My husband is in kid stage Alzheimer's plus he has walking difficulty but refuses to use cane or walker. He is having difficulty getting up from a chair due to his knees. So far does well with eating out and enjoys it.

We went out for an early dinner tonight. During dinner, just the two of us, he indicated he needed to use the restroom. Sometime had passed and he still was not coming out as I watched the door. A manager offered to check on him and came out saying he was in there and said he was ok. More time elapsed. No men going in or out, so I opening the door slightly and called out to him. He was in a stall. After much asking him if he was ok or needed help I found he could not stand up from the toilet. So in I went to help him. He was sitting on a regular height toilet, not knowing anything about the handicapped lavatory in the next stall. We have the higher toilets at home.

Thankfully he was able to reach the door lock and let me in. It took sometime for me to be able to get him up, because he didn't want to hurt me. I tried to explain to him about the handicapped stalls all public restrooms have, but any explanation doesn't register or is able to remember.

I handled it all very calmly and when we got home, I took him into the walk in shower bathroom with hand held shower. And found that he was ok with me asking him to take everything off and step into the shower as I used the handheld shower to make sure he was clean because through it all he had had an accident.

In the past he insisted on showering in the bathtub shower and for me staying out of the bathroom. 59+ years of marriage. So letting me help him has been a real break through. Not sure he will allow that again. But my thought now is that we will only be able to go out to eat with our son, so he can go into the restroom and see to it he uses the handicapped restroom.

I do not feel even a family restroom would work. He would not let me in and I don't know of a restaurant that has them. Another thing I am thinking of, is if he locks a stall door and needs help, no one could get in.

I can see eating out will not be possible without our son and that I will have to think of having delivery to our home or curb pick up. Which is no problem. I will adjust. It was just something we both enjoyed, but changes happen and this is a small change. In fact as I typed this, I do believe my last paragraph is the answer.

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Many places have "family" restrooms so I would use those when possible.
Other times I would just walk into the women's washroom with my Husband I would explain he had dementia and I would take him to the "Handicap stall".
I never had an issue with anyone in the washroom. Less likely to be a problem a man going in to the women's than me going into the men's since because of the urinals.
I think at this time most people have an understanding and will not have a problem with you taking your husband into the Women's washroom.
Helpful Answer (13)
Franklin2011 Jan 2020
I would do the exact same thing. My husband was at a stage he just went with me without a question. Never had a problem with others. Family restrooms are a godsend though.
So sorry you are dealing with this. I suppose the only way you could go out to eat still is with an aide that could take him to the restroom. Or maybe have someone sit with him at home and ask a friend to join you for dinner.

Do you get a break? Are you his only caregiver? I’m sure you do miss doing many of the things you used to do with him

Sending you many hugs.
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That is really up to you - but most facilities now have "family restrooms" and you can take your DH and assist him. My DH wanted me to go in with him. He was already on a walker and mostly used a portable urinal. He needed me to hold the urinal for him.

One time I just had to go into a regular men's room with my DH. I announced myself quite clearly before entering and when another man came in after, I told him that "we don't peek" in our family. He chose to wait but he also thanked me for taking care of my DH instead of worrying about what others might think.

Tell your DH that if he won't allow you to go in with him, perhaps it's time for Adult Briefs. Do Not call them diapers!! My DH was 96 and he was no longer embarrassed for me to help him. Heck, one time I let him stand there the few minutes so I too could go. Turnaround is fair-play. We were giggling like schoolkids when we exited the bathroom together. Yes, it made quite a stir with the people in the waiting room but most were smiling at us.
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At one point I know the Alzheimer's Association had signs made that you could put on the bathroom that let people know that there was an individual with Alzheimer's in the restroom with their caregiver. This way anyone going into the restroom knows there's someone of the opposite sex in the restroom.
Helpful Answer (6)

I was wondering what 'kid stage' Alzheimer's was..........glad you clarified! LOL.

How about hubby starts wearing pull up briefs now 24/7? That will help with 'emergency' needs to visit the restroom and prevent accidents in general. We're still able to take my mother out to eat sometimes since she wears Depends. Before that decision was made, however, we had a lot of difficulties with her and the bathroom situations. The last time we went out before she agreed to wear Depends, we were on the elevator going back to her apartment at the ALF when she said she had to pee. Without warning, she then took a full elimination right then and there on the carpeted floor of the elevator. That was the last time she risked it and started wearing briefs immediately.

It may not be 'the answer', but it's better than nothing. It can give both of you peace of mind at least, and perhaps allow him time to get home before using the toilet.

Good luck!
Helpful Answer (5)
jacobsonbob Jan 2020
LOL Maybe "kid stage" is actually quite accurate--some people with dementia behave like children!
Thank you for your ideas. I think having another man with us, son or nephew, will be the answer. So many things with this disease is a total surprise until it happens. I have felt I have been prepared for just about anything, but this is the first time as caregiver for a man. However, not to say women are any easier!!

Now the next step will be to try and get him to use a walker. In the past, if I say, "The Doctor said so" I have gotten him to go along with some things with just a small fuss. I am going to the store that specializes in walkers on my own in a few days and hope to find two that would be good for him. Bring him there the next day and see if he will choose between 1 or 2. He loves to choose colors he wears so hope the color will be a help. If he doesn't select he knows I will select what is best, even with his fuss.

He likes to walk behind a grocery cart so I will call it his personal cart, rather then walker. My best to all of you. Keep smiling.
Helpful Answer (5)
lealonnie1 Jan 2020
Medicare does pay for 1 appliance every 5 years; either a walker or a wheelchair. Just wanted to put that out there
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Hi Marylepete, I agree with a Grandma. Take him right into the ladies room if you can without upsetting him. This would allow you and him to still go out together when your son was not available. Also, a walker with a seat has the basket area beneath the seat so really can be called a cart. Best of luck and a hug for caring for your Mom and now your husband. You are a real gem.
Helpful Answer (5)

This is a easy answer ! I did this for my wonderful husband who had Parkinson's and dementia . I would make sure the Women's restroom was clear and got permission to take him with me and help him in the handicapped side and we handled the issues and moved on and enjoyed our outing. We did this for years and it all worked until his health really failed and I no longer could handle him .
Helpful Answer (5)

When my aunt fell and ended up in the hospital, she was diagnosed with dementia and I found out that I was her POA.

Other than visiting, we hadn't ever lived together before. She wasn't content entertaining herself or watching tv, so I kept her busy out shopping, going to movies and eating at restaurants. Naturally, this necessitated sometimes using the bathrooms.

She thought herself completely capable and wanted to be in the bathrooms by herself, even though she couldn't be. I just acted really matter of fact, walked right with her into the handicapped stall and said, "I have to go to, so we might as well do it together. Here, we'll go in this bigger room made for 2 people." It worked. And after a while, I didn't even have to say that anymore.

It probably was a little simpler with us going into the ladies room because we were both "girls", but with you accompanying/leading your husband, I know folks will be understanding about that.
Helpful Answer (4)

My husband has Parkinson's, dementia and is clinically blind. However, he still likes to go out to eat occasionally. We usually do a late breakfast, late lunch or early dinner - so minimal people are in the restaurant.

When he use to be able to walk (he is now in a wheelchair), I had a little business size card - that I could pull out of my pocket that read --
"My companion has a medical condition that affects walking and speech. Your patience is appreciated."
I could discretely show the card to someone - or hand it to a server (they were always willing to give us more time). You could customize your own phrase.

At most public facilities (office buildings / retail environment / even some medical buildings) - not just restaurants - it is an issue.

I've contacted governmental agencies and have asked other aging institutions, as well as caregivers - what they do. No one seems to have a great solution.

I do what AZPrincess does, but take it one step further. I open the door and yell - housekeeping. If there is no answer (bathroom is empty) - I have a typed sign in my purse and a little roll of tape. I put the sign on the outside of the door (with permission if there is someone to give it or without permission - if I can't find any one) - that reads something like -

Temporarily Closed
Will reopen in ten minutes.
(It's typed and looks fairly official - or at least we are giving warning...)

If someone walks in, they are just going to have to understand. I find it easier as a woman - to use the woman's restroom than the men's restroom. Women generally have a little more compassion than men. And, women are behind the stall doors - where as men are sometimes using the urinals.

None of the above or below are ideal situations, but we try to make the best of it.

Looking forward to reading additional suggestions.
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