Caring for Grandfather-In-Law!

Hello! Nice to find a forum to ask questions that could help with day to day things that are groping up as my husbands Grandfather is getting more immobile and more incontinent as time passes! He has lived with us in our house in an annex for two years now and I cook and clean and organise his pain meds etc etc. it’s all been going really well and he’s a delight to look after but I’m getting to the point where I need friendly advice with certain issues like bed wetting and toilet hygiene etc! He’s almost 95, can stand, turn and sit with help of zimmer and has a wheel chair for most moving around. We have all the equipment for washing, shower chairs etc and I have two lovely ladies who come to wash him in the mornings, though they are very busy so this morning my Friday girl couldn’t make it! So I showered him this morning because when I woke him to get him up, despite wearing a nappy, he was soaked in urine.
This is all fine and I’m happy to do it just wondering what other people do in this scenario; is it just the way it is that every day I’m washing bedding and pajamas or does anyone have advice on ways of getting them through the night without loads of laundry the next day! With two small kids and a busy husband, I’m struggling with the mound!! As I said, I am hoiking him into padded pants at night but these don’t seem to be working… have I just got some rubbish ones?!
I do have other things I could do with advice on but I think I’ll leave it there for now… it’s half term so I need to entertain two bored children!! :smiley:
Thank you to anyone who got all the way through this message!!!

Hi Suzy,

welcome to the forum.

Depending on where you live, your GIL may be entitled to free incontinence pads and at the very least advice and support on how to manage this

In the meantime, you may find puppy pads (cheaper and the same as disposable bed pads) keep his bedding dry if placed under his bottom.

Are the padded pants washable or disposable? Pull ups are probably better for day time to catch accidents/drips etc. Look for incontinence products which are suitable for night time or for heavy/flow leakage.


Welcome to the forum.
Are you in touch with the Continence Nurse at the surgery? They should be able to help with your questions.
However, I’m concerned for your well being, and the demands on your time, as well as having young children.

You have an awful lot on your plate, and the sad reality is that your grandad is getting older and needs more help, and your kids need a mum to enjoy time with them. You are a “Sandwich Carer”!

At one time, we were supporting our son with learning difficulties and all four elderly parents living nearby. It was tough. My husband had a heart attack at 58 and died. Be sure to look after yourself.

In later years, you don’t want the children to say that you never had enough time and energy to do things with them.

If you’ve had care needs assessment done, when was the last one? if he is deteriorating then a review is required with them, if not done one you need to have one.
Also have a review with his GP.

I don’t have any further advice to what has been said regarding continence, other than speak with the GP for diagnosis and to get him free supply of tena’s.
Your poor GFIL, it must be awful for him to go through that.

Have you and your husband got his permission to discuss his health with the GP?
If not write a letter for him telling the surgery that he wants each of you to be able to discuss his health matters and arrange appointments on his behalf and let him sign it.

Have you got power of attorney? POA?
For finance and the other for health and welfare?
If you don’t have it and he has his faculties then you need to get on the Gov.Uk website and do them, the charges are on a sliding scale according to his financial status.

In case you don’t have POA, here’s a copy and paste of POA from another post I wrote.

POA - POWER OF ATTORNEY - DO BOTH NOW! Because it takes up to 6 months to process.
POA - Health and welfare
POA - Financial

POA - the power to act in their best interests when they do not have the capacity to BUT for the finance POA you can act on their behalf if they are unable to get to the bank/shops etc, are blind etc.

POA is void at point of death.

If there is no POA in place, the authorities act in their best interests for them, you will be lucky to have any say - spouse, parent, child - next of kin has no sway.

The caree must have the capacity to understand POA and a witness must act on their behalf to ensure they do and sign the POA to attest to that.
If the caree is blind you will need to check the legalities of the signing of POAs.

Law firms offer to do POA but you can do it online through the Gvt website.
There is a sliding scale of fees according to their income.

The form asks if you want to inform anyone - it isn’t necessary and makes it take longer to process.
You will need to get the POA registered(?), follow the instructions.
We have two copies of each, kindly done by the solicitor when the will was updated.

Those forms are peace of mind for both of us, they are meaningless as she has all her faculties but if she loses them we have that reassurance that I will be able to act on her behalf in her best interests.

Acting jointly or separately?
Separately on everything other than big money things like selling the house is a better way in case just one person is there or if there are more than two then in case one is missing. Research and if need be get legal advice before choosing .

Oh my goodness Suzy this is exactly where I am at the moment. I care for my Dad - 92 - dementia diagnosis a year after referral in June, now declining faster. Its the incontinence that is pushing me to the brink, constantly washing trousers, bedding, urine stains around the house, leaking pants. My mother had dementia for 16 years but didn’t become incontinent until the end stage, so this has been quite unexpected, and more emotionally draining than I would ever have thought. My current dilemma is how to keep his bedroom carpet clean, he keeps weeing on the floor next to his bed and I can’t put anything down as there’s a falls risk. If I put plastic sheeting down he will just stand in the wee and then walk it around the house. HIs bedroom smells like a nursing home and my daughter who lives with me is constantly horrified! Any suggestions from anyone gratefully received :slight_smile:

Hi Guys,

I am new to this forum but I am a young adult carer and have some experience of looking after someone who can become incontinent. What we found helpful was adding old duvet covers next to the bed so that there isn’t a fall risk, feels softer on the feet and the carpet is quite protected (the duvet is folded to become thicker). We then have a designated basket to collect these which the carer then puts onto a wash cycle for us at the end of the week. It may be helpful to ask for carers to come in and help with the personal care a bit more. Dealing with disposing of incontinence products and cleaning up after was taking its toll on me so it’s been helpful having carers come in daily to dispose of these.

I think it was through the gp or social care but after an assessment, free continence products were given. I also think they can help with the cost of extra usage of the washing machine. I remember there was a question about this on an application but not sure which one.

Re- still leaking through padded pants- It may be worth going for a different size? sometimes if its bigger there’s more of a chance of leaking through movement. I also think the puppy pads are a good idea but then it does become another task of disposing of daily.

For the smell, I think fabric fresheners may be a good idea to apply on top of any soiled areas to help mask. You can find some really nice scents and I also like I think its the Dettol surface cleaner which has quite a nice fresh smell. For myself I would use a stronger perfume or oud if I ever found the smell to linger a bit longer. I want to also perhaps invest in getting the carpet cleaned which may help with the smells.

Go via the GP or district nurse for incontinence assessment and then they will get a supply of pads or pants.
I use washable kayleigh bed mats on the floor between the commode and the bed, the commode legs stand on the edge of the mat and it goes under the bed so it is stable, absorbant and underneath it is non leaking.
Have a look in the Age UK shop

You will find the absorbent matts - I use single bed size without tabs

There are also cleaning products with odour neutralisers, it might take a few attempts to get rid but it works.
There are also washable absorbent pads for chairs.
The disposable bed mats are too flimsy for the floor, but I have one underneath the commode and the absorbent washable mat on top of the edge of it.

The main issue is that without the right fit of pants/pads and the correct absorbency/changing them often enough, his skin is subject to breaking down and getting cellulitis infections which is painful and hard to get rid of and can come back often, needing antibiotics each time.