My mother-in-law has dementia and has 24/7 home health aides. The aides identified that she had chronic constipation and would regularly digitally disimpact her rectum. Now she is on a good medication plan so that constipation is not a problem. But still, on confused days, she will dig stool out of her rectum with her finger, smearing it on her bed, or putting it in cups. She gets mad at the aides when they try to stop her. What motivates this kind of behavior? How can we understand it?

4

Have more questions and don't know where to turn?


Join our community and get access to monthly support calls, an online chat forum for questions, and even monthly 1:1 calls with Rachael! CLICK HERE for more information.

Although it’s not the nicest way to handle the situation, your mother-in-law is just trying to alleviate her constipation. She probably feels uncomfortable, and, thanks to her dementia, she does not have the ability to realize that what she’s doing is not socially appropriate. She’s just doing what she needs to do to feel better! 

Liked it? Take a second to support Rachael Wonderlin on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of three published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

16 things poster
Get the FREE “16 Things” poster!

You're not alone!

Get personal support from Rachael and connect with other Caregivers when you join our community.

16 Things I Would Want If I Got Dementia

Get the FREE “16 Things” poster for your personal use—or better yet—your dementia care community’s staff break room!

I wrote this poem years ago, but to date, it’s the most popular piece I’ve ever created.


When you sign up, you’ll also get access to Rachael’s weekly newsletter so that you can get her top tips, links to new content as soon as it’s released, and special offers directly in your inbox! We’ll never sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

16 things poster
Shopping Cart

Have questions?

Book a Dementia Detective
call and talk to a DBD expert!