How do I broach the subject of incontinence with my very proud, independent 89-year-old mother?

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I have a similar problem with my 89 year old mother. She refuses to wear depends during the day. My sister-in-law took her to a Dr. Appt. Yesterday and mother wet her pants n the car. She then tried to hide the fact. Her granddaughter is having Thanksgiving dinner at her house and doesn't know how to tell Grandma not to pee on her bed and carpet. What can we do to convince her she needs to wear depends all the time?
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I have a similar problem with my 89 year old mother. She refuses to wear depends during the day. My sister-in-law took her to a Dr. Appt. Yesterday and mother wet her pants n the car. She then tried to hide the fact. Her granddaughter is having Thanksgiving dinner at her house and doesn't know how to tell Grandma not to pee on her bed and carpet. What can we do to convince her she needs to wear depends all the time?
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Good comments...good to know we are not alone in our thoughts and concerns.
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My mom has developed moderate incontinence and her doctor prescribed Vesicare three years ago (she's almost 85). It helped in the beginning (5 mg daily) but recently the incontinence has increased. She goes through tons of tp also, because she doesn't like using Depends or Poise. She will use Depends now, but adds folded tp for extra coverage. Though I had repeatedly asked her not to use paper towels as a stop-gap, she continued until she stopped up the plumbing for the third time. At that point I called the plumber (again--he's on speed dial) and asked her to pay for it. She was furious with me, but stopped for now.

At her most recent doctor's visit the subject came up and he said she could increase the Vesicare to 10 mg daily. It seems to be helping. Mama is very, very private and also does her own laundry, so it's hard to tell. However, I have tried to tactfully have the difficult conversation about urine smell in her clothing and offered to include her laundry when doing mine. She doesn't believe me, but she's afraid enough that it may be possible that she does her laundry a little more often.

I try to be light and easy-breezy when I mention it, saying I've asked my husband and children to let me know should I need to freshen up in my old age, and not to let me smell. Part of it is definitely that Mama's sense of smell is virtually gone. She drank sour milk in her coffee yesterday (I discovered it and dumped it this morning, but realized it had been bad for a day or so) and didn't realize it. That's a big part of the problem. If I'm doing a bleach load of laundry, I ask her if she has anything which needs to be bleached. She used to always say no, but now she will bring me a few items. So she's trying, but it's been a three-year uphill climb to get this far. What's interesting is that my grandmother (father's mom) lived with my parents for a few months and had a similar problem. It drove my mom crazy at the time, but now she's doing the same things. So the dementia obviously reduces recognition of a known concern.

Another issue that I've noticed is a fear of slipping/falling in the tub/shower comes with age, so loved ones stop bathing as much as they once did. My grandmother, father, mom, and mother-in-law have all had this occur. We're in the process of making sure the tub has lots of handrails.

Hoping to help.
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melmil & pamela - Thanks so much for sharing. In some way it just helps to know that there are other people out there struggling with the same issues and trying their best to help their aging parent(s). I thought about the doctor thing, but my mother just saw her doctor a couple of weeks ago and her next appointment isn't until July. It seems that I'm simply going to have to figure out how to bring it up with her myself and see what her reaction is. Last night we were at a family get-together, and she had obviously showered and washed her hair and there was no problem. The fact that it's sporadic makes it harder in a way, but I want to help her deal with this issue before it becomes worse.
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Pamela, I know about that sour smell. Kept encouraging mom to handle the situation, she was a retired nurse, for heaven's sake but her stubborness (because I said it) always "allowed" her to drag her feet. Finally told her if I found any more wet undies in the hamper, I was throwing them in the trash because I took her laundry to my house to wash. My threat and follow through, and the fact that my 30 something son went to visit and wound up having to help his grandma when she had an accident pushed her to get the Depends. It had nothing to do with losing independence or growing old, she'd had bladder probs for a zillion yrs. It was her stubborn streak, plain and simple, because I was trying to get her to do something that wasn't her idea first. If the garbage man had told her to get Depends, she would've bought a case just to spite me!!!
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So far, I think Mom is hiding it. It is not obvious yet. I do believe she is using tp that way instead of buying depends. I wish I knew how to ask her...all the tp is going to clog up the washer and dryer one of these days. I guess one of these days I will ask if this has become an issue for her and if she needs help. There does not seem to be any easy way.
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Before my mom had her stroke, she was having a lot of accidents. I was cleaning up behind her about a year before she actually became sick.

Both my sister and I suggested she wear Depends but she always refused so we stopped talking to her about it. She would call me extremely early asking me to come over and clean up, I'd go every time. When I did her washing, her undergarments were so sour I'd have to air and clean out her dirty clothes hamper each time I washed.

After constantly cleaning the stains in the carpet in her room, and in the hallway headed towards the bathroom, the bathroom, and my car, she finally thought it a good idea to start wearing the Depends. She started out wearing them at night, then progressed to day and night.

It's a touchy subject because our parents do not want to lose their independence but it's something that must be done delicately.

After a while that pride has got to go out the window.
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I have this issue with my dad, too, at times when his leg issues turn into infection in blood issues, which cause incontinence somehow... my dad is really independent, very proud, a young sprout at 72! He doesn't like to hear about his aging issues.
My dad doesn't like to hear of such stuff from his daughter either, he potty trained me after all.
One thing I did, was I told his doctor about it over the phone. The next time my dad saw his doctor, I had his doctor bring it up while we were there. It was okay then, to talk about it because it was the doctor speaking to my dad, not me.
The doctor suggested a portable urinal chair for my dad's private space, his bedroom room and a hand held urinal for him too. I got him both, he uses both but won't let me in his room to clean them - he takes care of that and his home care provider does too.
The doctor suggested incontinence pads for my dad's bed - he does use them, but will not use pull ons or personal pads in his briefs. Since his problem is off/on again, it's his decision and his choice of the chair/hand held urinal and bed pads the doctor suggested to him seem to work for my dad right now.

It's a subject I didn't mind speaking with my dad about, but it is a subject I knew he would have an issue speaking with me about. His doctor bringing it up really helped. Hoped this helps!
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naheaton, My question merely indicated that I was trying to figure out how to talk with my mother, nothing more. Perhaps more detail would have helped you to frame a better response. It's a moot point now, but thank you.
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