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She has dementia. Is there a strainer or something for the bowl?

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When your mom was young, poop was rinsed off from cloth diapers before they were put into a diaper pail or washer. My thought is there might be some regression surfacing. Whatever the reason, I also would disengage the toilet's chain. Secondly, I would tell Mom that you've been having some difficulty with the toilet lately. First tell her you're not sure what's been making the toilet go kafluee lately, but it's ok. You have a plan: Tell her not to worry 'cuz you'll take care of everything after she's finished. But tell her you need her 'cuz you can't do it alone. Quickly ask her for her help/her cooperation in trying to avoid a recurrence of the toilet troubles. Emphasize and reemphasize the importance of her helping you manage the problem. If you think she'd be ok without supervision, tell her you'll be right outside the door & to call when she's finished. (Keep the door ajar so you can listen to and maybe see a little of what's going on.) If you don't think you can trust her alone, very matter-of-factly step into the BR with her so you "can be right there just in case that stupid toilet acts up again." That way you two can "work as a team and nip the problem in the bud!" I might also lay out or hand her a fresh pair of panties before she starts and provide some kind of diaper pail. (Be prepared to show absolutely no adverse reaction/emotion to any kind of soiling and/or wetting issues.) Encourage her to put her messy pants into the pail so they can be cleaned later in the washer. Tell her that of course you realize that she knows how much more economical this is, how she'll be saving you so much time, expense, and possibly even avoid more troubles with that stupid old toilet all together! The key in getting her to cooperate might be (while incorporating lots of kindness, patience, repetition, and positive reinforcement) to give her control---or at least make her perceive that she's in control. One more thing, (especially with the risk of infections in mind) when/if your mom is incontinent of urine and/or stool, at this point she'll definitely need help with proper cleaning with each toileting/change of panties. I would highly recommend using pull-ups (like Walmart's Assurance Adult Women's maximum protection underwear) under her panties. These relatively inexpensive (diapers) disposable underpants can easily and discretely be torn down the side seams so that soiling doesn't get all over someone's legs or other clothes or linens as when soiled/wet panties are removed. And be proactive about protecting chairs and beds etc. with plastic lined pads, quartered sheets, etc. It's so much easier, discrete, and pleasant to remove a disposable pad/sheet/towel than to have to deal with soiled mattresses and furniture.
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Check the toilet. If she is stuffing them, she will likely, sooner or later, stuff them down the commode. It's not fun digging them out either or cleaning up the overflow. Each day, I wonder what our adventure will be. Most of the time, I don't even want to think about it! Best of luck!
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Maybe she is becoming incontinent and doesn't want you to know or just doesn't know what to do with messy pants. Mom has dementia which has been getting worse over the past 5 years. Six months ago she kept telling us she needed underpants, we kept buying them and they kept disappearing. Then we realized she was losing control of her bladder and sometimes her bowels. Rather than rinse out the pants and put them in the hamper, she throws them out. We solved the problem by getting her Depends or similar, disposable pants. Once she ran out of underwear, she had no choice but to wear them. Now we have to deal with her getting confused and sometimes putting them in the hamper or stuffing them under the bathroom sink.
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Great ideas ladies, but I wonder why she is flushing her pants (or trying to). Perhaps if she is not leaking, try having her go without underpants. It feels great not to be constricted. If you have any other problems disconnect the chain like Pam stated, otherwise you will be calling a plumber and trust me they are not inexpensive (I'm having issues with an installed water heater). Good luck!
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Ellantz, great idea ref the tongs - and I especially like your reminder to keep them for bathroom use only! :)
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Sounds like it's getting time to think about getting someone to help your mom out . It is not a very fun job when a person can't do their own toileting or can't do it well. Only a select few will have the mindset to do this kind of thing. Either you change yours or think about hiring someone that can do it. It very rarely gets better.
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There are what we called "hats", that we use in the hospitals or in elder care homes which are placed inside the toilet bowl under the seat . It has been an ongoing issue for years & it is also a good way to measure input & output, as used in the hospitals. It's an easy way to deal with it on top of Pam's idea. It's fail safe.
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A pair of kitchen tongs would solve the "fishing" problem. Buy a cheap pair that would be for bathroom use only.
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Great idea, Pam. I was trying to think of something that would let poop pass, but keep cloth. I could think of nothing. Plus, toilets need a certain amount of gravitational push to get things down. A strain might interfere. The disabling sounds much better. I wouldn't want to be the one fishing out the panties. It's better than a backed-up sewer, though.
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Disconnect the toilet handle chain inside the tank so she cannot flush it. That way only you can flush it after you have checked the bowl. Make sure you are alone in the bathroom and shut the door so she cannot see you lift the tank lid and activate the flush.
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