I got some really good advice on the sleep issue, so now I am wondering if anyone has dealt with the clothes issue? It seems my mother prefers to be naked. Now, if it were just me and my step father, I wouldn't worry about it so much, but I have children and we have company fairly regularly. So is there any trick to keeping her dressed?
Well, there's one problem we didn't have to deal with!!
I'm sure others with experience will chime in later...but maybe just making sure the clothes she has on are loose and comfortable. The last few months of my mom's life we didn't even put a bra on her. Every woman's dream!!
I had to chuckle when I read your post. Classic, typical behavior. So many go through this. I spent one of my last trips to the facility chasing down a sweet ladies clothes after she took them off the third time.
Inhibitions go out the window. They seek comfort. If they are too hot they will take off their clothes so cooler is better. We will take off a sweater. They will take off everything. Comfort is also sought. If there is a tag, rough seam, or other irritant in the clothes, off the come. If buttons come undone, they can't button them back so they just take them off. Sometimes they just decide it is time to disrobe. Pants that button are more difficult to get off than elastic waste. If you use elastic waste find the ones with draw strings, tie them, and tuck them in the pants. Both are a deterrent to taking off pants. Makes it difficult for them to get them off. As for shirts, those that pull over the head help. Also tops that button or zip down the back help. Tucking in the shirt will help if she is just taking off her top. Also be sure that her underwear and bra are comfortable and not too tight. Try eliminating the bra to see if that will solve the problem of the tops coming off. If she insist on taking off her top trying putting a chemise on. That way she is still covered if she uncovers.
Mom wears elastic waist knit pants with the tags out of them and she tends to keep these on. She only has tops that have to be put on over her head made of soft knits with the tags out as well. She can't get these off by herself easily. I also keep her thermostat turned down to 70. Anything that comes off is altered or pitched.
Also know this is a phase they go through. In time most stop doing this as they stop associating the clothes with whatever discomfort they are feeling. It has been a while since Mom disrobed. I laughed because my grandmother was the queen of disrobing and putting on clothes in the wrong order. We were in high school/college when my grandmother was at our house. We were aware of her illness and that this was a part of it. It did create rounds of laughter when she would walk out with her bra on top of her dress ... or in her underwear! (or less)! Usually the comment was made...."Well, there she goes again!"
Oh, and the little lady who had lost her clothes.... another resident had picked them up, neatly folded them, and put them on a dining room table. Who would have thought to look there?
same thing. elastic pants and over the head tops. i also bought my mom cheap jewlery and she liked to put on necklaces and bracelets. maybe that will help. but she tended to misplace them and then she thought people were stealing from her. its always something!
all great advice, instead of a bra i have brought some mens small sling undershirt and it fits fairly snug and tell her it is a new kind of bra and she is happy that the ladies are all tucked in and contained.. thanks for the chuckle...
That's a good idea. The chemise does about the same thing. Talk about chuckles. Reading that you put a men's t-shirt on your Mom reminded me of the day I walked in and Mom had put one of her chemise on Dad. (burst out laughing at the visual). It didn't help that she is a petite 5' and he was over 6'. It was so comical looking. I had to cut him out of it!! That's what you get when you have TWO with dementia!
Deb, I just LOVE your replies. Very informative. I just turned the thermostat down. My step father is so concerned that my mother will be too cold, and I'm realizing after reading yoru reply they he may be keeping the house too warm. Right now my mother wears pull over the head shirts and elastic waist pants. I had not thought of trying button or draw strings, but those will be on the list for the next shopping trip. My mother has always been a cold natured person, but she has put on quite a bit of weight since her diagnosis, so this may no longer be the case. So, yes, I will definitely be trying your suggestions!!
PS...It took me twenty minutes to write this becasue she streaked again!!!
Oh, on the undies. My mother no longer wears either. If we put them on her she will take them off immediately. I'm assuming they are too binding? We've even tried getting her a bigger size that would be just a little looser on her. Nothing works in that department so we've given up, lol. I will try the chemsie or men's tank though...anything is worth a shot, lol.
Remember it is a phase that will not last forever. I truly believe it is a comfort thing. No, they don't like anything itchy, binding, or too warm. Make it more difficult for them to get off and they will sometimes just give it up. I actually had one lady when I worked in a care facility that we would put button up shirt on her backwards. No way she could unbutton them and take them off This disease will expand your creativity and make you think outside of the box like none other
I had to laugh today. When I hit the door to the unit care staff was apologizing for Mom's eyebrows. HUH? What have you done to Mom's eyebrows? They had a Makeup Party today. Somebody decided to pencil in Mom's eyebrows. Well, she has bushy eyebrows!! It was hysterical looking and I had to burst out laughing as soon as I saw her! But she was grinning and smiling, loving the attention, and it was all worth it. I wish you could have seen the smiles on the ladies faces. They all thought they were a princess Dealing with Alzheimer's by going into their world and joining in their fun is so very rewarding!! It was one of the best days in a long time.
I have to say I did enjoy some fun with my mother today, We colored for nearly 2 hours and she seemed to really enjoy it. What's bad is she did better than me!!! LOL. She was quite proud of her pink, purple. green, and yellow pony, so I put it on the fridge. She's been stopping by to look at it all day with the silliest grin I've ever seen on her!!
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Those are the moments you hang on to... and the crayons for another day. I just bought Mom a box of crayons this week and can't wait to find a time to enjoy them with her. Today was filled with the make up party!
Another up side of the crayons, they are about the same shape and size of a cigarette. My mother was a smoker, but with her decline she's "forgotten" to smoke, but she still has to carry one around with her and she chews on it. I've tried everything to get them away from her, but she will pitch a fit like only and AD caregiver has seen. Today she never even touched the cigarette. She carried the crayon. She started to chew it once, decided she didn't like the taste, then just carried it like she would her cigarette. So I'm going to give it a few days then the smokes are going out in the trash!!
You never know what is going to work!! That is why you keep trying different ideas. If something works you use it and abuse it until it no longer works or is no longer needed.
Dad did just the opposite. He had stopped smoking because of his cardiovascular problems. He forgot he had stopped. But he just wanted one every few days, sitting on the porch in the afternoon, rocking and watching the birds. At 88/89 years old, I let him have what he wanted. I didn't have to worry about him carrying them around. He seemed to be ok with the fact that I had them and was not there all the time.