May 26, 2016

Going to the Bathroom at Night

A friend who works with the elderly who live at home told me many of the falls she see happen when elderly people go to the bathroom at night.  To keep me safe my OT suggested that I use a bedside commode at night.   Since I live alone I think it would be dangerous for me to drag the bucket to the toilet to empty it in the morning.  My fall in the bathroom happened a few days after I got home from rehab.  The big toe on my hemiplegic foot is now crooked because I tore ligaments.  
Thank goodness I learned how to go to the bathroom safely at night when I am not wearing my brace.  After my 2nd stroke I went home with a walker which made me feel safer than a cane.  I progressed to walking with a quad cane with 4 feet during the day, but still used the walker in the bathroom at night.  I did not mind that the walker slowed me down because I was half awake when I got up at night anyway.  I progressed to a single point cane during the day, but I still used the quad cane at night to get to the bathroom.  I currently use a light single point cane during the day that I bought at a medical supply store.  This lighter cane is less tiring to carry when I walk in the community.  However, the heavier single point cane I got in rehab makes me feel safer in the bathroom at night.  I keep that heavier cane next to my bed so it is within reach as soon as I sit up on the edge of the bed.

Bottom Line: I keep every walking aid I buy so I can use the more conservative device at night. 
I do not want to have an injury that would put me in a wheelchair.  Pushing a wheelchair with one arm and one leg on linoleum in wide halls in the hospital is hard.  I do not want to find out how hard it is to push a wheelchair on carpeting in my home.  I also do not want to end up in a long-term care facility because a fall does something much worse than break a big toe.


  1. I was planning a post about my collection of canes. Maybe I don't need to write it now! I still use my 4-point cane for bathroom visits at night.

    1. Great minds think alike. Thanks for your comment. It's good to know that other stroke survivors find this strategy helpful.

  2. Maybe we need to have our doctors/researchers fast track this into a therapy protocol.
    Scientists have pinpointed nighttime urination protein in elderly