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She doesn’t seem to have problems holding her pee when we’re out. She’s mobile (with a walker) and likes to walk in the mall. She makes it to the restroom just fine there, at restaurants and at other people’s homes. In the night she has started peeing in a container in her room (she has an in suite bathroom with bars). I just found her peeing in a container in the kitchen and she dumped it in the sink. I’m not thrilled about the bedroom, but didn’t raise it and can live with it. I am really upset and grossed out about the kitchen/kitchen sink though. I told her how unhealthy it is - we wash dishes and food in kitchen sink. Her response was that she can’t make it all the way to the bathroom. She’s showing some forgetfulness and “oddities” but doc says no dementia. I don’t really know what to do and am completely grossed out now when I even think about the kitchen sink. Any advice? Anyone else been through this?

My nieces still talk about catching MawMaw with the large soft butter container she was using to pee in. No dementia here. Her bladder would empty the minute she stood up. Best solution was to catch it before she had a mess to clean up. In her case the toilet was a few steps away but not close enough. Since your mom was already relieved, the next place your mom might have wanted to be was the kitchen. Just guessing here. I think we all can become desensitized to things we are more familiar with.
Get your mom to an urologist to see what can be done to help her with this problem she has successfully taken care of until she got “caught”. A urologist was able to help my mom but not before she had an accident at church and was so humiliated she would never return.
Okay I admit the fact that she thought the kitchen sink was okay is a problem. Tackle one problem at the time. See if she can be helped controlling her bladder when she first wakes which might be different from why she can handle it later in the day as you described.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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I’d use this situation as an opportunity to see where her head and judgment really are. So, let her know in very certain terms that pouring urine in the kitchen is unacceptable and place a bedside commode by her bed that you or the two of you empty in the bathroom. Then, see if she cooperates or not. If not, you know that something in her judgment is not working. She may be unable to understand her actions. When I inquired why my LO was having odd toileting issues, health care providers told me that she was lazy and spoiled, but later She was diagnosed with dementia. Imo, doctors don’t know that much about early signs that something is off. Poor judgment is often a sign, even before memory issues surface. In my case, my LO said that she could not go to the bathroom. She had no explanation. Her legs worked and she could do what she wanted, but for this she had no explanation. She eventually started back using the toilet, though, for a while. About a year later, she became unable to care for herself. She was then diagnosed with significant dementia.

If your mom is thinking clearly, then you should be able to resolve this issue pretty well.
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Cherry33 Mar 7, 2020
Thank you! I really appreciate the answers you’ve both given. I’ve been feeling for a while that things are just “off” or “odd” but the doc says no signs of dementia. I hadn’t really thought of the fact that I know her best and likely notice things before the doctors can tell. Sounds like a bedside commode may be part of the answer - though it only saves her about 5 feet.
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Get her a commode and empty it for her every morning.

Emptying pee into the kitchen sink is revolting, I'm with you there! - but bleach the sink, as many times as sets your mind at rest, and then forget about it.

Urine is basically sterile when it leaves the human body (or should be! - have you checked her for a uti, come to think of it?) so while revolting this stunt of mother's is eminently survivable :)

Re-reading though. This is odd.

She has an en suite bathroom, no problem getting to that during the night, is there? Or is there? Where does she keep this night-time container, by her bed?

And what was she doing in the kitchen before she got "caught short" today? And what sort of container?

The "can't make it all the way to the bathroom" is clearly just an excuse; but the trouble is you need to know what question it is that she is afraid of answering with the real reason. There could be some child-like sudden fear of something in the house, some pain or difficulty, some obsession about body fluids. Maybe she doesn't want to sound silly. Maybe it's something embarrassing. Try to talk to her about it separately from the standard domestic hygiene issue! There could be an explanation that then suggests a straightforward solution.
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Cherry33 Mar 7, 2020
Country mouse,
Thanks so much for your response. I’m going to give it a day or two and try talking about what she needs. I do think she was embarrassed she got caught. As for the container, it “showed up” a couple months ago. Not sure where she got it, but she had clearly brought it from her bedroom to the kitchen.

Ive scrubbed the sink several times now and think I need to just decide I’m not going to think about it anymore.
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