My Mom has moderate dementia and is no longer aware of when a bowel movement is happening. Any advice?

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Mom is 91 years old and is having problems knowing when she needs to use the bathroom for bowel movements. My sister and I share care and we have been very careful about what Mom is eating and have started Benefiber as a bulking agent. Any suggestions to help with this problem is much appreciated.

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When this starts happening, if Mom isn't going into hospice or a nursing home, you have to find a way to deal with it. Watch her routine for a week or so. Most elders have a BM at a certain time during the day, provided their food intake hasn't changed drastically (eating more, eating less, or eating foods they normally don't eat).

With my mom, she has mild to moderate dementia and is mostly still "all there" mentally, but with periods of confusion and what I call "spacing out", where she doesn't seem aware of things around her, but is fully awake. She will wait too long to let someone know she needs to use the bathroom - that's when the accidents occur. She's currently in a nursing home - but when I have her home for the day, and she has a meal here, I've learned I need to get her to the bathroom within 20-30 minutes of eating, because she'll need to go. Learned that lesson the hard way by letting her wait and tell me when she needed to go, instead of simply saying, "Lets get you to the bathroom, Mom" - I had a real mess to clean up the first time around.
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Loss of bowels sound more like advanced dementia. There is no fixing the problem, just put the patient in diapers. Ask the MD if it is time for Hospice or a Nursing Home.
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Not being aware is a whole different ball game than not getting there in time. Bowel incontinence is never easy, but there are strategies to help you cope. this site has a wealth of information.

Just like potty training little ones, it helps to understand her natural rhythms and get her on the toilet/commode when she is most apt to go. I have my mom sit on the toilet for at least 5 minutes after meals. Sometimes it even works ;)

And just a word of caution, beware of fiber supplements, unless she is drinking appropriate amounts they can lead to constipation or even impactions.
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