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Tuesday of last week, I enrolled my mother in a respite day care program (it's only on Tuesdays). When I picked her up she had just had an explosive bout of diarrhea that leaked through her pants. Poop everywhere. (In case you are wondering, she said she'd had a good time and kept bugging me to take her back.) She was fine Wednesday through Monday. On Tuesday, I sent her back. Exactly the same pattern. Wednesday, she was fine. On THURSDAY (today) I sent her for an assessment day at a more permanent dementia day care program. I picked her up at 2:30pm -- AGAIN, same situation. So we are wondering what exactly is going on. Both places seem to serve people plenty of coffee, which could be a problem. She also isn't going to the bathroom before we leave in the morning, because it's earlier. I'm thinking of putting her in adult diapers before taking her, but in normal situations she doesn't need them. Anybody have ANY idea what might be causing this?

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You can try adult diapers, but if it's explosive diarrhea it will still leak out, haven't found one yet that doesn't. Mom's happens anytime anywhere, nothing to pinpoint why. I always have a rescue kit in my car, clean slacks, socks, shoes, diaper and lots of wipes and plastic bags. Really hate going anywhere anymore but it 's not good to just keep her home all the time.😐
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Freqflyer, In our family, I'm the one--the only one--who is lactose intolerant. I'm glad that your dad was able to enjoy his ice cream with the help of Lactaid.
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Another possibility is to give her acidophilus pills, perhaps one in the morning and she can take another one in the afternoon. That's if they don't interfere with any meds she's taking.

I'm inclined to think the coffee is the culprit.
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Yeah, I really don't know. What is weird is that exactly the same thing happened at two different places. Meanwhile, for the month of July my mother was staying with my sister in a different area of the country and was put in a dementia day care program for a month -- she did have one bout of diarrhea her first day, but that was BEFORE she got there. After that, no problem. Whereas my mother has had this problem three times in a row at the same time of the afternoon at two entirely different facilities within the last two weeks, but has had no diarrhea at other times. The second facility (where she had the assessment) said they had noticed her drinking loads of coffee and put a stop to it, which makes me wonder if that is the problem....the respite care place serves food delivered by Meals on Wheels; the Dementia Day Care program serves food that I think is prepared by themselves.....at home we give my mother some ice cream about once a day and it does not cause diarrhea. She drinks her coffee black and does not eat cereal--basically she drinks no milk, might have a slice of cheese and a bowl of ice cream (served by us) and I repeat, she does NOT have this diarrhea problem normally.

I'm just really stumped. I discussed it with my sister, who is also kind of mystified.

What do guys think of putting her in adult diapers for a while and see if maybe this problem goes away? I will also mention to people at the day care places to watch the coffee consumption and to also see if they could remind her to use the toilet --like mid-morning and mid-afternoon? I feel shy about making demands on the staff, they are already working so hard....
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You might contact the staff at the respite program and ask if they have refrigeration and microwave capabilities so you can send a home made lunch that you know your mother can tolerate. This way she could continue to get the benefits she enjoys but would be eating food you prepared and know won't cause a reaction, until you can sort out what's causing the problem at the center.

You might also ask the staff if they can provide a menu list to you, as well as whatever snacks are offered. That might help identify the problem.

And it could be something as simple as the food wasn't refrigerated properly.
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Also keep in mind that food sensitivities can pop up at any age - sometimes in relation to medications, sometimes for no apparent reason. My son loved peanutbutter- and had it regularly. Then when Rainman was about 16 it started giving him diahrrea every time he ate it - same became eventually true of chocolate - tragically - and any tomato sauce based dishes, yet raw tomatoes don't bother him. But definitely don't underestimate the effect emotions can have on the tummy.
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AngieJoy, that is the problem that my Dad had, lactose intolerant. Dad would never turn down a good bowl of ice cream as he felt it was worth the stomach ache and what came after it... [sigh]. Thank goodness for Lactaid products and a Lactaid pill that Dad could take before having anything dairy :)
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Is she lactose intolerant? If so, and the menu includes milk and ice cream, the dairy foods could be triggering digestive issues.
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Too much coffee will do that to some people. Are they feeding an excessive amout if sweets? That will do it to. Ot they may be serving something she has an allergy to? Ask questions.
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Time to do what I call "charting and graphing". I have a disabled son who is completely nonverbal and whenever something odd crops up - whether it be behavioral or functional, I have to do my best to figure it out - as to what the cause is. Try talking to both daycare places - find out what they are serving for food and drink. Also ask about activities - look for things that may have fumes and/or might accidentally wind up in your moms mouth, i.e. paste. Look for similarities. Also double check for similarities in what she had for breakfast the days in question as well and eaten the night before. Lastly, is you mom "delicate"? Could a change in routine or the stress of meeting new people be upsetting her stomach?
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Can they remind her to go to the bathroom? Also ask what they are feeding her, because something is not agreeable with her digestive system. I doubt if it is just the coffee.
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