How do I convince my mom she doesn't need to go the bathroom every 15 minutes?

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My mom has a muscular disorder similar to Lou Gherigs. She can only move her feet and hands and it's getting more and more difficult to transfer her without a lift. It takes a full half hour or more to get her settled in be. First the potty, then take off her outer clothes and bra but leave her slip on. It's pretty hard because she is stiff in the arms and has little trunk strength to keep her upright. Adjust her underwear, put the heated rice bag on her feet, fix her pillow, wait for her to tell you where else she's uncomfortable, finally get her settled in and she calls you back in ten min. because she has to go pee. It's so frustrating!! I put a pad on her and tell her to just dribble in that but she insists she has to go, so up we go back on the commode and she pees 2 drips and back down on the bed to adjust all over again. I understand that she has to have someone do everything for her cause she can't move but tonight I told her she has to wait 10 min to see if she really has to go pee. She got so upset at me and told me I was mean, etc. I explained that it wasn't her fault she had bladder spasms but she had to take pity on her caregivers ( my 6 family members and myself take turns caring for her, we do shifts). I told the night caregiver to only let her get up 4 times to pee and the rest of the time tell her to go in the pad. Is it cruel to not help her every time she says she has to pee at night? She gets so exhausted from not sleeping at night then the next day is ruined. I feel guilty being "mean" to her but it feels sometimes she has to go pee for something to do. She is never left alone, activities are available and family members always in and out visiting so she is not neglected and don't think she's doing this for attention. I'm feel dread when I hear her garbled voice say she has to pee or poop once more!

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Top Answer
Could she have a bladder infection or is this belief she has to urinate part of her disease? Will there come a time she will need a catheter and if so, is this the time?
Perhaps it is time for a catheter. It certainly solved a lot of problems for my mom.
It is great that you all take turns, that you are kind to her and tell her you know this not her fault. But you are right that she does not need to get up that often and the effort it takes could be better spent in more constructive ways. When my hubby thought he had to pee every 45 minutes throughout the night there was no reasoning with him -- he had dementia -- but I foolishly tried. "It is not possible your bladder has accumlated enough urine in that short time that it needs to be emptied." Of course I was right, but that was not particulary satisfying as I was still awake, standing in the bathroom doorway waiting to escort him back to bed at 2:30 am. Is her doctor aware of this situation? Is there any medical advice about how it can be handled? There are medications for the over-active bladder, but I have no idea if they are appropriate for these circumstances. It is sure worth discussing with the doctor if you haven't already.

Is your mother of sound mind? If so, I would hope you could be more convincing with her than I could with my husband. I can understand that you feel bad about being "mean" to her, and I can also understand the need to somehow reduce the number of re-dressing, re-settling sessions per shift. I hope a doctor can suggest something. Good luck to you!
My Mom has mobility issues, nothing compared to your situation though. But, I have noticed she always wants to know what time it is after she uses the bathroom. I have noticed her constant glancing at the clock as well. Just about every hour on the hour she goes the bathroom. Whether something comes out or not. I think it's more in her mind...I guess I'll get "isms" as I get older too;-) But, your Mom very well could have a bladder condition and time to consult with her doctor. Good luck to you, blessings and hugs:-)
Mom does have some degree of dementia but also the muscle disorder causes intense fatigue and that makes her brain quite foggy sometimes. Her bladder is prolapsed and has been for quite some time. I've made an appt for a doc to see if any non invasive measures can be done. She would never survive a reg. operation to fix it completely. She has refused to wear incontinence pads because she says they are humiliating to her. Last night I put one on her anyway and told her she had to use it cause the night caregiver wasn't going to get up every 10 min to put her on the commode. I have a hard time with this attitude of hers as she lived her life before never complaining about a thing. Now it feels like she's become so self-centered. As she's lost more and more strength she's had to be dependent on another person and I realize that can be hard but it's like she's sunk into this "me, me" thing. My sis in law thought I was being mean to her by speaking firmly to her last night but I think this behavior can be modified so she's forced to do her part even if it means using the incontinence pad at night. If love and logic works on kids it should work on an elderly parent right? Now I have to convince my siblings that they can't give in on this issue either at night and by day be quick to see to her needs in a friendly manner. She doesn't have a bladder infection. I guess I just need some reassurance that I'm not being "mean". It's hard to not give in to mom when she looks pleadingly at you with her big brown eyes.
If your Mom has a bladder prolapse, her physician may be able to insert a pessary. These have been around for a long time, but still work. It is a fairly quick and painless procedure which can be done in the office. You may want to ask about that. Also, if she is having bladder spasms, there may be a medication that willl help. I truly hope that you can get some help for you and for her.
you are not being"mean". Why do people feel someone is being "mean" when they set a boundary. Part of the reason, we as caregivers, are exhausted, cranky, depressed, ect, is because if our elder says "jump" we say "how high". I set boundaries with my dad and of course he wanted me no where around when the "ugly sisters" would jump and step and fetch.... So they got manipulated and hate me for not playing the game,,, oh well, and there is no way all of that movement and pulling and tugging is good for her either.... hope something can be done.. it is just exhausting to keep doing it that way... hugs
I am so sorry about all you and your family, especially your mom, are going through. You sound very tired and frustrated. It also sounds like you are grieving the losses your mom and you are experiencing. Do you believe you were being "mean" to your mom? Some times when we are frustrated and tired we are more likely to be "mean." I am sure when you were little your mom got frustrated with you when she was tired and felt bad about it afterward. Have you talked to your mom about her feelings and your feelings about this when you are both a little more rested and not in the middle of getting to bed? Does the rest of the family have any ideas? It may give all of you a chance to vent (nicely) your frustrations with the losses that you are going through and hopefully grow even closer.

I would definitely look into some of the medications that would help bladder spasms and double check for a bladder infection. A catheter is an option, but it is a difficult decision to make and even though it makes caregiving easier, it can add other problems like increased infections. Is a bedpan an option? The resistance of incontinence pads is very common.

You are very fortunate to have so many to help. I would ask why does the night time caregiver have to get up to help your mom, if she is paid then it should not matter what the patients needs are. She should be awake and doing what needs to be done.

Young children are in a "me me" world because they could not deal with the enormousness of the world if they were not. Not that I think you are implying your mom is a child (and even with children I do not believe in forcing behavior - I believe in understanding the underlying need and working with them and not having unrealistic expectations of them), but remember she is not a child and has lived an independent life. Your mom's world is very limited now. It is very difficult to lose your independence and dignity. Though I have Multiple Sclerosis and have experienced some limitations, I have never had to be in the shape your mother and my own mother were in. My mother was never one to complain either. Of course, she never complained even when she was totally bed bound. But your mother's complaining and being self centered is just what she is going through and how she is expressing a need she has. Just because she is not physically the same as she one time was does not mean she has lost her rights and dignity. She still deserves to have input about her life.

Also may be she is not ready to go to sleep at night? My mom and I spent many nights up watching movies, me reading a book to her, or just talking. As people get closer to death, sometimes their sleep patterns change to where they stay awake more at night and sleep more during the day.

Best,
Kitty
Karen, you are definitely not being mean so do feel bad about it and don't let anyone tell you that you were mean to your Mom. My Dad has dementia and is in a nursing home and is unable to stand up or walk. He tells us and the aides that he has to go, but he wears the disposable underwear, but it takes 2 people to get him out of his wheel chair and on to the pot. It is so hard being a caregiver when the relative doesn't cooperate, we get mad then feel guilty about it. Hopefully the Doctor will be able to prescribe something for her if he determines she has an overactive bladder or other condition.

My Mom is in Assisted Living and since she no longer has to take care of my Dad,
she has become more focused on herself. If I tell her I hurt somewhere, she almost ignores what I said and goes on to tell me of her pain somewhere. My Mom and Dad moving out their home within a week of each other and having to live apart has been the most painful experience of my life so I can understand how hard it must be for you. What gets me through it is that I want to enjoy the time I have with them and that helps me a great deal. I sometimes speak angrily to my Mom and she realizes she is being difficult and then apologizes and then I apologize too.

How do your Mom's other caretakers handle this situation? Do they have any suggestions? You and your Mom are blessed in that you have so many others to help take care of her and spend time with her. I'm sure you will figure out a way to handle this very frustrating situation.
SORRY,Sorry, Sorry, first sentence should say DON'T feel bad about it.

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