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    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2009 edited
     
    Good Morning Everyone,

    I invite you to log onto the home page - www.thealzheimerspouse.com- and read today's blog- I am planning something special for all of you male caregivers and I need the both the ladie's and gentlemen's help.

    Post all questions and answers here.

    Thanks.

    joang
    • CommentAuthorBillH
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2009
     
    Hi Joan: sorry you did not start this about a year ago. I have had to learn how to put on make up, comb hair, buy bra's panties and clothes for my dw. I would have liked to know about women's female hygiene. Have learned some of these things the hard way. I don't like to cook but we manage and not gone hungry. All in all we have managed fairly well over these past 3 and a half years, and my wife's condition has not changed much over that time. Glad to know there is a place I can come to with questions in the future. I read your blogs and message board daily and appreciate everything you do for those of us in this situation.
    • CommentAuthortherrja*
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2009
     
    Joan, this is a great idea. My boss (male) always said "don't come to me with problems, come to me with solutions". I actually used the philosophy on my mother recently as it is no longer safe for her to be in her own home alone. We (my siblings and I) stated that we thought it was unsafe with lots of supporting evidence and then suggested two alternatives to her. She liked one enough that we are setting it up for her and she is excited about the change.

    Looking back over the course of this disease with my husband, I have often used that approach to get him to go in the direction he needed to go. He was another one for problems/solutions.
    • CommentAuthorbille
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2009
     
    You can add Bille to BillH above and cover me. But one thing I am having trouble with is underwear. How do you know when it is too little. My LW has put on some weight in last year and her panties and bras seem to be too tight. Can a clerk at some of the chains like Penny's or Belk's give me some help if we go to buy some new??
    How about makeup. Daughter has said she would help but she just gets what she uses for herself and I don't think it is right for Carol. Her eye lids are very red and the rouge we have for eyes does not seem to work. Also, her mascara seems to lump up when she applies it. Also her eye brow pencil seems too light cause her hair used to be bleached. Now it is mostly natural, with a lot of gray. I think I would like to get help on her makeup at a new Belk's that just opened up here in Rockwall. I see them helping other ladies. I am afraid I might hurt my daughters feelings but she is too busy teaching school and raising 2 boys. She used to clean her face every night but I never payed any attention so now we have just been skipping this and her face is getting some pimples. ?????

    Good thread!!!! I am sure I will ladd to my; questions. Bill E
    • CommentAuthorbriegull*
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2009
     
    Bill E, before you buy any new bras (which would be pretty complicated!) you might look for bra extenders! They have them at WalMart; ask a salesperson. Panties, well, if they're hard to get up they're too tight. They usually have a size tag inside that lasts a good while. I wouldn't buy expensive ones, though, to replace; you never know when Depends are going to be the order of the day.
    • CommentAuthortherrja*
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2009
     
    Bill - mascara needs to be replaced every few months as it tends to dry out some and clump. Try replacing it with new. On getting the right shade so eye shadow and eye brow pencil. If she is comfortable going up to a counter and having someone do it for her, you can try that. All make-up needs to be replaced every so often (I use anything over a year old as my guideline) as it will get bacteria in it and cause pimples. You need to get her face washed at night, from what you write, she needs that to keep her skin clear.

    Try the extenders. If it is still a problem, J C Penney's does offer a service to help pick the right bras.
    • CommentAuthorcarosi*
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2009
     
    bille--personally, I'd go with basic cotton ladies briefs that come in 3 or 5 packs (Hanes or Fruit o0f the loom). Walmarts and other stores carry these. Try 1 pack one number size up fom what she has. If that works then you can add more. If still snug, go another number up. They do come in other styles, boy cut, high rise. I don't fool with those. They come in plain white or in assorted color packs. I go with these because they're less expensive. I keep enough to make it from one laundry day to the next. Also because sometimes my braces chew them and I can toss the holey ones with out guilt for the expense. <lol>
    • CommentAuthordivvi*
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2009
     
    If you guys go to a local dept store with your spouse in tow, the ladies there are very helpful and i am sure you explain the situation they will help you get all the undergarments that she needs. and they can suggest types of materials that will be best for her easy care. they also have snap button shorter robes for housedresses or with zipper that work nicely when its hot and are very easy to care for and look nice. these ladies are trained to size bras and panties usually just by looking sometimes:) as far as makeup there too any local dept store usually has a makeup counter and any one of those ladies love to do makeovers for free if you buy some of their products. they do a very good job -i do them frequently just for fun. and your DW may enjoy the pampering.
    the tasks can be daunting if you have no experience so dont be afraid to ask the people are very nice - divvi
    • CommentAuthordagma3
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2009
     
    I am so happy that we have the men's point of view on this website. They have been a big help for me.

    AND I hope that if I ever get AD that it would be permission for me not to have to wear a bra :-) - but that is said in a joking manner. I don't think we can be free of them until 5 minutes after we take our last breath. It is hard for ME to find underwear that works for myself, heaven only knows how you guys do it. Once I find one I like, they discontinue it. Also, about the panties - I do think that at this stage in our lives that we can be allowed to wear what the young people call "granny" panties. The bigger the better.
  1.  
    I would recommend full coverage cotton panties and K-Mart has them in "Hanes" ( I think its right) with no ride-up seat. In other words they cover your rear and don't slip up. I have found a silky Oleg at Penny's with a seam up the back but much more expensive. I also found you need to buy the cotton ones in next size larger.
  2.  
    I despise shopping for anything but car parts and golf clubs. So, when it came to helping my wife in the clothing dept, especially undergarments, I dreaded it. She has always enjoyed shopping. So, what I do is get her into a dept. store and let her start browsing. (she may end up looking at cowboy boots when we went in looking for bras). While she browses, I go find a clerk and after they ask if I need help I explain that my wife is shoping for xxx and could really use some help. I ask them to be patient but make sure she gets what she wants. I will watch how it goes (so far, perfectly every time) and then when we are ready to leave I hand the clerk a tip. Sure makes my life easier.

    About 4 months ago I realized she wasn't taking care of her finger or toe nails. I shoulda figgrd that one out a long time earlier......toes were a mess. After taking care of that I wondered what else I was missing. She has always taken impeccable care of her teeth but had probably not flossed in ..... forever. I now keep floss laying all over the house so
    I now see her taking care of her teeth on her own. Also need to clean her ears out once in a while.

    She was a hairdresser for 28 years. Doesn't take care of herself at all now. I have to get her in the shower and tell her to wash her hair (and help her), then tell her to brush her hair afterwards, otherwise she just leaves it a mess.

    Getting her into Depends was surprisingly easy. Butt, for some reason, she now takes everything off to use the commode and then puts on a new Depends, even if there is no need. I fretted over the expense of that quite a bit but
    1) realized there was NO way of reasoning with her on that one and 2) read quite a few posts here about UTI's. With that I figgrd I have bigger fish to fry and appreciate we have had no infections....yet.

    I no longer waste my time trying to keep her drawers and closet organized. No way of keeping up with that one. It would be nice though if she would just stay out of mine. Thenneck
    • CommentAuthordivvi*
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2009
     
    thenneck you have it down to a science..good for you , excellent job.
    love the tip part. money speaks volumes =next time they will fall all over her--divvi
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2009
     
    I only wear a bra when I need to. Afraid I grew up where my mom only did when she went out. Sitting around the house it is not necessary. I am one that does not worry about appearance in the comfort of my home - I prefer comfort. Even out in the yard I won't. They are a pain to wear - man's torture on women since they created them to begin with.
    • CommentAuthordanielp*
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009
     
    Thanks, charlotte. I never really understood whether women wore a bra because the support was more comfortable or strictly for appearance. My wife puts on the same bra every single day. She has others in her drawer but will not wear them. Every ten days or so I put it in the wash at night. It looks terrible through her blouse but that doesn't seem to bother her and doesn't bother me. If you were to buy an undergarment strictly for comfort what would you suggest? ~danielp
    • CommentAuthorKadee*
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009
     
    danielp, I think bra's without an underwire are the most comfortable. Sports bra might also be an option.
    • CommentAuthordanielp*
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009 edited
     
    Good suggestions, thenneck. Our dentist suggested getting DW an electric toothbrush. I bought one but so far she has resisted using it, preferring her old toothbrush. I did buy packages of "floss-ups" from Walgreens when they were on sale. It's a little plastic disposable flossing tool. Now when I floss my teeth I hand one to DW and if she forgets to do her upper teeth I remind her. ~danielp
    • CommentAuthordanielp*
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009
     
    Thanks, Kadee. I had wondered about sports bras. I see women at the gym wearing them but didn't know how comfortable they would be. ~danielp
    • CommentAuthorbriegull*
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009
     
    Sports bras may be fine for younger women but I got a terrific shoulder ache from wearing them, plus it's hard to put on if you have any arthritis, so take that into account. Old bras are the most comfortable, so don't worry about new ones. She's not going out alone driving where she has to have clean underwear on if she gets in an accident (the old warning our mothers gave us), and presumably you're not dressing her up in Victoria's Secret stuff for YOUR enjoyment (although my daughter says they are the MOST comfortable ones she's ever worn). I hate bras but also hate the chafing I get without one.

    Panty hose beat bras by a country mile for discomfort!

    Depends: the ones from Walmart or CVS are essentially identical to the "brand names" and a lot cheaper.
    • CommentAuthorBillH
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009
     
    Hi Bille after reading all the comments I would like to suggest something I have discovered. I buy KOTEX ultra thin -long pads at walmart. They come in packages of 40 unscented She seems to find them more comfortable than the thick ones I started out with and saves me washing as many panties. AS to sizes when we started this journey just over three years ago she was a size 10 or 12, it increased gradually to now it is size 16. She sleeps almost all day and we don't get any exercise to speak of. We have closets full of nice clothes that she can not wear. I have trouble buying clothes for her since I can't take her into the dressing rooms at the stores so have to buy then take home to try them on.
    •  
      CommentAuthorNikki
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009
     
    Daniel, You could have her fitted for a sports bra. I wear them, I had shoulder surgery and they are the most comfortable thing for me to wear now. But they have to be fitted right. Most of your better places, (not walmart lol)
    will do a free fitting for her. Best of luck!! Nikki
    • CommentAuthordivvi*
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009
     
    comfort bras from Sonoma at Chicos stores or online are super comfort -the ones that are stretchy and no underwires. they do the job well and you can sleep in them they are so nice. pricey but i got several on sale -i think any bra that has no underwire and stretchy would do for AD ladies. stretch is the comfort word. divvi
    • CommentAuthorJanet
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009
     
    BillH,

    When I had a broken shoulder, I asked at one store if my husband could come in to help me try on clothes, and they said yes. Maybe smaller stores are more likely to let you in if you ask. I don't know why anyone would object. Every one I've been in had separate rooms off a central hall.
  3.  
    BillH, my wife has also "grown" from size 12 to 16. I tried finding her clothes in our local stores, but couldn't find anything that I liked that would fit her. I finally ordered some slacks and skirts from Lands End. Four of the six items I bought were too big (I had measured her and used this figure with their guide). I was able to return them and get replacements of the correct size with no problem. This is probably more expensive, but sure beats trying to get her fitted in a local store.
    • CommentAuthorcarosi*
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009
     
    Lane Bryant, WomanWithin,and Anthoony Richards--all on line have nice things, reasonable prices and broad selection. Regular and extended sizes. I search them for the loose dressesw and jumpers I use the most because they cause the least trouble with my braces and hold up the best (or are cheapeer to replace) when the braces bite them. These catalog/online places have everything from jeans and T shirts to dres suits an evening wear. Also shoes, sox, under garments and sleepwear--and swimwear.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009
     
    On the sports bras - look for ones that fasten in the front or back, not pull overs. I love sports bras but unfortunately for me they do not make them large enough around (that I can afford). Someday I will try those that come advertised in the Sunday papers. During summer is hard for me to wear bras cause I react to the elastic - then I end up sticking some gauze between my bra and skin until the rash heals.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSusan L*
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009
     
    Well guys, it looks like you are all going to get all the help you deserve! What a great idea for a thread. We women sure do out number you so what out.....You state a problem, we WILL find a solution. :o) Looking forward to helping. Susan
    •  
      CommentAuthorSusan L*
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009
     
    Oh, I almost forgot, an very easy, no rinse solution for face washing is a simple baby wipe. They are soft, disposable, and gently take off make-up etc. If her skin is dry, a nice moisturizer, such as Aveeno will be soothing. There are moisturizers for day and night. Daytime is a lighter lotion usually with a sunscreen in it. Nighttime is a more thicker cream that is very soothing. Hope that helps :o)
  4.  
    I have those wipes in both bathrooms and they are great for the face. They also make some just for the face with moisturizers in them, I believe but be careful not to get something that needs to be rinsed.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSusan L*
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009
     
    In my experience, wipes made FOR the face, need rinsing. Baby wipes do not. Inexpensive way to cleanse too.
    • CommentAuthorRo13
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2009
     
    i NEED TO PRAISE ALL YOU MEN, IT IS WONDERFUL TO READ ALL THE PATIENCE AND COMPASSION THAT YOU ALL HAVE, MAKES ME STOP AND THINK,WHAT IF THE TABLES WERE TURNED, WHAT KIND OF TREATMENT WOULD I GET FROM MY DH?
    GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU, AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL. ROSALIE
  5.  
    Today, I took my wife to a nursing home to visit my neighbor, who is recovering from pneumonic. My wife was very dissatisfied with her hair, and wanted to buy a wig. A kind lady helped her put it on, then we headed to Olive Garden. As I was driving, my wife took the wig off, and tried to put it back on, but could not do it. So in the parking lot at Olive Garden, I put the wig on her, and tried to make it look nice....No comb, no brush....After 45 min. of fumbling, I thought it looks OK....
    Can anyone give me advice how these things stay on?? It was not an expensive wig, but there must be a secret somewhere...
  6.  
    Frank, if she is taking the wig off nothing is going to keep it on. It is like anything else, she is going to fiddle with it. My suggestion is to bring a small comb/brush along and just do the best you can to keep it looking nice. Although, she will probably forget she wants to wear it and you won't have to worry about it.
  7.  
    This makeup idea is not at all easy...After the wig incident, she tried to apply eyebrows with her lipstick...
    I never did see red eyebrows and thought that she wanted to make a fashion statement...but wow did she get upset when she noticed they were red..so she grabbed some other "tool of the trade", but it was black.....needless to say, there are now some rather big black stains on my car and on my jeans...I never thought so much beauty came out of those little sticks and jars...wish I had watched more closely when she took hours to put the face on....
    Hmmmm...if she ever wanders off, it makes it easier to describe.....yes she is the one with the red and black eyebrows...
    • CommentAuthorJanet
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2009
     
    Hmm - - - just be sure you don't drink martinis before calling the police. If you appear drunk and tell them that your wife has red and black eyebrows, they may suspect you're the one with the problem and think they understand why she ran away.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAnchor20*
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2009
     
    I found out that there is a place you can take your wife where they will do her toes and fingers. I think it is called a pedicure (don't know if that is how you spell it). But Kathryn really enjoyed it and had a great time. I asked her if she likes it and she said she did and would like to go back. My question is how often do ladies need to have their fingers and toes done?

    JimB
  8.  
    Pedicure=Toes; manicure= nails. As to how often? As often as possible if you can afford it! Otherwise, just whenever they look like they need to be manicured. Keep up the good work Anchor20!
  9.  
    Jim, I have my fingernails done every two weeks and get a pedicure once a month. It is expensive, but I'm worth it! <Grin>
  10.  
    Mary, thanks for the warning...I tend to steer clear of high-maintenance women! <grin>
  11.  
    no comment (wrong thread)
    •  
      CommentAuthorAnchor20*
    • CommentTimeMay 29th 2009
     
    Thanks, I'd take her every week if that was that is what it takes to get to see her smile and be so happy (it makes my heart feel go to see her that way).

    It is cheaper than replacing washing machines. Kathryn washes clothes everyday. If I change my shirt during the day she will pick it up and wash it. I have replaced the washing machine three times in the last year. I think she is comfortable doing the wash and I think it makes her feels like she is contributing. She has always washed her sheets everyday because she always like to have a clean sheet on the bed every night.

    I think I will start buying the longer warrenty from now on for the washers.

    Thanks
    JimB
    • CommentAuthordanielp*
    • CommentTimeJun 3rd 2009
     
    How do older women handle facial hair? My wife has been using my electric razor on her own every day or every other day. When I notice that she has longer hair under her chin that the electric razor hasn't gotten I'll help her with shaving cream and a disposable safety razor. Any other alternatives?

    I noticed that she stopped shaving her legs more than a year ago but she won't wear anything but jeans now anyway. This morning I insisted that she get a bath before she went to get her hair cut and I was helping her to be sure she used soup in appropriate places. In the process she said, "this is ticking me off," and pointed to the hair on her legs. I showed her how to use shaving cream and a razor and once she got started she remembered how to do it. That behavior then prompted her to shave under her arms.
  12.  
    My DW doesn't grow hair anymore.... I don't know why. Except for a couple of chin hairs, which I just snip off once in a while with fine sissors.
    Makes it easy to 'maintain' her.:)
    • CommentAuthorShanteuse
    • CommentTimeJun 3rd 2009
     
    daniel, I'd be a little careful about letting her use a safety razor. It's really easy to cut yourself shaving your legs. An electric razor would be better -- schedule it in once a week and hopefully the hair won't be too long for an electric to handle it.
    • CommentAuthordivvi*
    • CommentTimeJun 3rd 2009
     
    daniel i agree with razors. AD men or women. if you go sidways instead of long you will slice your leg open. did it and gash was huge and deep. i agree electric is best. not worth it to have to go to ER!
    DH never shaves himself so i use the triple blades disposables with him in shower but i do it. divvi
    when you take her to salon have them get the facial hairs off. i wouldnt shave a womens face. it stubbles like a mans and is worse. divvi
    • CommentAuthordanielp*
    • CommentTimeJun 3rd 2009
     
    OK Shanteuse and divvi, thanks. What process does a salon use for removing facial hair and how often does it need to be done?
  13.  
    Hot wax. And if she is okay with it after the first time, I would just have them do it every time they do her hair.
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeJun 5th 2009
     
    I was going to suggest the waxing, but OUCH! She may not like that. But I guess it's worth a try once. As Mary says, if she's okay with it, that takes care of the problem.

    joang
  14.  
    I had my eyebrows "defined". ONCE! <grin>
  15.  
    It hurts a sec. about like removing a bandaid but for me it is worth it and in between use the tweezers to pull out some of the chin
    "goat hairs" that grow overnight. If you don't know what "goat hairs" are the next time you are out in the car on a sunny day look at
    the inch long hairs on her chin. Hate those things and I always find them while in the car on the way to someplace.
    • CommentAuthorShanteuse
    • CommentTimeJun 5th 2009
     
    daniel, if she can sit still for a while you could try Nair on the legs. It's a creamy product that "melts" the hairs off. Could be real messy if she moves around, though.