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“The behavioral approaches I know of would be to first try to assess the cause(s) for her distress: Is it pain? (So, UTI or constipation possible? Is she eating/drinking enough, could a medication be causing the problem?) Or are perceptual changes causing a fear of the water (common) or of falling as she tries to sit, or of falling in?
Worth considering: When does the distress begin? When they start to lead her to the toilet, once she’s in the room trying to sit, or after she’s seated? Could assists like a higher seat or frame around the commode help ease anxiety of falling as she sits? What might be happening when this older person is “misinterpreting”? Could it also be an anxiety about privacy?
It’s also possible that now a negative association has been set up with whoever is leading her to the bathroom, and the whole business is an unpleasant experience for her. That might warrant a whole different approach –not, “time to use the toilet” but sort of cajoling her along and just happening to be there, inviting her to sit, etc. which can be a very time intensive process; if the caregiver is stressed or rushing or tense about it, she’ll pick up on that. Might warrant an entirely different person and approach to doing this, which isn’t always feasible.”