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Toilet troubles-flushing Depends
My Mom has Alzheimer's and is primarily cared for by my dad, who is healthy & active, but also 80 years old.
Recently, Mom has started flushing her Depends underwear. My Dad and brother had to spend a good part of the day today digging up pipes to clear the plumbing line....for the second time in a month.
I've been there, done that. My 82 year old father who was the primary caregiver wasn't energetic or able enough to always be on top of things. I had to take the pipes apart numerous times and eventually coordinate more care for mom because her incontinence is what really did my father's energy in (in our case a move to MC because in home care wasn't an option.) Once we locked the toilet my LO started rinsing her depends in the sink in the middle of the night, so all those fibers clogged the sink. Or smearing feces all over trying to clean up. A gadget may take a little pressure off, but as others have mentioned it is time for someone to always be in the bathroom with her. This is the only way to make sure she doesn't make a huge mess and that she gets properly cleaned up to avoid skin breakdown and UTIs. The bathroom door may need to be locked, and only accessible by caregivers who either toilet her when she asks and/or on a 2 hour schedule. This particular phase made the bathroom unsafe in many ways - mom's judgement was compromised. A tube of facial medicine was confused for toothpaste. Chemicals and medicine were safer with the bathroom locked.
This phase, where my LO was with it enough to take garments off, was so challenging. In addition to the bathroom issues she was doing similar stuff in other areas of the home. Taking drawers and closets apart, hiding stuff, moving stuff, finding mischief everywhere. It was perhaps the hardest phase of the whole disease for us. It basically takes 24/7 undivided attention on them which is complicated and exhausting.
Oh my goodness, I wasn't expecting so many replies.
Thank you all so much--I appreciate the thoughts and advice and thank you, jfkoc for reminding me to hang on to my sense of humor throughout this journey!
I live two hours away from my parents, so I spend time with them when I can and try to come up with solutions from a distance when I can't be there.
I am going to have a talk with my dad and explain that Mom needs to be accompanied and supervised in the bathroom from now on. In the back of my mind, I think I knew it was coming to that, but your replies gave me the nudge and support I needed.
I'm very glad I joined this community.
24/7 care is definitely inevitable and can catch us off guard when a trusted source says it’s time… ugh.
Then when that “care” morphs into 24/7 supervision of EVERYTHING, it’s down right depressing and isolating. Dark clouds and thunder move in overhead.
I’m sorry you and yours are dealing with all this.
Thank you again, everyone.