bowel problems

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I ihad to have my mother start wearing depends this week. She is always having accidents all over the floor and in her clothes. When I ask her if she knew she had to go, she says no. When I know she has had a bowel movement and and I ask her she says she just peed!! I don't understand. She had a colonoscopy a year ago and everything was fine. She was having a few accidents back then but said she was too involved with tv and waited too long. Now she's saying she didn't know she went all over the place. AND sometimes she hides the dirty clothes. I have found her underwear stuffed in tissue boxes in the garbage and she says she didn't do it!!! Is she lying or does she not remember doing it??? What kind of a doctor do I take her to?? I am so frustrated right now, I want to kick her to the curb, if she is doing this on purpose. thanks for listening.


There are a couple of things you can try - - but understand that your mom is not doing this "on purpose". A clue is that if she hides the soiled clothing, she is trying to handle it. My mom has dementia and until I got her diet stabilized and her diverticulosis under control, would be surpised by poop. She would try to clean up and deny that there was a problem. That sounds like your mom, so take a deep breath and be nice.

Before you do anything, imagine what it would be like if you did not have control over your bowels. You will have to start evaluating everything in her life. Look at her diet which may be a major cause, consider that if she is not getting enough toning exercise her sphincter muscles may be weakening, consider that something else is going on and make an appointment with the doctor. Bring samples of urine & feces - - and be prepared to work with your mom to help her.

I suspect that Carol and others will also have good advice. But hang in there. You can help your mom.
Thanks for the reply. I just went to her room to check it out and found no signs that she has changed her underwear since she started wearing the depend 4 days ago. She siad she put the used ones in the garbage, when I told her I couldn't find them she said oh the hamper. I checked there since I don't want soiled ones being hidden, nothing. When I asked her again she just shook her head. I let it go. As far as exercise, she gets none. She won't do anything!! Just sit and watch tv. On nice days I ask her to go out and get fresh air. She'll go out for 2 minutes, I timed her and then she tells me she went out and sat in the sun for quite a while. I can't take her shopping with me. One aisle in the store and she has to find a place to sit down because she doesn't get any exercise she can't walk any distance at all. I'll call the doctor on Monday and see about getting the office of the aging involved. I just don't know what to do with her. I can't afford to quit my job but I'm getting worried about leaving her here alone during the day. She has very little money so assisted living is out of the question and a nursing home is out also.
You can try to exercise her by doing it with her if you want there is a show on many PBS channels called "sit n be fit" - - it is very mild - can be done sitting and is geared for those like your mom. I recommend it highly....
As far as taking her to the store, it you want to take her - you can have her use the handicapped carts that are motorized. I can tell that you are feeling frustrated, so understand that suggestions are to help you out of the frustration - its a delicate balance. If you can keep her engaged and take her with you it will make your life easier, believe it or not. The more you keep her engaged and push her to keep her brain & body as active as possible, the better chance you have keeping her at home & healthy. The more sedentary - well, you already understand.

I hope you have luck with the doc / aging agency.... I'm in a similar situation as an only caregiver. Take care
I am the only caregiver of my mother as well. she gets no exercise and is always complaining of pain she also has accidents fortunately in the bathroom she also does thing (breaks stuff) or it just stops working and she won't say to anyone this isn't working or that needs a light bulb or nothing its like she just doesn't care, she refuses to exercise she says she lays in bed and does it ?? she might I don't know I can't afford to quit work either. but she can make herself something to eat and she has a very healthy appetitie, it could be a medication but after she eats you can almost time it 12 to 15 min later she is in the bathroom with diareahha, when I talk to her doctor in front of her she denies it? He believes her as she is his patient but he does understand what I am saying I guess its just the natural process of her body wearing out. she is very overweight has gained 75 lbs in the last 2 years and says there isn't anything she can do about it when I ask her to exercise with me. Said her back can't take it??? I ask her also to sit outside and get some fresh air but she is so heavy and so out of shape she walks very funny like she is walking on eggs, I've tried to get her to buy a pair of good walking shoes and she refuses she wants to wear little cloth baby doll shoes. There is only so much I can do if I suggest too many things I'm picking on her so I've decided to leave her to her own devices, when she can no longer do anything for herself she will have to go to a nursing home, she doesn't have anything but small SS check but they will just have to accept it and get what they can from the state. If you have any suggestions for someone who will NOT work with you please let me know. thanks

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