My mom went to the bathroom in the night in her PJ’s and in the carpet but she doesn’t remember it. Why is this happening to her?

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MY 86 mom has memory problems. She often sleeps 8 to 10 hrs, gets up to go to the bathroom and somehow her pj bottoms and carpet at the front of the toilet gets wet. She doesn't know how it happens. I'm 700 miles away. She wears a pullup diaper w. pad (I think the pad is unnecessary but she's afraid of wetting the mattress (just ordered them a waterproof mattress pad). I think she sleeps so long, has a strong urgency and when she gets to the toilet, she starts to pee before she sits down OR when she sits down she doesn't slide her bum back far enough. Ideas as to whether either makes sense? Naturally, need suggestions. It's hard for me to monitor both parents but I do talk to them every morning.
Thanks, Linda...

Answers 1 to 10 of 19
My goodness, does she live alone and you are 700 miles away? I would move her home with you, she needs someone before something horrible happens.
She lives with my 88 year old dad & they live in the old house I grew up in. They've been married for 84 years. I have been BEGGING them for years to move here where the climate is better, for one thing. I started begging them before they started the decline. In 2004 we tried to move up there and had a string of things happen that prevented us from moving there (and still prevents us). My mother would move with us in a heart beat but it's dad. He has never been able to deal with change. He has a few elderly sisters near him, each of who have their own families. When he comes up with reasons why he won't move, that comes up & I go thru the "you're in no condition to help them anymore", etc.
We've just had a death in my husband's family & we are going there this week. I had hoped to see my parents soon but this unexpected trip makes that unaffordable now. My brother will be going up the week before Christmas & I will tell him what to look for to indicate that they are not safe. If they aren't, well, that's another thing ::sigh:: Dad is just so darn proud or stupid, maybe a little of both. Thanks for your response. Linda...
There could be many things going on but I think you're right on when you talk about her urgency to pee. My mom does this also and I see it often at her nursing home. That said, you also need to consider the height of the toilet, at 88 there's no doubt that she can't squat down like she used to. A toilet seat riser or a new toilet might be a huge benefit for both of them. I'd also consider removing the carpet in the bathroom. It's tough because carpet will help prevent falls over slick vinyl but it's hard to clean and might smell like crazy in no time.

Best of luck to you all.

Top Answer
How far away is her bathroom? My mom's is down the hall (her circa 1940's home only has one bathroom on her main floor) and we have a hard time getting there with stiff morning bones. Maybe a bedside commode would help? Also make sure she has rubber backed bathroom rugs at the base of her toilet. My mom did the same thing (which I never could figure out) and wouldn't give up the carpet in her bathroom. Being able to through those rugs in the washer sure helped. (I also put disposable bed pads underneath the rugs because they aren't completely waterproof.) It'll save the carpet. Try to limit her liquid intake at night. I know that is a "no-brainer" but I never thought of it :) :) :) Those ideas might help if it's an urgency issue but I have to agree with Lynn- your parents will love the riser. Those knees don't bend, especially in the mornings!
My mom is 84 will be 85 in May. When she started having incontinence we had a Pessary put in and it stopped the problem. She started complaining of a pain in her side almost 2 years later. I thought it was because of the device so I had it taken out and as it turned out, it was a cyst on her groin. Now she is incontinent again with a different Healthcare provider that can't seem to fit her with a new device. It has been a real trial keeping her clean. I can't even consider pads cause she'll flush them down the toilet. She never wanted to wear the pull ups but last week she wore one to bed for the first time. When I got up in the morning, She used it all right but after soaking it with urine she tore it up. I found all the shreds on the carpet in her bedroom and hallway. She has done better now since that one time. I need to get that pessary inserted again. Lora
Even with the toilet riser (which is a WONDERFUL invention and I love it), my 88-year-old client also sometimes wets down the front of the toilet. It does occur because she starts to pee while still in the process of sitting down. I don't think there's much that can be done about that. We use only a "shorty" nightgown for her, which helps a lot, and she hikes it up well before aiming for the potty. I'd consider this for your mom, to cut down on laundry and discomfort with wet PJs.
I have to agree on the high toilets, we all love them since we put one in for mom. How do you know this is happening, did she or your dad tell you? As the dementia increases, they use anyplace for a toilet. My Mom used to get up out of bed, pull down her pants or lift her nightgown and pee all over the side of the bed and floor. She forgot to walk to the bathroom, it was horrible, especially in the middle of the night. I sewed elastic straps on paama bottoms that go up over her shoulders, then put on a nightshirt over that (and under). That solved that problem~!! Before she could figure out how to get out of those she peed, then forgot and got back in bed. They do sell pj's that are called unstrippable pajamas now if you want those too. Its so hard being far away but there WILL come a day you will, or someone will, have to go there or hire help for them. good luck.
As for who is telling me about Mom peeing on her pjs and down the toilet, they both did. Every morning when we talk, Mom and Dad are on a speaker phone at their end. That's good because I can hear their interactions & dad can be really hard on her. He assumes that she should know what's going on (he's in denial plus he exhausted doing all that he has always done plus what Mom has done--yes, I've talked to him about getting some help but his attitude that as long as he can do it, it's HIS duty ::sigh::).
I do believe that she is starting to pee before she sits down. I recommended a night gown but she said she couldn't stand the gown, something about it sticking to her legs ::sigh:: She's also wearing both a diaper and pad so that's more to get down when she has to pee. She's afraid if she doesn't wear the pad, she'll wet the bed. I just sent them a waterproof mattress pad but Dad hasn't put it on because he hasn't washed the sheets yet (don't ask me why he has to do that before putting on the pad).
I agree that she is probably doing as you suggest, ie, starting to pee as she goes to sit down & pull her diaper/pad & pajamas down. I asked her whether she pulls down her bottoms when she's facing the toilet or when she goes to sit down and of course she couldn't remember.
Part of the problem is that she becomes quite beligerant & won't listen to what dad tells her. I saw that part of my mother last year when she fell & ended up in a nursing home. My sweet mom can become a real bi...
Thanks for your input, I really don't know what we can do. Even if I were there and saw what she was doing, I'm not sure what I could do to change it.
Thanks, Linda..
A rug in front of the toilet could cause a fall. If you would get one of those risers for the toilet, it could end up being too high and she could just be sitting on the end and "going" down the front. At first we thought the toilet was leaking and called the apartment maintenance man who resealed the toilet at the bottom. Then I had to call maintenance again because it was still "leaking". Come to find out the new riser seat was so high that she could only sit at the edge of it, and "go" down the front. It was at that point that a new "Comfort Height" toilet was i nstalled. There have been no toilet leakage accidents since. Both she and formerly my late mother wear gowns, no pajamas. She would love to wear pajamas and I said she can't; she has accidents. I buy all her clothes so this is what I buy her for sleeping. This is all she has in the house. Also I personally purchased waterproof mattress pads. At first I bought the vinyl kind, but she ripped those, so now I use the cotton/polyster kind. No rippage. I also buy the washable bed pads. She can't put slippers on herself anymore. A nurse case manager suggested that she wear slipper socks to bed, the kind with the rubber at the bottom. Otherwise should could slip with regular socks or no socks.
I think you are right Linda, there is nothing you can do until it becomes a lot worse. We put in a high toilet from home depot and had used the riser before. The cheap riser seat got pee all over the inside edges and it was uncomfortable to say the least, cleaning it all the time too. My Mom is only 5' with short legs and it seems as soon as I pull down her pants she is practically on the seat, so it is much quicker and more comfortable, and easier for me wiping too. I highly recommend a new toilet.
As for the slipper socks, great idea, until they start rolling around on their feet during their sleep and the rubber knobbys are on the top of their foot and they still slip. THe hospitals have rubber ALL around and they are the best invention ever. I cannot find them online so if someone can please respond. I have 2 pairs and treat them like gold as she has to have them on every night, her floor is laminate and slippery. The pads in the diapers to me are like only wearing a pad, it prevents the real diaper from doing its job. I would suggest just a diaper, rubber pants over it if you need but I used depends and put on a XL pullup from discount warehouses over it just in case the diaper overflows . The bulk of the urine needs a real diaper, not a pad in my experience, but whatever works for all. This site is great, love to read everyones input, Hugs to all of you caretakers out there!

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