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Mom leaves the disposable underpants on the sink counter. When I ask her to put it in the pail, she says it does not belong to her. Says she doesn't leave anything on counter. However, I'm looking at it everyday. The bathroom smells awful. She closes the bathroom door all day when she use to keep it open. I've posted before, so for a quick background, mom has dementia. She is also wearing two underpants on top of the depends to "hold" the urine in.What? Is it time to start taking away her underpants and leave only the depends? The caregiver has try to get her to dispose of the depends, but she says mom tells her she is going to put it in the pail herself. But I come home and she tells me to do it and if I don't I'm wrong. I feel like she is trying to punish me by leaving it out on purpose so I have to clean it up. I have been doing well of not snapping back at her when she gets in my face, I walk away. I'm just at a lost that she won't put the depends in the disposal bin, I even labeled it for her and put it in a discreet place to give her some dignity. Let me go, she's having a dementia moment now. Any suggestions are welcomed. Also, every time she goes to the bathroom, she takes the depends off and puts on a new one. These things are not cheap! I tried to explain that you throw them away when you use them, not just pull them down and pee. In 4 days an entire pack is gone.

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I wouldn't invest time in trying to convince, persuade, or get cooperation from mom. Even if she agrees, she's likely to forget about it. People who suffer with dementia do odd things that defy explanation, such as disconnecting their cable box and putting it in a kitchen cabinet. Hide food under the mattress. They may smear feces on the walls....these are nice people who have no history of being difficult, too. It's the brain doing odd things. I'd try to avoid any blame, as it's not her fault.

I'd focus on only providing things that she can't tear up, break or harm herself with within her reach. Only the caregivers would have access to the depends and they accompany her to the bathroom each time. Getting cooperation is great, if possible, but, hygiene is a must or she or others could get sick. Eventually, due to the mess and inability to properly handle it, all bathroom and bathing has to be supervised.
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Thanks cwillie for your response. My mom has always been a very private and independent person and now with dementia anything "personal/private" that you try to assist with she will go sooo far off on you. She is at this stage now when she beats on the windows trying to "signal for help" when she doesn't like my responses to her questions or whatever I say, she says she hates my voice. Good thing my neighbors know us because if not I would probably be at a police station if they listened to my mom. The current caregiver and mom meshes well. But in this area, mom tells her not to touch anything in the bathroom, she will do it herself, and if the caregiver moves it, it is an entire day of "snappiness" for the caregiver and hell for me when I come home. If mom doses off downstairs, the caregiver is able to wash clothes and change linen, but that is on a prayer. Outside of this task, mom likes the caregiver. She takes her to the senior ctr twice a week and they have a nice time the rest of the week. Actually, my brother is there today with mom and he went to remove the soiled depends and my mom came in the room arguing that he is "stealing and touching" her things. He told her he was trying to help her clean..she fussed for at least 2 hours! I guess this is another transition in our lives and time for more creative thinking for me to try to keep things sanitary. I'm starting to lose my zeal for this caregiving thing...it's chipping away at my sanity...
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If she routinely rinsed out her soiled panties in the past it makes sense (to her) that she brings the depends over to the sink, thankfully she isn't actually putting them in there to wash (believe me you could tell, they hold and amazing amount). I think the time when she can carry out her bathroom needs privately has passed, she has to have more supervision. And why isn't the caregiver tidying up the bathroom after mom is finished?
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Gladimhere, yes I'm going to have to monitor her more closely. Rainmom, ok, I see your thoughts. Mom maybe upset about the changes I made to her room. She spent a few weeks visiting my sister so i can get a break. My sister has kids so it also let mom see her grandkids. While sge was gone i made ger room more dementia friendly.  Less things are available for her to hide, lose, or throw away. I converted her closet to a smaller view  (she doesn't see that). She sees that she has less drawers to put her clothes in. However,  the in season clothes fit. Her outfits are hanging in the closet. Everything she needs in this season is available. She use to have papers everywhere of things and pictures.  I'd give her something to read and you couldn't find it 10 min later. She had tote bags everywhere.  It's more functional now. So you maybe right, she us mad at me for removing the bigger dresser and since then she has been angry (when she remembers that it is missing).
To answer your question,  mom puts the unspoiled depends in the trashcan in her bathroom/on the counter. They are piled in/on either. She calls herself washing her underpants in the sink and then hanging them on the drying rack in her room. This is what she has done most of my life, however, now with her dementia she is not washing them as clean as she use to (not using detergent). So maybe, I need to remove the trashcan in her bathroom and only have the bin available. I'm now thinking the smell is so strong because maybe she puts water on the depends as well. She's been wearing them for over three months now and never left them on the counter. This counter stuff started two weeks ago.

So, maybe her bathroom time is becoming increasingly confusing to her. She is taking longer than expected in there. She has been putting way more tissue in the toliet causing problems. Every other day she tells me she needs tissue. I've had to hide it in my room along with the cleaning products and paper towels.
So let's see how today goes when I take the trashcan out of her bathroom and only the bin remains. She's usually sleeping when I leave for work.

However, I just had a vision of her getting a plastic grocery bag and using it as trash because she does that now with the trashcan. Prayerfully, I'll figure out something.
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I don't know if this is going to make sense but I'll try -

When I say she's being passive/aggressive, I don't mean in an adult, thinking it through kind of way. I mean it in a reaction that a child might have when they are mad or upset about something. 

Trust me - I know there is no reasoning with dementia - I've been saying exactly that since I started here on AC.

But - I think it's fair to say that putting a used Depends on the bathroom counter instead of in a canister - assuming the canister is right next to the toilet- is not reasonable but - to the person doing it, in their mind there is some reason - no matter how "off" it might be. I think it's a hard sell to say putting in the canister is more difficult or that there is any natural instinct to put it on the counter... does that make any sense?  So - why?  What is her motivation?

Then I couple that with the throwing away of the unsoiled depends- that also seems to be a purposeful move to me as this woman has spent a lifetime pulling panties up and down - not taking them off and throwing them away.

Which brings me to an obvious question I should have asked before - when she throws out the worn but unsoiled depends - is she putting those on the counter or in the canister?
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Thanks Rainmom for your response. For clarification, mom has her own bathroom. I do not mention the cost to her of the depends. I "vented " it in my question. I pay for depends along with everything else she needs. Mom's money covers her health insurance and two weeks of caregiving. I work Monday through Friday. My sister and I cover the last two weeks in the month of caregiving. Mom lives with me. Our "routine " is that I go to tell her good night and I turn on her bathroom light to signal time for bed. Her bathroom is in her bedroom.
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Your mom has dementia they cannot be taught or reasoned with. That is part of the disease. Only suggestion would be you are going to have to figure out a way to monitor her more closely.
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Sounds to me like you mom is having some passive/aggressive issues directed at you. For whatever her reason - she is punishing you with the dirty depends on the counter and the expense of the depends. Just out of curiosity- who is actually paying for the depends?

I know this suggestion sounds unpleasant- and a lot rides on if that is her bathroom and you can use a different one - but I'd try just leaving them there. I'd also quit mentioning the cost of her tossing them unused.

Your mother is acting like a defiant child - kind of an "I'll show her" (meaning you) attitude. As with a child, I'd try ignoring it - quit giving her the reaction she wants.

I know a lot of people will say people with dementia can't manipulate and plot. I strongly disagree. I lived it with my own mother for a couple years - before things got to the more sevear stages.
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