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He went 2 times 2day. Not diarrea. Obsession. Do dementia patients become so obsessed with bowel movements (good ones, no diarrhea or constipation) that he needs to sit each time he urinates and sees "if he's done"? We are leaving the home for an appointment, and he usually has to urinate. And that's ok. No problem. Been going on for 19 years. Now, he thinks he'll have a BM and sits on the toilet. I can work around the time needed. My question is this: as mentioned in beginning sentence, are ALZ and dementia patients always like this. Obsessed by BM issues? I do know about the urine issues! And he knows I'm really trying to help him be himself and says how much he loves me. He's not angry, just frustrated for both of us that this is happening. He's 93.

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Is he having regular bowel movements? Are you sure there's not a medical issue?
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my father would obsess about it before going into nursing home. I think because he always had one every day and figured it should continue. I tried telling him that IF you don't eat enough, there is nothing to come out. and as he got more into the dementia he ate less but still thought he should go everyday, he would use the enema's etc to help him go and would get frustrated if he didn't. not everyone goes 1 time a day. sometimes I go 2 or 3 and other times I might miss a day. I have even heard people go for 4 or 5 days without having a BM......I guess everyone's digestion is different.
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Lassie, that's one of the problems having specialists and a gp. Sometimes they are not in agreement. So, (rhetorical question) what's a caregiver to do? Neurologist says Hubby doesn't need cholesterol meds because of his age. GP was not too happy with that response. Hubby is still on cholesterol meds.
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Lassie --

Yes, it is frustrating when doctors don't give detailed recommendations.
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Oy. For one thing, they don't usually eat as much as they used to, or eat 'healthy'. My mother had a list of about a dozen things she enjoyed, I had to cook or buy all her food. She loved her bananas and fruit-in-jello!...anyway, she was taking iron pills because anemic, and then she was plugged up, so taking stool softeners. Plus many other pills. Then she got a prolapsed rectum, freaking out a couple home health aids, and often severe bleeding. Off to the proctologist, who said after 4, yes, 4 different trips, she could just 'live with it'. He had nothing to say about the constipation except 'stop giving mom the iron pills' (recomended by her g.p.) Oh, it was quite a mess, in more ways than one!
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My mother who has Alzheimer's spends more time on the toilet than she does sitting on the couch! She is obsessed with sitting on it. My brothers and I have walked in to check on her at different times and there she is sleeping. Prior to Alzheimer's she never had bathroom issues.
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Every time I visited my husband in the nursing home, he mentioned his bowel movements. Examples: "It's coming out now. (It wasn't.) They put a pad under me." This was one of the things he talked about the last time I saw him alive. It distressed me to hear it. I was happy that before I left that day, he asked me to lower the bed rail so I could lean over and kiss him. I did.
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Yes, it is an obsession for many elderly people!
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Yes, my mother went from worrying if she could go to saying no more to products to assist the go!
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You sound like a precious caregiver!
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Yes that store story makes me angry.Human compassion is sadly lacking in the world.
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I'm terribly sorry to hear about a department store denying someone a bathroom for a basic human function. Had I been that woman, I would've just gone on the floor send a strong message, Then leave the mess for them to clean up
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I think older people often take medicine and don't walk much. BM do get harder for them to produce and they almost never drink enough water. Encourage drinking water. If possible, have them walk as much as possible...even with a walker. Check those medicines. Some do make you constipated. Eat more green leafy vegetables, eat more of any kind of vegetables. And if medicines allow , have a beer every now and then. It does help.
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My dad has parkinsons with dementia. Same thing..except i had him sit for urination long before this obsession due to right hand tremors and totally missing the toilet. I now have to make sure he doesn't strain and cause hemorrhoids. Not his only obsession lately. It is beginning with everything. Good luck. At least your dad is not angry. Mine is and it is sad and things said are hurtful but i know it is not the real him. Glad your dad understands that it is hard for you both..makes working together easier. Peace and hugs.
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Recenly, I have heard that teens and twenty-somethings have this extremely odd habit of texting while defecating. Does anyone know of the name of this disorder, or treatment centers where I can get help for my adult children with this extremely odd malady? I'm sure there's an 800 number we loved ones can call, with operators standing by, the words, "You are not alone" floating out of their mouths, so carefully rehearsed.

After my adult children are put through the assembly line, given designer drugs for their Pharma-invented disorders, I, and taxpayers, will see the bill, and a few decades down the line when we all are disorder-free, we'll be asking why we all look alike and why we are all called by numbers and are now nameless, faceless, and voiceless.

On another note, a friend of mine was in a department store and saw an elderly woman asking to use the bathroom. This was a complete stranger. The store manager refused to allow the woman, who was clearly in need, the use of the bathroom since she had not made a purchase (she couldn't afford to make one). My friend tried to help the woman get across the street to the other bathroom "in time," but it was too late, and the woman didn't quite make it. We all know there was no logical reason not to allow this woman the use of a bathroom.

Writer Anne Lamott reminds us all to behave in front of a writer since if you don't, you might end up in her next book. As it turned out, my friend, who was the witness who helped the woman, is a poet and scholar. Afterward, she wrote a beautiful and brilliant poem on the event as she recalled it. I had the privilege of hearing her read that poem aloud some six or seven years ago. Several in the audience, upon hearing her read about the woman with poop running down her legs, were in tears.
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So many pain meds given in hospitals and these automatically cause buildup. A bm a day is good and regular if a person eats 3 meals aday. Mom has a bm about every third day. It does not take the obsession away. The stool softener helps her not strain.
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O hate to tell u, but hospitals still think you need to go every day. Have a problem everytime Mom is in. They give and end home softeners and laxatives. Takes awhile to get her back to normal. Her doctor has told me if she goes 3 days then give her Phillips. Told him to make a note of this because I'm having the hospital call him when they try all this stuff again. I'm telling them no laxtives or softeners. They don't help anyway.
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Very common. Mom wouls sit on toilet for an hour if left alone. She strains so that she keeps her hemorrhoid out.
Stool softener is given in hospital and rehab and I was told to keep her on it . So this makes it easy to pass stool without messiness of a Laxative.
Nothing will take this obsession away but it can lesson if reminded of their earlier bm.
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My dad was raised by a mother who believed healthy bowels were the most important thing in the world. Not an issue when he was younger and healthier, just kind of funny quirk. When he got Parkinsons and this became an issue--not so amusing. He had to have one good movement a day or he was miserable, and this is even when he was no longer eating.

I think it is almost a "leftover" health thing from the 20's and 30's. My old client was also obsessed with everything about her bowels. Good thing I have a strong stomach.
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My mom was diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago and seems overly concerned with bowel movements, she sometimes tries to go 2 or 3 times a day. When she was able she would complain to her doctor that she was constipated. She was prescribed Miralax to encourage regular movements but does not like to drink it. She takes iron supplements which can lead to constipation but was concerned before the supplements began. She will sit on the toilet for long periods and does not want to be disturbed.
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Just dawned on me something else. My kids were born before 1974. At that time, where I live there were few, if any, public bathrooms especially in grocery stores or big store like Target. So, I always made sure the kids "went potty" before ever leaving the house. It was sooo embarrassing to ask a clerk if my child could use their restroom. Then it was the employees' bathroom way in the "boondocks" and was used also as a storage room. Now, there are a lot of public restrooms in stores and even in public shopping malls.
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Very helpful, indeed. Thanks.
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Who is wrong please? All I said was I cannot give her privacy because she wont do a thing then.
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ibeenscammed - You are very simply and completely WRONG about this. People with dementia are like small children, and just like small children they must be cared for. That includes managing toileting issues. As someone else here said - this can be one of the indignities of old age. Maybe, given your issues with personal privacy, you'll never get there. But for those of us who have loved ones who HAVE, we MUST take care of them, which includes monitoring their input and output FOR THEIR OWN HEALTH. Cleaning up is often part of this.

Reality: it's better than living on the banks of de Nile. (Denial - if you missed the reference)
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Yes its very common.... but to be fair its not just dementia/Als people that obsess over it but a common thing among the elderly....
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my mom is 85 and has to be told to go to the bathroom or she will fill her depends. she also has to be watched and told to wipe herself and to allow the tp to fall into the toilet and not obsess over it and look at it each time she wipes herself or she will just stare at it and ask what to do with it and if I step away even for a second she places it in the garbage can. she also has to be told to stand up when done, pull up her depends and pants and wash her hands. every little thing so when someone on here says that they need to be left alone well I disagree. she would sit there all day long if I didnt tell her what to do.
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My Mom does not have that problem,but will hold her urine until she gets into the bed; even though we take her to the bathroom frequently and allow her to sit for 1/2 hour or more.
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When I took my mom out i would always pack wipes, extra pull ups and a pair of pants. I showed her what i packed and this definitely eased her fears. my mom only had a BM 2x per week and that was her normal her entire life. When she would only eat a little, I knew it was time for a BM. Unfortunately my mom forgot how to push. Myself and my son took turns sitting with her encouraging her to push. After a while, she decided she liked my son better then me! I see no problem staying in the bathroom if it helps either to encourage, control safety issues or help clean up. For me it was just to do whatever needed to be done to make things easier for my mom.
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My poor proper mother was this way. Except she was terrified of passing away and defecating and urinating all over herself, Shewas scared to the point 2 weeks before she passed away the claimed incontinence until the hospice nurse inserted a catheter. Then she quit eating. She was asking people if it was true one urinated and passed BM when they died. It was so sad, Perhaps this person is scared of the same thing happening. Bless his and your heart for your concern for him.
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Remember many of our 80 plus never had an indoor toilet until later in life. I was in 5th grade. This could account for problems now. If farm person & out in the field certainly no toilet nearby so squat in the field. The old ways are their now memories.
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