How do I discuss sensitive subjects with mom without making her upset?

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O.K. So, now mom has moved in with us. Been here for a week. I thought things were going smoothly. BUT -- tonight there was a problem, and I need some feedback as to how to handle this diplomatically. We have a separate bathroom set up for just my mother outside of her bedroom. It has a special seat with handles on the toilet, and I KNOW that nobody else uses it. Well, tonight the toilet overflowed. I guess I hadn't thought too much about the fact that she uses '1' roll of toilet paper a Day! This is a lot of information, but, she wipes and then takes maybe ten(?) squares of t.p. and folds it and puts it on top of her diaper (I guess for extra absorption), then pulls up her pants. Of course, when she sits down next time, the pad of paper falls into the toilet, and she wipes again, etc., over and over. I didn't realize she was going through so much paper, and also just realized that the kleenex box is also empty. When I tried to gently ask her tonight to use less paper and maybe not fold a bunch in her pants, and just wipe -- she accused me of picking on her. She says that she does NOT do what I said, and that someone else is trying to blame her. I nicely told her that she had frequent problems in the last place she lived with overflowing toilets, and she claimed that was just not so. I said that our septic tank just could not handle all that paper, and that I didn't want to think of an overflowed toilet happening when we were not there. So, other than rationing her paper -- what should I do? She slammed her door, saying we were picking on her. I know that there will be disagreements, but, how should I handle this? Please help!

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It's one of the many rough spots, and this one is hard. She feels picked on and you are just trying to do the right thing. I hope there are some good ideas out there.

It's unlikely she will take kindly to any suggestion here, but it's something you have to go through. Maybe, if you find a different brand of pad, explaining that this one won't need the "extra protection" of the toilet paper pad, it may help.

Take care of yourself and try not to pull out your hair,
Just a thought, here. How about disabling her toilet, and buying her a porta potty. That way you have control over what goes into the septic system, and at what rate. Not pleasant, but perhaps necessary. Best wishes with a difficult situation.
I like the idea of the one ply toilet paper too, but I myself have my eye on this great new toilet. It's call the 'Ultramax' by Toto and is supposed to be un-pluggable. Apparently you can flush a chihuahua and not plug it up. I also want to get the raised version with the elongated seat. It's spendy, but to NEVER have to use the plunger again would be wonderful. And this toilet is just for my husband and I, looking towards needing the extra height when we get old and decrepit.
Hi Newatthis,
I would think if she needs extra absorbency, she should have a smaller depend shield or little Huggie placed in to catch any potential leaking. Maybe a nice little bag lined garbage can next to her toilet would make her feel safe and privately in charge of discarding anything damp. It's nice to see a little pride in herself. Get what she needs, say little and give her a hug. Good luck. ~ Sooz
Just a thought; are you using septic-safe one-ply toilet paper? That would reduce the wad.
With my mom she would wear protective pants and also had a sanitary napkin in there. The toilet overflowed several times before the plumber saw that the pads she was using were falling off of her when she pulled up her pants and into the toilet. Also, I could only use regular SCOTT tissue (not the extra soft). Any other tissue she used so much that it plugged up the toilet. We paid a heavy price for the toilet overflows when we moved out of the apartment, they charged us for replacing the carpet near the bath and damage to the bathroom tile, in addition to the plumber we had to pay $70 each time it overflowed until I figured out what was happeneing.
Now that mom is in the nursing home they just put on the protective pants and had her stop wearing a pad on top of it, she seems to be okay with it. Anyway, it is the nursing home's problem now if the toilet overflows. She is really angry about having to share a bathroom and losing her privacy in the nursing home, but there are no private rooms available in this town, I have investigated, and my family cannot afford to pay extra for a private room. There comes a point where mom will just have to adjust to being in the nursing home. At least it is a good, clean nursing home and it is the best one in town, probably will end up costing us a little more, but it is worth it.
NancyH - Thank you for the laugh today, I needed it! Great mental picture of a swirling Chihuahua... My Mom, too, uses copious amounts of toilet tissue. She goes through a double roll plus on a daily basis but totally denies it. I don't know what she does with it (I accuse her of using it like toast with jam). A lady in a pharmacy once gave me the idea to check if she was wadding them up in place of a liner for bowel incontenance issues but unfortunately that was not the case. She is able to handle her functions herself and her only answer (if she responds to questions about it at all) is that she likes to be clean. Sigh. Since this topic started three years ago, anyone have any new ideas or tricks?

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