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My Mom takes care of the 90 year old grandmother. She has noticed lately that my gram will go into the bathroom and spend up to an hour or more sitting on the toilet. When she asked my Gram if she is done she will say no. She sits there and counts the flowers on the wall paper and tiles on the floor.... She even closes her eyes, like she is sleeping. Mom sits close by to make sure she does not fall off the toilet. She is concerned, what can she do? My gram is still
independent and does appricate someone telling her it is time to get up....

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Maybe you 'ride herd' on her too much...this may be the only way that she can truly find a time for herself...we aren't ALL people people and DO like to have some private time to ourselves!!
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well be careful on the sleep aids, this one doctor (that we dumped immediately after this happened) gave my dad a sleep aid....yeah well it was too strong (hindsight 20/20) and when my dad got up to use the bathroom, he fell trying to get back into bed cause he was toooooo drousey.
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I'm sorry GramaG, it sounds as though his brain is stuck in a loop. That sounds a little like OCD, to keep wiping. Do you have Wet Wipes for him to use? Maybe before long he'll change to something else. I like the timer idea, I'd never heard that before. Does he take a sleep aid at night to help him sleep? If not, maybe ask his doctor if it would help. At least then y'all could get some rest.
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I'm talking about my husband (91) getting up in the night. He is not trying to get private time - he just is obsessed with wiping.
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I agree with Nojoy3.. Maybe the bathroom is the only place your Gram can get away to for some private time.
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My husband also stays too long when he goes to the toilet. He has to get up a least 3 times during the night and stays about 30 min. wiping, wiping, wiping - the seat, his legs, etc. I tried setting the timer for 15 min. and sometime it works. Then is a couple of hours he has to get up again and repeats the wiping.
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Excuse me gram, I have to use the room!
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I like it in there, and I have dozed off early in the morning. We don't even have flowers on the wall to count.
However, it is rarely available because my husband is using his chromebook in there! I say, keep moving, your legs can go to sleep and you cannot get up!
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Sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits.
All the above are good suggestions but wolflover has made the one comment I would endorse as being the most important. This is very true for the heavy elderly. If they sit too long they compress the nerves in the legs and they don't just go to sleep they are temporally paralysed. Raising the feet on a stool both helps elimination and prevents nerve compression. Hemorriods are about as likely as sitting on a cold stone step which is what my grandmother used to tell me. Well I have them anyway but don't think the cold step was the cause
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it may or may not cause hemorrhoids but I can tell you that when I had a case of the "runs" and would sit there cause about the time I got up I had to go again; it would actually make my legs "go to sleep" so that could be a problem also. if they sit too long and their legs go numb and then they do try to get up, they could fall. best of luck.........
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If she has constipation, then she needs something to eliminate the problem. Add lots of fiber and fluids to her diet, they both aid in digestion which then causes less problems. Does she not recognize the fact that she has finished? What I would do is wait an appropriate amount of time and there is no signs of further elimination, then help her clean up and off of the toilet. Sitting there for long periods isn't good, if can affect hemorrhoids and affect circulation in her legs. Your mom can also call the local area agency on aging to see if your grandmother qualifies for in home assistance. This would give your mom a break. they also have caregiver services such as caregiver training and a support program that can help to ease the burden of caregiving. I'm a caregiver as well so I can understand how difficult it can be. Good luck.
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Have you asked her why she stays in the bathroom so long? If she's still independent she should be able to answer you. If she says she's having a problem with urination or constipation then have her checked out by her doctor. If your gram is independent why is your Mom bugging her? Maybe your Mom, with the best of intentions is hovering over your Gram too much. Maybe the bathroom is the only place your Gram can get away to for some private time. It is the most private place in the home for many folks and everybody needs a little private time.
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I have never heard so many suggestions on how long one should be using the toilet. Sitting on a toilet WILL NOT cause hemorrhoids. Straining to defecate will, however it is not fatal (unless you have a heart condition and take dozens of drugs like Elvis did). Raising the feet will put the rectum in a better position. Maybe she just likes to count the flowers and design on the tiles and this is the only place she can have some peace and quiet. Personal habits are just that - personal. Just verbally check on her now and then and let her have her private time. Too many people want to control others...
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My mother will sit for a while on the toilet sometimes. She says it is because it doesn't feel like her bladder is really empty. She went to an incontinence clinic a couple of weeks back. They found she was clearing her bladder very well when she peed. It is just a sensation that she has that something is still in there. Old bladders can cause so many problems.
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I have not shall we say, had any 'personal' experience with this...but there is a little bench that is on the market that goes under the toilet and is used to prop up the legs and feet, making it easier to 'go'. It is called a Squatty Potty and it can be picked up at Bed, Bath and Beyond very cheaply. I have heard from others that is really is helpful and might be something that would work. Inactivity paired with meds and not enough water and fiber is usually the culprit. Add in bad knees, balance and the rest and it is a recipe for terrible constipation. Miralax is a great product, and will not cause bloating and gas. Mix it in with juice. Also, daily fiber, like Benefiber. Water therapy is very helpful if walking is difficult and will also help get everything moving. Best of luck.
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First treat the symptoms that they have. If constipation or straining are a problem ...encourage water throughout the early day. Start the day with a big serving of their favorite warm beverage if possible. keep water handy and give positive feedback regarding consumption. Make water available at night too. If they don't like water, find a drink that they do like. Dilute it, and provide it.
Then look at the diet. Does it encourage daily comfortable bowel movements? Make that your goal. Keep adjusting the diet and water until you get it right. Use a pressure cooker to keep a supply of beans and cooked fresh greens on hand. Once you cook a big batch it can be frozen in smaller batches. Then thaw as needed. Are they getting 5 fruits and 5 vegetables every day? If not adjust these first to meet the goal. One daily serving of grapefruit is an automatic: comfy, speedy, well formed and thorough "bm" at our house. But grapefruit is not compatible with all meds. Whole fruit and vegetable smoothies also help you to meet the 5&5 qouta. I'm always amazed at how beets taste like strawberies in a smoothie. Prunes have a multi century reputation for enhancing regularity ... for a reason. LOL.
If your loved one still wants to sit for more than 15 minutes, what else can you do. Provide a cushion/padded toilet seat. Verify that they are not pushing or straining. Inspect bottoms, undies and bedding for signs of blood or seepage. Use an anti diaper rash/ pressure sore med like Aquaphor Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy one a week as a preventative - this stuff is amazing. See if they just need a change of view. Have they been cooped up in the same 4 square feet all day every day? can they get some sitting time or activities out side. Exercise also stimulates the bowels. Sweep the sidewalk, weed the garden. walk the property. Walk the mall. Walk the farmers market. walk a museum. Do chair exercises. Dance. It's all good. :).
Hospitals use MiraLax or its equivilant, daily and over a long period of time. If you tolerate those kinds of things well, it's something to consider. Ground flax seeds and other fiber enhancers help some.
Finally encourage them to use their own hands to deep massage their own upper thighs and buttocks. They can be rougher with themselves than you can be. It's good for the hands and whatever they're messaging too.
My loved ones have napped and read newspapers on the john for decades with no ill effects. Now they're octogenarians, they say that they just like it in there. If there are no ill effects or inconvience ... decide to worry about something else.
I hope this helps.
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My mother (81yo) does the exact same thing. I do not have a solution but she'll be in there for close to an hour before she is done.
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My husband did this as well it would drive me nuts. I got him a high rise toilet seat with handles. So far so good. Seems his knees are weak sometimes and it would take him a long time to decide to make the effort. He has all kinds of grab bars but they weren't quite right to get him pulled up. I would have to go in and kind of pull him up.
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My husband can tend to do this too, it can cause pressure sores. I try and distract him with something as I stand him up and get his pants pulled up. He says it is comfortable sitting there????
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She will get hemorrhoids sitting there that long. Perhaps she is constipated or her knees hurt and it's easier to sit there than to get up.
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