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Hello all- this post is a ‘What would you do?’ It involves me, my mother, a potty chair and a bathroom down the hall.


My mother is able to get around in shorts stints with the aid of her walker; however, she prefers to not get out of Her Chair; yes, she is lazy and wants someone to “please won’t you help me” which translates into “please do it for me because it’s easier for me when you do it instead of me having to do it”. Ends up there’s a snag in her method of manipulation, I cannot pee for her. <enter potty chair> Potty chair came into the picture months ago when mom came home from SNF as a TEMPORARY until mom gained back her mobility. Well, potty chair now has a permanent position right in the middle of the family room about two feet to the west of Her Chair. (It makes a great conversation piece). Potty chair has become a crutch for my mother as an effortless bladder fix that enables her lack of mobility because she doesn’t have to walk “all the way down the hall” (25 feet) to pee. Potty chair should be out in Mr.Shed and potty chair has been the cause of many debates? between me and mom. I compromised finally after I was able to think of a legit reason for potty chair to stay inside. I agreed to not banish potty chair to Mr. Shed because during those rare times I am gone for a very short time it is safer for mom to not have to be up and around so during those times potty chair would be legit. Unfortunately, potty chair is being exploited as a quick fix when I’m here, when I’m not basically it is moms go to spot to pee- I hate potty chair. So, I went on strike and refuse to empty potty chair which forces mom to have to go to the bathroom down the hall to pee giving her at least some mobility she needs.


What would you do? Am I being mean or doing what is best to get mom mobility. Thanks for your input.

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Is there a possibile compromise? Does she have her own room? If so, she can be in her room with her chair and tv and the potty chair.
Move the potty chair OUT OF THE LIVING ROOM. It is not an appropriate piece of furniture for a family room. Unless she is terminal, your living room does not have to revolve around your mother and urine.
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Reply to Rabanette
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I feel your pain
As a 24/7 caregiver myself ,my wife of 58 years was diagnosed in 1997 with PK and she took to her bed 10 years ago , to the denial of her neurologist and numerous PTs and OTs , unlike your mom she decided not to even get out of her bed and sit up .
Against all good advice from professionals I let her play me from day one . At first she stayed in our bed in the master bedroom with an adjoining bath 10 steps from the bed, she decided she needed a potty . I ordered one with a prescription from her PPO ,placed it next to the door to the bathroom. Needless to say she didn't need use the toilet

At the onset of her PK we made a move to a home that better served her demise, as all her needs were on 1 level , I added a walkin shower a higher toilet with the addition of handrails and bidet with a warm water addition.

I replaced all door openings to assist walker or wheelchair with lever hardware for ease of use.

My wife over the past 10 years has had numerous trips to the emergency room and always follow ups with in home nursing care with a nurse and PT and OT usually 4 to 6 weeks , and she has always discharged them after the first couple weeks .
Her last 2 adventures they tried to get her to join in at the PK clinic and same results.
In the interim I added a Hospital bed about 5 years ago and moved it to the living room thinking I'd get her out of a dark depressing bedroom into a room with an abundance of sunshine and to be able to see life out of a large picture window . Now the potty is at the foot of the bed. Walker at the side . Potty maybe 4 steps .
On every visit to her PK Docter when we discuss home life and her hardships they just ask why she wont get out of bed . The PT suggested several years ago that I move the potty away from the bed to an agasent room , and to move the bed back to the bedroom .
My point in all this has been to stress the point that if you make it to easy you take away their will to do for themselves, my wife hasn't sat at the table to eat a meal or sat in a chair to just watch tv in over 10 years . She has no need to as has an enabler to see to her every need .
God bless you and good luck with your mom.
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Reply to youngonce
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my2cents Jun 18, 2019
Just curious, what is PK?
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You are not being mean.

You are doing what is best not only for your mother's mobility but also for her dignity. I mean, come on. I know she's knackered. But seriously does she want to be the little old lady who pees in her living room? - before she absolutely has no choice, anyway.

I wonder if it might be a good idea to introduce planned, accompanied bathroom breaks, as many as you think practical, partly to avoid her having to be in a hurry and also to re-establish better habits.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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PharSytid Jun 17, 2019
Good morning! (I sure hope so...)
Its good to hear from e1 and I really appreciate all of the replies, thank you .
Mom has no problem being the lady who cries wolf,,, oops! I mean who pees in her living room as long as it saves her from having to get up and walk, there’s no shame in her game. As far as her gaining better habits- not happening because that means effort is involved along with getting up out of Her Chair and she has absolutely zero interest in that. Potty chair initiates soooo many issues and strife in this house it is ridiculous. I mean it’s a flippin’ potty chair! How does it consistently stir the pot? <asks self, “did I really just go there... stir the pot? Really Felicia? SNAP!>
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I would not introduce the Depends unless absolutely needed.

And - here’s a little story why. I don’t think I’ve ever told this one...

My mom had her hip replaced. During her two week stay in rehab mom was introduced to adult diapers. Once home, mom switched to Depends. Seems she really liked not having to get up at night to go to the bathroom.

So, long past when moms mobility might have mandated Depends - she choose to wear them as she zipped around town doing her typical bazillion things in one day. Oh yes - so great to not have to figure out potty stops while out and about. No matter what I said or did - I could not get her out of the Depends and her using the bathroom as she was physically able to.

Soooo - one day mom is at her acupuncturist appointment. And, mom is laying on the table in her Depends and a sheet drape - and a back full of pins - her acupuncturist had left the room to let the needles do whatever it is they do... and mom realizes she has to pee.

Instead of sitting up and walking to the bathroom that is adjoined to the room - instead of calling out to the acupuncturist for assistance - mom says to herself “Ill just pee. No need to get up. I have the Depends on. I’ll just pee while I lay here”. And she did.

Now, as anyone familiar with Depends will tell you - when utilized in a horizontal position their effectiveness is pretty unreliable and especially when hit with a full on letting go of the bladder. Yeah. You got it. Pee went EVERYWHERE!
The floor. The table. The sheet. Soaked.

The poor acupuncturist comes into the room a couple of minutes later - sees this and asks what happened. My mom says “Well, what did you expect me to do - with my back full of pins?” Evidently, the gal was none to happy about it and said so.

How I found out about all this? I’m talking to my mom a few days later and she says - in a very put-upon voice - “Well, now I have to find a new acupuncturist” and tells me the story as if “we’ll, of course I peed...” as if it was the most reasonable and logical of options.

No. Unless it’s a case of an accident really happening - not an On Purpose cause I just don’t want to use my walker and walk down the hall... I would hold off on the Depends if possible.
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Reply to Rainmom
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Potty chair is better than cleaning up an accident. If the issue is wanting her to be more mobile, make her go to the kitchen for meals or sit on the porch (weather permitting) a little while each day. Home health can also do in house physical & occupational therapy to help with strength & mobility. You do have to keep them moving or they loose strength & ability.
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Reply to Makinmecrazy
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Oh man, I was gagging just thinking about it being knocked over. Truth is, I have a very strong gag reflex. I gagged when I changed my kids' diapers. Can't handle poop. I was up front with my mom when she moved in with me. I will NOT deal with poop. When you become incontinent, you must leave. She started wandering the neighborhood in the middle of the night before poop became an issue, prompting us to place her in memory care. Mom wears Depends all the time now and has the UTIs to prove it. Hasn't stopped her from messing her pants in restaurants or stores. When she does, I swear she gets the smuggest look on her face as she tells me she "had an accident." The first time she did it, she fully expected me to clean her up. Nope, sorry. You did it, you clean it. I made her start carrying an extra Depends in her purse for emergencies. Mom has always been lazy and very happy to let others do for her. My sister gets angry with me because I don't help her up from the table or in and out of the car. I make her do it herself. Her doctor and physical therapist both told us that its the best way to keep her moving.

Would I live with a potty chair in my family room? Oh HELL no! I know several people who have and my hat is off to them, but I know I couldn't do it.
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Reply to lablover64
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Personally, I think you’re even being generous in allowing what you’re currently doing.

I wouldn't be able to deal with a
potty chair in the middle of the family room. My OCD tendencies would have me freaking out between the germs and smells, near misses and dribbles. Plus - just the sight of it! I would need one of those standing, decorative screens if it really must be there.

I know its a bit of extra work on your part - but can you remove the potty chair altogether when you are home and only bring it back out when you’re not going to be there?

Leaving a fully loaded potty chair in the family room just gives me the heebeejeebees! What if someone accidentally knocked it over?

eeewwwwwww!!! Yuck.
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Reply to Rainmom
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PharSytid Jun 17, 2019
Aaaaahhhhhhhh! Omg! Good point. Aaaahhhhh!
If that happened , I wonder who would have to clean it up? Bahahaha bahaha bahaaahaha ( or LOL).
I know right? <rolls eyes>
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You are not mean, you are taking charge.
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Reply to Weeroo
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susiencalif Jun 19, 2019
Exactly! You're setting a boundary. Hugs!
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Due to limited mobility, I can't make it upstairs in time to use the bathroom. So I have a potty chair, in the middle of the living room. But a friend gave me some really nice divider screens - wooden, with slats. No one knows it's even back there. Maybe you could try something like that. Also, I have an aide a couple times a week that helps with the emptying - what I do is use it only for pee and instead of throwing toilet paper in the commode, I put it in a trash can with a liner. That way it isn't too much to flush.
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Reply to ToskaBlue1957
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From the other side of the fence... having arthritis and a neurological problem that sometimes makes walking 25 ft kin to scaling Mt Everest , why are you so positive it’s her crying wolf? Does she easily walk everywhere else? Does she have control problems and fear she won’t make it 25 ft?
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