• September 11, 2008 at 4:17 am

    I am brand new here, and want to help my dad solve a problem he’s having with my mom (age 77, diagnosed with AD a few years ago, but has had it much longer). She has recently developed a habit of constantly going to the bathroom. This can be 10 times in a few minutes, and it continues throughout the day. (Yes, I am glad she is not incontinent, but they live in a one bathroom home…poor Dad can’t even get a turn in the bathroom without her knocking on the door! Also their water bill from constant flushing is astronomical.)

    I thought at first that the Aricept was causing diarrhea, but now I believe it’s just an obsessive/compulsive type of behavior. The doctor can’t treat her for anything because she denies that she does this (not to mention the battle that ensues when going to the doctor is on the agenda).

    Any ideas to sort of snap her out of this behavior? Has anyone experienced this? Thanks so much.

  • September 12, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Amy,
    That is a difficult problem. Try contacting her doctor discretely and see what his suggestions are. Sometimes people with UTI’s (urinary tract infection) feel as if they need to go to the bathroom. You might try shutting off the water valve to the toilet, that would at least save some water. Then her husband could turn it back on and flush it only when needed. Find an Alzheimer’s specialist in the area and see what recommendations he/she might have. I hope this helps.


  • September 16, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    My husband has the same problem. He had kidney failure 4 years ago and I just blamed it on that. I took him to the doctor 4 years ago and he thought it was a bladder infection and put him on sulpha drugs. Turns out it was a UTF but by that time the kidneys had shut down and he was on dialysis for 14 treatments. He was allergic to the sulpha drugs. After the 14 treatments I refused to let them give him any more. For some reason, he fought it all the way. I wouldn’t advise anyone else to quit dialysis on their own, but for him it worked out okay. His kidneys will never be normal but they’re functioning ok on a special diet.
    Sorry to ramble on, I guess the point is, maybe have her kidneys checked and make sure there is no problem there.

  • September 20, 2008 at 4:11 am

    Thank you. A couple of days after I posted this, my Dad called to see if I could come and get my mother. Their sewer was backing up in the basement, a result of mom flushing down a roll a day or more! Nobody would ever call my Dad a saint, but living like this is hell. The worst part is that she detests him now (and can’t wait until she “moves out” — not sure where she thinks she’s going, but she’s ready to go!)

    (And now he’s been diagnosed with cancer, starting chemo and radiation next week. I don’t know what we’re going to do!!!)
    But thanks for your help and insight.