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4 Tips for Helping a Loved One with Dementia Use the Bathroom

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Seniors with dementia may have a difficult time using the toilet as the disease progresses. They may not be able to express that they need to use the restroom, get on and off of the toilet independently, or perform hygiene tasks. Here are some tips to help a senior loved one with dementia use the toilet safely.

1. Make the Bathroom Easy to Identify

It can be difficult for seniors with dementia to tell different rooms apart, especially during the evening and nighttime hours. Strategically placed nightlights and reflective tape can help your loved one find the bathroom at night. A bright-colored bathroom door or a large “Bathroom” sign on the door can also help. Dementia can also cause seniors to be confused about the toilet, which can result in using a trash can or pot instead. Move these items out of the bathroom if this is an issue. 

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Allentown seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

2. Make the Toilet Easily Accessible

If you’re caring for your loved one at home, it may be necessary to make some changes to the bathroom to make it easier for him or her to use the toilet. Installing grab bars and a raised toilet seat can help. Additionally, consider installing a bidet, which is a type of toilet that is popular in other parts of the world. The toilet sprays water over the perineal area, which can keep your loved one clean with less effort.

3. Simplify the Process

Using the toilet requires a certain amount of dexterity to remove clothing, sit down on the toilet, and wipe afterward. Simplify this process as much as possible for your loved one. Keeping the bathroom door open ensures your loved one doesn’t have difficulty using the doorknob. Elastic pants can make it easier to remove clothing. Using wipes instead of toilet paper can make cleaning afterward easier. 

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging, but compassionate help is available. 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 home care Allentown, PA, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

4. Try to Set Up a Toilet Schedule

If your loved one is no longer able to indicate the need to go to the bathroom, setting up a toilet schedule may be helpful. Bowel training can also prevent constipation, which is common when seniors no longer recognize the urge to use the toilet. The colon is most active after eating, so have your loved one sit on the toilet after eating breakfast each day. After several days of doing this, your loved one’s body should begin to get on a regular schedule. Additionally, encouraging your loved one to try to urinate every two hours can prevent problems from occurring. It may be a good idea to periodically check if your loved one has used the restroom in case he or she becomes easily distracted.

Highly trained caregivers with experience in caring for seniors with dementia can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated Allentown senior home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. If your loved one needs professional dementia care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our Care Managers today at 484-350-3874.