My grandmother fell about a month ago in the middle of the night when she went to the bathroom. She was hospitalized and was at the hospital for a week. She exhibited what appeared to be delirium when she was at the hospital. She wouldn’t sleep all day, she would cry and say goodbye, like she was going to die. Currently, my mom is caring for my grandma at home. My grandmother is not able to get out of bed due to the injury on her right leg. She wears briefs/diapers daily. For about the past week or so (7-10 days), she has been taking off her brief/diaper every night, wetting the sheets and the bed. All the family has explained to her the reason why she should not take off her brief/diaper. She says, she won’t do it anymore but she does it again in the middle of the night/AM time

(1:30am -6am). When asked why she does it, she says it’s because she is wet but doesn’t know why she takes it off. We have explained to her that she can call us in the middle of the night if she needs her brief/diaper to be changed. She says, ok but I don’t know why I take it off. This is every night.

In addition, she doesn’t sleep much at night and will be saying “oh god” or “help me god” when we go check on her to help her, she says, I don’t know what’s wrong. Does she have early stages of dementia? Or has anybody experience this before with a relative? Any feedback would be greatly appreciate it.

I am trying to help my grandma and my mom (main caregiver) in the process.

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My mother who had Alzheimer's often used to do this resulting in having to wash the sheets daily. Her pyjama bottoms and Tena pants were normally found at tte bottom of the bed.
Sometimes a simple change can help and I decided to put her in drawstring pyjama bottoms which were put on backwards. Since doing this the problem has been solved.
Still get the occasional wet sheet but not once has she managed to wriggle out of her pyjamas and night pants.
Even the carers that come in morning and evening to wash her were amazed at how well it works and had never heard of solving the problem like that.
Always worth a try.
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Reply to Happy78

Helpinggrandma, I remember having to wear an adult diaper after having surgery.

Oh my gosh, those diapers can be super hot to wear, day or night.... more so at night. I know I was ready to rip it off !! So, maybe that is what your grandmother is experiencing.
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Reply to freqflyer

Hello Eyerishlass,

Thank you very much for the information, it means a lot. I will let my mom know to hold the liquids after 8pm and I will look into purchasing a waterproof pad. I hope my grandmother goes back to her previous baseline soon. I know this may not happen but I really hope it does. My mom also mentioned she takes her brief/diaper even when it’s dry. Why, it’s unknown :-/.
Thank you again!:)
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Reply to Helpinggrandma

Dear Helpinggrandma,

Only a doctor can tell you if she has dementia. But taking a tumble can affect an elderly person's personality. Sometimes they bounce back, sometimes it takes a while for them to bounce back, sometimes they don't bounce back and how they are post-fall becomes their new baseline.

It sounds like your grandma objects to a wet Depends but if it becomes wet in the middle of the night when everyone's asleep there's no one to change it and get your grandma cleaned up. The garment is wet, it's cold, and it smells. That's probably why she takes it off. Also, she may be half asleep and not realize she's taking it off.

I used to work in hospice and there were patients of mine who were at the beginning of their hospice journey. It was not unusual to hear them moaning in the middle of the night, saying "Help me," and calling out to God. My point here is not that your grandma is going to die necessarily, just that in my experience some elderly people do call out in the middle of the night as you described your grandma doing. In other words, it's not that rare. However, I don't have a reason why elderly people do this.

To avoid a wet Depends overnight suggest that your mom hold your grandma's liquids after 8pm and if she hasn't done so already, suggest to your mom that she place a waterproof pad beneath your grandma in the bed. I don't think you'll solve the incontinence but maybe if the Depends doesn't get so wet at night your grandma won't take it off.

Good luck.
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Reply to Eyerishlass

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