beautiful rehabilitation home before returning to her own home. She always refused although the respite place was like a beautiful hotel and had a 4 week cap on stays which she knew and meant that it was clearly temporary. It would have allowed a big cleanup. Eventually we were able to cleanup on the promise of no strangers in the house. Industrial quantities of bicarbonate of soda on the floors sprayed with vinegar, allowed to dry and vacuumed. Repeated as necessary. Chair removed for professional cleaning. New chair cushion upholstered in (not difficult), waterproof cover and seat cushion made with waterproof cover under the fabric so should be washed. Eventually convinced relative to have bed pad on chair and small covers laid on top for twice daily washing. This went on for five years. She was determined to stay at home and did, still using her mobile phone, tv and tablet. The bathroom was made into a wet room after the lady GP discussed “the situation” with her on her own and thankfully got her agreement after discussing skin problems, development of nappy rash and potential sores. She began to sleep in her own bed again, when a commode was placed beside her bed and and she was less afraid of not getting to the toilet/falling on the way there. Obviously there were occasional “misses” but all tolerable until the last few weeks. If the problem increased we would take a urine sample to the GP and it was generally an infection. (has this lady been checked?)
A continence nurse specialist worked out the most comfortable pad/pull-up so that also helped. The care manager was eventually brave enough to say - either help yourself with the toilet issue or the carers are going to refuse to look after you”. After all this, as I say, she had five years at home till the end.
The transition period of convincing pad use, cleaning, installing wet room, and persuading her to use a commode was a stormy three months but worth it in the end for everyone. Diversionary tactics were sometimes needed for extra cleaning every so often (taken out for a drive) and a mad rush.
Going into a home is not a simple answer. If it is not too much information, we only had to sort out urinary incontinence, she always used the lavatory for bowel movements and I believe that made a big difference.
I have talked about my situation not meaning to talk about myself but hopefully that you might find a bearable solution in there. There is no perfect solution, certainly not the care home idea. You might be out of the frying pan into the fire, with very different problems.
Wishing you all a tolerable solution.

ExD Wed 08-Jul-20 14:15:27

Thank you, you seem to understand the personal problems as well as the practical ones. I feel sorry for her, she must feel she is losing control of her life and so she vetoes everything suggested as a way of regaining control and having her own way.
I wondered if I could suggest them saying something like "we're sorry but we've been unable to get you even a week's holiday in that special Nursing Home as they've stopped taking any more guests" so you'll have to stay here. Perhaps it might stimulate a desire to get into this place and be waited on hand and foot.
The trouble is, she's been sent twice to a care home after she's been in hospital and hated it.
But that's not what this thread is about.
Cleaning tips have all been appreciated. The chair will have to stay (the cushions don't remove - I'll try to get a photo) so its professional cleaning I think - I'll google up some firms.
Not that DD is incapable of doing that herself, she seems to have sunk into a 'poor me' stupor (daughter that is, and I can't say I blame her) and is just accepting things and going in and mopping up which is helping no-one. (No, I won't say that to her, she's already upset without me criticising).
I live 100s of miles away.

ExD Wed 08-Jul-20 14:23:04

I should have previewed that photo - her made to measure chair has its back to us but you can see from the rest of the suite that the cushions don't remove. The whole set up is lovely and must have cost her a small fortune, she has a lovely setting in a nice village but doesn't see a soul apart from carers who are in and out in a flash.
She won't have those French windows open to get some fresh air - won't have any windows open as doesn't like drafts and has it in her head that this virus is airborne and might 'get in'.
Anyway I think this thread is done, I'm suggesting all your hints to DD and she is ignoring them so enough meddling from me I think, don't you? - you can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped can you?