How do I "toilet" my father?

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He has been wearing a depend for 5 yrs now. He is only incontinent with urinating. I urge him 2 or 3 times a day to get up and try and go in the toilet because he can. He always says he doesn't have to urinate but he always has a wet depend. He says they aren't wet. I'm assuming he can't feel the wetness. Plus I like him to get up off his chair and move about some . If I ask or tell him to go try to use the toilet more than this he refuses and looks at me like im crazy...... any ideas???

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I'm afraid a lot of people will have a problem with my solution - but bear in mind that Ray was sent home from the hospital to die - twice - and I just keep the urinal in the living-room and on his walker. At 95, even his siblings are old and no longer visit.

As bad as some might think this is, it beats the heck out of having to 'follow the trail' down the hallway to the bathroom. That too gets old in a hurry.

Sometimes we just have to think about what is easier for the patient instead of what is right socially. I even told his son (lives several states away) - if you can't understand his need to go when he has the urge and in the living-room, than just stay home. I don't need the grief. Fortunately, his son is able to accept it.

We don't get an 'owners manual' with our elderly so we just have to take it one day and one thing at a time. Right now, my Ray doesn't need Depends - really, they would just complicate things at this point. Yes, I am very fortunate. Living alone with no company, he also doesn't have to stay dressed - he always wears a shirt and this covers pretty much everything.

I'd like to believe I would have done the same with my father - but he has been gone for 6 years now and I don't know anyone else with a 95 year old patient. Definitely a learning experience - but as tiring as it is, it is also rewarding as he thanks me all the time "for everything."
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Huge tip-your father has no doubt lost his olfactory sense. And urine does have an odor. Have him get to the toilet at the first wiff of the odor.
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Kellylynn,
Can your dad wear a condom catheter? or have a urinal set into the diaper?
Some adult diapers have a 'line' on the outside of the diaper that turns a different color when it becomes wet. Would that be helpful? Use an absorbent bed pad (Chux) under him in the chair, just in case.

Try to imagine your dad as a patient, not your dad. Set the timer for every 2 hours and try to have him get up to go. Is there some kind of treat/reward he could have afterwards (food goodie, etc., of course without him knowing about it.) "Dad, I'll make some hot cocoa and it'll be ready when you get out of the bathroom."
Good luck.
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My husband who has PK and dementia rarely communicates when he needs to go. I have him on a schedule and take him and let him sit a while. Almost every time he goes and he rarely has an accident. Only issue is when he has gone to respite, it takes a little bit to get him back on schedule (every 3 hrs)
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In some hotels in Las Vegas they have televisions in the restroom. With satellite & cable don't know how that would happen in a regular home but thought I'd suggest it since leaving the tv is the issue.
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'Wittm' & 'Eyerishlass' have great advice & a great method of approach - I may add that if you give him a mid morning & mid afternoon snack that the toileting be done before them & meals so that eventually he will associate that going into toilet will result in a small treat or meal - this may have to be monitored so he doesn't gain weight but it is amazing how a small favourite juice, cookie, even a piece of gum will be a positive re-enforcement to the new routine

If he likes the TV so much plan on these visits after 'the Price is Right' & before 'Family Fude' for example especially if you can use those headphones on him as 'Jenngibbs' suggests because after a while his body will be ready & you will have less depends to deal with - good luck
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My husband is incontinent both ways and has been for at least 4 years. It took us forever to get him to wear a diaper. When he was still mobile, he would use a public restroom and then walk around with a large urine stain on his trousers. I'm pretty sure he knows when he has to move his bowels, but it involves getting the lift, lifting him out of bed and setting him on the commode, which we've never done. He just "goes" in his Depends. The process of cleaning him is disgusting and humiliating. At one point, we were using a urinal, with me holding it, but that was messy too as he was lying horizontal in bed. Finally, I decided to just accept it. I gave him the opportunity to let me know when he had to go, but it didn't work. In the big picture, with his mobility and other health issues, I don't stress over it. I just deal with it. I try to change him three times a day.
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After three years of 24/7 caregiving I had lost the patience required for repeated explanations. With Alzhiemers the same explanations were required daily.

I had a caregiver five hours a week. She pointed out that I was telling my mother what to do and that my delivery of the information was getting in the way. When she wanted my mother to do something she would make it a conversation, not a directive. She might say she had heard some people do XYZ (whatever she wanted mom to do) and ask what my mother thought of that. Then the caregiver would say "do you think we should try it and mom would say "yes" usually.

Might you employ a similar approach? For example; "Dad, you know I was talking with a friend who had surgery for prostate cancer. Did you know incontinance is a complication of such surgery? (Let him enter the discussion). Do you know anyone who has had prostrate cancer surgery? (Again, let him contribute to the discussion). He told me about a method that he uses to keep from having accidents. He does not wait for the urge to urinate, but when he sees a bathroom available in a public place or if he is home he just stops in and uses it. He calls it preventative maintenance. Do you think that might be a tactic that you could use to make your life more pleasant?"

Notice that the ultimate focus is on betterment for his sake. You are having a conversation so do not stand over him, sit near him. Sit and watch T.V. for awhile before bringing it up. Talk about something else first. Slide it into the conversation like it came to mind organically. Notice also that you are using words that appeal to men; method, preventative maintenance, tactic. He needs to feel that he had a say in it, and ideally that he is in charge. No one likes orders or directives. As a caregiver it is natural to just want to "cut to the chase". But you have to package your message and make it palatable to him if you want hime to buy-in to what you are saying. Good luck!
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Ask your dad to help you. This was a tactic when I cared for my dad. It's the "Help Me Help You" approach (I named it myself).

Pick a time when your dad is comfortable and in a decent mood. Then approach him with this problem you are having, prevention vs cleanup, and you do all the clean up. Tell him it's not easy, that you don't relish cleaning up after him. Be semi-brutally honest. Remind him of the last time you asked him to use the toilet but he didn't want to because he was watching TV. Next thing you know, he's wet and it's a mess. Tell him that grownups get up from watching TV so they can use the bathroom (a little more brutal) and this is what you expect from him. The occasional accident is no big deal but when your dad refuses to participate in his own toileting it's time to call in a professional and how would he like to pay an aide to come into the home to take him to and from the bathroom?

jeannegibbs is right. This does happen to men. But when you remind him it's time for him to go and you're standing there waiting to help him, he needs to go. This is a partnership between you and your dad. He needs to do his part as best he can.

Incontinent of bowel is the worst. Not just from a clean up point of view but from their point of view too. It just strips our loved ones of all the dignity they have left. I have a mental image in my mind of my beloved father having an accident in a parking lot and the pain and humiliation on his face is something I will never forget. He made such an anguished sound, it was horrible for him.
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Hmm ... I wonder if it might help  if his doctor (not his daughter) explained to him that men his age often don't have the sensation of needing to pee. So it is a good idea to set a little alarm and go into the bathroom every x hours. This is Not His Fault. It happens to most men eventually, but he can preserve his dignity better (and cost of Depends) if he went into the bathroom regularly.
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