Urgent calls of nature at inconvenient times

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Roobells32, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. Roobells32

    Roobells32 New member

    Oct 21, 2019
    Hi all, my mother has Alzheimer's. She was diagnosed two years ago but was showing signs for a long while before that. She is in her mid sixties and is otherwise very healthy and robust. Things were really hard at first but we have learned gradually how to handle the challenges, and lately she seems pretty happy and relaxed (most of the time).

    An issue we are struggle to resolve relates to her continence when out and about. She is fine using the toilet etc at home (although encouraging her to shower can be tricky). When out and about in urban areas it is generally easy enough to find one she can use. But the problem we are having happens in parks and rural areas. We always try to use the loos whenever we see one, or ask her if she needs to go, or I go and ask if she wants to come with me. But she gets very sudden and extremely urgent call of nature at the most inconvenient moments on our walks, usually in an open space with no bushes to hide in, and with people around. On several occasions this has led her to just pull down her pants and urinate in public, while I try to hide her with my coat. Obviously this is pretty uncomfortable and I don't want strangers to see my mum like that. She also doesn't really squat properly so it usually goes all down her legs etc. A couple of times she has also soiled herself on walks.

    These incidents are pretty upsetting to everyone involved, but especially to her. It is really difficult to try to balance protecting her privacy and pride and dignity with the need to also ensure her hygiene and health. It is also incredibly stressful to go from leisurely walk to sudden dire emergency and seeing her panicking like that is very difficult. We tried incontinence pads last year but she baulked somewhat at the idea, understandably. I've also suggested seeing her GP would help but she doesn't think there is really a problem. Has anyone had any similar issues or does anyone have any advice or tips for how we can handle this better and help her?
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    I remember this phase with mum when she was beginning to lose continence and not realising that she needed to go till the last second. It did actually become easier when she totally lost continence. Obviously, she didnt remember the the sudden angst of desperately needing the loo, so she didnt like wearing incontinence products, but we had to insist. She did find the pull-up pants more acceptable than pads, so you might have more luck with them.
  3. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    I agree with Canary, I think you need to insist on continence products. She doesn't have to use them all the time, just in situations where you are not likely to be able to find a loo quickly. You're already doing everything else you can - prompting, offering frequent opportunities to use the loo - so continence products are the only answer if you want to continue those trips.
  4. Roobells32

    Roobells32 New member

    Oct 21, 2019
    Thanks so much both of you for replying! I agree that incontinence products are going to have to be the way forward. It was tricky yesterday because she suddenly needed a wee and the path was too open and busy and she got quite angry with us about it. Then we got to a quieter part of the path with bushes and I said quick let's hide in the bushes for a wee, and she was very annoyed and insisted she didn't need it anymore and had already been, only to need it very very urgently again as soon as we got to another open and busy bit!

    The really difficult part is she is very proud and formidable and thinks of herself as the boss of all of us, so any attempt to insist on anything does NOT go down well! But I think with some conspiring and planning we will find a way to resolve this without upsetting her pride. Thanks so much for your advice!
  5. greensox

    greensox Registered User

    May 18, 2017
    My OH started in the same manner, very sudden need to empty bladder and by the time we found a loo it was very often too late. I tried the men's pads but they were not holding the urine properly and he ended up wet and we had to carry a change of clothes everywhere. I found myself very anxious when this happened and I am sure my anxiety had a bad effect on him. Our daughter said he needs a bigger pad so when I finally tried him in pull ups it was a revalation. We started with the pull ups when going out but are now using them 24 hours. They are sometimes dry and sometimes we go through quite a few but I am now in a better place. It means we can still have a social life and he has totally accepted them. I started off calling them his 'going out pants' and he started calling the night ones his 'going to bed pants.
  6. Lirene

    Lirene Registered User

    Sep 15, 2019
    My husband is in hospital and has a catheter fitted. However, most times he doesn’t understand that he has this fitted and keeps calling out to urinate. Even when explained he doesn’t understand. It is a difficult call to tell someone there is something in place and they can just urinate, but good luck xx

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