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My elderly mother, age 70, who lives with me, has urinary incontinence and wears "incontinence underwear." She is good about changing them when needed but she is horrible about disposing of them. Most of the time, she just piles them in a corner in her room and maybe twice a week will gather them up into a trash bag to be disposed of. She lives with me, and her room reeks of urine. Absolutely disgusting urine permeated air hits you every time she opens her bedroom door. I bought her a "diaper pail" to put them in, but rather than put it is as soon as she takes it off, she places it in a corner in her room and after she has several of them will then put all of them into the pail. I remind her several times a week to use the pail every single time she changes her underwear, and I don't understand why she doesn't. She has never been very good at keeping things clean and put away, even when I was growing up. I have installed an air deodorizer that releases a medical grade deodorizing spray every 15 minutes and have given her a spray bottle of the same product to spray directly on her used underwear when she removes them, which she doesn't use. The automatic deodorizer spray has had some effect, lessened the urine smell some, but the main issue is getting her to dispose of the used undergarments correctly. I was even hoping to take her to her doctor and maybe a talk from him would help, but she refuses to go, and since she has not been deemed incompetent, I can't force her to go. Sometimes the odor is so strong it creeps into other rooms even though her door has been shut for hours. I am at my wit's end and don't know what else I can do.

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Justa; you say that your mother has not been found "incompetent", but have her cognitive skills been evaluated and does she have a diagnosis of dementia?

You might check out Teepa Snow's videos on dealing with folks with dementia, whether or not she's been diagnosed, you might find some good techniques there.

Before you decide that this is just "mom being mom" and "she's always been lazy", I would check further into her current cognitive skills. Dementia comes in many forms; some of them rob folks of their sense of smell, some of their ability to sequence what they are doing. I think the more you know, the more you'll be able to figure out what you need to do to make having mom live with you work.
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Thank you for the suggestion. As of her last visit 6 months ago, right before she moved in with me, all of her cognitive testing was good. The doc even joked she did better with remembering the objects than he did lol. She also got the all-clear from a cognitive standpoint from her neurologist (whom she was seeing for vertigo, which she no longer has issues with).

Unfortunately in this case, as it stands, it does seem to be "mom being mom". My father and I were the ones who handled the brunt of de-cluttering when I was growing up. She would do the dishes, mop floors, etc., but she would always just pile things up to be put away "later" (and even the cleaning she did do wouldn't be done on a timely basis). My father washed his hands of her a few years ago, as she wasn't willing to keep up with the cleaning but when he tried to do it, she would yell at him to stop. He had a stroke a few months before that, and she thought that made him incapable of doing anything - he actually recovered just fine, thank goodness. He provided her money for a while after he left, but it got to the point where she was taking more than he was getting to keep, so he left her with just her tiny Social Security and thus she moved in with me.

Before I resort to doing all of the cleaning up and spraying of her room myself, I think I may start treating her like I would my son when he was younger where I will literally every day tell her to clean her room and spray the deodorizer and try to get this to develop as a daily habit. Other than that, I guess I'm going to have to pick up the underwear a few times a day (which by the way she doesn't even fold up - they are left sitting with the wet urine pad wide open to the air) and spray the deodorizer.

Strangely enough, this is exactly how my grandmother (my mother's mom) got in her older years...she would not do anything. My grandfather did all the chores, all the cooking and cleaning, while she just sat there listening to the radio and playing solitaire. I sure hope this isn't a trait I develop as I get older!!!!

I do want to add in my mom's defense as I haven't painted the prettiest picture of her, that she was a great mom to me, couldn't have asked for a better one. Always there for my school/activity functions, would play taxi to me and my friends, fun trips together, making sure I was able to get the "cool shoes" or other such things....a lot of great memories growing up. I love her so much, even if she is driving me crazy with this issue right now.
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Not much help I'm afraid but at one point when my mom got up several times during the night I just told her to throw the wet ones in the tub and I would pick them up each morning - she hated diapers at first and oftentimes soiled 6 pairs of cotton panties while peeing on the floor from her room to the bathroom but then she was about 90 not 70 - I sponged the rug each morning and did a tub of laundry before going to work

Is something preventing you from tossing mom's diapers on a daily basis?
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I'm sure a good majority of the posters on this site would agree with me -- I would not consider age 70 as elderly in today's world! I agree with many of the comments already made, this is NOT normal behavior. Not for someone who is not the greatest housekeeper, not for someone 70. Watching those Teena Snow videos may help you but then you have to be consistent . If there is some level of memory issues developing you will frustrate yourself beyond belief if you aren't able to use techniques that work. Good luck. Have you applied for medicaid for Mom so she is ready for future expenses that may qualify for Medicaid help?
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Thank you all for your comments. And yes, she has had a very in depth cognitive evaluation by 3 doctors, her PCP, a local neurologist, and a neurologist at a nationally renowned hospital. She is mentally sharp as she has always been.

We do have a Diaper Genie - well, an adult version of it - and it is very simple to use and completely contains the smell...she just won't put them in it until she has a pile of several of them.

Regarding the spray I have been using that eliminates the odor, it is Ni-712 by Neutron Industries. It is pricey but it does work and eliminates the odor for several hours.

Since I do daily household chores, I am going to try to get her involved in it....announcing it is time to clean so she should gather up all garbage and underwear from her room so I can take it out with the trash and then spray her room. I'm hopeful this may work. It is what I did to help "train" my son to keep his room clean, and he still does it to this day.

Thanks for all of your suggestions.
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So, my question is, was this a "minimental" in the doctor's office, or a full battery of psychometric testing, including tests of executive functioning?

My mom has vascular dementia; she routinely scores 15/15 on the mini-mental (has no short term memory issues) but can't reason or plan at all.
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...........Just gonna say this see another Doctor.. This is Not normal behaviour and something is causing it. I've taken care of my MIL since her 1st stroke in 2009, she wasn't normal to begin with but nobody seemed to see it. She was VERY good at showtiming infront of Doctors and relatives. 3 yrs ago come OCT she was FINALLY diagnosed with Vesticular dementia( Due to physically attacking a nurse over insulin)... now we all realize prob abit more going on under the hatch so to speak. 3 more strokes later, 100 + TIA's she is now bedridden, incontinent both ways and Im still here taking care of her...But oh the things I have learned dealing with this process and no I never would have thought myself a caregiver but non of her children wanted to step up ecept my hubby..
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Sounds like you're a great daughter to a great mom. Sometimes people just do odd stuff. Maybe it's some weird compulsion? Maybe the others are right and it's some form of dementia. I just hate that everyone is considered to have dementia on some level or another these days. I do, however, understand why this gets on your nerves. It would bug the crap out of me. Have you asked her why she doesn't do it? A little cup of tea and conversation may shed some light! Good luck!
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we just had to have all the carpet ripped out of my fathers house because it reeks like a mens urinal. I feel your pain. I put a pail in the room for him to place his "pee pads" into but usually just find them laying around,,, Maybe I should make it a game ,, like get a diaper pail and put a little "bulls eye" target on it and tell him he gets points for getting it into the pail. .. You could try making it a game like that ,, ie. if she gets all her used pad in the pail she wins a prize ,,, like the old county fair games our parents used to play back in the day ! just a thought.
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Since the issue seems to be her actually putting the soiled disposable underwear in the proper receptical I don't know if this would help any - but have you tried something like a "diaper genie" with a large, clear sign on the wall over the can with an arrow?
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