Is this dementia?

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I was at my mil house yesterday I had to use the bathroom when I went in I noticed there was feces all over the toilet floor and tissue holder. I wiped everything down. She was saying her home is clean but that is not true she is 89 years old and her house is very dirty. She was always immaculate. She has been looking very unkempt. Is this dementia?

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Top Answer
It could be...or she is just getting older and things are more difficult. Maybe you can plan to go over a couple times a week and help out. I would also see about having a doctor evaluate her. Toileting issues would be a sign.
It may just be a sign of old age. It does sound like she needs some help keeping things clean. People generally keep the bathroom and kitchen clean even when they let other things go. When these areas stay soiled, it is a good sign that help is needed. Maybe a housekeeper coming in a day or two a week would be enough.
I'd check out other things, like for spoiled food in the fridge, clothes and linens not be being washed, bills paid, etc.

One of the biggest signs with my LO when her dementia began was overlooked, because, I thought that she just didn't care about things being sanitary. Her sheets were filthy, but she didn't want them washed. Same with her clothes. Same with bathing. Handling food and not washing hands. Something just goes and they may not think of those things. Also, they get confused about how to clean themselves, hand-eye coordination, focus, etc.

I have a friend, who came home from a trip and discovered feces all over his mom's apt. He had to have professionals come and clean. He never discovered why she did it, but, it was the first sign of her dementia.
RuthannP, I agree with Grammyteacher, as we age it becomes harder and harder to do household chores, believe me I know. I know at my age getting down to just pick up something off the floor isn't easy, it's trying to stand back up is the main challenge :P

My own Mom use to keep her house so clean it would pass the white glove test. By the time she was in her 90's, her eyesight was failing due to macular generation, I could see dust everywhere, dust she could no longer see. Thus it was seeing and not dementia in my Mom's case. An no way on earth would my Mom allow a cleaning crew to come into her house, she was insulted when I had mentioned it, so I just let it be.... [sigh].

Then we found out the vacuum cleaner that Dad was using to help Mom, the roller blade was no longer going around. Ah, that explained why I never saw vacuum bags on Mom's grocery list !! Wonder how many years they were using that vacuum cleaner in that condition.
Mil needs a doctor visit. My Mom was pretty much into her Dementia when this kind of thing happened. They no longer can reason. If it wasn't for my nephew living with Mom, I would have had Mom living with me sooner than she did. Some chalk it up to the aging process. My nephew came home to Mom crying because she forgot how to use the phone. Another time a pan left on the burner. Not long after she had a fall and was given a med that made her hullucinate. At her stay in rehab she had no idea where she was. So she came to stay with me.
It certainly could signal dementia. Your mil needs an evaluation by her doc or even a geriatric specialist, and treatment and extra help if indicated. Sounds like she is not managing with her ADLs (activities of daily living) The change from immaculate to unkempt, and the lack of cleanliness with toileting are often indicators.

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