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Ugh, any ideas? I'm washing 27 pairs of pants a week, not to mention all the mopping & the smell.

Can you toilet her on a regular basis so that she does not wait till she feels the urge and it's too late.
Explaining something to someone with dementia is a waste of time so just do what you have to do in a mater of fact way
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Reply to Veronica91
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It sounds like she is is just not able to process what is going on and reason as to what her needs are now. I'd just ensure that she wears the Depends, even if she needs supervision and assistance with putting them on and changing every time. And get rid of regular panties. I might gently explain, if she asks that these are the ones the doctor has prescribed for her. And talk about how comfortable and durable they are. You might start out with some that are in a nice color, so they seem more attractive to her. Eventually, she'll accept it as normal. Convincing someone with dementia, something that they are not able to process, is usually just frustrating for all involved and is futile.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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You might try replacing her regular underwear with the depends in her drawer so she has no other choice. I am so sorry you are going through this.
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Reply to SMacArthur
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The same thing happened to my Mother, as she became more and more incontinent it became really difficult to manage, and she also refused to wear depends. I too tried to reason with her and explain over and over why she needed depends, but I just could never get through to her. Sometimes she would even agree to wear them and it would seem like she finally understood, but then wouldn't put them on and would forget all the previous conversations we'd had. It was like starting all over again, all the explaining and talking just didn't work. I got so frustrated that one day I just removed all of her underwear from the drawer and filled it up with depends. That worked really well, and when she asked what happened I told her that disposable "underwear" was what she had now to put on. She may have grumbled a little bit, but she accepted that and from that day on when we dressed her in the morning she put on the depends, and throughout the day we changed as was needed. It was hard at first though--throwing away her underwear--because I felt like maybe it was disrespectful throwing away her personal stuff and telling her what I did instead of asking her. But with her dementia she just couldn't remember that she had had accidents on the floor and on the chair, or bed, hundreds of times throughout the years and if I brought it up she thought I was just imagining things. I finally realized at that moment that I had to take control and go ahead and make really basic decisions for her. It did feel strange at first when our relationship shifted and changed so much, but for my own sanity as well as for her health and safety it was necessary. It's just a huge challenge taking care of a parent with dementia, a learning process every step of the way. Good luck to you and your Mother, she's lucky to have you, Elizta
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Reply to Elizta
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Dear Clou1313,

For tackling the urine smell, there's a product called "Nature's Miracle" that is for urine and feces accidents of pets, but it works very well on human waste as well as per the 'Queen of Clean.' I've been using it religiously ever since my mom's incontinence began, and I am very happy with this product. The key is to saturate the affected area with this product first and foremost--do not launder or rinse out with water or any other products. Let the enzyme action in the product do its work by letting the item sit for 5-10 minutes. Then launder as usual. (For tough stains, like feces, you may need to repeat these steps and then wash the item.) Besides clothing, you can use it on carpets, tile, and pretty much anywhere that is soiled. You'll find the product in all pet stores and in some health food stores like Whole Foods and Wild by Nature. 

There was a similar Q&A on this topic, so search for "How can you get urine odor out of clothes?" for the thread containing more suggestions.

I agree with other commenters who suggested removing regular underwear and putting in Depends. I'd recommend their "Silhouette" line (looks like your average briefs and comes in black and beige colors) or you can try the "Always Discreet Boutique" line (which has a floral design). You can also add to that a Poise pad (or use it alone within regular underwear); their "Overnight" one has been super helpful for my mom. It's very absorbent and extra wide in the back to absorb leaks when a person is in bed, but we use it during the day as well. The trick is to leave ON the paper covering the sticky adhesive so that if she just wets the pad, we can easily remove it and spare the disposable dry underwear.

Lastly, toilet training your mother should help curtail accidents. That involves just bringing her to the toilet on a regular schedule and having her go even if she says she doesn't need to. For instance, my friend's mom who has the same illness, is brought to the bathroom before and after eating, in particular, and my friend noticed that now, her mom will go on this schedule, even holding it in until she's bought to the restroom. Also helpful, for my mom, the aides and I started logging her daily drinks and the times she would pee or poop to get a better sense of her system. This helped us tremendously, and we were also able to get an idea of when she might have a UTI based on the change in frequency. Because of this, I created and sell a dry erase "medical wall calendar" of sorts that has places to write this type of information, so that all caregivers can keep track of things and share details. Please feel free to PM me if you'd like more info on this.
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Reply to Dsucks4321
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SMacArthur has it right.  Throw away her regular underwear and place the pretty Depends in the drawer.  They have some that are very soft and have flowers on therm.  You can't have her regular underwear in the same drawer because she'll always gravitate towards those. 
Also, when you have to buy a more absorbent underwear, Tranquility Brand is great.  We can only find them on Amazon.
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Reply to Jessica40
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IF you replace her underwear with just depends and she still continues to wet it is a signal that she needs full supervision 24/7 for each time she gets up. You can also try to toilet her on a frequent schedule
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Reply to MACinCT
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I know how frustrated you are. But try to remember, she has dementia and there's no amount of explaining that will make sense to her. Others are correct. Get rid of the regular underwear in her drawer and replace them with the pretty Depends ones. Fortunately (and I say that with compassion) my Mom had an overactive bladder problem before dementia set in. She was already using a Depends-type garment but would always supplement that with 2 pads, too. She leaked but never smelled. When she broke her leg and went into the nursing home, her dementia ramped up into high gear due to the trauma, surgery, anaesthesia and change of environment. In the nursing home, she was a 2 person Hoyer lift and getting the CNAs to change her on a regular schedule was impossible (they're supposed to change or check on a resident every 2 hours). Each aide probably had 15 or more residents to attend to and when a resident needs a 2 person lift, her aide had to go find another aide to help her. That said, my Mom was always the last to get attended to unless I or another family member was there hunting down aides.

My Mom was always so fastidious about her appearance and when I think how she ended up at the end of her life just makes me sad. So we hear you, Clou1313. Take a deep breath, keep trying to understand the indignity your Mom is going through and keep helping her the best you can. Maybe do what my Mom did, add extra pads to the Depends garment. It gets expensive but you are living the alternative. My Mom is no longer with us. I am just starting bladder "urgency" issues and it's annoying to me. I think of what my Mom endured at the end. Bladder meds did not help her, only made her more confused; that's why I won't take them. They are contraindicated in the elderly. My final thoughts is to try to be more patient. Caregiving is not for the faint of heart. Know when it gets too much, you will have to make some tough decisions. I hope you have support of family/friends. You always have support here. I feel the people on this forum are my friends and they helped me tremendously when I was going through my most darkest hours. Tears are flowing as I write this. As I said, my Mom has been gone for 2 years and I still appreciate the support of this forum. Thank you, friends.
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Reply to help2day
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athena1234 Nov 4, 2018
Kudos to the Forum....There are excellent people online that have also given me more help that they will ever know,Financial,Medicaid,Intestate issuses.....as to the incontinent issue...Mom became confused as she was also not used to throwing her depends away,thought they were underwear..and she would hide them..this is dementia..she was only being frugal, as my Mother respected her possesions and really took care of them...her clothing etc. so she didnt
connect the disposal of her new throwaways...……..she then started throwing her shoes,dresses in the trash..her brain could not process.
Dad had depends and we started putting the cloths on the furniture..but there was still an odor of urine in the Den,his room with TV and bath located near...……..he simply, could not or was too tired to pull up the depends for at least one year....I feel that the elders become dehydrated
because subliminially they do not drink fluids to delay getting up and pulling up and down the dreaded diapers...…..so they smell..
I had to inform Brother..the room smelled..Dads pants smelled..brother
caretaker was becoming very frustrated and angry and did not think NH
or homecare......we were not wealthy..or just lived on soc,pension,..
brother pulled it off until he became sick...and passed before DAD who was 98years old,brother 69 years old.


nursing home or caretaker coming into the home, my fault as well.
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If she is really trying to get to the bathroom, she could use a bedside commode that might cut down on the night or nap time wetness. Also, can she get her pants down easily? A smock or pull up pants might help. Is there a pattern to when this happens? A musical alarm or other reminder to "go" at specific times during the day, might help.
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Reply to lucyritchie
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It took weeks to show mom how much better she would be once she started wearing depends!

We used these reasoning ideas for her to process:
1. Her skin breaking down and how much less likely for urinary infections.
2. The bacteria/ germs on floor in laundry, her bedding, etc.
3. The water usage, electricity bill, detergent, that get used ..cost of Depends or like product...my mother understood the cost issue!
4. Independence is taking care of issues that arise with her ageing..mother understood that most of all.
Even with Alzheimer's or dementia often old living habits ( being frugal) will surface and the loved one will come around.

Mom now uses depends or equvalent and extra pads inside for easy exchange and less costs of the quantity of depends used.
Now at times she'll change depends and /or pads with minor assistance and feels more independent!
Patience is the key!
I have other hints that my hard headed (Lol) mother used to become a much easier patient.
Karen H in FL
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Reply to Daughter2951
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