Originally Posted by campergal
I guess my question is -- the apathy regarding the toileting is really odd. Has anyone run across this before? Is it symptomatic of Alzheimers or another dementia? Suggestions?
Since I don't know her diagnosis yet and have no idea about her stage and other medical conditions in details, I cannot really say for sure what is going on with her.
However, I can tell you this toilet thing is very very common with the person with dementia. I don't know if her incontinence is due to other conditions or not, usually incontinence due to Alzheimer's happen in stage 6 (there are 7 clinical stages.)
Apathy is typical for a person with dementia.
First of all, the person will forget why she needs to wash her hands. Then she will be afraid of water temp. and she will stop using water unless the caregiver reminds her or make her wash her hands. Usually it is more about water when it comes to the toilet or shower. In your Mom's case, perhaps she has the adult diaper anyway (Does she?) so she does not need to worry about going to the toilet. And thus the apathy. She won't wash her hands if it is dementia.
My FIL has stage 7 Alzheimer's but he still wants to go to the toilet because he does not want to wet his diaper and he thinks they are underwears, not diapers. But he won't wash his hands. He is afraid of showers so he only has
a shower per week given by the caregiver. They do sponge bath on him twice everyday.
It is very obvious the person would not know how to go to the toilet or bathroom unless you guide her. Once my FIL thought the toilet in his house had something funny about water overflow (it was a bad old toilet) and thus he peed in the sink instead once!!!
The caregiver had to clean the old sink with the chemical stuff.
All in all, the person with dementia needs to be reprogrammed about going to the bathroom or toilet. The reason is that they forgot what is like to go to the toilet now. Also they are afraid of water as I mentioned above.
Also some people are afraid of mirrors in the bathroom - they hate to look at themselves thinking it is someone else.
My FIL is better now because the caregivers tried to show him the right way.
He is now in a residential home.
Probably your Mom is used to incontinence and does not feel she needs to go to the toilet given the adult diapers.
Everyone reacts differently when it comes to dementia so she may have some different habits.
I am thinking maybe she feels it is too much trouble to go to the toilet. It may also be other type of dementia. I am not clear about other types.
I cannot say for sure this is dementia because she needs to be diagnosed first.