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My mom is 87 and really struggling in the bathroom. We moved her to assisted living about 6 months ago. She immediately started throwing her toilet paper in the trash can. Now she can't remember to flush the toilet.


This really came to a head when we visited her this afternoon with our 2 kids. She was very upset about everything that has been going on and that nobody can give her any answers. She is not sure what is wrong, what questions she needs answered and who won't answer her question. Just wanted us to go do what we needed to do and leave her in her room. Not how you want your kids to remember their grandma.

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If the kids are not too young, the assisted living facility must have several big rooms, or a garden room where you can leave them, and bring grandma out to them for their visit.
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What you want your kids to remember is how you treated your mom in the twilight of her life. If they don't know their gram by now, the only gram they're going to know is the one addled and confused in old age. Hopefully, you've had a great relationship with her and with your children well before now.

Have her checked for a urinary tract infection which can mimic or exacerbate dementia. If this is a sudden confusion, see if she's just recently added any new medications. Re-evaluate, with the ALF to see if she's where she belongs...assisted living versus a higher skilled facility.

If the ALF says they can manage her, then I'm not sure what else you could do other than to visit and love her.

When mom asks questions that seem obvious to you, be patient, answer them and tell her that her mind t's playing tricks on her because of her medication. Just an idea . . . That worked for my mom.

Good luck.
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I remember when a good friend of mine complained to me that her mom was putting the TP in the trash instead of flushing it, and that she would often find things in odd places in the home they shared, cheese in the cutlery drawer, for example. Despite that she was floored when an evaluation showed her mom had fairly advanced dementia and couldn't be left on her own anymore. They recommended a nursing home at that time. Perhaps your mom needs a greater level of care than the assistive living you have chosen can give her. Have you discussed your concerns with the staff?
As for building memories for the grandkids, she can't help the way she behaves because her brain is broken...kind of like telling someone with a broken ankle to stop limping! You will need to adapt to her new reality. Plan to keep visits short, is there a certain time of day when she does better? Perhaps take part in activities offered by the assistive living, or share a meal with her.
I had my family gather over the weekend and although they are all now adults I was saddened to be reminded that they would never really get to know their grandmother as she once was.
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I'm having the same problem with mom about putting her toilet tissue in the trash can when she doesn't try to 'save it and use it again'.....ugg....she also seems to forget why she is sitting on the potty and sometime she refuses to go because she doesn't want 'to mess up the place'......dementia is cruel.
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Maybe you should make some time to have a meeting with the staff who assist her. Sounds like she's losing a little ground. Plus, she's only been at this assisted living place for short while. When we moved my folks to independent living, my Mom was great - very positive, very complimentary,,,,but that changed. After about 6 months, it was the worst place on earth & nothing was right. As an example...she decided that she was so awfully ugly & scary looking that she hated to look in the mirror.....and she wasn't like that BEFORE they moved to their independent living apartment. LOL. I told Ma that the lighting was better at the apartment.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that maybe Mom is having some adjustment problems coupled with the fact that her dementia might be getting a little worse. It happens. It takes a lot of patience, a lot of talking and a lot of repetition to bring her to some level of peace. Maybe some reminder signs in the bathroom? The staff there (who've probably seen it before) can help with ideas & suggestions.

And don't worry about the kids. Trust me - the kids will remember the grandma who used to let them snuggle in her lap when she read stories to them - that memory gives them compassion for the confused, scared lady she is right now.
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