BM management

asoloDecember 30, 2009

Things have been going very well until a couple of weeks ago. Now looking for advice.

Situation: Mom's 97. I live with full-time and have for years. BM management has always been part of the equation, but things have changed in the last couple of weeks. Haven't dealt with this before. Dementia has gradually come on beginning about 18 months ago.

What I'm dealing with is 1) frequency of "urges" and 2) her apparent obsession with getting her hands in there and helping it out. Note: there is no problem with passage. Everything's moving fine.

So...she tries as best she can to keep herself clean but she can't see, so can't tell. My new task is to follow up immediately after each bathroom visit to check her hands and the rest of her and then to clean up what's left behind. Not talking big stuff, but constant. And, of course, it annoys her. She doesn't understand why I have to do this and it doesn't matter what I explain because she can't remember it.

The questions......

What to do about controlling the "urge"....talking 6-7 times a day. Do NOT want to shift over into constipation/compaction. Been there and don't want to go again.

What to do about her compulsion to "help" it come keep her hands out of it?

Situation is manageable, just disappointing. Would LOVE to get back to "normal".

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This may be your new "normal" My MIL does the same thing. She wants to do it herself but lacks the skill to do so, then I have to jump in there and help. She refuses to believe that she doesn't do a good job. With her reoccuring yeast infections, and the constant battle with pressure sores it is a "have to do it" kind of thing. I want and encourage her to do as much for herself as possible, but she REALLY needs assistance with it. It's not just keeping her clean anymore, it's the toilet, the floor, the trashcan, and everything else she come into contact with when she tries to take care of her business. I've had to wash the bathroom rug so many times, the color is no where near what it use to be. If you come up with any solutions, please let me know!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 10:14AM
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Connie Kru

Falldowngobump is right in that you need to help her even if she isn't happy with it. I let my mil get ready for dinner one night and she forgot what she was doing and instead got ready to take a shower. She was incontinent so the bathroom floor became wet and she fell. Broke her neck and was in a steel halo for over 9 months. We removed the bathroom door shortly there after so I could see what she was doing. Although she was never able to do much for herself after that.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 9:39PM
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Whoa! Don't know what's going on but "back to normal" over the weekend.

Quite spontaneous. Don't understand these cycles. Suspect dementia-related because that goes up and down, too. We haven't changed anything. The change both ways was all hers.

Anyway, VERY grateful for the change. Hope it lasts but suspect we'll go 'round again in due course.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 7:07PM
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I'm glad to hear it's back to normal. When my MIL first started showing signs of dementia, she would experience periods of stange behavior. Everything just got out of wack for her. Then for no reason, things would be back to "normal". The dementia has progressed to the point where its a pleasant suprise for us when she acts "normal". She does have those occasional days where she is tracking pretty clear, unfortunatly they don't seem to last. Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 12:41PM
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asolo- your mom may have had a tiny stroke, my dad is 93 & over last few years has wet himself a few times, I watch him carefully as he will seem confused at times but then 2-4 days later he is fine. Very tiny clots can move to spot where they aren't hurting anything & he will go back to normal. My mom is 88 so I'm lucky she is doing well except after surgery she wanted to wipe to the front(claimed she always did that-which was not true) I figured it was meds she was taking,Ok after she got home. My dad has had many tiny strokes he will be confused & can't remember I was there in morning but 2 days later he tells me food I brought over that morning was delicious & carry on completely normal conversation. Yesterday I asked if they were going to mom's dr. as he had his nice clothes on, he looked at me & said "Don't have any idea, just doing what she told me to do" talked to him last night & seemed fine. I live 3 blocks away. He takes just 1 BP med & some vitamins. Always been active & cut down 2 trees before xmas & cut them up with chainsaw., I didn't think he should be on a ladder especially with chainsaw. He then dug down in yard to where the sewer pipes were, I could see it was getting to him so I dug some of it out, he got the problem taken care of but in middle of it couldn't figure out "what to do" couple of days later it was clear as a bell so I asked what needed doing in case he forgot again I could tell him. So hope you can get the idea of how it works- good days & bad days. I'm just glad I've kept them out of rest home & cook up meals & freeze so they don't have to cook so much. Simple low sodium stuff, spaghetti with sauce & little meat, stew, chicken dishes,beef or chicken soup with lots of veggies etc. I weigh 100 lbs so no way I could be changing them so hoping they don't get to that. Hope your mom stays more on normal side.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 1:47PM
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