Seniors with dementia tend to have difficulty using the toilet as they advance through the final stages of the disease. Your aging loved one may have incontinence due to forgetting to go to the restroom or have difficulty remembering what to do with toilet paper after wiping. These four toileting tips can help you get through the most common challenges caregivers encounter with helping their loved ones use the restroom once dementia becomes severe.
1. Set Up a Safe Bathroom
The cognitive changes caused by dementia can make seniors do things that aren’t safe in the restroom. For instance, your loved one may accidentally lock him or herself inside and be unable to get out. If your loved one lives alone, consider removing the bathroom door locks. At the very least, you can get one with a key you can make accessible to you and the other caregivers. While you’re increasing bathroom safety, consider covering the hot water handle on the faucet with a cup or another object to make it less likely that your loved one will be burned. You can also adjust the hot water settings on the heater to further reduce the risk of burns.
Older adults with dementia tend to maintain a higher quality of life when cared for at home. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Westport home care service agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
2. Make the Bathroom Easy to Identify
It’s common for seniors with dementia have difficulty locating the bathroom. When possible, try to choose a bathroom close to your loved one’s bedroom as the primary place to use the toilet. You can also do things such as put a sign of a toilet on the door to help your loved one understand where to go. Other caregivers have also had success with painting the bathroom door a different color from the rest of the doors in the house. For men, you may want to make the toilet more obvious in the restroom. For instance, adding color to the water differentiates the right place to urinate from the outer part of the toilet.
3. Remove Confusing Objects
Bathroom mirrors can be especially troublesome to seniors with dementia who may think the image they see is another person in the room. If your loved one hesitates to go in the restroom, consider covering up the mirror. He or she may also mistake planters or other items for the toilet. Alternatively, he or she might use a bath towel to wipe with instead of toilet paper if it’s nearby. Take a good look around the restroom to find any objects your loved one doesn’t need every day. Then, remove them to prevent confusion.
Dementia is just one of the many health issues that are common among aging adults. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care Westport, CT, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
4. Use Reminders and Timing to Reduce Accidents
Incontinence is uncomfortable, and you naturally prefer for your loved one to make it to the toilet. Try setting an alarm to remind yourself to ask your loved one if he or she needs to use the restroom. Your loved one may need to be asked every two to four hours. However, you may also notice a pattern in his or her toileting habits, such as needing to go after a certain amount of time following meals.
Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Westport, CT, families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life. For more information on our premier dementia home care, call 203-955-1915 today.