My mom has dementia and she scratches. She always has her hands in her diaper, so she gets poop everywhere. Where can we get some type of restraint?

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I've just got to weigh-in here. My MIL is now at the poop digging stage and I will never judge anyone about this issue. I keep her very clean and creamed up etc etc but she poops once or twice a day and immediately gets in there. I trim her nails a lot and clean her hands with a toothbrush but she still keeps her hands way down under the covers. Not just poop either. She puts her hands down deep in her brief and doesn't bring them out. It's "warm" and she likes it down there. Ugh.
Of course she is bored..................she is at the stage where she sits and glares. No conversation to be had and no activity will hold her attention at all. She eats and watches television and poops. I really do keep trying to engage and/or entertain her. But arrrgh. It's not that I don't care. But just saying.............. at this point..........I can't handle more guilt about keeping her happy. Caregiving requires a great deal of energy with no reciprocal anything.
So again, I will never judge.
Poopy hands are awful.
Please take my comments as sincerely from the trenches.
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Another suggestion is to use adult sized cloth diapers. The disposable diapers have gel in them to absorb liquids and if the patient tears them apart the gel can get all over the skin and cause irritation and itching. A possible way to prevent a patient from reaching the diaper is to have them wear an adult bodysuit similar to the ones that a baby might wear. They have snaps at the crotch for easy access diaper changing. A patient with dementia / Alzheimer's can be very determined no matter what you do. I hope my suggestions help you.
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I am absolutely amazed at Lovhor2's answer. Wow! Do you even realize that the person may poop at night when others are asleep and don't realize that they have pooped until the morning? Unless someone is able to hire a nighttime caregiver at home, then it is bound to happen. As for me, I can't stay awake 24 hours a day to watch to see if my MIL took a poop at night. Sorry, but I need sleep too or how the heck else can I take proper care of her? Besides, I seriously doubt that any decent caregiver would purposely let their loved one sit in a poopy diaper if they know it is poopy in the first place. I mean, really.

Gossip,
I realize the date on here is from 2011, so I don't know if you still have the problem mentioned about the poopy messes with your mom, but I have the exact same problem with my MIL who is in the late stages of Alzheimer's disease. She constantly picks at her diaper, even though she gets lotion put on and even though I have tried to give her meds to keep her calm, it isn't working. We haven't restrained her, but we did come up with an idea about oven mitts. We basically sewed some strings to the wrist part and tie them onto her hands when she is especially agitated, not tightly of course. She digs at herself so much that we didn't know what else to do to keep her safe from her own self. The mitts keep her hands covered so she can't pick, but she does usually end up getting them off if she is especially determined too, so who knows what we will end up doing next. I like the idea about sewing the bottoms of the long sleeve shirt up. Maybe I will try that instead.
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Why don't you try to find a Residential Care home in your town. It is a facility licensed for up to 6 Residents in my state of WA and I heard max 10 in Arizona. This facilities has better supervision. The reason your mom is digging is because she feels uncomfortable and she doesn't know what is going on but, she feels the pressure down there. You can also, go to and they have overall for these type of behavior if the NH is allowing that. The bathroom routine is always a saver. Keeping everything in schedule will help the body to change. Why you don't try prune juice instead.
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My mom does this too but she only does it if she is constipated. When she lived with me (after trying out FIVE nursing homes), I gave her coffee each morning with breakfast (no other choices but coffee). She drank 1-2 cups and immediately had to go poop. She has had a constipation problem since she was 3 years old and is now 77....is or WAS dependent on laxatives all of her adult life until I moved her in with me. Simple thing....warm coffee or tea in the am with breakfast got her on a regular poop schedule. Now, I had to put her back into another NH and I told them GIVE HER COFFEE only to drink for breakfast and she will STAY regular. Well........no surprise...they don't do it and yesterday I went to see her, she complained of being wet so, I took her to the restroom and her pamper was SOAKING wet with little, hard poop balls in it. I had her sit on the stool and try to poop..turned my head for one minute and she was digging the hard poop balls out of her butt...Poop all over and UNDER her nails. I told the NH people AGAIN.....She is constipated....GIVE HER COFFEE every morning with breakfast and this will not happen. It's VERY unsanitary...I have to remind her to wash her hands after she uses the bathroom...late stage alzheimer's. I KNOW that when I am not there, she does NOT wash her hands after using the bathroom. I've seen hardened poop under her nails and it's UNSANITARY. There are just no good nursing homes. This one only has 40 residents and they can't help my mom????
UGH!!!
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Wow. I notice, moderator, that my original post is now missing, but you have left the one from lovhor, in which s/he wishes the same poopy fate to the thread originator. Seriously? Do you really not intend to do something about lovhor's evil sentiment, which is highly offensive? Hadn't you people noticed, or do you not care as long as you don't think it refers to you?
People clearly aren't reading all the posts thoroughly, so someone's
sure to take offense again. My point is, folks, we really ought to encourage the moderator to get rid of lovhor's input, & I'm frankly amazed & disappointed that this has not been attended to.
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Thank you, MariesMom.
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Brilliant, the bottle-holding strategy!

As far as playing nice, again, sorry if calling out the meanies was misconstrued. I was unclear. Everybody, settle down. By that logic, however, any mean-spirited post should have been deleted to begin with, so there you are. Just meant to defend the originator of this thread from the notion that she should feel guilty or wrong. I'd feel that way for any of your sakes!
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Now back to my two cents re poop-throwing:
I kept Moms nails cut as short as safely possible to make them easier to clean.
I handed her two large shampoo bottles to hold when she sat on the toilet to keep both her hands occupied (I told her this was her exercise for the day and encouraged her to lift them up and down to keep).
I put a pair of panties over her diaper.
She wore PJ's, not a gown. MUCH easier to keep hr cleaned and changed.
I folded 2 top sheets long-ways and tucked them in COMPLETELY under the mattress to make it more difficult to get to her diaper area. (Hospice told me that even the softest, most benign restraints, such as a bathrobe belt, were never acceptable for use in the home.
And of course I also kept her bottom clean and used ointment with any irritation.
Having said that, there were still poop handling, throwing, smearing and even worse. (I can no longer bring myself to share THAT story, but it was probably what you think.
I thumb tacked old shower curtains on the bathroom wall to make it easier to clean. (I also did this in the bedroom when she went through her food throwing stage).
Hopefully this is a passing phase. I went through this with Mom for about 3 months on and off and then one day she stopped doing it.
Blessings to you.
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Did you read the rest of my posts?
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