Ever wondered why a loved one is taking too long in the toilet, only to find their hands covered with poop?
As gross as it may sound, dementia poop obsession is something that many caregivers dread. It is not only an odd behavior but also irritating.
If you are wondering whether your loved one with dementia is the only one with an obsession with poop, you are not alone.
While there may not be permanent solutions to deal with some behaviors in dementia, there are ways to manage them. Let’s flush out the details about this odd behavior of poop obsession.
Dementia Poop Obsession (Read this First)
Poop obsession is one of the dementia behaviors that require patience from caregivers. If you are taking care of a dementia patient who has obsessive poop, the first thing to do is check in with the doctor to see if any medical issues contribute to the poop obsession.
Obsessive Toilet Behaviors in Dementia
Some of the obsessive toilet behaviors exhibited by dementia patients are:
- The need to go to the toilet all the time
- Not finding the toilet
- Having an obsession with toilet paper
- Playing with poop
Why are Dementia Patients Obsessed with Poop?
If you have been trying to figure out why you loved one with dementia has an obsession with poop, here are some explanations:
When a person with dementia has constipation, they might get obsessed with pooping because they are trying to get comfortable. It is good to monitor dementia patients’ poop to catch any constipation.
Loss of Control
Sometimes, dementia patients do not realize they need to relieve themselves. When they mess up, they might smear or play with poop in an attempt to clean themselves, leading to poop obsession.
How to Deal with Dementia Poop Obsession
Dealing with poop obsession is not easy for the primary caregiver. Some dementia patients are difficult to care for because they become aggressive if you stop them from doing unhygienic behaviors.
The first thing to do when dealing with dementia poop obsession is to take it easy on yourself and give yourself credit for dealing with it so far. Here’s how you can deal with poop obsession:
Have a Calm Conversation
Try and express your concern about your loved one’s poop obsession. Help the dementia patient understand why playing with poop or smearing it all over their hands is not okay. Tell them it is unhygienic and could get the sick.
Getting dementia patient to stop their obsession can be quite hard. However, you can create diversions to get their mind off poop for a while
Going on a walk, engaging in a hobby, games, and conversation are great ways that work to divert the attention of dementia patients.
Get the Checked Up
Ensure that your loved one does not have any anal irritation or infection that is uncomfortable as this could make their obsession worse. It is a good idea to have them checked up regularly to ensure that they are healthy and comfortable.
Establish a Routine
Create a poop routine every few hours and try to stick to it. Ensure that this routine is regular enough so that they do not get anxious. Also, create routines to occupy their time so that they are not always fixated on going to poop.
Get Professional Dementia Care
Dementia care professionals know their way around poop obsession and other dementia behaviors, hence have a better capacity to deal with such cases.
If the burden of giving care to a dementia patient with poop obsession becomes overwhelming, it is best to put them in a nursing home for dementia or get a professional to care for them from home.
What shows dementia is getting worse?
The signs to tell if dementia is getting worse include communication difficulties, getting lost, delusions, difficulty in swallowing, not eating, and being unable to complete tasks, among others.
When does incontinence start in dementia?
Incontinence occurs in the late or middle stages of dementia. However, this differs for every individual with dementia as some might have incontinence earlier than others.
Does dementia affect toileting?
Dementia has an impact on toileting. Dementia patients experience incontinence, decreases ability to maintain toilet hygiene, toilet obsessive behaviors, and difficulties in using the toilet compared to individuals without dementia.
How can one prevent dementia patients from playing with poop?
One way to prevent dementia patients from playing with poop is by keeping their hands occupied with interesting activities such as puzzles or molding with clay.