What's causing Mom's urination hesitation?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 01, 2016
Littlebitluny1 asked...

The last few days when we get my mother in law to the bedside commode, she starts screaming that she does not want to pee over and over again as soon as she sits down, even if she hasn't used the bathroom in 6 or 8 hours. She will even say she is finished and there is nothing there.

We have just tried ignoring the outbursts and she will, within a little bit, actually use the bathroom. She doesn't have a bladder infection or any medical problems in that area. She has had problems with incontinence over the last few years but she would always use the commode when she is on it. The only time she really gets upset is when she has a bowel accident. She gets really mad at me for putting it there. I just apologize and tell her I didn't know she would be using those pants. It usually helps her get over the mad spell long enough for me to clean her up.

I just do not know what to do about the latest tantrums. Is it a sign or symptom of the Alzheimer's? We have had her checked and it isn't due to a medical problem. Any ideas or suggestions?

Expert Answers

As Founder and Director of Circles of Care, Ann Cason provides caregiving, consulting, and training services to individuals and public and private organizations involved in eldercare. She is the author of Circles of Care: How to Set Up Quality Home Care for Our Elders.

You will have to develop extreme patience with this stage of your mother-in-law's care. If it is not medical, you may never know what is causing the conditon of urination hesitation.

Something is clenching up!

How can you help you mother-in-law relax so that she won't feel embarassed if she has an accident and so her urine can flow. She holds on and later lets go. What is causing her to tighten up.

It might be something simple. Where is the commode? Is it private? When she sits on it what does she look at? Can she see out the window or look at a picture that is pleasing? Or what about touch? Is there something to hold while she sits on the cammode:a soft cloth or a soft little stuffed animal or a smoothe stone. Some people relax more when they are surrounded by favorite colors. You could try colored light bulbs or hand towels or wrapping her in a colored shawl. If her hearing is good, music might be nice or one of those little fountains that give the sound of flowing water.

Also, she might be clenched up by fear of her condition. You might talk with her. Acknowledge her illness, but assure her that she can still have some enjoyments? What would it be for her? Can someone in the family take her for a drive? Could someone take her out for an appointment; then stop at a drive-in for a hot fudge sundae? Think of some activity that might be relaxing for her---and for you.

Try to get the support you need to stay patient. Though temporary, this is a very difficult period in the tender care you are giving to your husband's mother.