Mom refuses to go to the bathroom, insists she doesn't have to even when she does. Anyone else dealt with this? - AgingCare.com

Mom refuses to go to the bathroom, insists she doesn't have to even when she does. Anyone else dealt with this?

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Hi all,

My mom is post-stroke, 55 years old. Her right side is weak but she is considerably able (in walking and laying down and getting out of bed, the only problem she really has are sit-to-stands). She is also VERY stubborn and was pre-stroke as well.

She will refuse to go to the bathroom for HOURS and we have to coax her like a child, explaining to her why she needs to go so she doesnt wet herself, but she will very blatantly refuse more than half the time.

Sometimes in which we've physically forced her to go, it will turn out she actually did have to go.

Not really sure what to do about this, there are rarely any reasons she won't go (pain, fear of accidents when she does get up abruptly, etc) because I will ask her if any of these reasons are why she won't go and if she says yes we do not make her.

I am pretty sure it is largely a behavioral issue. Has anyone dealt with anything like this?

Every single bathroom trip is a huge stress and time consumer (convincing, etc) and I wonder if its a selfperpetuating cycle at this point.

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All good suggestions . You could install a taller toilet rather than messing with adaptive things. That and a grab bar would keep things looking normal and might make her more compliant. She is only 55 after all.
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Perhaps she feels she has lost control on everything else and this is one thing she can control. And like it or not, she gets your attention even if for a bad reason.

If she has good bars and feels safe in the bathroom...that is probably not it. I agree that PT/OT might be helpful. Have you tried different pants/pads etc? Perhaps she is having difficulty getting her drawers up and down and doesn't want to ask for help.

The kids diapers now change color when they are wet. I wish they would do that for adult incontinence products...easy to see that things are going bad before all is lost.

I like the idea of using the timer - and having scheduled pee times. That might help...but it would drive me crazy!

Did you ever think you would be fighting with your mom about toileting?
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Alternatively, strap an adult diaper on her and let her go when she feels like it.
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I would have my mom get up and walk a few times in morning and afternoon. On the way back from the walk i would tell her let's stop for a bathroom break so she doesn't have to get up again. I also did things like come in the kitchen and keep me company while I peel potatoes then would say while we are passing the bathroom, let's stops. As garden artist stated above having the right equipment and safety features are a must. Can't hurt to have an occupational therapist to come in to see if mom is getting on and off the easiest way and also have then check out barhing also while they are there.
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Mom was like that. I set my phone to alarm every two hours and took her right on schedule. Sometimes she was crabby. I didn't care.

If you have EVER dealt with an open sore from urine exposure, you wouldn't care if she liked it or not.

Believe me. "Sorry mom, not your call."
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Yeah the bathroom is super accessible she doesn't have any trouble going to the bathroom she is able to go pretty much by herself with some supervision
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Does she have a standard toilet? After hip surgery my mom had an awful time trying to lower and raise herself off the toilet. I got a gull winged potty chair, fits right over the toilet and can be adjusted to about 8 or 10 inches higher. Pee breaks were so hard for her she would wait till the absolute last minute. The nes potty chair is her favorite thing in the world now. I'm often amazed at how life changed some of the simplest devices can be for elders.

BTW, don't get the so called Toilet Riser. This thing is basically a huge tall toilet seat. I tried that first and it was a wobbly mess.
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And too bad I didn't think of this earlier....has your mother had any PT since her stroke, or any ongoing PT for transfer strength? This could help her regain her confidence in herself.
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Whoops! I wrote the last two comments so I wouldn't forget to mention them, and then I forgot to delete them! Too bad these posts can't be edited.
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Even though she may not admit it, she might have a fear of falling because of the weaker right side. She also may not realize she has that fear and is instinctively trying to protect herself by refusing to go.

You write that she has trouble with sit-to-stands. That might the issue right there. There are what look like stripper poles that can be added to bathrooms - they provide something to hold onto when a person gets up off the toilet.

Or do you have a commode in the bathroom so it's easier for her to use the toilet? Do you have one in the bedroom, or another room close by where she spends most of her time so she can use that for a more urgent need?

Are there grab bars in the bathroom?

Personally, I think the adaptive toilet with either the gull wings or a commode over the toilet are safer than a stand alone commode in another room.

Perhaps you could get her to wear depends in the event there are any accidents.

I've dealt with it, but don't have any good suggestions other than the ones above (unless I think of some later). My mother broke a foot, then her leg, then fell a few more times without breaking anything. But the fear of fracture terrified her and she became afraid to move without my father's assistance for fear of another fracture. Eventually she just was afraid to even walk.



adaptive toilets

commode
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