Help! I'm caring for 93 yr old mother that can barely walk and urinates in pants. Any advice?


Caring for 93 yr old mother that can barely walk and urinates in pants. She's beginning to lose her memory too. I work 13 hrs a week and my husband just got laid off so am also very nervous about that.

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Chdottir, thank you for posting the info on NPH. My mom has all those symptoms, and they are fairly new. First it was her unsteady walk then inconveniences followed by memory problems. An untreated UTI was found and we cleared that up and memory got somewhat better but it seems dementia is starting. I will have her thoroughly tested for it. Again thank you.
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Reply to Pepsee

I do not have any immediate suggestions.

However, j ust in case I'm just going to mention that her inability to walk, incontinence, and memory problems might indicate a condition called NPH (Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus). With NPH the walking problems often come first. It takes a neurologist and MRI to diagnose. It is often missed by regular doctors. It is treatable with a brain shunt, and my Mom's hydrocephalus doctor has treated people in their 90s. You can do a Google search for NPH, and this website has this info about it:,
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Reply to chdottir

Shaking, have you considered a bedside commode or “potty chair” for Mom so she doesn’t need to navigate to the bathroom? Also, are you living in your own home and Mom lives alone in her grandfather’s house? I’m not sure what you mean when you say that when your husband retires you’ll have to move. How does that affect your mom? Adult incontinence underwear is a good idea, but a nurse and and a therapist once told me not to call them “diapers” or “Pampers” in front of the person who’s wearing them.
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Reply to Ahmijoy

shaking....I'm glad to hear that your Mother has a walker and you are with her.
I would get some Depends,like adult diapers and help her put them on.There are pull up kind and the ones with tabs on the sides that you can tear off.
I think it would help her a lot to have some grab bars in the bathroom that she can hold onto and you might need to hold her to keep her steady enough to get there and back out.Falls are the worst,so any way to help prevent those will be helpful.
Her doctor may have some ideas to help you and like others have said,Your local Aging Care,a center for the Aging can help you and this site Agingcare is full of great information.
Take care as best you can~
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Reply to luckylu

For more information on my mother is that she has lived in the same old house for 88 yrs as it was my grandfathers house. She uses a walker but it won't fit in the bathroom so she holds onto the walls and door to use the sink and toilet herself and she is very unsteady on her feet. My husband can't collect but will have to start his social security as he's now 66 yrs old but we won't be able to continue living in our house due to the finances.
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Reply to shaking

A walker, Depends disposable underwear, and a caregiver. These thingswill change her life. Take a day off work, if you can, to spend it with her. Learn how she likes to do things, try out disposable underwear, get her a walker, and then start searching for a caregiver. I recommend using You can find people with good experience and who are available for the times you need them. Maybe just start by hiring someone to come around every morning and every night to help her cook meals and change her depends. Theres not much more I can tell you. You'll just have to learn from experience for the rest. And also, as the person above has said, call your local aging care line. And also call the helpline. They can really help you get started on this journey.
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Reply to monateru

Oh My! You do need some help! Is your Mom living in your home or in her own home? Does your Mom have Medicaid or any money of her own? If your Mom can barely walk, you may have to face the fact that you may not be able to care for her in your home anymore. What type of outside help have you had? Any other relatives available to help take care of your mother?
Contact your local Area on Aging and tell them your situation.

Also if you are new to this website, look under the different topics as you might find suggestions that you could apply to your situation such as incontinence underpants, incontinence pads for the bed & chairs, transfer aids, financial assistance, etc.

So sorry to hear that your husband just got laid off. That adds to the burden that you already are bearing. :( Will he receive any unemployment pay? Have he signed up for COBRA health insurance or whatever health insurance plan that is available for those who have been laid off?

I know that I asked a lot of questions, I did that so that we can give you appropriate suggestions for your situation. Good Luck.
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Reply to DeeAnna

Shaking? Are you new to all this? What's happened?

It would help if you could tell us a bit more, such as when your mother moved in with you, and why; and how you would like things to change, maybe.
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Reply to Countrymouse