May 9, 2015

Alzheimer's and the Pee Pee War

One of the biggest problems I had while caring for my mother was getting her to take a pee. If I didn't get her to take a pee guess what happened?

Good guess, she pee peed all over herself. Ever had this problem? Needless to say it is disconcerting.

It took me quite a long time but finally I invented what I call the pee pee intervention. In short, I learned how to get out in front of the problem before it happened.

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You might have trouble believing this, but once I solved the problem (which we had for years and even before my mother's diagnosis) it went away.

I wrote about this several years ago and I wanted those of you who never read the article to benefit from my experience.

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By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

The title of my previous article was - Bobby Where are YOU, PEE, and Back to the Woods. If would like to read that article just click the link.

If not, here is an excerpt.

As soon as I finish writing this article, I will take Dotty to the bathroom. Its pee pee intervention time. I have to remember to take Dotty for a pee pee every two hours or sooner. If I wait for Dotty to say, "I have to pee",  guess what happens? Correct. Its too late.

We have to keep that tank empty or my feet will take another trip down the yellow river.

To be honest, that doesn't happen much anymore. But it did before I finally said DUH to myself, and figured out, we gotta keep that tank empty. Did you ever read the book The Yellow River by I. P. Daily?

My guess is that some of you hear this famous word when you tell your loved one, time to take a pee. The word? NO. Been there. Been there thousands of times.

How did I overcome this? Simple. After a couple of years of thinking about it I finally realized I had to marry some other event to the pee pee intervention.

In this case, I am going to say, Dotty time to take a pee and then we are going to have a nice lunch. Dotty might say, I don't have to pee. No argument from me. However, we will be on our way to the pee pee room as this happens. Dotty will take her pee pee and then get her lunch.

My point here. I don't try to convince, explain, or control Dotty into taking a pee. It doesn't work.

Instead I marry the pee with some other action. For example I say, Dotty time for a snack. Once I get her in motion and heading toward the kitchen I say, hey. lets take a pee. And, I guide her right to the bathroom. If she says, I don't have to take a pee, I ignore her words, keep my mouth shut, and keep on guiding her to the bathroom.

During the say I might say, Dotty time for lunch, Dotty time for a snack. Dotty Harvey says he is lonely, Dotty lets go out and get some ice cream. The goal is to get her in motion and then into the bathroom.

Day after day after day folks this is how it goes. Its part of the scheduled pattern of our day. In other words, this is how I won the dreaded pee pee war.

This was along the way to defeating the dreaded urinary tract infection.

Pee Pee every two hours, or sooner, or disaster.

If you made it to this part of the article. Thanks for reading. Just remember Rome wasn't built in day. Or, Alzheimer's caregiver success is not always right around the corner. You gotta walk the mile first.

There goes Dotty right on cue. "I'm dying you know, I'm starving". And here I go, pee pee intervention followed by lunch.

Followed by our new buddy Harvey. By the time Dotty finishes eating lunch and being entertained by Harvey, it will be time to pee. I'll say to Dotty, time to take a pee, and then back to the woods. She will ask me where the woods are?

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Bob DeMarco  is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized expert, writer, speaker, and influencer in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community worldwide. The ARR Knowledge Base contains more than 4,900 articles and 368,000 links. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
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