Recently placed 97 year old other in Memory Care unit. She wears a Depends pull on with a thin overnight pad. Currently, she uses a walker and easily goes to the bathroom herself. When she will goes to the bathroom to move her bowels she will always use a vinyl glove, which she uses and discards into receptacle. Problem is she is unable to clean her bottom properly. She always needs assistance. If she is not helped, she will pull up her Depends over her soiled buttocks. When she was at home, I kept track of if she had moved her bowels and make sure to catch her and get her cleaned up before bed. If she didn't go during the day, she would get up during the night to move her bowels and climb back into bed and consequently soil the bedsheet (she sleeps in the nude). Any suggestions for some type of routine that would include a bed sensor that would not alarm in the room but would alert the staff (flashing light, no sound) to check her and "catch her in the act" before she returned to bed?


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RedBerryFarm, thxs for your thoughtful response. Yes, the unit does have a two hour check routine, yet my mother can manage to nip out of bed during the night, soil her bottom, crawl back in bed, and manage to breakfast bare butt under her nightie at 7:45. After breakfast, she returns to her room, makes up her bed and watches TV
Bathroom does have pull alarm, mom wouldn’t use it, does not want anyone to know she can’t wipe her bottom. She will deny any soiling.
I am thinking a motion detector in the bathroom during the night: “a stand-alone motion paging system that allows you to eliminate in-room alarm noise. The Motion Sensor is placed in a doorway and when motion is detected, a silent wireless signal is sent to the caregiver pager up to 300 ft away.” Can be a flashing light alarm or choice of sound.
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Ask the director to have her put on an every 2 hour checks during the night for toileting.
She should have some kind of waterproof/ washable bed pad (s) under her, on top of the sheets she sleeps on.
Is mom regular (as in has a bm every night, during the night- or only sporadically at night?) and predictable for the staff to check her? Memory care doesn't usually track every resident's bm's like a nursing home does, but that doesn't mean that they can't do so. (Yet if mom toilets herself, that would be hard for staff to accurately track.) At least ask if they can put checking her for bm's onto her 'med screen' for what they daily do for your mom. Then everyone would be aware of the need to check her.

Is there an emergency pull call light by the toilet in her bathroom? Would mom pull it when she toilets herself (saying it is a new way this bathroom works, or something...) ... she might not pull it, or remember to.

As for flashing light bed alarms, there might be such a thing out there to purchase, but most bed alarms are the pressure- activated sound kind. (Would the staff even see the flashing? I doubt it. ) There are no bed alarms that I know of (nurse with long term care experience) that can directly alert the staff without an audible alarm at the bedside wired to the pad. Most staff have cell phones or pagers that keep track of resident's pendant calls only- but that would be a great invention to incorporate into modern places of care.

Staff will soon get the hang of what mom's night time toileting needs are as they are the ones who have to clean her and the bedding up when she misses things herself. As said in prior post, this isn't new for the memory unit staff to deal with.
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GAinPA, how is the Memory Care unit set up? Is there a nursing station? If yes, we need to remember at night the Staff is limited and there is usually a triage system in place.... thus if the Staff are helping a resident who needs medical attention, catching Mom in the act would be impossible. If it is a quiet night, then if the Staff sees the light [or whatever system] they could help.

Chances are the Staff has had residents who were doing the same thing that your Mom is doing. I would ask them what would they suggest.
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