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Hello, My wife and I have been caring for my 92 yr old mother in our home for the past 5 plus yrs. She has had a mild case of dementia during this time. I really feel bad about asking about such a miner problem as I go to this site daily. I never have heard anything about our problem. My mother does not know what to do with toilet paper used or not.

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Pretty much same issues except my mom goes through four rolls of TP per day or more-unless its monitered
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cdc, just an extension of what was considered perfectly sensible behavior. My mother always carried her own tissue in case there was none in a public toilet. She often had to use it too! I don't have it in my purse but i have a small box of tissue in my car.
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Funny thread, but true. My mom us the toilet paper bandit...and has been for years. She stashed it everywhere like gold from Fort Knox. I have to go behind her and reclaim the booty. I feel like Captain Morgan in my own place...lol

She stuffs her bag with tons of tissue. If I ask her why she has so much tissue, she simply replies: "Why? Something wrong with that?" That's her phrase for everything. =]

I do have to go behind her everytime she uses the bathroom because it's something different every time she comes out. It' either shredded tissue all over the floor or it's little roles of it strewn from the foot mat to the base of the toilet.

She grunts a lot when in there...so it concerns me but maybe it's just her trying to do something...who knows?

She never washes her hands which is a gross out so I give her a damp paper towel and she uses that. then she'll wipe her face and neck with it. That grinds my gears but I remind myself she doesn't understand what she's doing at this stage in her life fully.

It's rough to go behind her so much, but I tried to trust her for a few days...didn't work. You have to respond like she's a child in ways. So I stay on my grind to make sure my place is spic and span until I take her home in the evenings.

Boy, she really loves tissue. I think it's from days before when older women carried tissue in their bags for everything...lol
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My husband for a long time had this problem. He simply did not know to put the toilet paper in the toilet after finished using it. Usually only one tiny section of TP at a time. On the floor. On the sink by the toilet. Thrown in the tub. Tucked into the toilet paper roll itself. Pretty difficult. But, I realized about that time that he did not understand the process any long and that I had to help him. So I have been taking care of that for the last uple of years. The sad thing is tho', it is worse now. Because he does not even know what a toilet is. And on top of that he is afraid of it. The floor is his first choice to pee. I try the best I can to catch him before. Had the carpet taken out of the bedrooms today. Will live on concrete floors until I am able to put in vinyl flooring. It is tough but you can do it. Just close your eyes, swallow hard, think a happy thought, try not to upchuck, and take care of the task at hand.
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My father is 62 and compared to most here, we are a young family dealing with the nightmare that is dementia. We are also having problems with the bathroom. Dad Used to keep TP in his pocket and laundry used to be a mess...we are more vigilant in checking clothes and started washing his seperate. He also uses about a roll of TP per day. For everything. But now it's the water that he's fixated on. Uses Faucet water - for his hair, to throw on the mirror (cleans with TP) and wash hands. Toilet water- Flushes the toilet multiple times per visit to BR, washes hands and to wet his hair. He goes into the BR a lot. The solution we need are mostly for the toilet. Sanitation, health and water conservation are the big concerns. Is there some type of lock to put on toilet to keep him from flushing? Also is there a way to prevent him from sticking his hands in there?
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Toilet paper and dementia: Mom is 95 yrs over wipes causing a rash or hemorrhoids. Seems other folks with parents face same issue. Positive is that mom can wipe herself and some reassurance that she is always clean can help. Also a reminder with dementia that purpose is to protect their skin so they stop over wiping. Observing mom a pattern develops where caregivers can assist in leaving enough to make parent secure that they have enough TP yet limit toilet stoppage and overflow.
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My mom is 95 and wet wipes are not on her radar, I have had them in her bathroom. But bar soap and towels she understands but doesn't always use soap and water, just wipes poopy hands on towels. I wash things all the time, but not sure I always catch her hands in time.
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Stock your bathroom with flushable wet wipes and disposable plastic gloves. Go into the bathroom with her each and every time. You take responsibility for her cleanliness. Sorry.

(Tell her "Now that you are 90 and have such delicate skin, it is especially important to get cleaned very carefully. I'll help you with that from now on.")

After thoroughly washing her hands, put some nice-smelling lotion on.

Washclothes make nice reusable but single-use towels. One use and they go into the hamper.
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What a nightmare trying to find any info about this i live and look after my aunt she hides soiled toilet paper under pillow up her sleeves in drawers with all her lovely clothes in kitchenbin trousers and dressinggown pockets the other day was under kettle she also took toilet paper out her pocket and was ready to blow her nose i caugght her in time i can clean the toilet 20 times a day as she also self evacuates so poo everywhere sometime she washes her hands but mostly wipes on towels the other day i started taking pictures to show healthcare professionals my aunties name is annie and such a funny kind lady and i just dont know what to do she was in hospital a few weeks ago for a week i told every nurse i spoke to about this and they said they would pass this info on but hey ho here i am still waiting for help and advice she is a proud lady of 90yrs she love wee holidays but i take my own towel etc with us its actuly easier when we go away as we are confinde to one room unlike at home its the whole house that can be contaminated so any help out there to help manage this willbe appriciated god bless to all xxx my name is maureen x
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When they don't recognize toilet paper, get some wipes and it becomes your responsibility. My mom doesn't use it right anymore, so she often grabs a washrag and wets it. Glad she is still trying. She will rinse it out herself when done.
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We care for my Mil who has lived with us for 2.5 yrs s she has Vascular dementia she has started either putting used toilet paper in a bowl in bathroom or using towel to wipe that's twice we found dirty towel.Washing has very rare as well and wiping wrong way as well any suggestions I am going crazy and so is husband ?
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We care for my Mil who has lived with us for 2.5 yrs s she has Vascular dementia she has started either putting used toilet paper in a bowl in bathroom or using towel to wipe that's twice we found dirty towel.Washing has very rare as well and wiping wrong way as well any suggestions I am going crazy and so is husband ?
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My 76 year old Mil has been in assisted living for 6 months, since her second knee replacement in November 2014. With many signs of dementia in the 5-6 years prior to her surgery, we were afraid the anesthesia and the surgery would put her over the edge. Dealing with extreme paranoia, anger, accusations toward her family, etc. was a daily source of anxiety for my husband and I, as primary caregivers. She started showing definite signs while still living in her condo, and we found ourselves exhausted from daily trips to check out false events. Needless to say, the surgery was actually somewhat of a Godsend. Assisted living has given her activities that she would otherwise never have participated in, but she has also gone downhill in her personal hygiene. I go ever 4 days and "help" her get a shower....and wash her hair. She wears the same clothes for the days I. Between and always as, "I just put these panties on this morning". They are the same ones she put on when she last showered! She also takes 3 squares of toilet paper, wipes, and puts it I. The trash an. Even with bowel movements...and she started wiping from back to front! It breaks my heart, but I don't badger her about it, I just suggest she flush her toilet paper instead of smelling up the trash an. She doesn't listen and my words are empty. It is so difficult to watch, but I know she has no control over her mind anymore, and I also know if I am there one day, it would be a blessing g to have a patient caregiver.
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Hey, now that we're talking about wine........lol........
Sometimes when I want to feel a bit of normalcy, I get my MIL into bed, then sneak into my living room, light a candle and enjoy a glass of shiraz with some dark chocolate. It makes me feel close to my wonderful husband who passed away in May 2010. His favorite was shiraz.......with a piece of dark chocolate. God bless him.
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Amanda I am sorry if my comments on the wine were way out of proportion but they way you wrote make me envision you with a bottle chugging away till you fell asleep and the empty bottle fell to the floor. I really am sorry I totally understand your need for something relaxing at the end of each horrible day. you really do face an uphill battle and none of us can tell you where it will end.
all we know is that it gets more difficult and that those with dementia ( and other mental illness) simple do not have the capacity to appreciate the good things around them. While you and I would love a quiet hour by the window watching the animals frolic in the sun and laugh at their antics Mom does not know why they are doing all that jumping around and it irritates her. I used to stand and watch my horses in the pasture when they were let out and laugh as they ran and reared and rolled then settled to the important stuff - eating!
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We had problems with Mom flushing sanitary napkins and backing up the septic. Depends helped immensely with that as they are hard to remove, but she is rather the opposite of your problem and determined to flush the evidence away.
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Amanda, I understand. My MIL won't ever throw away a Kleenex or a paper towel......... but toilet paper..............oh my. She uses tons of it. My only solution is to lock our bathroom door (we have only one bathroom) and that leaves the portable commode chair for her. I keep that chair beside her bed and guide her toward it every time she "has to go." I tell her that our bathroom is "broken." Yes, I have to empty the bucket every time but at least that gives me control over the state of my septic system. I direct her to throw the TP into the garbage can (lined with plastic bag) which is right beside the commode chair. If I didn't do this, our plumbing and septic would be a disaster. I don't understand the TP thing at all. Does anybody else? What drives them to do this strange thing?
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Veronica 91,

You blew my comment about wine out of proportion. I have a glass at night to unwind. This is after my mother has gone to bed. I was feeling extremely stressed when I wrote my initial post. We have a septic tank and my mother is causing lots of problems, with the toilet overflowing and big bunches of paper getting stuck in the line. You must think I get drunk. This is not the case at all and I do not take any types of drugs. Ever! However, I am only human and I get tired of hearing my mother complain ---"Just wait until you get old and crazy. I think I'll just go jump in the pond. You'd be better off if I was in the ground." It really gets me down when my mother's health, except for her memory, Is quite good. I know so many people who are seriously ill and I tell her that she has so much to be thankful for. We live on a beautiful farm and she can sit and watch the birds and animals all day. There is so much beauty here for her to see and she should be thankful that she is able to stay in her home. I do everything for her, always have and always will as long as I can keep going. It's only normal for me to get a little down once in a while and that is why I had to vent.
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Amanda,
It is not possible to retrain an elder with dementia so you have to work with what you have. Do you have more than one bathroom. Can you designate one for Mom's use and lock the door to the one you and hubby will use.
Remove the toilet paper. Keep it out side the BR hidden but where others can find it. Unroll enough paper for one trip to the BR. if necessary wind it round an empty roll
Keep a bin lined with plastic in the bathroom so that she can drop her paper in it.
It would be nice if she flushed and put the seat down but accept that she is not going to. You will have to be vigilant and when she goes to the bathroom wait out side and take her back in and make her wash her hands.
If you are not close by put an alarm on the door. A couple of bells will do or something more sophistocated if you are able.
Stop expecting her to do things that she is no longer able. .She may look normal and be physically healthy but her brain is dying.
When you invited her into your home she was probably a bit forgetful and not able to manage alone but she is getting to the stage where things begin to go down hill fast.
You are clearly overwhelmed.
Sit yourself down and ask yourself honestly whether you can or want to continue to do this. You love your Mom and want to do the best you can for her. Ask yourself if you would want to be cared for by someone with your level of anxiety who is self medicating with alcohol. What will happen if you are inebriated one night and she breaks a hip. How much can you help her then.
If you are going to continue to care for Mom at home you should go to your Dr and ask for help. An antidepressant may help you to cope. If you do not feel able to continue start looking for alternatives for Mom as she may have many years ahead of her. You may not wish to place her in a facility and she may not want to go but if you become a basket case you won't be any good to yourself or your husband. Take a deep breath and give the future some serious thought.
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My mother has dementia and she is driving me crazy. She refuses to flush the toilet. Sometimes I find wads of paper in the toilet and also in the trash can. I beg her to flush every time she uses the toilet, but she doesn't. I have a sign on the toilet lid that says "FLUSH" and one on the trashcan that says "DO NOT PUT TOILET PAPER IN TRASH CAN. FLUSH IT!" She can't take it in. Sometimes, like today, there was a bulk of wet, used toilet paper in the trash can and some in the bowl. When I went to flush it, the tank overflowed. She acted clueless about the wet paper. She uses more toilet paper than anyone I've ever known. So, here I am, trying to house break a new puppy and also trying to house break my mother. I look in the mirror and see a haggard, tired looking person. My mother is sucking the life out of me and literally killing me. She is not the person I once knew. And, it's not just the poor hygiene in the bathroom. She rinses her cups, utensils and plates instead of either washing them with hot sudsy water or putting them in the dishwasher. I caught her using her fork to take jam out of the jar and when I said something about it, she said she wiped it on the napkin first. Geez! I have to watch every move she makes. I could write a book about the strange things she does. I tell myself to remain calm and not react, but it is so hard to do. So, I pray and I do drink a lot of wine. It's either that or drugs. I know that I would rather be dead than have dementia. There is no one to look after me if that happens. I am the sole caregiver even though I have nieces that my grandmother raised. They are self-absorbed and, even though I've told them how things are, it never enters their minds that I might need a break. You'd think they'd the very least they could do would be to take her out for lunch or dinner occasionally, but that never happens. They don't even acknowledge her birthday. My husband understands, but he is a busy man, working two jobs and active in our church. I vent to him and he is understanding, but, in the end, it is my responsibility. I understand now why some people commit suicide.
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Crobbin, you are doing an excellent job caring for your mother. I assume she has not got to the stage of needing diapers all the time. Maybe when your wife is not going to be home and you have to deal with the bathroom, she could put Mom in the pull up kind of Depends which feel very much like ordinary underwear so she can goes to the bathroom as usual. When your wife gets home she can change her and check for cleanliness and errant TP in the unmentionables. Perhaps you can put a picture of a toilet in the bathroom with a hand dropping TP in the toilet to help remind her. If you continue to feel uncomfortable going in the bathroom and it is very understandable, she is your Mom after all BUT if she needs an eye kept on her install a peep hole in the door like people put in outside doors so they can see who is there. When you look and see she is dressed again knock on the door and ask if you can come in an then supervise the hand washing. You don't have to watch the whole sorry process just peep from time to time. I have seen sons fully care for their Moms (ask The Capt) and others that recoil at the idea. One friend thought it would be nice to take his Mom on a cruise. I asked him if he was going to change the diapers and give her a shower. he got a horrified look on his face and said " Oh God" that's never going to happen" So I guess Mom is NOT going on a cruise. Now he's trying to figure out how to get Mom and her scooter to a local tow path so she can enjoy the out doors and he can run beside the scooter. I don't think the scooter will go fast enough but I guess they will figure something out just as you will.
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I sympathize with this problem of knowing how to wipe and how to wash ones hands. I changed one of the faucets to make it an auto-on faucet for water, since my mom has also forgotten how to turn on the water most of the time. I have antibacterial Wet Ones hand wipes in containers everywhere in the house, all of the bathrooms, etc., I use the yellow and white containers with the Citrus Scent.
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My mother uses a lot of toilet paper too. Sometimes she will stop up the toilet and it will overflow. She uses the hand towels to wipe up the water and leaves the wet towels on the floor.
I've begun waiting outside of the door these days to make sure that she washes her hands after each toilet use. We have found fece on the toilet roll holder, the door knobs, the floors, and she wasn't washing her hands after wiping. I ask her if she has washed her hands and she says "yes" but she hasn't because the soap isn't wet. So, I get her back in there and have her wash her hands. I tell her that she doesn't want to eat with those hands does she?
My husband and I sanitize the door knobs, light switches, anything she touches each day. It's a major chore to keep up with someone with dementia but she's my mom.
I don't know what I will do if she forgets to wipe. I haven't reached the point where I am wiping her butt but I am sure that day is coming.
My mom also likes to keep wads of toilet paper in her pocket.
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My MIL (alzheimers) uses a roll of toilet paper a day...........yes, she has stopped up my septic tank. I told her that her bathroom is a nice padded portable commode chair and that our bathroom is gone and the bathroom door goes to nowhere. wink wink.
This is the only way I can regulate her at all times and get her to throw her voluminous amounts of toilet paper into the waste basket.
I'd much rather empty the potty chair than watch my septic system overflow lol
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It is so sad, because it seems that we all have the same stories. I have to keep after
Mom with her little sections of toilet paper, 4 tops to wipe with, LOL!. She will use that and then not remember to wash after using the bathroom. I've done figured out that there is not enough of me to go around in all the different places that I need to be.
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As everyone said, your case is no isolated. My mom is 84, lives with me and has dementia also. When I realized she did not know what to do with toilet paper I was totally shocked. when I tried to explain to her about the using toilet paper she just kept saying yep but I realized she had no idea what I was saying. She does not even use tissue in bathroom unless she is using to dry her hands. When I give her napkins at the table to wipe her hands she just folds it up and put in her pocket. I tell you we as caregivers have some stories don't we?
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Had to laugh (sympathetically!). My mom uses toilet paper for everything (rather than kleenex, paper towels, etc.) She keeps a roll in my car for her nose, and each day rolls off and folds up sections for her pocket. If she makes a mess in the bathroom, she insists on cleaning it all with toilet paper. When I go to sweep and clean I find little 'rice' sized pieces every where from her 'cleaning'.
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azcaregiver, when my Mom kept peeing on the floor I was out of my mind. I then found unstrippable pajamas online. After buying one, I made some by sewing pajama pants and a top together with a zipper up the back. They cannot get it off and pee in their diaper or pad. Its a stage, it ended, like all of the stages do, thank God!
lalabusch, I have my Mom in my home because I feel she needs one on one attention, she is 91. No doubt its a lot of work, I retired from my job because I had to, her money ran out for caregivers or daycare while I worked. She would do it for me. I am in close contact with her doctor and he gives me a supply of amoxicillin to treat her when I feel she has a UTI. I can give one daily for prevention and it works. The urine is super smelly/dark and they are very unusually crazy acting when they have one, or they pee a lot, I can tell. My Mom used to poop herself at daycare and has been home with me since I left my job for over 2 more years now and she has not pooped her pants once, I can tell if she has to go and I get her on the toilet (she cant walk, its tough), and she goes. There are advantages to them being with you, no running back and forth and they are right there in their bed or recliner where you can see and comfort them, or just put music on for them. You know what they eat and drink and they arent exposed to illnesses. I have a fabulous supportive husband so I am lucky. He now helps me hoyer her into bed and change her when he gets home. You have to do what you think is best, thats all I can say. I've had Mom 5 years since she broke her hip also but we had PT 3x weekly and she learned to walk again until she had a stroke dancing one day at daycare.
Loving everyones comments, hugs to all you caregivers! RR
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I'm just so thankful God led me to this sight. It does help to know others are going through so many similar situations. This is all so new and very emotional for me. My mom is 88 and was very independent and lived alone. Fell and broke her hip but can't walk without supervision (just not safe even with walker) and is in an assisted living facility. Some days i think she's fine there (but lonely) and other days i think she needs more or that I should bring her into my home and try to care for her here... It's all overwhelming. Still maintaining her house and her finances along with mine and my family and job...and ALL the other things that don't stop. It's crazy but comforting to read comments from other caregivers in similar situations. Thank you all for sharing. My mom too doesn't like to use much toilet paper...afraid to stop up toilet (or from the depression) and sometimes when I help i find she hadn't wiped well. She HATES having to have help...Q: How do you keep up with weather or not they have a UTI? Sometimes she seems to be "with it" and others confused. Nursing staff says could be from UTI...but do we have to do them every time? How do you know if it's from UTI or if it's just dimensia??
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It's good to know that the toilet paper issue happens to others too. When my MIL was in the beginning stages she used to go into the bathroom, use it, and then she'd either put the toilet paper in the sink or bathtub. I would find it in some weird places. She used to also dip it into the toilet and put it in the trash can for some reason. I don't get it, and I know I never will. Only God knows how the brain is truly affected by the disease. She would also hide things too. She used to do crossword puzzles before she went downhill and when she was able to still have her own bedroom. We would find torn up pieces of her puzzles and sometimes whole puzzle books under her bed. I think subconsciously she may have been wanting to hide them from us because she knew she wasn't able to do them right anymore. She would just sit and stare at the pages for hours and kept saying, "it just won't work." I felt so bad for her. I can also completely relate to the comment from you Reverseroles about your mom dropping her pants and peeing all over the floor. This is the reason my MIL doesn't have her own room anymore. She would wake up in the middle of the night and pee everywhere. I think she didn't realize where the bathroom exactly was anymore. Finally, we couldn't take it, and we had to move her bed into our living room so we could keep an eye on her. It is really tough to take care of someone with Alzheimer's because I honestly shake my head some days because nothing she does makes any sense logically. It truly is a horrible disease.
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