Tips for transition to incontinence?

Posted by KMKM @kmkm, Dec 30, 2019

I'm hoping to receive tips on how to deal with the process of minimizing messes and the toileting challenges while I care for my mom.

She still tries to get to the bathroom but forgets where it is. She stares at the toilet and doesn't know what to do. During the day she is able to tell me that she needs to use the toilet and I help her with the entire process of getting there and I clean her up afterward.

My main concern / question is about her toileting at night time. She still gets up and walks herself to the toilet and manages to get back to bed (but can't cover herself with the covers so she curls up in a ball hoping to get warm.) Sometimes I wake up and cover her up. I know it's quickly approaching the time when she's unable to find the bathroom at night.

How do I help someone who doesn't understand what Depends underwear are for (they feel wrong to her and she doesn't want to urinate in them) or she would never understand how to use a bedside commode at night by herself…

All this to say, how do you suggest I transition all of us to when using the toilet is no longer possible? Especially at night…

Hello. It makes me sad to read this, as I recall when my dear mom reached that stage of her Alzheimer's disease. You are doing a wonderful job and I wish there was a magic answer. Her not remembering what to do with the toilet once she gets there will not improve. You are correct when you say that she won't remember how to get to the toilet at night, much less how to use it when she gets there. You can get a sensor for the floor that will wake you when she gets out of bed, and then you can go in to help her. There are also electronic devices that will notify your phone when she gets out of bed. It would help for a while, but she will eventually get to the point where she will just go in her incontinence pad/underwear. You will most likely also need incontinence pads on the sheet/mattress. This will be the stage that most people realize that they can no longer go without help, either by moving her to assisted living or by having someone in the house. You must realize that you are not a bad person by doing that. It's just the way it is with this horrible disease. I wish you well and admire you for asking. Virginia Naeve (www.anewpathformom.com)

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@virginianaeve

Hello. It makes me sad to read this, as I recall when my dear mom reached that stage of her Alzheimer's disease. You are doing a wonderful job and I wish there was a magic answer. Her not remembering what to do with the toilet once she gets there will not improve. You are correct when you say that she won't remember how to get to the toilet at night, much less how to use it when she gets there. You can get a sensor for the floor that will wake you when she gets out of bed, and then you can go in to help her. There are also electronic devices that will notify your phone when she gets out of bed. It would help for a while, but she will eventually get to the point where she will just go in her incontinence pad/underwear. You will most likely also need incontinence pads on the sheet/mattress. This will be the stage that most people realize that they can no longer go without help, either by moving her to assisted living or by having someone in the house. You must realize that you are not a bad person by doing that. It's just the way it is with this horrible disease. I wish you well and admire you for asking. Virginia Naeve (www.anewpathformom.com)

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@virginianaeve This is such a thoughtful (and helpful) post. Your experience makes such a difference to other members who are looking for advice. Thank you

Liked by lucky1038

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@becsbuddy

@virginianaeve This is such a thoughtful (and helpful) post. Your experience makes such a difference to other members who are looking for advice. Thank you

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Thanks Becky. It isn't easy when you have to tell the awful truth about parts of this disease. Life would be easier if we didn't have to 'eliminate', don't you think? Anyway, thanks for all of your good advice as well. Happy New Year!

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My MIL would never have chosen Depends over her own underwear. So I removed all her pretty things, leaving only the Depends. Not having to make choices or decisions is always helpful. That didn’t solve all the issues, but definitely helped.

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