How do I keep Mom from taking her clothes and briefs off at night? - AgingCare.com

How do I keep Mom from taking her clothes and briefs off at night?

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We moved my mother in with us after my father died. She spent about 6 months on a secure unit of an assisted living. After several falls and 2 trips to the hospital we brought her home with and aid 8 hours a day. She is in the mid to end stage of Alzheimer's and dementia. She is incontinent of urine and feces. In the morning her depends is soaked. She takes her clothes off sometimes and is completely soaked in the morning. Any suggestions for getting her to stop this behavior.

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[[That was supposed to be "super-d-ooper" [darn spell check refuses to allow me to make system "learn" my creative spelling!]]
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LOL! I know it's not funny--the messes can be Un-believable!
But seriously, the sensation of wet nasty diapering materials, and/or wet night-wear, is terrible--there's still remaining thought processes that understand that, even in severe dementias, to try to do something about it.
Using super-cooper absorbency diapering products, along with the one-sies jammies that zip up the back, should solve it.
Getting her up once or twice per night, can also help reduce the amount of drenching.
OTHER options can help bedtime relaxation, with NO hangover, and, allows getting the person up to potty during the night, without them being a rag doll--these things help a person achieve relaxation and emotional balance:
===Mild herbals, such as chamomile [parts used = flowers; capsules or tea--but if night-time causes too much wetting, go for the capsules instead!] There are stronger herbs, but I tend to try the weaker ones first.
===Inositol: a nutrient that often causes those using about 1000mg before bedtime, to feel sleepy--no hangover in the morning.
===Rhodiola Rosea: comes in many forms. This herbal has been used many hundreds of years+ with great safety. It helps balance brain chemistry, to allow more stable moods, calm. It smells and tastes sort of like roses [to me..]?
One source says it's part of the geranium family--but it's more like a succulent plant; the parts used are the roots. We've used the liquid extract squirted under the tongue, or put into a bite of food or a swallow of juice, to good effect; we've repeated every few to several hours, just fine.
===GABA [gammaAminoBenzoicacid] can be supplemented as a single item, any time there is agitation/anxiety. It comes as capsules; the powder inside can be put directly in the mouth to absorb under the tongue, or, swallow the caps. It tastes slightly sour--so please rinse mouth afterwards.
It is a neurotransmitter that, if missing, leaves the "gate" to the lower brain open---which allows fears and anxieties to flood out overwhelmingly.
Taking GABA helps put back the "gate-keeper", to allow normal emotional levels.

More complex:
OFTEN, elders have lost the proper balances of "Anti-diuretic hormone" [ADH] [The drug for that is Desmopressin = synthesized analog of antidiuretic hormone] which our bodies make at night, which puts kidneys to sleep, so we don't have to pee at night while sleeping.
Signals to make this come from the brain--so there's multiple options for why production can get decreased.
This can happen in children too, if they have had sickness with high fevers. Something is damaged, which dumbs-down the ability to manufacture this hormone at night, and the result is soggy diapers & beds, or even daytime enuresis. AND, having too little of it causes increased confusion, sluggishness and irritability!
livestrong/article/176447-antidiuretic-hormone-imbalance-symptoms/
It , plus correcting salt balance, can also help with orthostatic hypotension for some.
There's an ADH [desmopressin] nasal spray [there may be other forms by now].
We've used some for Gma, and for our kid--both of them had had serious high fevers, and both had terrible trouble getting thru the night without having to get up several times to potty---which mean NOone in the house got any decent sleep. Using that nasal spray really helped drastically minimize the night-time potty trips.
Our kid refused nasal spray, but, when I spritzed a couple spritzes into a 1-ounce dropper bottle of distilled water, and gave a dropper-full of that into the mouth at bedtime, it did fine [kid was about 5 to 8 y.o. then]. SOME kids might need this if they develop significant enuresis after getting some of their vaccinations--that is what happened to our kid--got very sick, fevered, then severe enuresis, among other things.....so elders who've been through the mill with fevers during their lifetime, perhaps, or injuries, or many other possible causes--plus age, can easily need some of this to help them.
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My Mom was so forgetful that after trying to get off her unstrippable pajamas and couldnt, she forgot what she was doing and got back in bed, they do work. I knew someone who duck taped her moms diaper completely around it so she couldnt get it off worked for her, at least she didnt pee on the floor.
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Won't sleeping meds make the dementia worse??? I've been afraid to even ask the doctor about some for Mom. Occasionally she sleeps through the night but calls me 3 to 4 times more often than not. Sometimes she's wet and wants her diaper changed but she sometimes just calls me to ask a question or make sure I can hear her...I gave her a whistle and sleep with a baby monitor next to my head...I always hear her.
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I would wake her at 3 am and take her to the bathroom. Much easier to prevent than clean up mess.
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Try skipping top sheets, and using a fleece blanket or two. They wash and dry fast. If my night gown was wet, I'd take it off too. Try a shirt with long sleeves, and the diapers. Also, they make incontinence pads in various sizes, that way you are only changing and wash the pad, not the whole bed. (The bed should have a waterproof pad and maybe flannel fitted bottom sheet to hold the incontinence pad in place. My Dad has an oil filled heater (DeLongi) and keeps his room very warm. He tipped the heater over once, and it turned it's self off just like it was to do. He has a down comforter over the fleece, which can also be washed (I would suggest a couple down blankets for easier washing and drying), they don't usually get wet. Also, I have not tried this, but maybe no diaper, just let her go on a disposal bed pad. Check her at night to make sure she is dry. Good luck.
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The zip-in-back PJs will probably stop her from taking off her clothes, but that may not be the end of the problem. Once she realizes she can't remove the PJs, then she might/probably will complain about that. If she's like my mother was (with other things), she'll drive you nuts complaining until you do something about it...like get the zip-in-back PJs off of her. So, I agree with others who previously said, you've got to find out 'why' she wants her clothes off, and respond to that, if you can. FYI...it's a possibility you won't be able to 'fix it'...she may not know why she wants her clothes off...and/or she's doing things like this because it is one of the few things she can do in which she still has some control. (she does it, because she can.)

Taking clothes off is not an uncommon behavior with dimentia/alzheimer patients. While my mother (early dimentia) didn't do this, it was not unusual to see naked senior citizens in wheelchairs in the nursing home/rehab unit where she was. Nurses said it was a constant battle to keep them clothed. Nurses would re-dress the nude patients, but the seniors would soon be naked again.
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So sad to see our loved ones regress like this. I have gotten my mom to use Depends. She is still continent, but often waits too long to go to bathroom.
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My mom takes hers off too. However the times she is taking her bottoms off and having an accident, she tells me she was afraid she was not going to make it to the bathroom and didn't want to get her clothes wet. She forgets that she has on the pull ups to protect everything from getting wet and therefore gets everything wet and the floor too. She isn't doing this as often at the moment. I just try to be available when she is going to the bathroom. (but I am extremely tired due to being up most of the night)
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Try her on 1/2 or even 1/4 of an Ativan and see how that works.
Removing clothes is very common in end stage dementia and little you can do about it. For those that can still be toileted why not keep a commode at the bedside for night time use.
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