She is age 92. And stubborn as can be.

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The only thing that's worked for me (and my Mother) is getting up at 5:00 every morning and taking her to the bathroom.  I gently wake her and coax her out of bed, then hold both of her hands and walk her to the toilet.  I don't like it, but it sure beats washing clothing and linens every day.  She won't use her bedside toilet either. 

God give you strength and patience.  (I pray for this every day).  I hope you find a solution.  ❤
Helpful Answer (10)

My Dad was a very proud and strong individual. With my Dad, it was clear - he was going to the bathroom at night - whether we liked it or not... So, we accepted that he would rather fall (from time to time), and addressed the issues assuming he would continue to try.
Our solution was to address the underlying issues. We installed 2 battery powered, motion sensored lights on the base of the walls - to light the path when he got up. When his feet hit the floor (getting out of bed) - there was light so he could see to the end of the bed. As he came around the end of the bed, another light came on for the path to the bathroom.
He did still fall from time to time - so we put the soft plastic corner protectors on the bedside table, and removed rugs (stumble hazards) and other furniture from the path. Eventually we added portable grab bars along the walls leading to the toilet room, as well as a bars on either side of the toilet.
You might consider rearranging the room to make the path and distance as short and easy as possible.
Sometimes you have to accepted better safety AND dignity. If they then continue to fall - say nightly - start slowing your response just a bit. Your mother may need to come to the conclusion that SHE needs to do something different. Still go to her, just not quite as fast. It is VERY hard to do that - but they need to compromise their dignity - you cannot. It is her choice, assuming she is competent...
Good luck and patience and love.
Not everyone's solution - but ours. Good luck...
Helpful Answer (9)

Oh God, I hate to mention this. I will be 85 next month. I have noticed in the last few months that I stagger when I have to get up in the night to use the bathroom. I have to go several times a night. It is awful to see myself and my body going away. Our little dog sleeps right by my side of the bed and I worry about stepping on her.

What helps me:
Exercise both legs and pelvic floor to keep my muscles strong.
I wear a panty liner to catch drips.
I move around before I get out of bed to wake my muscles up, so to speak.
I have always had night lights, even when I was young, so that is not new.
I hang on to things, in my case door frame and wall.
When I do get up, I stand there for a few seconds before I move.

When the day comes and I need a commode, I will get something like the Thetford porta pottie, we had them on on our boat rather than use the regular toilet and have to dump it. I have had them in campers also. The only thing I can suggest on that line is they may have to be raised on a stand to make them high enough for old people like me.
Helpful Answer (8)
TekkieChikk May 2019
MaryKathleen, you are definitely a lady with a plan, and a good one! My dad will be 86 and lives alone, and his routine sounds exactly like yours. He makes sure when he gets up from bed to sit for a minute or two to get his bearings. He sometimes needs the walls for balance... he doesn't need to hang on to them, but just something to touch for support.

At 85 he still cleans the gutters, paints the fencing, mows the lawn, waters the garden, cooks, cleans and takes care of everything else. My brother, husband, and I are always available to do whatever he needs but his reaction is to just grin and say 'When I need help, I'll ask for it.' Honestly, I think the work is what keeps him as healthy as he is.

Working in rehab with young people, there is one thing they are always told when they come here and it applies to everyone: don't stop moving until you absolutely can't.
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Seems that you have two issues. Bathroom issues, and falling issues.

Does she fall other times? Because that's a separate issue.

Is it only at night when she tries to go to the bathroom on her own?

I tried the bedside commode too. Total failure.

When is this happening? Before her normal bedtime, if she's just in bed watching TV or reading, or other times during the night, like after the time she shuts off lights and TV and wants to sleep?

Maybe goal is to find a way for her to sleep through the night. Whatever time she would normally fall asleep, ask her PCP if she can handle a light sleep aid.

And, then get Depends and Poise Pads (or similar brand), and get a washable full mattress liner, and even pillow case liners, and either heavy duty washable bed liners that reach from shoulder to her knees, or packs of one-time throw away bed liners.

If this is a nighttime thing only, then please talk to her PCP. It really can be managed.
Helpful Answer (7)
Shelly2222 May 2019
Thank you. I very much appreciate your suggestions. Here are (unfortunately) the answers. Mom does wear Depends. She refuses to use the bed liners. I've gotten a few different types for her. All big & comfy & cotton. She is so stubborn. I dont know what her purpose is. Does she enjoy sleeping on a wet bed (ie: pee).
And as far as a sleep aid....she takes it every night. And she still wakes up to go to the bathroom. I do understand not sleeping thru the night. I too wake up 2 times to go to the bathroom.
My mom is STUBBORN. At age 92, I wish she would help herself, ie the commode. Or anything else. Thank u so much for your ideas.
Hi Shelly. I did find this with my own Mom Who resisted using the commode. When I asked Mother why Shd did not wish to use the commode ? She replied it is very unsteady and hated the idea of the toilet contents remaining there until removed stenching the bedroom where as use the toilet and flush and it's gone. No smell and no embarrisment for Our Mothers. We must remind Ourselves that growing old is not much fun, and can be very trying for Elders Who are experiencing failed health.
Helpful Answer (7)

This was also our problem, but we came up with a great solution.

Mom slept in a king sized bed. I slept on one side of Mom and my daughter slept on the other. One of us would awaken to help her in the night when she was getting up. We would hug and talk while she was falling asleep and she loved having us there. We were like living “bedrails.” This worked perfectly for us and there were no more late night falls.

The urge to go to the bathroom is an instinct which comes on quickly in the middle of the night. The commodes are both unsanitary and emotionally difficult to deal with for everyone. I’m sure this behavior is unintentional as she’s trying to maintain independence and create less of a burden.

Sometimes I had a hard time going back to sleep, but I wouldn’t change those memories of loving Mom and caregiving for anything.
Helpful Answer (7)

My mom would often fall in the middle of the night on her way to the bathroom. I studied the walk to the bathroom. Mom had a nightstand and a dresser to steady herself when she got out of bed. Then there was an open space in the bedroom, then the bedroom door frame, then the hallway to steady herself into the bathroom. That open space was where she'd fall.

In that open space I set up a couple kitchen chairs with the backs facing where she would walk. That way she had a something to grab the whole way. She never fell again in the night.

Mom had night lights to help her see too.
Helpful Answer (7)

Get her used to using a walker. It's not easy; it takes constant reinforcement. Also, have her wear Depends, it helps relieve the sense of urgency to get there in a hurry. It won't be easy, but it's what we had to do.
Helpful Answer (5)

You might try a outdoor rug or heavy floor mat under the cammode. Also motion detector light. It will reduce concerns of accidents on her bedroom floor and create a sense of a separate room. A folding room divider for privacy might help. Also all the amenities of the bathroom should be at hand and visible with lighting...w/o turning on room light:
TP, sanitary wipes, no tip glass of water, large wipes for her hands, waste basket. Even a damp washcloth ( on a dish) and hand towel might help.
We forget there are comfort items in the bathroom we use all our lives. A bathroom air freshener can make a difference. We are so use to having these things we forget that we use more than just the commode in the bathroom.

Just make sure room divider is not in her way if she tries to use the bathroom. You may want an inexpensive motion activated alarm bells so you can offer assistance...and it may make her more alert trying to get to the bathroom.
In summary, create as close to a master bath as you can within her room.
Helpful Answer (5)

As people age, sometimes they get ideas that don't seem logical and can make things more difficult. Try to be forgiving. She's trying to cope with losing so many of her capabilities and becoming more dependent on you. And you are a hero!

For the falling problem, we had the same problem with my mother, who is in assisted living. We got her a hospital bed with bars so that she couldn't get out of bed on her own. She is in hospice care (95 years old) and has dementia, and does accept the pads over the sheets; the situation is not quite like your mother's. We also now take her around in a wheel chair if she has to go a distance. Medicare paid for the bed and wheel chair. You may want to consult her doctor and a social worker.
Helpful Answer (3)
Shelly2222 May 2019
I am gracious to you. Thank you for writing.
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