Mom keeps putting things in the toilet that don't belong there and overflowing the toilet. Does anyone know of a solution to this other than having someone in there with her at all times? She will not allow that I'm certain. I am hoping someone had a fix for this issue. We are keeping our plumber living the high life lately!
Does Mom share a bathroom with you? I would take everything out that she doesn't need. Just leaving the toilet paper. With a Dementia, you have to be proactive.
This is a major problem for Memory Care facilities; I once spoke about this issue with the owner of my Mom’s memory care facility. Interestingly, he told me that it’s usually the male residents who pull this costly and disruptive trick.
I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this issue, but please know that you’re not alone and this is unfortunately very common with Alzheimer’s and memory- impaired people. You might call a few memory care facilities in your area and ask to speak with management about what additional measures they take for this issue.
At some point a dementia patient needs 24/7 supervision. Not possible without several shofts.
I found them very frustrating, however maybe this would be a good thing for others who have a TP monster... I suspect TP isn't really the issue, although wadding it up and using too much can gum up the works (apparently dad was doing this to mom.) It sounds like maybe other not-for-toilet items might be getting flushed! Not only bad for toilet & floor, but the plumbing beyond the toilet! Then it gets expensive!
2. Remove EVERYTHING from the bathroom she uses leaving only toilet paper that has no cardboard roll (you can buy it that way these days). Remove towels, packages of wipes, lotions, potions, medicine, everything in other words. So the only thing she can do in the bathroom is use the toilet. And the only thing she can flush down the toilet is her waste, the allotted toilet paper or the clothing she's wearing.
3.If she has to take a bowel movement, you'll have to accompany her into the bathroom with moistened wipes that you will figure out how to dispose of.
4. If she refuses to be accompanied into the bathroom, look into Memory Care Assisted Living for her right away. In most cases, Alzheimer's/Dementia reaches a point where the person can no longer be cared for in the home and needs a team of care givers around the clock, 24/7. Safety issues tend to also crop up, wandering at night, trying to cook in the kitchen, etc, that make the entire situation unmanageable.
I work in a Memory Care home & this morning I came in to find a very large pile of feces on the carpet in the resident hallway. Left there by a gentleman who often forgets where his toilet is and thinks it's perfectly fine to take a BM right there on the floor. Or on the upholstered chair in the living area. Again, dementia & ALzheimer's often reaches a point where in-home care is no longer feasible.
Best of luck!
You can DIY something. Get a specimen collection pan for the toilet. Drill holes in it so that fluid can pass but nothing else. You'll have to clean it out whenever there's a poop or other non flushable but that should be be preferable to a clogged toilet and an overflow.
This is one of those times that I wonder why US bathrooms don't have a drain on the floor. It's common in the rest of the world. It's a great idea. It keeps a overflowing toilet, sink or tub from flooding the house. It also makes cleaning super easy. Just grab the shower head and hose the bathroom off.
We put a signs up: "Doctor says do not flush your poop." That didn't work. We taped the toilet handle. That didn't work. I turned off the water below the toilet so the toilet wouldn't flush. That worked for a while, but dang if mom didn't figure out how to turn the water back on. She couldn't tie a shoelace anymore but was more than able to figure out the plumbing issue.
We kept with it, though, and eventually my mom got tired of, bored with, and/or disinterested in thwarting our efforts to monitor her BMs. The combination of signs and shutting off the water is what eventually worked.
Not exactly what you asked, but I guess what I'm saying is that just when you think you've found a solution, your mom may surprise you with a workaround. All you can do is laugh and try again. ;-)
Actually it does not matter...if she is at this point she needs supervision while she is in the bathroom.
Remove all "extra" items that she could possibly flush. This includes wipes even the "flush-able" ones can clog a toilet. Only the person supervising her should have access to wipes and even extra toilet paper.
You also might want to think about replacing the toilet. If it is not a higher ADA toilet with an elongated bowl it would be worth replacing it and get one of the "newer" ones that will flush just about anything. Not for the fact that things might get accidentally flushed but for the bouts of constipation that are just not flush-able right away. (Flushing is just the first stage even though something can be flushed the pipes are only so large and a clog further down a pipe is more expensive to unclog than a clog in the toilet.)
Her half bath toilet near the kitchen had an event resulting in a burst pipe and flooding downstairs in the finished basement. Turns out she kept believing she was out of toilet paper and used paper towels. She had plenty of toilet paper stockpiled in the upstairs bedroom.
I got there to witness the repair arranged by the neighbor. It required external repair under the concrete front door doorstep. The repair cost thousands.
Mom acted mildly concerned as if, "Really??? That happened because of me?"
Yep, that started the ball rolling to get the diagnosis and move her to assisted living memory care near me.
There came a point with MIL the bathroom in her room had to be disabled and she always required assistance.
I just picked up something last night from the Safety1st company called an "Outsmart Multi-Use Lock" which got some decent reviews. It adheres with adhesive patches and the button on top is a decoy...they suggest no one seeing how it really works which is squeezing the sides to release it. Looks like a little strap. Haven't used it yet. I'm using it on the mail chute opening with a little door inside the house, and if luck is with me on a bin in the fridge.
Yours is another story which makes me realize how bad things could be....
My only other thoughts are a total lock out from the bathroom which I would be concerned about for other reasons, and a commode chair, which would also be such a drag. And if she's able to use the toilet appropriately, I can only imagine the mess if you laid a piece of thin plastic across the top beneath the seat. Oh the challenges they give us....
No fun to be the one that has to make this the new normal, but a whole lot safer than the house being destroyed by an over flowing toilet.
You can also ask the plumber to quote remodeling the bathroom into a wet room. That makes clean up easier and stops water from infiltrating the structure.
Taking care of a parent with memory loss is difficult.
Signs likely won't work well, if at all. Putting a screen or some other barrier under the seat could probably be easily removed or tampered with. If you shut the water off, be sure to flush ONCE after EACH time you shut it off - generally you get one flush (found this out when we had power outages and well water - ONE flush/toilet was it until the power resumed!) If you don't do this flush after shutting the water off, she will be able to gum up the works!
Fishing inappropriate things out before flushing will be nasty, but better than having to pay someone to undo the damage done and/or cleaning up the mess that will happen if it overflows!
During that time, a "commode" was used. It was a "comfort height" since dad was taller. Dad could not make it to the toilet since he was exhausted from congestive heart failure and there were steps to negotiate to the toilet. Brother emptied the commode into the regular toilet when it was used and rinsed/sanitized the commode bucket out in the laundry tub. Dad also wore disposable diaper.
Your mom should be in AL, but if she has bathroom issues, may need more intensive care of a nursing home.
you could also tell her that the toilet is broken and she has to use the porta potty. tell her that it would be easier for her as she doesn't have to walk far . she could keep it in whatever room she is in. again put a plastic bag in it to catch anything she does. if she agrees just put a hook and eye way up on the bathroom door so she cant reach it to get it open.