Scared of using the Toilet.

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Chewy, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. Chewy

    Chewy Registered User

    Feb 4, 2013
    31
    Hi , I look after my dad who has been diagnosed for 4 years now. My mum is 83 years old and wants to continue looking after dad at home but it's getting harder and harder. At the moment he just refuses to sit on the toilet as if he is frightened of it , we have so many arguments and he gets very aggressive towards mum or me but he eventually sits down but it's taken so much time and abuse. Thinking of buying a raised toilet seat with grab handles , has anyone experienced this kind of problem. We give him Lactulose but it doesn't really help any ideas people ?? Thanks in advance.


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  2. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    2,852
    England
    #2 Katrine, Feb 2, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
    The simplest thing you could try today is to warm the room, and the toilet seat itself, if you can find a way to do that! He may be ultra sensitive to the cold.

    Has your dad been examined by the GP to check whether there is a physical problem causing him pain? It could be an impaction as you first thought, but could also include back pain or muscle problems that make the action of sitting down on the toilet painful.

    I would recommend that you ask for an urgent OT (Occupational Therapist) assessment via your dad's GP. You could get from them a portable toilet seat frame on loan to try out.

    It is also possible to get a wheeled commode that can either be used with bowl in place, or without bowl positioned directly over the toilet. If your dad is still frightened of the toilet when he uses a frame with arms he might be less frightened if the commode bowl is in place and he can't see the toilet bowl.

    Many people with dementia develop a fear of water and a distorted sense of distance. Small children can be fearful of the toilet because they think they will fall in and be flushed away. It's hard to say whether your dad is frightened of the toilet because he is unsteady and might fall, or he thinks it will swallow him up, or because he can no longer 'see it' because it is white (a red toilet seat can help with this), or whether he has a fear of letting go of his poo (again this is a fear some children have because they think they are losing part of their body, not a waste product that won't harm them if it comes out).

    Lots of suggestions, I hope it has given you more ideas. Very best of luck.
     
  3. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    1,539
    Female
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    #3 Linbrusco, Feb 2, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
    Mum gets quite distressed when she has too many bowel motions, and has a fear of being locked in. For this reason, she doesn't sit on the loo long enough, which means she goes back to the loo several times. It's a vicious circle.
    She is at a moderate stage of AD, so is still OK going to the loo without help, but if she has loose bowel motions or diarreah she immediately thinks something is wrong with her, so Lactulose is a last resort if she gets constipated.
    She had bowel surgery 2 years ago for early stage bowel cancer.

    Hoping you can get some outside help on this one. It must be so frustrating.
     
  4. Chewy

    Chewy Registered User

    Feb 4, 2013
    31
    Thanks everyone for your kind advice , it's been really helpful to share my problems with other people in the same situation as myself , I will be making a trip to B & Q first thing tomorrow for a new toilet seat brightly coloured.


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  5. Corriefan

    Corriefan Registered User

    Dec 30, 2012
    99
    Hi Chewy. Katrine's advice is very good. My mum was very similar. She was afraid of lowering herself onto the toilet even though we had grab handles. I think a raised toilet seat will help a lot.
     

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