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I'm frustrated beyond belief. My mom is in ASL and is just recovering from a broken leg. She is beginning to walk with the help of PT and is fully capable of getting herself in/out of wheelchair. The source of my frustration is that she will ask to use a bed pan even though she is fully capable of using the toilet. It is more work for her to get in the bed and then on a bed pan than just to get on the toilet. She will even ask at the doctor's office to be put on a bed pan instead of going to the toilet. We have had to put a stop to her asking the ASL staff to sit with her while she uses the toilet and explained to her that they had others to take care of. She thinks it is "normal" to use the bathroom in front of company. I'm completely confused as to why she is now obsessed with using a bed pan and can't make sense of it. The ASL staff and I have agreed that it is no longer an option for her and they have stopped allowing her to use it. Has anyone else ever experienced this??

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I always get a little skeptical when people suggest "it is for the attention" Doesn't that just beg the question "why does she need the attention so much that she is willing to do this?" There is something wrong here, whether she is desperate for attention or not.

The facility she is in is temporary, until her leg heals, right? Will she be going home, or to a more permanent facility? Does she live alone?

While she is a captive audience, so to speak, would you consider having her mental health evaluated, perhaps by a geriatric psychiatrist? If she is experiencing cognitive decline it would be good to know that before she is discharged.

If others feel uncomfortable while she is using the toilet or bedpan, can't they just step out until she is done? (I certainly would!) Has the staff actually complained about the extra time the bedpan takes them? In other words, is this a problem for Mother or for Others?

I really hope you will take advantage of the situation to have her mental health evaluated.
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I have tried to talk with her about how going to the bathroom is private and she should not do it in front of others. We've also discussed the bed pan. She says that I am the only one who has an issue with her using the bathroom in front of them and that the bed pan is just easier for her. She doesn't understand that others feel uncomfortable when she uses the bathroom in front of them and I've tried to explain it to her. Also, it has to be much more difficult to get in the bed and then on a bed pan as opposed to simply sitting on the toilet. There have been no traumatic events involving the toilet and she has a toilet seat that sits up higher for her and has handles. My family feels it is for attention and I'm tending to agree with them but that's not the attention I would be seeking.
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I don't think mom's nursing home even has bedpans, you are either using the toilet or you are wearing disposables.
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Does your mom possibly have any other symptoms associated with dementia? Is her behavior "odd" in other ways?

There is probably a reason for this obsession, but Mom may not know the reason herself. And you may never discover it. But have you attempted to have a calm talk about it?

Do you think it is really an obsession with the bedpan or could it be a fear of the toilet? Did she maybe read or watch a news show where a storm drove snakes into toilets? Has she had a toilet overflow, or hear about that happening elsewhere in the building? Did she break her leg in a bathroom? Any scary or unpleasant toilet stories? There may not be a "logical" reason, but if there is one and you can find it out it may help you come up with a plan.

Before she broke her leg, was there any problem with her use of the bathroom?
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kelchu, I wonder if this is a generation thing. My Mom [in her 90's] was also a bedpan user. I think maybe back when she was in the hospital, in her much younger days, hospital had patients remain in bed for days, thus weren't allowed to get up and walk to the bathroom.... therefore, only the bedpan could be used. Thus, the elders think that is how it is today.

Believe me, I would get myself to the bathroom even if I had to crawl then try to wiggle myself onto one of the bedpans :P
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