How can I prevent my mom with dementia from removing her bandages until she is healed?

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My mother had her pacemaker battery changed this past Tuesday. Wednesday morning I found Steri-Strips and gauze in her sheets. She had pulled everything off during the night. I brought her back to the Pacemaker Lab yesterday and they redressed the wound. However, a few hours later, she had taken everything off again while I was not watching her. I am her full time, live in caregiver.

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Can you find a close fitting soft tee shirt for her to wear - one that will make it hard for her to reach the dressing? Either that or a light sweatshirt or something that buttons or zips in the back (or you can put on backward so she can't get it open. It's frustrating for you, but she can't understand why that strange (perhaps itchy?) stuff is taped on her and she wants it off. So, it's a matter of keeping it beyond reach (as you know). Good luck. If you find a kind of shirt or other type of clothing she'll keep on, let us know. There are others fighting this battle.
Good luck,
Carol
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In the past, here are some things that helped me keep bandages on my mom, who is a real Houdini.

It sounds like your mom is pretty good at getting her dressings off. Would your doctor okay you just using a spray-on bandage?

1. Write 'do not remove' in magic marker. Works sometimes.
2. Wrap with a self-adherent type bandage like Coban, if possible, and safety pin it shut in an area the person can't see.
3. Here's an Idea I haven't tried yet, but I think it has potential if the wound is on a limb: get a piece of shrink-wrap (they used to have it at Paper Shack) and use a blow dryer to shrink it snugly, but not tightly, around the limb, over the bandage. The heavy duty stuff is impossible to get off without scissors.
4. You can also put signs around the room explaining why she has a bandage and that she should not remove it. It also helps to put a picture of the wound on there because that's what the deal usually is - they don't remember what happened and are anxious about what is underneath the bandage.
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Aha! Here's something that should work for your mom.

buckandbuck/womens-clothing/womens-jumpsuits/back-zip-jumpsuits.html

These are jumpsuits with a zipper in the back that look like cute two-piece comfy outfits. They are designed to foil the 'inappropriate undresser' :-)
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Carol thanks for the advice. I spoke with her nurse yesterday and she also suggested that I try the t-shirt. Unfortunately or fortunately, mom is pretty strong. She stretched the neckband of the t-shirt downwards so she could access the bandaged area. I am going to try putting a shirt on her backwards today. I need to find a garment made of material that does not have a lot of give.
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I am having this same problem with my mom, except she broke her ankle and had to have surgery. She is in a nursing home for three weeks but I'm about to bring her home because they can't keep her from removing her dressings. I finally figured out they were putting the boot on wrong - putting the piece that's supposed to go on top of her foot and shin Under her foot and behind her calf. It's hard plastic and must have been excruciating. Now she has a necrotic area the size of a quarter on her heel. The nurses say it is her fault for constantly taking off her boot, but I disagree. Also, instead of wrapping her ankle with nonstick pads and stretchable wrap, they wrapped it - tightly - in plain gauze. Now the screws in her ankle are poking out of the incision and the flesh is dying all around. And when the gauze was unwrapped at the doctor's today, he said a horrified 'Jesus!'. He said he'd have to take out the screws. It looks so bad.

I went back to the nursing home with my mom, but the nurses said they had to wrap her foot tightly because she kept taking the bandage off. That makes no sense to me at all. I really don't know what to do. When my husband gets home, I'm going to talk to him about bringing her to our house and just using home health.
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