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Last weekend, I was called from Hospice to come and spend time with Dad because it seemed that he may be passing. Dad is quickly declining, among his other behaviors such as being combative, refusing food, meds he is now disrobing, I mean everything OFF! After redressed and checked for temperature, 10 mins later he's disrobing again. When asked why, he has no reason he does it subconsciously. What is this?

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My Dad never had dementia he passed young. There was a large round light on the wall in the hospital and he kept walking towards it not saying a word and disrobing it went on for several hours before he passed. It was the strangest thing I had ever seen even the nurses could not explain it.
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My dad also disrobed when he was on hospice last stage of cancer. It was Dec very cold month and he would take all of his clothes off and when I saw that he did I would go to him to recover him and his body put off such a coldness. I could feel it like a cold wave. It was crazy because when I would cover him he would take it off again. He was like an iceberg literally. He later passed that day and I wonder if since we come into this life naked, so we should leave that way. I guess in his case it was but it truly did make sense at the time for me.
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I googled "disrobing dimentia" and found several articles. On the Alzheimer's site they called it one of the disruptive behaviors in later stage dimentia.
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sumlerc....so sorry for your loss. It's so hard to witness first hand what the whole death process includes. I was thinking that he must be in the last stage. My mom did similar with her bedding and clothes. Bless you for being there for him. I pray for comfort and peace to be with you at your time of loss. Take care. ((hugs))
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Sorry for your loss sumlerc. Sounds like your head is in a good place. Closure and peace are coming your way.

I wish you and your family the best.
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I should have added this phenomenon of undressing when hypothermic is called paradoxical undressing. I checked and it occurs when the body temp gets very cold -- 82-90 degrees F.
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It may be the dementia or it may be that his body temperature is low. It may seem strange, but sometimes when people's body temperatures get below a certain point, they can sense they are too warm and start taking off their clothes. As people near death, the body temperature and blood pressure often go down dramatically. If this is happening and your father feels warm, your father doesn't have the rational thoughts of modesty that we think of as normal. So it could be why he is disrobing. (Just a possibility)
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Thank for your comments Why try to understand it??? Its a new behavior and if there was something I could do, then I wanted to know...simple as that. Well now I have no more questions or concerns about Dad, Dad passed on the 19th of Feb, whatever he was going thru, he is done with the troubles of this world. We had a beautiful Home Going Service and now my Dad can truly rest in peace. Thank you for your support to me with my Dad and Mom over the last 3 years.
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Disrobing is a normal stage of dementia, I went through it with my mothere also. You can even go online and buy "unstrippable clothing." There is a place called buck and buck online. I bought from them and then make my Moms pajamas to she couldnt get them off. My Mom took them off, squatted on the floor, sometimes against the bed, and peed !!! I HAD to get her to not be able to undress and it worked like a charm. Good Luck.
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For about 5 hours before my Dad passed he disrobed we were in the Hospital and there was a round light on the wall. My father kept taking his gown off and would walked towards the round light. It was the strangest thing I had ever seen it went on for hours. My mother and I were told he would be fine that he was going to be on a machine for his kidneys, but after we left his whole body shut down and he passed. I felt bad that we were not there but the doctor had told us he would be fine.
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I understand what you are feeling. I was shocked when my husband did this, also. At that point in his dementia, he was in a nursing home and in bed. His aide merely pulled his curtain and let him stay nude. Then he was content and just slept.
My advice is to go along with any behavior, no matter how strange or embarassing to you, as long as it is safe. Little "white" lies are often needed with dementia patients. Expect crazy stories, lies and behavior on some days. Expect refusal to eat. Ask Hospice for a pamplet called "Gone From My Sight". It will give you information on what to expect and look for as he travels this path. I would also suggest that , since dementia is incurable and you don't want him to suffer any longer than necessary, you take him off Aricept, Nimenda and any other meds that would prolong his suffering. Also, NO feeding tubes should be allowed to extend his life. These are decisions you'll have to make. My husband passed away on Christmas Eve; but I have absolutely no guilt because I did everything I could to keep him comfortable. My heart goes out to you and the family. Hugs, Corinne
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He needs a fan. My brother was like that last week and he kept trying to tell us he needed air.
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I am hoping my mom doesn't do this..I take care of my grandkids.they don't need to see that..I'll be ready with a robe quick.I can imagine it would be weird having your dad walk around naked ....Dementia is just awful.This is my 2nd go round.My dad had it and passed 6 years ago,now its my mom.Big HUGS!
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If he is in hospice, what does it matter that he is disrobing? Remember, you are the loving, caring, non-judgmental family member who should allow him to do whatever he wants in his last days. Don't try to explain it, just put the covers back on if he has a roommate in the same room, and if staff is that uncomfortable, don't have them in his room. We are born naked, and we return naked. He probably knows when his time is up. My condolences to your family.
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He's obviously an exhibitionist. Seriously, why try to figure out in a rational way such obviously crazy behaviors. The only thing you'll do is drive yourself crazy. Dementia is not rational. Period. Trying to rationally understand such crazy behavior makes no sense. There is NO reason to it.
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Taking some or all of their clothes off is not uncommon in facilities where there are dementia/Alzheimers patients. Also not uncommon that they can't tell you why they are doing it. Just like they often times can't tell you why they do or don't do other things like eating, bathroom, think someone is stealing from them etc.. It's related to their declining logic, part of the brain disease.
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My father did that too...he had frontal lobe dementia.
Never figured out why, it was just one of the many strange
behaviors he had because of dementia. It is not uncommon.
Special clothing is made that they can't take off...openings in
the back. We tried those, but he'd just rip them off, tear them
apart at the seams. That lasted 2 days till they were all in shreds and
we were out $200 dollars worth of clothes.
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Might I ask is does your dad have Dementia? When mom lived with me she would sometime start to take her clothes off near the end. The disconnect in her brain would make her pick out her clothing and bedding. Wanting to pull things off. I am sure it's all part of the process. With Dementia they have hallucinations too. Bugs are a big one. Maybe he thinks bugs are crawling on him and in his clothes. I know it a frustrating situation, and one that no one can really know what goes on in their little minds. Especially if the mind is slowly fading away. I'm sorry for you and your dad. God Bless.
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PS - his other behaviors - does he have a urinary tract infection? It can cause all these symptoms and more. Refusing to eat/drink is common in the last days before death. The main thing now is to keep him comfortable.
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He may be uncomfortable and is seeking a solution to it. Try to think about it from his point of view as he can't tell you right now what is wrong. Is he too warm? He may not be running a temp, but he may feel too warm. Try less blankets, lighter clothing. Is the clothing uncomfortable for some reason? Too tight? Bunching up? Scratchy on his delicate skin?

It is possible that he may believe he is just waking up and needs to get his pajamas off and redress for work. Have someone tell him it is Sunday, or whatever day might work, and he can sleep in - or some other comment that based on his past might work.

Is he in pain? The signs of pain can be difficult to determine. Have someone take his BP after he disrobes. If it is higher than his known norm - it is an indication of pain.

Is he content to lie down with just a sheet on him after he is naked? There is nothing wrong with letting him stay like this.

I hope this is helpful. I believe he is trying to communicate something - we just have to figure it out.
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Possible something called Sundowner. Google it and see if it fits.
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