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Q. A 89-year-old has a constant fear and frequently using toilets. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Pankaj Mittal
and medically reviewed by Dr.Nithila A
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 25, 2019

Hello doctor,

So we have a little problem with our grandmother, she is 89-years old. Lately, she is acting like crazy, and she is living in constant fear that she will mess up and she visit the toilet in like 10,15, 20 minutes. The morning is starting with toilet and last till she gets tired with that constant going to the bathroom and back to her room, then she goes on half an hour, hour so that continuous going in the toilet with no reason only because of the fear it is stressful and irritating also boring at some point.

So the question is is that normal on her age, considering that she has sclerosis dementia, I think. She suffered two brain, and one heart attack should be adapt on her when she is like that and make deals with her because yelling and talking do not have any effect on her mind are focused only on the toilet and on that fear, and it is like a drug to her. It is crazy and funny on the other hand, but in that situation, it is stressful sometimes because it is like dealing with lunation or maniac.

Dr. Pankaj Mittal

Psychiatry Psychotherapy Sexology


Welcome to

I can understand your problem very well and as you have mentioned already here that your grandmother already had two cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or in your language brain attacks and one heart attack and she was diagnosed as sclerosis dementia. As the term suggested dementia it means memory losses, she is suffering from memory disturbances definitely and increase urinary frequency might be due to forgetfulness or it may be due to other neurological deficit which is affecting her bladder also.

So first we have to be very, very clear that. Is it urinary incontinence or forgetfulness? So most of the time caregiver became frustrated of these type of symptoms and thinks of craziness or lunacy I believe these are not proper words for your grandmother here. Remember if you are so frustrated because of these symptoms how stressful these for her? In that case, the most important thing you need is a support to your grandmother.

The first rule out the cause of increase urinary frequency by making investigations and then will proceed accordingly. So make it clear by consulting her with a good neurologist who can rule out the cause. So before arriving any conclusion, it is very premature for me to comment on current symptoms and treatment option. What I can suggest is environmental support by a caregiver.

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