With the Thanksgiving, and possibly Christmas, holidays coming up, my husband and I were thinking of possibly going out to dinner with my daughter who lives with us rather than preparing a huge meal at home. Two of our three children are out of state, and due to various circumstances, won't be coming home for the holiday, which is totally fine and we understand and respect that. My dilemma is my 90 year old father, who is currently living in an assisted living facility. He is pleasantly confused and incontinent. He wears Depends, but argues, and refuses usually, about getting up to go the the restroom to try and go every hour or so, but then ends up totally blowing through them and making a catastrophic mess all over the place including chairs, the floor, all over the place in public waiting rooms, and then I have to drive him home when he is covered with this mess. The thought of having to bring an entire set of clothes with me and trying to get him cleaned up and redressed in a public restroom every time I have to take him some where is not worth the stress. Even getting him to doctor's appointments just isn't worth the stress it causes me. At a recent appointment, he took himself to the restroom, had a bowel movement that came up his back and out the top of his pants, all over every where in the bathroom - which had to be totally shut down until they could get it cleaned up - and then came out and sat in one of the chairs in the waiting room like that. Any time he floods out his pants, he refuses to get cleaned up and just argues that he is fine and that it will dry. I feel like a total loser for just wanting a nice, calm, pleasant day out with my family for a change. What is a daughter to do?

Find Care & Housing
Do yourself and the public a favor - leave him at the AL. Enjoy your holiday with your husband and daughter. You visit him at AL the day before or day after if you want to.

My stepson owns a restaurant that is popular for family holiday dinners. A couple of years ago an elderly man, with his family, had a huge blowout in the dining room. My stepson sent diners to another restaurant and paid for their meals. He had to close for two days while everything was cleaned. It was a big loss for him and and a huge expense.
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to Becky04469
Isthisrealyreal Nov 1, 2022
That sucks.

My friends daughter was in the playhouse at McDonald's and proudly, loudly announced (she was done potty training, mommy thought) that she peepeed. It was astonishing how fast that playhouse was cleared and shut down.

It made me think how many children just keep playing and it dries and there ya go.

I am OCD about hand washing and touching things in public. The seats and menus in many restaurants are science experiments and the dirtiest thing in any restaurant. Obviously your son is a very good business man to take the necessary steps in this situation. I don't think it is always handled properly, so kudos to him.
See 6 more replies
Yeah, no. Definitely DO NOT take dad out to dinner during the holidays, why would you even consider doing such a thing? Have a nice dinner with him at his AL, or bring dinner TO him at his AL and have a festive time there instead of subjecting yourselves to such a situation! I'm shocked the AL hasn't asked him to leave and move into Memory Care, because this level of incontinence combined with being 'pleasantly confused' sounds like full fledged dementia to me.

Wishing you the best of luck having a nice holiday.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to lealonnie1

This is an issue we all struggled with. You want to include them but it gets to the point where the cost is too great. I stopped taking my father out because he would loudly talk about his bowel movements. Others should not be subjected to that. I should not be subjected to that.

Still had him over for the holidays but it became a major production getting him there. Not only did I host but I had to escort him to the bathroom. And always at the worst possible times. Then it became a two man job for the bathroom. The only time he seemed to enjoy himself was the trip from the car into my house when everyone was fussing over him trying to get him safely inside. After that he really didn't seem to care. The last Christmas we had I realized bringing him here was just too much on me. I missed out on so much because I had to keep an eye on him and when I required my son's help with him in the bathroom I was done. It is one thing to help him in there and an entire different game when you have to wipe.

Have a small celebration for him at the AL a day before or after. If he balks tell him taking him out is no longer an option with the issues he is having.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to lkdrymom
GAinPA Nov 9, 2022
Who gets to wipe moment is a game changer. For the few it’s a put a glove on and deal with it. For others, it’s a reality check and hasty retreat. I salute them both. Hoping those who choose to retreat find another way to offer support.
See 1 more reply
I agree with the suggestions on here that you enjoy your dinner out with your daughter sans dad and have a little holiday celebration with him at his facility. Win -win
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to southiebella

He’s in an AL, and that’s really his “home base” and that’s for A GOOD REASON.

Please DO NOT categorize yourself as a “total loser”! Doing so makes neither his situation better NOR YOURS.

There are some situations in aging care that have NO HAPPY SOLUTIONS.

I think your father’s situation is CLEARLY ONE OF THEM.

The silver lining is that he is a resident of a facility that knows and understands his situation, and is prepared to deal with it.

“What is a daughter to do?” You ask? A daughter is to be a mother and a wife, enjoy a peaceful, stress free holiday with her spouse and daughter, then around supper time make a peaceful visit to Dad with pie or cookies or sliced turkey or whatever he may (or may not) associate with the holiday, enjoy a period of cheerful chat with him, and go home, knowing that you BOTH had a holiday of appropriate celebration and reminiscing.

DON’T make this problem yours to solve. It is not fair to you, and it seems as though he is oblivious to it. When he MUST go out (doctor’s appointment?) see if you can arrange for him to be taken by paid assistants. Again, NOT your job to do this for doctor’s appointments either.

Happy Thanksgiving, however you plan it!
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to AnnReid

I am surprised the AL has not told you that Dad is beyond their care. Dad is also beyond allowing him to use a bathroom without someone accompanying him. Maybe find a nice LTC facility that takes Medicaid in case needed in the future. There is a Doctor or two affiliated with them so no more taking Dad to the doctors. Dentists and Eye doctors come in too.

Now for the holidays, ALs have some kind of dinner for residents the weekend before the holiday. At Moms family is invited. Have dinner there with him and on the Holiday enjoy your meal out. You have the right to a nice relaxing dinner. Last thing I would want to do is toilet a LO during the meal. Your Dad will not know the difference. Don't say anything to him see if he asks. If he does, just say with just the 3 of you, u spent a quiet day at home. Don't even acknowledge the holiday unless he does.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to JoAnn29

It’s ok to want to enjoy your family at dinner without Dad. You clearly describe excessive, delicate needs that are not realistically managed in public, much less where many people dine. Visit him after and don’t even bring it up. You’ve been an angel for taking this on for so long and enough is enough.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to JeanLouise

He stays at the assisted living facility while you enjoy the holiday with your family. I believe he would bless that if he was his old self. You then have a wonderful celebration with him at the AL making him feel very loved, remembering special moments growing up, lots of laughter and hugs.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to robert152

My mother and I went to a restaurant yesterday and something similar happened, but not as bad. She realized what was happening and went out to the car. Standing up made it worse for her but it stayed in her pants. I stayed to pay and when she passed me the smell was obvious.
she is fully aware and was beyond embarrassed by the whole ordeal. I am taking to to a previously scheduled drs appointment today and some of the posts here have given me an idea of what questions to bring up (meds, foods) for which I am grateful.
it sounds like your father is at a point where, as many have suggested, having a separate celebration with him at the facility, either private or one put on at the facility, would be your best bet.
I wish I could offer some advise but I can only offer my support and thank you for asking the question.
I hope you have a great holiday season and get to celebrate twice for each!
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Animallovers

Inquire if his AL will have a celebration for the residents and their family for Thanksgiving and Christmas. If so, go there. Please do not take him into public places anymore since he has a fecal incontinence problem. This is a health hazard as well as an embarrassment for him and you. It's not nice for the place of business, whether it be a restaurant or whatever, to have to deal with the mess, the odors, and the spills, etc. Pleasant outings with him and the family are not possible anymore, and it's time to accept that.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Fawnby

See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter