Husbands lack of good hygiene

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My husband has an ostomy bag due to cancer. He has had his bag for 8 months now. He empties his bag into toilet and when he does it sprays everywhere. I’m talking hitting the walls, the floor, the tub. I am constantly cleaning the bathroom. I have asked him to at least clean up after he empties, have left easy to access cleaning supplies and antibacterial sprays by the toilet but he won’t clean up. The nastiest part of this is that he won’t wash his hands after he empties his bag. I have seen him empty bag then walk in kitchen, touching food and surfaces . Quite frankly it is disgusting and myself and my daughter are  at risk of picking  up a bacteria from his bad hygiene.I’ve lost my appetite and I’m afraid to eat any food not knowing if he has touched it or not. I have told him repeatedly to clean up and wash hands and he does if he knows I can hear him but I have caught him numerous times leaving the  bathroom a mess and not washing hands. He is not feeble and is able to care for himself and get around so it’s not a question of whether he can do this or not. I am at the point of asking him to move out because I just can’t deal with his poor hygiene but feel as though I can’t leave a man suffering from cancer. When I do ask him to wash hands and clean up a little he gets angry and sulks for days. He won’t meet with an ostomy nurse either. I am at my wits end. 

  • Hi  If he’s no issues with his stoma then there’s no need to meet with his nurse. With regard to the emptying then a top tip is to put a bit of toilet paper in first and then empty the bag aiming at the side of the bowl rather than directly into the middle which causes the splash back. As tor the hygiene then I’m sorry but I don’t know the answer to that one x

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  • Could you suggest he empties the bag whilst sitting on the loo.might lessen the splashing.

    Sorry cant help with the hygiene problem.


  • That is unacceptable in my book . I look after my 82 year old mother with a spread and she is still trying to stay fresh and hygienic. .

    I would be having a chat about that . Maybe ask the stoma nurse to get involved .

    Our helpline team on 0808 808 0000 could speak to you about ideas but hygiene matters when it comes to bowel waste hence the reason gloves are worn in hospital settings .

    I take it you don’t have two toilets ?

    I have had a few PMs about things like this and the conflict it brings . You are not alone .

    Take care ,


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  • Thank you kindly! It is a frustrating situation!

  • Why, assuming there is no medical reason why not, does he not take up irrigation.  The lifestyle improvement is amazing.  It's easy to do, once a day, and much more hygienic too. 


  • Hi  

    It sounds like the poster’s husband has an ileostomy and irrigation is not an option with this.

    However, it would be helpful if the type of stoma were clarified. 

    Sarah xx

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  • Yes this is an ileostomy therefore no irrigation. He is on a thickening powder to increase bulk of stool. It’s helping a little but not much.

  • Thank you for confirming  .

    I have to say that I agree with  that this is an unacceptable situation you find yourself in, and there is no excuse for it if your husband is mobile and able to manage things himself.

    I have a colostomy, which of course is not the same, but in the early days after my (bigger) surgery when I was not able to get out of bed, and had a drainable bag with very loose output I still would not have behaved like this. When I couldn’t move from my bed (I also had my bladder removed at the same time along with the whole of my reproductive system)) I had a bucket by my bed to empty the bag in if I had an emergency need for this due to how weak I was. 

    Cleanliness and hygiene were a huge priority for us both-so if I had used this bucket, my partner emptied it and disinfected it immediately, wore gloves, and I got cleaned up, even in my bed using “one use” towels and flannels. 

    I’m so sorry you are having to deal with this-there is really no excuse in my opinion.

    Sarah xx

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