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Smelly residents

LTAC   (313 Views 4 Comments)
by La'sBlueSky La'sBlueSky (Member)

1,497 Visitors; 26 Posts

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I have several residents that refuse baths and showers. The smell from these residents is evident in the hallway. I have asked for help from management on how to handle their refusals-"they have the right to refuse". I find the smell offensive as I know other residents do too. I know visitors probably think we are not doing our jobs. Any ideas how to get them in the shower/bath?

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617 Visitors; 227 Posts

I had this issue with some long term patients, and while yes, they have the right to refuse, management could get more involved.  In my opinion, this should be an interdisciplinary issue (at least nursing, management and social workers) that should be care planned for each individual patient.  There is no one-size-fits all solution, which is why the team needs to have an interdisciplinary meeting to come up with strategies for each patient.  Maybe some patients need a certain staff member present, maybe the shower equipment is scary or uncomfortable, maybe they don't understand the risks, maybe they're too depressed, maybe they had a bad experience and are fearful.  The team has to get to the root of the reason for refusing.

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CarterHolly has 14 years experience as a RN.

126 Visitors; 7 Posts

I find how you present things is important.  Don't ask sweetly saying, "Ms Jones, would you like a bath??".  Nope.  I say this is what we're gonna do, come on let's go.  They might balk about it or whatever, but it's other's rights just as much not to smell filth!  Sometimes you gotta treat them like a 2 yo.  I'm sure someone won't like that.  That's fine, but I'm being truthful

Edited by CarterHolly

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2,503 Visitors; 284 Posts

3 hours ago, CarterHolly said:

Don't ask sweetly saying, "Ms Jones, would you like a bath??".  Nope.  I say this is what we're gonna do, come on let's go.

Agreed. I work in mental health and the sweet approach hardly works. For some patients, you need to give them two choices: either do it yourself or we can kindly assist. 

In as much as patients have the right to refuse certain types of care, other patients (and nurses too) have the right to certain comforts.

Edited by Neo Soldier

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