Is it normal to urinate in strange places?

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My dad has been in a memory care facility for 13 months now. To my knowledge there has been no problem with incontinence. About 2 months ago he started peeing in odd places in his room, like his garbage can, in his closet, and on the side of his recliner. One day I was visiting and I think he was getting ready to pee right on his bed, and I distracted him and then suggested he walk into his bathroom. Is this normal?

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I think it's not uncommon. And it can be difficult to know what is triggering this loss of orientation to place.

(When you add up all the different cognitive steps involved, there are quite a lot and they have to be maintained throughout the whole process. Feeling urgency. Recalling appropriate response. Remembering bathroom location. Locating bathroom. Adjusting dress. Peeing. Paperwork as necessary. Readjusting dress.)

It might be worth reporting the change in behaviour and seeing if anything can be done - signage, lighting - to help him pick his time and place!
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Reply to Countrymouse
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If your dad were "normal" he wouldn't be in a memory care facility. He is surely not the only man with dementia who pees in inappropriate places. What does the memory care staff do about this?
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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It's my understanding that any change in mental status is to be reported to the resident's doctor, so, I would ensure that is done. They may want to check him for UTI or check his medications. It could be anything or due to his dementia. I would think it's the kind of thing that they have seen before. I'd confirm that they have him on a schedule where they escort him to the toilet at designated times, to help avoid him going on his own in an odd place.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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From previous posts it seems that this is pretty common in both men and women with dementia. Does not seem to be much that can be done about it except make everything waterproof and easy clean and restrict if possible to certain areas.
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Reply to Veronica91
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Thanks everyone! Yes they have tested for UTI and it's negative. Staff ends up cleaning after him. I never detect urine or wetness on him or his bed, but sometimes his room is a little smelly.
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Reply to Upstream
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With dementia, all things normal are no longer so.
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Reply to gladimhere
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Often dementia patients pee in unexpected places because they can't find the bathroom. Sometimes this begins in the night, when the path to the bathroom they're expecting (from the house they lived in as a child, or the one they lived in longest as an adult) isn't matching up with the actual location of the bathroom here. Sometimes it begins in the daytime, with getting distracted and sudden urgency and not being able to read the usual cues about where the bathroom is.

Does he also not recognize familiar objects? not pick up a fork in the usual way? It may also be that he can no longer perceive what is, and is not, a toilet.

Dementia often has this effect, somewhere along the way. Sorry.
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Reply to maggiebea
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Yes, it’s their new normal. I just had the carpets cleaned and wham, he got me again. If the home he’s in doesn’t wake him then they aren’t doing their job. Every two hours they need to be escorted to the restroom. Day and night. Once incontinence rears it’s ugly head, more care is needed. I bought pads at amazon for his bed. If they will leave them on, they will save the extra work. I put one on the bottom sheet and one below it, in case the top one gets taken off. Dementia is such a disgusting disease, for them and for us.
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Reply to Rosemary44
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well i was lucky my mom had a catheter but do not get one just for that they get a lot of uti //DEMENTIA SUCKS she passed away 4-9 cause of it good luck
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Reply to meridianav
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It is one of the grosser dementia behaviors (even worse is a fascination with fecal matter). It’s a tough one. Taking someone to the bathroom every two hours won’t address the issue. He can still pee, even with very little in the tank, if he wants to have the experience of peeing on something. With dementia, you’ve got to outsmart the disease by being responsive to the behavior. Dad is getting some kind of satisfaction from peeing on things. Maybe, try putting some things in the bathroom to pee on. Move that trash can into the shower and leave the curtain open for starters. Or, put a potty chair in his room with the lid up. There’s a chance he doesn’t like the feeling of standing in front of a bowl of water to pee. With dementia, you’ll save your own sanity if you let go of what’s gone and focus on what’s left. There’s something driving him and it can be directed, or at least outsmarted : )
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Reply to IsntEasy
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