How can I get my mom to throw away her used pads?


She was active for a 91 year old...volunteering 3 days per week at a hospital on the coffee cart and still driving and living independently. It all changed with a discovery of lung cancer. She came to live with us for radiation treatment. She tolerated it extremely well and was just told it is in remission! Naturally, she is finally showing the signs of her age, even put on continuous oxygen at level 5. Mostly she is weaker, and isn't very steady shaky in the hands etc. I'm happy to take care of her, cooking, cleaning up after her etc. No problems at all...I enjoy all of that kind of thing-honestly. What is difficult is, she try's to jump up and "help" which ends up being possibly harmful to herself and extra work for myself and husband. It is more out do "too much", not cause she misses cooking cleaning etc. She even comments about "why don't I just get it at the store"..."why do I have to make it or cook it etc." We use only healthiest ingredients and prefer homemade...and I enjoy doing it. Finally, to my question, she hides her used poise pads .... I know she wears them...I buy them. She knows I know this, and everyone else in the family knows she uses them....she didn't hide them in the beginning but has been the past couple of months...I am open and careful not to offend....and ask why? Also, I ask that she please just use her one of two waste baskets rather than her clothing pockets or inside clean clothing in drawers etc. This type of conversation has gone on several times...even my husband (her son has asked her to leave them in the waste basket.) Which by the way we empty each day?

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Hi Lisa,
It is difficult for us to see our parents declining, even though they were active up to an advanced age. I think anyone of any age going through what she has with her health would have altered behavior! If you think it is due to dementia, then you must simply take care of the tasks she is not doing. If it is from a weakened state, and you think she trying to be hygienically responsible, but just cannot muster the strength, then do it anyway. Scary for her, after maintaining for so long, to face this. You sound like an very good daughter. You know what? It goes with the territory. Don't worry about it and just 'pick up the slack'. haha--like we do with everything anyway:) Bless you. Hugs, Christina
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My Mom who is deep into Alzheimers does the same thing with her Depends briefs. I have come to believe she saves them to reuse when they "aren't very dirty" to save money or possibly because she can't see well or smell and believes they are still clean. Either way, I just go through the drawers, etc. and throw them away. She cannot remember to do as I suggest.
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Thank you mariesmom, thanks for the idea of scented liners, and your thoughts in general. Really, she has her own trash can in her bedroom as well as her bathroom. She is mobile...but, needs hands free coming down stairs (twelve steps) plus has her oxygen cord ... tangling her up frequently. So, the wish/request from me is, please leave them in the can (even the liner if she prefers) she can't manuever safetly with anything in her hand using the stairs..She may be embarrassed; which is understandable, after going on 5 months, (it might be my patience with it is waining) she is aware we know this is what she uses. Yes, I agree on the food prep too...I do have all sorts of snacks (which is her favorite) as much as I can. It is too long to let you know here all the issues of the food/cooking etc. Again, thanks for the ideas...will see how it might help.
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Hey Lisa
Mom hid eveything. She hid used toilet paper, the mail (we didn't know this til the lights were turned off), UPS packages (and then forgot where they were), food, dirty dishes, dirty underwear - so I feel your pain. This "hoarding" behavior is quite common I understand. Also, she might be embarrassed, and not want the used pads to be seen by you - or her son.

How about buying/making her a couple of her own personalized trash receptacles, one for her room and one for the bath? Do them in her favorite color, put her name on them. Tie a ribbon on them or applique her favorite animal - maybe you could even make them together. And use the nice colored and scented trash liners And since she is so mobile and wants to be helpful - tell her you would like her to be responsible for dumping her own receptacles into the 'main' trash.

if this is overkill, maybe just buy her the scented and colorful liners and tell her they are especially for disposing of her pads?

I did something similar years ago with my daughters sanitary products which were constantly overflowing the bath trash and it worked quite well.

As for the cooking - Mom didn't like my cooking. She had lived alone and eaten store bought and fast food for so long she much prefered it to anything I could dish up. If this is her problem, ask her to list her favorite foods, and do what you can to accomodate her preerences. (I adore my sister, but I seldom enjoy eating her cooking as it is so very difernt from what I am accustomed to).

All luck to you!
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