New monkey wrench in handling safety issues.

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We've had a safety frame with elevated seat in my parents' bathroom since I've been here -- almost 7 years. Today Mom took the frame off the toilet and said she doesn't need it. She said it was what was making it harder to go. I told her it helped her get up and down safely. She said without it, she would be able to make her legs stronger. She said they are getting so weak now she can barely stand. I told her it is why the safety frame helps and she flew into a rage that she was NOT going to have the safety frame on the toilet anymore.


I left her alone a minute, then told her what was most likely going to happen if she didn't have the frame on the toilet. I told her that ultimately she was likely to fall and may end up in the hospital. She said she didn't care, and she was not going to put it back on the toilet.


So here we are with her being determined about something that I will worry about. She can't walk without her rollator because her balance is so poor. I see nothing good coming of this. I wish she was easier to care for. It seems like she is constantly coming up with ideas to make things harder.

35 Comments

((((((Jessie))))))) I am so sorry. Sometimes you have to let it happen even though you know the results will not be good. Sounds like she is getting to a point where she may need more care. Is there any chance she will forget in a few days and you can put it back on?

So hard to watch them doing things you know are not good for them and being helpless to do anything about it.

Please don't worry. It does not accomplish anything. Just be prepared for what you think will happen and go about your day. .
Jessie, I remember when it was recommended that my Dad have one of those toilet seat frames to help him lift himself up from the toilet.... but my Mom didn't want any part of that as it ruined the decor :P So what happened, Dad would fall trying to stand up. Mom still refused to have that frame.

I find it interesting Jessie that your Mom is thinking that without the frame she would gain strength in her legs, which is true, but she would need to go to the bathroom probably 25 times a day to get any exercise from doing that.

Try substituting said "exercise" with something else. Like have her sit in a straight back chair and have very light weights around her ankles, having her lift her legs straight out, that works a lot of muscles. Don't know if that would be more or less interesting then standing up from the toilet. You never know.
Freqflyer had a good point when she said that sometimes you just have to let them have the consequences of their own decisions. We can't make them do things that they won't do. I thought that if she does fall, things could change drastically and she would wind up in a NH. I know she would hate that, but it is one of the consequences that she might face. I can already hear people saying to me, "Well, you knew she had dementia. Why did you let her do this?" They don't really understand that we can't make them do everything if they have their mind set against it.

Hoping she'll start using the frame again. I dread hearing that thump in the night.
I too have faced the safety issues with my own Dad, and my FIL. MY Dad had PSP, an autoimmune neurological disease, and he could not let go of his need to "help", by bending over to pick up things he'd dropped off of the floor, which often ended with him falling and injuring himself, he blew out both rotator cuffs, had a failed surgery on the one, but as a life long Cortisone user for his severe Asthma and Crohn's disease, he had brittle bones, and had several bad breaks because of his stubbornness, even though we were right there telling him to wait and that we'd "get that"!

With my FIL, the Dr ordered a very fine Rolator for him to use alway, but which sat in his bedroom for a year, only to be used when he "went out", which is rare, and usually only to the Drs. Finally after multiple falls in the house, I had had enough, and insisted we speak with his Dr, and got PT in, to give him repeated lessons on how to use it properly, and every time he walks or stands, and I was very insistent, telling him that when he fell and broke his hip or shoulder, that would be it, and he wouldn't be permitted to come back to our home, as we wouldn't be able to manage him any longer, as we too are having our own back, knee mobility issues! Finally he caved in and uses it, Every time, and the falls have definitely decreased, but he did topple it over on top of himself the other day, grrrr, probably not locking the handle or some such thing.

My FIL is only beginning to show signs of dementia, so I'm sure there are other things that come into play with others and their struggles with their strong willed LO's. It's a battle of wills, as they get so determined to fail! I wonder if we will be like this when we get older?
Just something to check - the frame isn't getting in the way when she's trying to wipe up, is it?

You can get grab rails that fix to the floor, to one side, which she could use to help steady herself when she gets up. Obviously that's a trade-off too, though, because you have to put it where she can't trip over it ,and she'd also need to bring her walking frame or stick in to the bathroom with her... [groan, head in hands].
Have a permanebt grab bar installed next to the toilet?
Wish there was an easy fix. I could fix the seat in place, but my mother has rage issues. I wouldn't be able to be in the same house if I tried to enforce my will on her. Mom's problem is not really weak legs -- they're strong. She has balance issues, diabetic feet, and is totally bent over from spinal stenosis. So she is strong, but uncoordinated. She also have the old-age problem of getting up from a low seat. This is something the elevated seat on the frame helped with.

I think the main thing she has against the frame is she can't get a good grip on the seat with her bottom. She's used a frame for over 7 years, but decided today that it was the cause of her constipation. We'll just have to see how this goes. She's 90 years old. I want to tell her there is no cure for old age, but I don't think she grasps that she isn't going to be 40 again. You're right, ff. Getting up off the toilet seat isn't going to help strengthen her legs, but she thinks it will. Ah, well. There's no reasoning with dementia overlaid on a difficult personality.

Heading to the grocery store. We were doing mid-afternoon blood sugar test starting yesterday, but I had her doctor change that. Really the doctor had meant to test her sugar at lunchtime. That's a good thing. I didn't want to be stuck here all afternoon to test her sugar.
Jessie; what about looking, at least on line, at raised toilet seats WITHOUT bars? they seem to make some know that are softer material.
Actually the safe frame with elevated seat was the best solution. It was stable and just what was needed. But she has decided that it is what is making her constipated. There's a faulty cause-effect going on, so we'll just have to muddle through it. If the safety frame was new to her, it would be one thing. But she has been using it for years, so I know it is not to blame for a problem that she has been having for years. Her Tylenol III and age are the most responsible there. She also feels like she has to have a BM everyday or something is very wrong.

Poor safety frame. It didn't do anything wrong, but it is getting blamed. :)
Jessie, what im talking about is a raised seat with no frame.

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