Dementia Toilet Obsession

Dementia Toilet Obsession- Tips for Caregivers

Has mom’s toilet habits become obsessive or disturbing of late? Or are you a caregiver who simply cannot understand why a loved one with dementia is taking countless trips to the toilet?

You are not exaggerating. It turns out, dementia toilet obsession is a real issue.

Living with a dementia patient gives one first-hand experience with awkward behaviors that may seem bizarre to people who have not interacted with the disease.

If you have been secretly wondering if toilet obsession is something to be concerned about, we have some interesting details that will settle your curiosity with knowledge. So let’s dive in!

Dementia Toilet Obsession (Read this First)

Dementia patients exhibit toilet obsession in different ways. While some individuals may feel the constant urge to go to the toilet and spend every few minutes rushing to the toilet, others have an obsessive behavior of staying in the toilet for a long.

Some dementia patients manifest both the need to use the toilet now and then and stay in the toilet for a long.

Also, dementia toilet obsession may manifest in awkward behaviors in the toilet such as obsessing over toilet supplies such as toilet paper.

Reasons for Dementia Toilet Obsession

Cognitive Disfunction

Dementia results in the impairment of cognitive functions such as judgment ability. Hence, some dementia patients cannot tell if their bladder is full. This results in the need to use the toilet all the time.

Also, when dementia patients cannot tell whether they have a bowel movement, they are likely to be preoccupied with going to the toilet.

Medical Condition

If you have a loved one with dementia toilet obsession, do not be too quick to rule it out as bad behavior.

Sometimes, medical issues such as urinary tract infections or irritable bowel syndrome can result to change in toilet behaviors for dementia patients.

Psychological Issues

Dementia patients experience increased anxiety and depression which can result in toilet obsession. For example, a dementia patient with anxiety may experience stomach upset issues which lead to toilet obsession.

How to Manage Dementia Toilet Obsession

Living with a loved one with dementia toilet obsession is challenging and sometimes annoying. Below are several tips to manage dementia toilet obsession.

Medical Attention

The first measure to take in managing dementia toilet obsession is to seek professional help for medical evaluation. This will help identify any medical illnesses that could contribute to the toilet obsession condition.

Diverting Attention

If you are a caregiver, try and divert the attention of the dementia patient to other things. Engage the individual in activities that are interesting such as a puzzle or gardening to keep their mind off the toilet.

Create a Schedule

Creating a structured toilet schedule for a person with dementia can help alleviate the anxiety of thinking they have to go to the bathroom all the time. When creating such a schedule, ensure that the schedule is sufficient to cater to their need to relieve themselves.

Seek Professional Services

The best way to manage obsessive behaviors such as toileting in dementia patients is to have an expert guide you.

If you do not have a trained caregiver, you can seek one to help manage dementia symptoms that could be out of hand. In addition, an expert has insights on how to control annoying tendencies in an individual with dementia.

Tips for Caregivers to Respond to Dementia Toilet Needs

Work on the bathroom setup

Ensure that the bathroom setup is dementia-friendly. This can be done by installing grab bars or having the toilet seat at a convenient height.

Be Sensitive to Signals

Even with an established toilet routine, it is good for the caregiver to be sensitive when a person shows signs of the need to use the toilet. Such signs include agitation, or touching their genitals.

Assist when Needed

Offer assistance undressing in the toilet or any other form of assistance requires. This way, it cuts down on the time an individual takes in the toilet.

You can also assist by making the wipes or toilet paper accessible and even help them wipe when required.

Use Incontinence Pants

The use of incontinence pants can help relieve the anxiety that causes dementia toilet obsession. Wearing incontinence pads allows seniors with dementia to feel secure.


Why do dementia patients urinate frequently?

Dementia patients suffer from cognitive decline and they fail to recognize whether their bladder is full.

When do dementia patients suffer from incontinence?

Incontinence occurs in the middle or late phases of dementia.

What is the ideal way to deal with dementia toileting?

You can make the toilet accessible by placing indicators and removing obstacles to accessing the toilet. In addition, you can leave the toilet door loosely locked or unlocked.

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