1. MoodyC

    MoodyC Registered User

    Sep 22, 2018
    31
    Hello all, I am looking for some ideas about managing a few toilet problems.
    Firstly, My husband appears to be really anxious about entering the bathroom, especially when he knows it's for a poo. Sometimes he begins to have what looks like a panic attack with rapid breathing and telling me not to make him do it. He also insists on taking all his clothes off to do it. Sometimes I can get him to settle and sit but this evening he paced the house in his vest, complaining he was cold and then getting very cross if I even half suggested that he tried sitting on the loo. In the end I backed off and after an hour he got himself dressed without 'going'. He has begun to refuse a shower - only in the past two days but I have a feeling that we're now going into the next phase and battle lines are being firmly drawn.

    The second problem is random urinating around the house. Mostly at night but sometimes during the day. At night I close all the doors and open the toilet door, right opposite the bedroom so that he can't miss it. I also leave a light on in the hall. (we live in a bungalow) and have placed a commode there so that he has another option. After he has done it, he denies it was him and it's difficult to move him when he's in full flow.

    Any thoughts on these problems would be gratefully received. xx
     
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,672
    Female
    Scotland
    With this level of anxiety I think appropriate medication is needed. He needs something to calm him down and make him more willing to be taken to the toilet. You certainly can’t continue like that. Talk to his GP or CPN if he has one.
     
  3. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    4,998
    Female
    Chester
    Has he got any discomfort when 'going' slightly hard stools or slight piles? Lots of fruit and prune juice might help if this is an issue, although once they get fixated on things it is difficult to change the fixation.
     
  4. Dosey

    Dosey Registered User

    Nov 27, 2017
    94
    Hi Moodyc
    My husband has early onset Alzheimer's diagnosed 7 years ago at age 55. About 7 months ago he got really stressed about using the toilet started to refuse to pee in it. Like your OH he started to pee all over the house. Got really stress when I took him into the toilet. Next stage was the poo, refused to sit on the toilet, held it in for a week at a time despite giving him medication every night. The longest he held it was 13 days which was extremely worrying. He also started to refuse showers never wore pjs for 6 months slept in his clothes, sometimes he had same clothes on for 3 days.
    Sorry I don't have any useful answers, this was just the next stage of his illness.
    OH went into residential care on 2nd April this year. He is now showering daily. Sleeping in his pjs, going to the toilet and settling in well. He is sadly deteriorating daily, but is needing 24/7 care which I could no longer provide on my own. The staff are really kind and he appears happy in his new environment.
    Hopefully you can get some answers and support on here.
    Rose x
     
  5. MoodyC

    MoodyC Registered User

    Sep 22, 2018
    31
    Thank you all for your advice. It really helps.
    This has been building up for a while . He is getting over a UTI and is finishing antibiotics at the moment but there has been needing a lot of reassurance for some time.
    He has Laxido everyday either once or twice depending on need and a good diet of fruit and veg.with plenty of water.
    Most of the 46 years we’ve been married doing a poo has been an issue with constipation being the root cause. He blames his mother for the current problem! So it feels like an engrained problem and something from way back.
    Mariong, he was prescribed Lorazepam last week for violent outbursts, due to the uti but I’ve been advised not to give it to him too much only when the anxiety is really heightened but in my view he can switch so quickly that I would never get a tablet down him in time.

    You have to wonder if I should begin to wear a uniform and look like a care home member of staff....... it might help if he knew it wasn’t me!
    Wishing you all the very best.xx
     
  6. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,672
    Female
    Scotland
     
  7. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    3,401
    south-east London
    My husband also reached the stage where he was anxious about using the toilet. We already had support rails and a red toilet seat installed, which had helped initially, but as his spatial awareness worsened, I had to get a raised toilet seat because he lost confidence in how far he had to bend in order to sit.

    We had a problem with weeing in various locations (usually in the bedroom) too. Trying to manoeuvre him to the toilet just wasn't working, he would stand rigid rather than move. My solution was to buy portable urinals (a specially shaped plastic bottle). The moment I heard him getting up at night (we slept in same bed so it wasn't difficult) I would be at his bedside, bottle to hand, and all he had to do was wee while I held the urinal in place.

    I ended up with one upstairs, one down stairs and one which could fit into my bag if we were away from home. They were a huge help, and even saved a lot of work on the rare occasion when I missed the signs that he was about to wee - at least I could get the bottle in place and catch most of it - even if he was mid-flow!

    Having a poo and trying not to poo started to become a problem too. There were days when he as unable to manoeuvre to sit on the raised toilet or a commode, the whole process frightened him, no matter how calm I tried to keep the situation. This was when I started to introduce pull-ups. I continued using the portable urinal because he still recognised the urge to wee, but the pull-ups were the only solution I found as far as coping with bowel motions went. Fortunately this was during the very late stages for him so he had no self-consciousness about using pull-ups at that point, he just regarded them as ordinary underwear.

    Showering had also became a problem too, not because he didn't want to be clean, but because he was frightened of manoeuvring due to the poor spatial awareness. We went from daily showers to a thorough wash down at the sink each day - with an occasional shower thrown in on days when he felt up to it. I gave up trying to give him a shower in the morning or evening - as he was more often at his best during the middle of the day, that is when I would take the opportunity.

    As for hair-washing, I swapped to 'no water shampoos ' . This is a lotion you massage into the hair and then dry off with a towel, leaving the hair clean and fresh. It was preferable to causing him anxiety through washing hair at the sink or shower. He just sat in his chair and relaxed watching the tv while I did the necessaries :)
     
  8. MoodyC

    MoodyC Registered User

    Sep 22, 2018
    31
    Hello Lynne,
    Sorry for the delay in replying and thank you very much for all your tips. I will get some urinals so that he can hopefully get used to using one. Trouble is, I now sleep in the spare room because he sometimes doesn't see me but a stranger and therefor isn't comfortable about sleeping with this stranger. I have now got used to it and find that I get a bit more sleep but am usually aware of him moving around at night. I have a low light in his room and the hall light on so that he doesn't step out into darkness.

    I think we are near to needing a higher loo seat too. But your descriptions of anxiety and spatial awareness describe my OH. As he steps into the bathroom, he becomes hesitant and then the panic becomes obvious. I did wonder whether it's something to do with the change of flooring. He refuses to change into PJ's so have given up on that one and so far, apart from a couple of days in the past week, he has been willing to shower. I feel like I am on borrowed time with that though.

    It's such a changing picture, isn't it? And just as you sort one problem, another arrives.
    Thank you and very best wishes. xx
     

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