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4 Ways to Help a Loved One with Dementia Use the Bathroom Safely

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Bathroom safety is important for all caregivers to think about. Adding handrails and other safety features is a common good practice to have in place. However, your aging loved one may need additional help with using the toilet in the later stages of dementia. These four tips can help seniors with dementia safely use the toilet, and they’re all easy to add to your loved one’s current care plan.

1. Make the Restroom Stand Out

Wandering is a serious danger that seniors with dementia face. Many seniors with dementia accidentally wander away from home when they try to find the bathroom. This problem is also more likely to occur at night when caregivers are asleep and unaware of what’s happening. If possible, make the restroom nearest your loved one’s room the main one he or she uses. You can also use other methods to make sure your loved one knows which door to go through. For instance, you can put a large picture of a toilet and sink on the door and a stop sign on the front door of the house so there’s no confusion. 

Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Philadelphia 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. Prevent Slip-and-Fall Accidents

A senior with dementia may try to rush to the bathroom to avoid an accident. Remind your loved one to try to use the restroom at various points during the day. You can also prevent a fall by making sure the path to the restroom is clear of debris. Seniors who use mobility devices should have them placed near their beds to use during nighttime trips to the bathroom. In the restroom, make sure to add nonslip floor covers such as mats to further reduce the risk of falling if water spills on the floor. 

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 Philadelphia, PA, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

3. Reduce the Risk of Confusion

Items in the restroom may suddenly become frightening to a senior who has dementia-related hallucinations, and you don’t want your loved one to try to flee the room and get hurt. For instance, your loved one may suddenly be fearful that someone is watching if he or she doesn’t recognize him or herself in the mirror. Alternatively, a potted plant could cast shadows in the restroom that cause your loved one to get scared. Remove or cover up any items that cause your loved one to feel distressed. You may also need to take the lock off the bathroom door if your loved one tends to get confused and forgets how to unlock it to get out.

4. Supervise as Needed

Independence should always be encouraged for seniors with dementia. However, there does come a point where you need to step in to make sure your loved one is safe. As dementia advances, your loved one may demonstrate behaviors such as throwing used toilet paper on the floor or trying to flush washcloths down the toilet. He or she may cause the toilet or sink to overflow and create a fall hazard on the floor. Once your loved one begins to display these behaviors, arrange for you or another caregiver to always be nearby to assist with toileting activities.

Highly trained caregivers with experience in caring for seniors with dementia can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated Philadelphia elderly 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. For reliable in-home dementia care services, contact us at (215) 645.4663 or (484) 643.4663 today.

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