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She has a bowel movement but within two hours forgets she went and says she hasn't been for 3-4 days. There has to be some type of medical or mental explanation. Or do the professionals just dump it into one catagory and say its Dementia? She is 92 and I don't want to bring her for all sorts of tests and her doctor agrees.

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I've been a nurse for 39 years but I'm not an expert. These are just my observations and suggestions.

"She has a bowel movement but within two hours forgets she went and says she hasn't been for 3-4 days."
Very common for people with dementia to forget something that they've just done. My mother, 95, after passing a normal stool, said she hadn't had a BM in "weeks" as she was leaving the bathroom!

"There has to be some type of medical or mental explanation. Or do the professionals just dump it into one catagory and say its Dementia?"
Many times , with no 'obvious' symptoms, the medical profession does pass off complaints from demented patients as just that. My mother has complained of a " terrible headache" for 6 years (as long as she's had the Alzheimer's). I have taken her for every test medical science offers. She even saw a brain surgeon. They found nothing. That doesn't mean she doesn't "feel" the headache. She either has pain or she's fixated on the thought that she has pain. No pain medication helps, so one has to wonder if the pain is real. We used the TicTac mints in a pill bottle for her too. She'll forget she took one and ask for another 5 minutes later.

" She is 92 and I don't want to bring her for all sorts of tests and her doctor agrees."
I'm assuming her doctor has evaluated her for any internal problem and she's checked out OK.
I would suggest what CountryMouse said, check the size, consistency and color of the stool. If everything looks normal, you know she's in good bowel health. Also, you can check her abdomen while she's lying on her back. Warm your hands and gently push (like massage) on her lower abdomen. She may tense up. What you are feeling for are hard areas where the constipated stool may be.
If her intake of food equals her output of poop, she should be OK. (Meaning if she eats like a horse and poops like a mouse, there may be something wrong.)

I would NOT subject her to any invasive tests unless she vomits, passes blood or has severe abdominal distention (bloating).

If everything appears normal, I wouldn't worry. Then you can chalk it up to dementia. Don't try to reason with her, it doesn't work. You'll only cause frustration for both of you.
The above suggestions of the other posters are great about how to distract her.

Hope this has been of some help to you.
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An X-ray at the urgent care will show if there is an impaction.
My aunt said she was going everyday but evidently was not.
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I'm a retired hospice provider and I can tell you that many elderly people are obsessed with their bowels. I have seen it over and over again. And it doesn't seem to matter if the person has dementia or not, I've seen it in people with dementia and people without dementia. I've seen elderly folks sit on the toilet or commode for hours until I was afraid they were going to have a heart attack. And I've seen people have a bowel movement only to insist several hours later that they had to go again but once they get on the toilet there's nothing. And again they sit and sit and sit.

I've seen it in more women than men and when they're not on the toilet they're talking about their BM's. When I was a teenager my own grandmother discussed this at the dinner table!

This is a pretty common issue here--elderly people obsessed with their bowels--and I always share my experience. I think it's an obsession but I've wondered how so many people can be obsessed with the same thing. The only reason I can come up with is that when our elderly loved ones were little their mom's insisted they have a bowel movement everyday, that having a daily BM was the key to good health. They were fed prunes and other laxatives and had to report all bowel activity to their mother. Daily BM's became ingrained on them and as some elderly people slip into a more childlike state they revert back to these lessons learned when they were children.

It's not a scientific opinion, just a theory.
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It doesn't matter two straws that she can't remember when she last had a bowel movement. It does matter if she is feeling uncomfortable, or is going back to the loo and straining at nothing - is she?

I agree completely about not subjecting her to invasive tests; but her GP can easily carry out a painless and not frightening abdominal exam to rule out some immediate concerns. And you, if you're not squeamish, can easily sneak a peek at her, um, "doings" and check that there's nothing unexpected about them.

If it is purely a matter of her arguing and your trying to explain, stop explaining and reassure her instead. Say something like "I'll make sure you have prunes for dessert" or, "perhaps things will loosen up by morning - have some peppermint tea before bed."
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I'm no doctor either, but, would it be too much to rule out some basic things like obstructions, that could make her feel like she didn't go? I'd just rule out something that could be causing the sensation, especially, if the tests would be non-invasive.

And if there's no medical reason for it, there are medications for obsessive behavior. They helped my LO. Hers weren't about her BM's, but, she seemed to dwell on certain things. And I agree about Teepa Snow videos. There are very informative, imo.
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I'm not a doctor, but I have some experience with my mother and other relatives with dementia.

Forgetting important information is one of the symptoms of some kinds of dementia. Even more common is the loss of executive functioning, knowing what is important and what is not, what to worry about and when.

If your mother becomes upset or agitated about her imagined lack of bms, you can say " oh, I'll have a word with the doctor about that" and distract her with a cup of tea or ice cream. If that doesn't work, put some white mints in a medicine bottle with a label that says laxatives. Give her one when she expresses the fact that she's constipated. Lastly, there are meds for agitation and excess worry that you can talk to her doctor about.

Have you watched Teepa Snow videos on YouTube? She has wonderful techniques for dealing with these kinds of issues.
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