My mother-in-law lives with us and had dementia/alzheimer's. It seems she is in a pattern of either sleeping continuosly or if she is awake, she is confused, wanders and most of the time frustrated and mean. We have been able to adapt to every situation along the way but now it seems she has started pulling her pants down and urinating in her bedroom on those nights she wanders. Is this normal? What can I do, she already wears depends.
Hi Plain Tired, and welcome to the board! Your user name says it all! I'm new here myself, but I can tell you you're in the right place.
Oh my! I want to see what the experienced people here have to help you. I'm new at this, but my first thought was duct tape! A nice waist band around the depends... would that prevent her from pulling them down? Of course, if she's built like my MIL, no waist anymore even though she's not heavy, that wouldn't work.
I know these ladies have some suggestions! They're truly a lifeline!
In the meantime, here's corner of a towel to hold onto. Hang on tight! I'm at the other end, and I sure understand! I don't have all the answers, but I'll stay here holding on with you. We have lots of towels! I was given a generous stack when I just recently started on this board!
Last edited by BlueAtlas; 10-17-2008 at 04:16 PM.
Reason: Who needs capital letters anyway...
Sorry you too are going through this . There is a thread on this Board titled "Stench" which deals with the same issue. Sadly, it IS normal for dementia patients. Most of us have problems coping with it.
If she is already wearing depends, try taping them tighter at night so she cannot pull them down.
Other than that, I strongly recommend a nursing home. They have more experience dealing with such problems and much more patience than the daughter on duty 24 hours a day .. at least after their 8 hour shift they go home! And they get paid for this job. (not nearly what they are worth, in my opinion -- if I ruled the world people who take care of babies and old people would be the highest paid employees in the country!)
Good luck! How long have you been caregiving? At what stage is your mother? Do you have any help? No one should have to do this alone.
Welcome to the board plain. I am truly sorry you need to be here but glad you found us. Martha is right, this is normal. Your Mom has forgotten the appropriate place to urinate. In her mind she is doing what she is supposed to do. Making the depends more difficult to pull off might help but as you probably know the ALZ patient can be very creative when necessary.
My grandmother did the same. We never did solve the problem before she ended up in the hospital with a massive blood infection (septicemia) and then went straight to a nursing home. We did put pants on her that zipped down the back and were difficult to get off and that detered her the most of anything we tried. It also made it much more difficult to change her so that ended up being a bad for bad trade off.
I agree with Martha. Looking are your user name says a lot. Perhaps it is time for you to consider alternative living arrangements for your MIL.... or perhaps in home help at night that can watch her while you get some rest?
The only silver lining is that each problem is a phase that will eventually change to something else.... in time. The next step will not necessarily be better but it will be different.
How strong is she? If you had a hospital bed with rails, could she get out? Or is this not a good idea for dementia patients, all you dear experts on here? Would she be too likely to topple out trying to get over the rail and hurt herself?
Not a good idea-the hospital bed with rails. The problem with that is she will crawl over the rails or try to slide down between the rails and get caught or fall over the rails and you end up with broken bones. Most nusing homes have the beds at low hights with mats next to the beds so that if the tumble out, there is minimal damage. AND they also have block type pads that gounder the sheet to form a sort of nest that the patient sleeps in. This just makes it a little bit harder for them to get out of the bed. And restraints are considered Elder abuse.
Plain tired- I so sorry that you have found us, but you are so welcome here. You truely need help dear! Your Mom has to pee, she just can't remember where she needs to go to do it! Poor thing. Youcan try taping her depending on tighter, but I don't think it's going to get you much extra help. Can you get a night aide to come in and sit with her so that you can get a good night sleep and the aide can deal with Mom?
You may need to start considering that it's time for you to seek out a nursing home for your Mom. They are set up to deal with the worsening stages that are coming down the road. This is just the start of things to come. The staff in homes are trained to care for them 24/7 and they don't have to do it round the clock as you do. We have all been there hon, and you have our sympathy...
What does your Mom's doctgor say about her stages? What does he suggest? Is your Mom at all coherent? Keep posting...and here's your towel....hang on tight it will save you from your own insanity! Welcome to the board...
Thank you for the suggestions. I am afraid this is one of those situations we either deal with it or put her in a home. We just keep putting off the home issue. My husband has a large family but they have all abandoned us except for one sister who comes daily so we can work. I guess that is normal too. It is very hard not to get discouraged.
Now that a facility is sometimes the best place. For different reasons we were just where you are. With a large family that didn't agree what to do, a few in denial, everybody trying to not make it so... until Mom forced our hand and we had to find Mom and Dad placement immediately. We were lucky to find them a good place. My only regret is that we didn't do it sooner. Family dissention and some doing more than others seems to come with the territory.
There was an adjustment period but it is obvious that my parents are getting better care in AL than we could give them at home. I don't mind saying that 3 shifts of professional staff, coupled with a recreational direction, dietician, full time nurse, social worker, in house beautician, and doctor sure beats what I could do!!