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CARENOTES | Past Carenotes | Let's Talk

Carenotes

Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 11/29/11
Help! My mom has lived with me for eight years. She has "severe dementia" now. In the past three weeks, she has started going to the bathroom (urinating and bowel moving) at least 25 times a day. She has a lot of bowel accidents and it makes a huge mess several times a day. We use incontinence underwear. Mom is blind in one eye and can't see well in the other eye. She can't hear well, but can hear. We have to scrub her hands with a brush after every bowel movement if she gets there before I do. I AM COMPLETELY WORN OUT. Is it normal for "severe dementia" patients to go to the bathroom 25 times a day?

 

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Name:
Location:
Date: 12/02/2011
Time: 06:43 AM

Comments

Sometimes with severe dementia yes they get an obsession with going to the bathroom,sometimes its boredom. Trying to keep them busy with something else might help. Folding the laundry drying dishes,putting away silverware. sorting buttons. Try to keep her hands and mind busy.


Name: tj
Location: wv
Date: 12/01/2011
Time: 01:07 PM

Comments

Contact your mother's physician and make an appointment, there may be something else going on with her. Keep track of what she is eating & drinking and how much, is she able to eat 'regular' food or does she have ground meats or pureed foods, her physician may want to know. also keep a log of when she has an accident, is it after she eats a certain food or takes a certain medication? I am sure this is a difficult time for you, it is not an easy job to be a caregiver. Check into adult medical day care programs, senior care programs and with your local area agency on aging for assistance. Your mother may not be able to tell you, but if she could she would thank you for your efforts. I've been a caregiver so I know how demanding it can be. You need to find ways to take care of you or you won't be able to care for her. I wish you luck, hopefully you will be to locate services that will give you a break.


Name: Janet
Location: Florida
Date: 11/30/2011
Time: 12:03 PM

Comments

We had a box of gloves next to the toilet, when she went to the toilet I would put gloves on her. It really saved on the mess and being safe too. I would check for a UTI. I hope this helps and remember to take care of yourself!


Name: JC
Location: So. CA
Date: 11/29/2011
Time: 10:17 PM

Comments

My wife, during the past 9 years, has gone to the bathroom at least 40 times daily. So going out anywhere is difficult. She use to have the same "messy" problem but I found that if I have her go every 20 minutes that really lessens the chance of having to cleanup. My problem is when she is sleepy or tired, she won't make it in time.


Name: Sandi
Location: North Dakota
Date: 11/29/2011
Time: 10:14 AM

Comments

So many more questions for you! How long has this been going on? What are her medications? Is she on a stool softener, eating only soft diet or fluids only? does she have an infection??? IT is past time for getting her into be seen by a medical provider to find out. Would you want a brush scrubbed on your hands? Think hard about it. I do know how messy this can be, but a good washcloth and soap is much kinder than a scrub brush is!! No one HAS to have their hands scrubbed! Voiding so often is sign of another issue. It it time to get her in to find out.


Name: Michelle
Location: Fairfax VA
Date: 11/29/2011
Time: 07:50 AM

Comments

I would definitely have her see the doctor ASAP. I'm not a nurse, but a social worker but her are my concerns. Some dementia medications can result in loose bowels. Sometime what seems like loose bowels is actually constipation and only the liquid getting past. She could have urinary tract infection, or even something serious as a C. Diff. infection (condition occuring when there is over use of antibiotics and good flora are lost) which can cause explosive bowel movements.The doctor can check all these possibiite and more. If the doctor finds no medical reason, then your next approach is symptom and behavior management. Try to go with her to the bathroom to intercept "messes' that involve her touching it. You may also need to change style of incontinent products. There are nurses that specialize in this situation so don't hesitate to ask for a consultation if you need one.I have had contact with NAFC.org (Nat'l Assoc for Continence) and they have recommended speakers for my caregiver education outreach. Perhaps they might be of assistance as well.


Name:
Location:
Date: 11/29/2011
Time: 06:13 AM

Comments

THERE ARE ALSO LARGE TENA PADS TO GO INSIDE THE REGULAR ADULT BRIEFS TO CATCH SOME OVERFLOW. MAKE SURE HER FINGERNAILS ARE TRIMMED SHORT- EASIER TO CLEAN. YES, REGULAR HABITS CAN GO INTO OVERDRIVE. HAVE CLEANING SUPPLIES AND EXTRA CLEAN CLOTHING READILY AVAILABLE, AS WELL AS FABRIC AND AIR NEUTRALIZER SPRAY. PADS ON HER CHAIRS, IN HER BED, AND ANYWHERE ELSE SHE SITS. MANY TIMES YOU CAN'T INSTRUCT DIMENTIA PATIENTS. BUT YOU CAN DOUBLE TEAM THEM, AND BE READY FOR QUICK CLEANUP. YOU YOURSELF NEED AS MUCH SLEEP AS POSSIBLE TO CONTINUE TO CARE FOR SOMEONE THIS CHALLENGING. TRY TO GET UP EVERY DAY THE BEST ARMED YOU CAN TO HANDLE WHAT YOU KNOW WILL BE COMING. GET SUPPLIES READY AND CLOSE BY. EMPTY GARBAGE FREQUENTLY.CONSIDER HOSPICE, WHICH WILL GIVE YOU HELP WITH BATHS AND RESPITE VOLUNTEERS. MANY PEOPLE DON'T KNOW THAT THESE ADVANCED CASES QUALIFY FOR HOSPICE. CONTACT A HOSPICE ORGANIZATION IN YOUR AREA. HANG IN THERE...


 


 







 

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