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The nurses tell me she's having a bowel movement every day. Mom insists that she has to go and can't. I've taken her to her Dr and he did a rectal exam and doesn't find anything. She's on a stool softener and can take miralax upon request. Also Mom drinks a lot of prune juice, so much that the nurses won't let her have it sometimes because she's already had bowel movements. She can't control her bowels when she drinks so much prune juice. Mama will then get so angry and I get surprised at the words coming from her. I have begun to dread her phone calls and my visits because I can't even get her to change the subject. I live 5 hrs away and visit every 3 weeks for 3 days.
Is there anything I can do for her? How can I keep my sanity?

This is common in Dementia patients and showing her she has already gone is not going help. They can no longer reason. The less laxatives she takes the better. The body ends up depending on them. Really not much u can do. Just tell Mom its a subject you rather not discuss. Let her calls go to voicemail.
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Bob14930 Sep 18, 2019
Thank you for your response. Mama has misused laxatives all her life. I try to change the subject but she goes right back to it. I've key dinner if her calls go to voicemail but I feel guilty for doing it so I answer and try not to let it bother me. I just wish there was a way to help her.
Thanks for your answer and support.
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It's common for a person with dementia to get hyper focused on an issue, real or imagined, and then be unable to let it go. It's also common for elders in Assisted Living to develop dementia over time; most of the residents in the ALF my mom lives in DO have some level of dementia, and the nurses are aware of it. Have you spoken with the nurse there to see if she feels your mom is suffering from dementia? Have you noticed a change in her YOURSELF when you come to visit for 3 day periods? When you say that you're surprised at the words coming out of her mouth when she gets angry, again, that's another sign of progressed dementia. It sounds like it's time for a cognition test to be administered by her doctor, frankly. With my mom situation, the ALF has a memory care section across the parking lot which accepted her once she progressed to a level where the ALF could no longer care for her safely.

The best thing to do with an elderly person insistent on a particular subject is to agree with them. The more you argue, the angrier and more insistent they get. With this particular problem, however, the consequences can be difficult ie: she may need to wear incontinence briefs now if her BMs are out of control. I'd say the best thing to do is have a talk with her doctor to see what the next course of action needs to be here.

Wishing you all the best.......I know how tough this journey truly IS and my heart goes out to you.
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You are a devoted son and your mom is lucky to have you. I can relate to the long-distance caregiving. For your own sake you should not answer her every call, especially when you know what the topic will be. You can't change her obsession with her bowels but it may be time for an anti-anxiety medication? This may be a sign that she needs more care than she currently gets in AL. Has she ever had a cognitive test by her primary doc? If not maybe this can be set up on your next visit (you can ask her doc discretely to do the test and for good measure a urinalysis). Good luck as you head farther down the caregiver path. Check back in here often for amazing advice from some very wise and seasoned people who have walked in those shoes!
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Bob14930 Sep 18, 2019
Thank you so much.
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The rehab facility we used logged BMs on a chart so when the person said they didnt go, I showed the chart.
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