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My mom has started only going in the bathroom when I tell her. Right now it is first thing in the morning and right before bed at night. She always argues and says she doesn't need to but then will go for a long time. Will this be a new habit every day? Any suggestions?

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Something else I just remembered. One of the restaurant chains have an alarm that sounds about every 15 minutes to remind employees to wash their hands.
Do you think something like that would help with the bathrooms breaks? It may have to be some sort of timer rather than a normal clock.
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Not to be a smart alec, but quite some time ago I read somewhere a little tip on aging.
Here it is..."Never trust a fart or pass up a chance to use a rest room."
Ya think if you posted some reminder around that it would help?
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Did any other symptoms increase or start a couple of weeks ago, too? If she has a uti she could be avoiding peeing because it hurts and she can't articulate that. A uti in elderly folks can have minimal urinary symptoms but several behavioral symptoms. (I know. I just got over one! Weird symptoms.)

Since this has only been going on a couple of weeks, I suggest she be tested for a uti. And I'd also write a note to the doctor explaining what is going on and request that the doctor tell Mom she needs to pee every few hours, regardless of the results of the uti test. Unless your mother has given permission, the doctor can't discuss her case with you, but can listen/read what you have to say.
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Ah yes. It is the "gets furious" part that presents the difficulties, isn't it. It is all well and good to tell you what you "should" be doing ... getting Mom to the bathroom every few hours ... but not so easy to accomplish that.

I guess the goal would be to keep repeating this practice in the hopes that it will become routine. Insist that she go before lunch, after a certain afternoon tv show, and before supper. Insist even if she throws a hissy fit, in the hope that the fits will soon drop off. But I honestly don't know how realistic that is.

I hope other caregivers who have dealt with this successfully will explain how!
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This sounds nuts but could you find a "reward" for her if she uses the bathroom?
We do it with our toddlers and it works pretty well.
"Mom, after you go to the bathroom, we can have a scoop of ice cream."

It's worth a try.
Unless she's not drinking much, she should be urinating more than once every 12 hours.
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Thank you everyone for your answers. I am my mom's fulltime caregiver. My husband and I live with her. This is a new problem that started a couple weeks ago. So far she is not incontinent but does only go 2 times a day.  She gets furious when I tell her she needs to go. Or at least try!
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As others have said, this is part of dementia. My mom is incontinent, wears a Depends and will not go on her own. Like your mom she insists she doesn't need to go when asked but wets herself during the day and over night. She is sometimes irritable if Dad or I insist that she "try!" I can usually coerce her if I say "I'm going! Don't ever pass up an opportunity to go pee, haha!" An she'll agree. And she does have frequent UTI's. So far she doesn't have loss of bowel control but it's just diligent effort on Dad's part to have her sit on the toilet when he thinks it is time for her to go.
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Confusion about bathroom activities is common in dementia. A friend's father would sit on the toilet for hours, insisting he had to go. The signals from the bladder or bowel to the brain is just not working correctly.

I agree with those suggesting involving mother's doctor.

The solution is probably cuing Mom to use the bathroom every 2 to 3 hours. Are you her primary caregiver? Anyone who spends hours with her should know to do this.
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I think this is part of the Dementia. The brain is not telling them they need to go. At the AL they took Mom every two hours. I suggest you allow her to sit for a while hoping she voids completely.
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Tullpa,
Are you saying that she only urinates twice a day?
Does she urinate during the day or is incontinent in a diaper?

Your profile says she's got dementia. I would guess that her urinating "problem" is from that. However, you should have her checked for a urinary tract infection.

I'm a nurse for a young man who has autism. He will only void if encouraged (stood up and put the urinal in place). When I first started the job, he would void 1800 ml. (7 1/2 cups) at once. I got him on a schedule of going every 4-6 hours. He urinates much less quantity now at each void because he goes more often.

You may have to "cue" your mother from now on because the signals aren't getting from bladder to brain.

Have her checked out by her MD. I'm sure he'll order a urine test.
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Are you with her all day, most days? Perhaps you could set a personal alarm and just remind her every few hours that it's time to go to the bathroom.
Is she having UTIs because of the infrequent use of the bathroom?
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