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Alzheimer`s Disease/fearfulnes when toileting


Hello and thanks for considering this question. My mom is 71 and is struggling when using the toilet. She is very scared to sit down on the toilet. I suspect that when we don't help her in the bathroom she urinates on the floor so she doesn't have to sit down. Is there anything we can do to help her be less fearful? She has lost her perception of her positioning so turning around to sit on the toilet gives her great anxiety as evidenced by heavy breathing, stiffening up, calling herself a "dumb-dumb," and landing off center of the toilet. Would a moveable commode work better? We could get it behind her with less movements and maybe less anxiety?

Hi Daphne
I would absolutely try using a commode. There is no rhyme or reason to some of the behaviors that they develop so anything you can devise to make life easier for her is absolutely worth trying. You definitely don't want her feeling like a dumb dumb! If she questions why you are using this new one try to answer her with a response that won't be about her. Tell her you are fixing the other toilet or whatever. This will help to make her think its not because she is a dumb dumb that you had to go buy her a special toilet. I hope this works for both of you.

Good luck and stay strong. Make time for yourself!

Alzheimer`s Disease

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Paula Damgaard


I can offer families and caregivers non-diagnostic answers to questions regarding the disease. I travel around the state giving courses on Alzheimer`s disease for nurses and CNA`s.


Past/Present clients
I have coordinated Alzheimer's Clinical drug trials since 1987. I have coordinated the Memory Disorders Clinic since it's inception 1994. I also have personnal experience from caring for my mother who died of AD 5/2000 and presently from caring for my mother in law who was diagnosed in March 2000.

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