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It’s me again! My mother complains about not being able to make it to her toilet (bedside commode) and wets through her pad (Poise 6). I end up changing her clothes all day and night long. She says diapers and pads don’t hold more than one time she urinates. I change her immediately at her request.


She has mentioned this to her doctor and the doc has offered to write a script for meds. She has refused getting script.


She is in process of home health at this time due to falls. I mentioned this to her nurse and the nurse told her to go on meds for it. Now she says she may try them. Do these meds help?

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Most bladder control meds are anticholinergics. This class of drugs have been implicated in dementia just FYI. (As are antihistamines and others in this class)
These drugs block acetylcholines which are important in the brain for memory and learning . However if she has Parkinson’s this may be the least of your worries now but it could speed up decline. They do make pull-ups that are ultra absorptive. Definitely find a urologist who will do more than write a Rx. Making sure she doesn’t have something else wrong. They can even use Botox injections now for urinary incontinence. And yes ...a pharmacist knows more about medications than any physician. So frustrating for you and her.
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NeedHelpWithMom Feb 10, 2019
Harpcat,

I like the idea of a urologist. How could I have not thought of that? I will see if my mom would like her doctor to recommend a urologist for her to see.
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Get the name and speak with your pharmacist. They are the ones with the knowledge of medications and all the good, bad and uglies that are associated.

Does she try to make it to the potty? Have you tried a potty schedule, she may be waiting far to long. Taking her every hour or two could possibly help.
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Yes they do, I had gotten to the place that I wore adult pull ups with heavy pads in them. I'd get an urge to go and the minute I stood up the urine would start running, I finally asked my doctor about something to help.

She prescribed Oxybutynin ER (I think the brand name is Detrol)-- 1 tablet a day and it has helped so much - I still wear the pull ups, but without the pads and very little leaking. Talk to her doctor and try something like that for a month to see if it helps.
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cetude Feb 10, 2019
Detrol also has side effects that can increase weakness, predispose to falls, affect sense of taste which can retard appetite, and..worst of all..cause urinary retention which will predispose to UTI. Someone very elderly or with impaired mentation, this can potentially cause problems.
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I've taken several different meds for incontinence and boy do they dry out your mouth. You can't drink enough water to make it better and of course that makes you have to pee more and more. Best idea is to a product that will work for her. Maybe a thicker pad or diaper.
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NeedHelpWithMom Feb 10, 2019
Gee, did not realize if it dries up urine that it can also dry up mouth. That’s a pretty bad side effect too. Yeah, if you replenish with extra water, makes sense you’re urinating more often too.
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Please consider the cause of the incontinence. Elderly people can have an UTI, with sudden urge, causing incontinence issues, without other symptoms. Or it may be bladder spasms causing her problem. There’s other things, like the muscle that holding the opening closed may not close completely. Without knowing the cause, it’s difficult to treat with medication. And why give a person the wrong medication, risking unnecessary side effects, not to mention the cost of many of them. Also, if giving medication and not treating the underlying cause, if it can be determined, doesn’t treat the underlying issue, it may still continue. Always look for the cause first.
There are genitourinary specialists who are very good at getting to the source of the problem. Has infection been ruled out?
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Zdarov Feb 10, 2019
Great answer, I’ll bet it will be helpful.
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Medications are not without side effects -- if your mom is elderly she will be at increased risk for falls because the med will affect the nervous system. At least your mom is cognizant enough to communicate with you. Mine isn't.
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whaleyf Feb 10, 2019
You are right. I forgot to add on my post that one med made my hands shake really bad.
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She does try very hard to make it to potty. She’s 93 though and moves at a snail’s pace, plus has mobility issues due to Parkinson’s.

She has tried decreasing her fluids, especially before bedtime but does not seem to make much of a difference.

One thing that I have noticed as well is that she doesn’t seem to be emptying her bladder completely. She will go and then go again immediately afterward. Is that a natural part of aging? I’m 63 and that happens to me sometimes and I think to myself, geeeez! I just went to the bathroom and have to go right back. It’s annoying to say the least.

Trying to think if what will help her and also give me relief from changing her undies and pants, sometimes even her compression stockings or socks too!

Pharmacist is a good idea. Will see what her doc has to say, also speak to pharmacy.
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Glendaj2 Feb 10, 2019
In order to empty herself out completely have her rock her upper body back and forth a couple of times and then side to side. This helps me empty out any remaining urine at times I don’t feel as if I’ve emptied out fully. I hated the meds that help with incontinence, they died my mouth out so badly my tongue would dry out mid sentence! Talk about annoying.
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My dad has practically made a urologist’s house payments for years trying to get rid of this issue. The meds have not been helpful for him, either due to being contraindicated because of other meds or because they just weren’t effective. Make sure you get all the good and bad info on whatever is prescribed, as all meds have side effects, and hopefully you’ll find help with the problem
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NeedHelpWithMom Feb 10, 2019
Daughter 1930,

It sure is expensive to age, isn’t it? So sad.

I hope your dad and my mom finds relief somehow.
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I have this problem and went to a urogynecologist. He fitted me with a rubber ring that sits inside the vagina and it really works at preventing constant flow. Apparently this is the old fashioned solution that has been around a long time. Not for everyone of course but another possibility. I heard botox is now an option as well. The meds have side effects to be careful of.
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NeedHelpWithMom Feb 10, 2019
Wow, a urogynecologist. Wonder if we have that kind of physician near us. Sounds like a neat device. Sometimes simpler solutions may be the best all around. Wonderful suggestion. Thanks.
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Don’t know about meds. We got up our client every two hours checked and changed whether she wanted to or not. She wore briefs, they have extra thick ones for overnight but we still all checked every two hours. It helped. no meds.
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NeedHelpWithMom Feb 10, 2019
She goes very often! Probably smart to check every two hours because she has fallen asleep during the day (her afternoon nap) after being up all night urinating to a soaking pad, wet underwear, she stands up and urine drips into her compression stockings or socks, shoes or slippers. It’s a shame.
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